Monday, April 18, 2011

Cruise Review - Port of Call - Antigua

The third port of call on our 2011 Celebrity Summit 7 night Southern Caribbean cruise was Antigua. This was our first port where we booked an excursion through Celebrity opting for the zip line tour.
Arriving in the port of St. John's, Antigua.

The zip line tour started at 9:15 am. We loaded into small mini-buses. Then it was about a 20 minute ride to the Antigua Rain Forest Company zip line tour. Neville, our bus driver told stories about himself and his family as he drove. He also pointed out all the fruit trees, gas stations, various relatives and the houses he had built in his previous career as a builder. While Neville was cute and kept us entertained it was hard to not be taken aback by the shabby conditions of the island. While the first reaction is to pity the natives good old Neville seems quite content and proves that you can live in this area and be happy with what you have. He even mentioned his one trip to the US several times. At no time did he say he preferred to move to Detroit and live with his family member there. So those feeling quashed on to the zip line!

When you arrive at the Antigua Rain Forest Company you sign release forms, get a non-alcoholic drink, store all your belongings and get harnessed up to zip. I was never scared or worried about my safety. The thing that bothered me was the harness. It was so tight that I bruised on my sides and towards the end of the tour I just wanted the heck out of the thing. So be sure to use the loo/restroom before starting!

We opted for the nine zip lines and the 'Leap of Faith'. Now I had forgot about the leap and once someone mentioned it I got really nervous thinking it was bungee jump. I can safely say it is not. All you have to is 'jump/step' off a small ledge. You are hooked into a rope that is anchored by a ranger below. When I first stepped off it didn't feel like the line I was attached to was going to do anything. Of course it did and you are then lowered down. Easy peasy lemon squeezee.

There are a lot of stairs to climb and in the Caribbean heat wearing a hard hat you do work up a thirst.

Once finished there is time for a drink (there is a bar) and a chance to find your photos that the rangers took of you zipping. You cannot take anything with you on the zip line. As you try out your first zip there is a person at the landing taking your photo so be sure to stop screaming long enough to smile.

The course is not hard and is a lot of fun. Most of the rangers are friendly and give tips on how to speed up, slow down or how to not twist as zipping. Some rangers are surly but none were rude. It was a fun day and I think it was the best tour we did on the cruise (adventure wise).

Neville was waiting for us and took us back to the pier where we all tipped him and told him how much we enjoyed his commentary.

The pier in Antigua is nothing like the previous ones (St. Thomas, St. Maarten) the shopping is not great. So we picked up a few post cards and hauled it back to the ship as it began to rain.

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