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Sagitta Inaugural Cruise Report

 
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GeorgiaGirl
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Sagitta Inaugural Cruise Report Reply with quote

Here’s my trip report on Sagitta’s Inaugural Sail Dec 16-22. Skip & I had a great time and think Sagitta is a real beauty!

Sunday – We met Tim, Dave, Nancy, Margo & Di at Chesterfield’s around 11am which was a nice place outside the Cruise Ship pier where Tim suggested we meet. We walked over to the Cruise Ship facility and met with Crystal around noon and hung out there a while as the last of the finishing touches were done on Sagitta before we boarded. Note that it is possible to walk from Holland House or Royal Pasanggrahan but I would not want to do it with luggage.

We all went over to the ship together from the Information Center meeting point in the Cruise Ship Facility Pier around 1pm and were greeted by Captain Nervo, Laurie and the rest of the crew. We did a little paper work out on the covered dining area on the upper deck and then were escorted to our cabins. Safety drill and then preparations were made to cast off. Liz was the only person left on the pier and she looked sad to not be going with us.

We sailed over to St Bart’s arriving after dark. It was a delightful sail over. Dinner was in the main dining saloon where there was plenty of room for everyone and a nice breeze through the area. It was a great dinner, but then all the food was wonderful! Then out to look at all the super mega yachts around us and do a bit of star gazing.

Monday – St Bart’s. We did a morning taxi tour of the island for $20 per person that was very enjoyable. Then walked around for awhile and ended up at the Wall House restaurant where we had a very nice relaxing lunch that included main course, wine, coffee, dessert and rum for $25 per person. I will definitely eat there next time I’m in St Bart’s. Wandered around after lunch including up to the old fort where you can look down on Shell Beach. Others went swimming or snorkeling at either Shell Beach or Eden Rock beach near the famous St Bart’s airport. We had another nice dinner that evening out on the deck followed by a Trivia game.

Tuesday – We did an overnight sail to arrive in St Kitts Tuesday morning. It was a bit bumpy and I woke up to stuff flying around d the cabin around 2am Tuesday. You may want to stow things away better than we did!

Options for excursions on St Kitts included train ride around the island or an ATV tour. There may have been another tour but no one signed up for it. We wanted to do the train but it had a problem and did not run this day so we did the ATV tour and I’m so glad we did. The ship sent a nice bag lunch. I was slow to catch on and got at the end of the line because I was just plain SLOW but had a blast anyway. We had a little time to practice before we started out on the 2+ hour tour. We stopped at an old plantation where the guide showed us around, at the Romney Manor Batik factory and for our guide to climb up a coconut tree to get some coconut and then cut them open for us to sample. Tons of fun! Wear closed toe shoes or boots. Long pants or high socks would also be a good idea if you have them.

Wednesday – Nevis. A group walked over to the warm springs and then around town and had a nice time. I decided to take the morning off and enjoy relaxing on the ship. So much open deck space it hard to decide where to go. And there are lots of chairs you can more around to wherever you want them. That afternoon the ship moved over to Sunshine’s Beach where Killer Bees were enjoyed along with the beautiful beach. That night there was a BBQ complete with a big bonfire on the beach.

The only excursion anyone signed up for on Nevis was a hike. It was billed as 4 hours and strenuous and ended up being almost 8 hours and extremely strenuous. You need good shoes with hiking boots an even better option, a jacket (it often is raining at the top), water (one of those camel bags would be perfect) and snacks. But if you are a climber or a serious hiker do consider it. The pictures our hikers got from the top – they had a completely clear day – were breath-taking and the pictures of their mud covered smiling bodies when they returned to the ship were priceless!

Thursday – We left Nevis early for Statia starting the day out with sails up and a photo op. The crew did 3 runs in the launch so everyone that wanted pictures could get them. That afternoon we did a snorkel excursion for $45 per person. An excursion is the only way to snorkel on Statia. It was OK, good coral and nice fish, just not very big area. And we had the bad luck for it to be overcast while we were in the water. I know if the sun had been out the colors would have been much more vivid.

I think Thursday evening is when Crystal taught several of us dice. Beware, it is great fun but somewhat addictive and best played with adult beverages!

Friday – Anguilla. I took the morning off again and read on deck and enjoyed seeing rainbows off in the distance and several turtles very close to the ship. That afternoon we took the transport over to the beach on the other side which is a gorgeous beach. We wanted to snorkel but the surf was too high. It was all we could do to get in & get out. Of course the kids on the beach with boogy boards were having a grand time. We rented 2 chairs with an umbrella for $10 and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon ending with a drink in one of the beach bars before heading back to the ship.

There was a Dolphin encounter offered on Anguilla that several people did and they all raved about it. Each one said it was an absolutely fabulous experience.

We set sail into the sunset to head back to St Maarten. Another wonderful sail! Captain’s dinner was lobster and fresh pasta, Caesar salad and coconut pie. The best of many, many wonderful meals.

Saturday – After a nice buffet breakfast we took the ship transfer to the airport at 10am. We were sad to leave the ship but happy to be going home for Christmas.

The ship is beautiful. The crew is outstanding. The cabins are very comfortable and have plenty of storage space. For a real treat stay in the Owners Cabin with king bed and oversized bathroom. It is amazing! Sagitta has lots of outside and inside space for people to spread out or get together.

How’s Sagitta different from Diamant? Well, it’s bigger so more space and more people. Sagitta has Operations Manager Laurie onboard to manage all of the clearing in & out which is a daily occurrence with a different country every day, and to manage all the excursions. And Sagitta has excursions. In the Grenadines it is more swimming and snorkeling off the beaches with only a launch ride in. On Sagitta’s itinerary there is more to do and not so much just taking a launch to get to a beach. Which one is better? They are both great, just different.

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Sandra
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm excited! Can't wait my turn!! Thanks for the great report.
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obrienboone



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds as wonderful as I have been imagining it will be! This may sound lazy, but I think I will be opting more for launches to the beach and relaxing time on deck than excursions, but we'll see. And looking forward to our stay in the Owner's Cabin for the March 3rd sail!
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GeorgiaGirl
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

obrienboone wrote:
Sounds as wonderful as I have been imagining it will be! This may sound lazy, but I think I will be opting more for launches to the beach and relaxing time on deck than excursions, but we'll see. And looking forward to our stay in the Owner's Cabin for the March 3rd sail!


You will love the Owners Cabin. I really hated leaving it!

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obrienboone



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeorgiaGirl wrote:
obrienboone wrote:
Sounds as wonderful as I have been imagining it will be! This may sound lazy, but I think I will be opting more for launches to the beach and relaxing time on deck than excursions, but we'll see. And looking forward to our stay in the Owner's Cabin for the March 3rd sail!


You will love the Owners Cabin. I really hated leaving it!


Thanks Kathy. i figured with the money we are spending for airfare, hotel and the cruise, plus spending money, the additional money for the Owners Cabin was not that drastic and would be worth it.
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PubCrawler
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report Kathy! I can't wait to finally get to Sunshine's for a Killer Bee or two. I'm also looking forward to Anguilla; heard great things about the beaches and the bars.
Frankly, I think you lucked out with the train out of commission. I found it underwhelming. Does the ATV tour stop by Brimstone Hill? I might be tempted.
Getting antsy.
pirates

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GeorgiaGirl
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ATV excursion does not go to Brimstone hill but don't let that keep you from doing it. It really is lots of fun.

I wish I could remember the name of the beach where the ship was anchored in Anguilla. It also is a very nice place and some people spent the morning on that beach and found several options for lunch ashore. I found out too late that I missed a super shopping opportunity for hand made jewelry just behind that beach area. You go up the road from the beach a very short way, hang a right and it is down just a few buildings on the right and has black & white stone mosaic in front. Beautiful pieces at extremely reasonable prices. I hope someone else on the trip can provide the name or more details. You don't want to miss it ladies!

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obrienboone



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been to Anguilla twice and stayed there a week each time. The Dune Preserve on Rendezvous Bay is a fun place for a drink and some great live music, depending on what time you hit it. They do serve food but I wouldn't recommend it. Elvis, who used to work there, now has his own place on Sandy Ground called Elvis Beach Bar, and I definitely want to hit that.
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Windbreaker
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report !

Thanks !
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caribdreamer
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Kathy, for an excellent and detailed report! The only island I have ever been to on Sagitta's itinerary is Nevis. As much as I love the Grenadines (Saltwhistle Bay in particular) I can't wait to explore new (to me) islands!
I was just looking at the ship tracker and I see Sagitta anchored off St Barts among at least a hundred other yachts - must be quite a sight!!

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GeorgiaGirl
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were told that St Bart's is "the place to be" to celebrate New Years Eve if you are among the rich & famous. They apparently have an amazing firework display.
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caribdreamer
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would explain it!!
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Sandra
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep! New Years Eve on St. Barts is the place to be with the rich and famous. We were there twice on the Poly for NYE. Actually a bunch of us including crew ended up on stage with Puff Daddy aka P Diddy!! Saw folks from Bay Watch, Steven Spieldberg, etc. It was a lot of fun but a real madhouse!! Fireworks going off everywhere. The restrooms down by the quay were blown up! But, we had fun!
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nancark
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't add much to what Tim, Donna, and Kathy have reported. Sagitta is comfortable and spacious and altogether wonderful. I particularly liked all the deck space and chairs (both loungers and uprights) that could be moved from sun to shade as desired. I wish all 3 trip reports/photos had been posted on the same thread.

Shop on Anguilla. Called "Bijou" I think. Mostly jewelry and clothing. Pretty much the only shop on the street, attractive white building with black/white mosaic paving stones at the entrance, across from an art gallery that was closed when we were there. Where zodiac drops you off at the dock walk to the street, turn right, walk about 2 minutes, you can't miss it. And it's not to be missed! One of our group (who shall remain nameless) bought an item, went for lunch at a nice restaurant on the beach, then returned a second time and bought something else!

St.Kitts Scenic Railway. I took it in Jan '07, enjoyed it (in contrast to the opinions of others), and planned to do it again this time. Because it was not operating the day we were there (engine trouble?) several of us took a taxi tour through town and up along the western coast to Romney Manor (with its botanical gardens and batik factory and store, I don't think anyone left without buying something) and the Brimstone Hill Fortress. This is a worthwhile tour if you don't want to do the Railway or the ATV tour.

Nevis hike. Of the 3 offered (easy nature walk, moderate nature walk, strenuous mountain hike), the Mt.Nevis (3,232') climb was the only one anyone signed up for. Seven of us did it. Laurie described it as "strenuous with rock hopping." I thought "I hike regularly in the Blue Ridge mtns. So I can do that." What Laurie didn't know was that the climb included many nearly vertical, albeit short, portions that involved holding onto trees, roots, or strategically placed ropes and hauling oneself up (or letting oneself down). Also, most of the trail was muddy and slippery. I made it to the top but only with occasional help from the guide and a fellow hiker. On the return I frequently sat on my fanny and slid, deciding to sacrifice my shorts for the sake of my bones. I would not recommend Mt.Nevis unless you're very fit, have lots of arm and leg strength, wear hiking shoes with good tread, and take plenty of water. I wish I knew the elevation gain; we didn't start at sea level, but drove part way up before the trail began. Fortunately, the weather was clear and we had a wonderful view from the top. If we'd done the hike on a typical day, when the mountain top is shrouded in clouds, it would have been disappointing (devastating?) to do a very strenuous hike and then not be rewarded with a view.

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