First time St. Kitts - questions

Old Nov 18th, 2007, 03:41 PM
  #21  
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Thanks again for all of your suggestions and feedback. Initially, we were wondering if there was enough to see and do to fill 6 or 7 days. Sounds like there is enough to keep one busy for weeks! Regarding the Jewish cemetery, has the archeological dig nearby turned up any more information about whether the ruins are from a 17th century synagogue?
Regarding snorkeling and diving at White House Bay: what exactly was the salt raking operation? Canons from the 1600's! How far down? What else is there to see? Ever dive the the River Taw wreck? Are US dollars accepted in most places? What about credit cards? Thanks.
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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In bygone days the locals would produce salt by letting sea water evaporate in salt ponds (very shallow lakes of sea water) leaving deposits of sea salt. They would then "rake" the salt into piles and bring it to market.

At White House Bay you can see the ruins from some of the buildings as well as a jetty and other debris that are on the shore and submerged in shallow water just off the shore line. In that same bay, they discovered an old sailing vessel that had sunk 100's of years ago. It is covered over with silt but every once in a while the current moves the silt and you can see the remains of the wooden planks and hold of the shipship (I've seen it twice in 5 years of snorkeling). The wreck is located about 100 yards off shore in water that's less than 15 deep. Not too far from the wreck but closer to shore and about 8 feet below the surface and clearly visable on the sandy bottom are several old cannon and a few cannon balls.

Not sure if there hav benn any "new" discoveries at the Jewish Synagogue it depends what you mean by "new".

Yes, US dollars are widely accepted around the island however, some of the smaller vendors may give you change back in $EC. FYI - the exchange rate is $1US = $2.6882EC but vendors will give you anywhere between $2.65EC and $2.70EC to the dollar. Many stores & restaurants will mark prices in both currencies. If you see only one price it's probably $EC but when in doubt always ask. Credit Cards are also widely accepted on the island but again some smaller shops and a few restaurants only accept cash.
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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 04:54 PM
  #23  
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Hello again,
I've got a few more questions, as we fine-tune the itinerary. In addition to taxis and renting a car for a day or two - what about the minivans. I hear they are inexpensive, kind of fun(if you happen to like the particular tunes reportedly blasting from the speakers!) and circle the island, but do NOT go south(or is it east?)of Basseterre to the Frigate Bay area. What then is the best way to make use of the minivans? If we rent a car for one day, and get an early start from Frigate Bay, is it possible to drive around the island and see most of the major sights in the one day? Would it make sense to include a visit to Brimstone Hill Fortress as part of our tour, as it is on the way? Or - see it separately on another day - say when we visit Basseterre? Or - what about seeing Basseterre and the Rainforest tour on the same day? Decisions decisions! How is the 2-3 hour catamaran snorkel/barbeque trip? It looks like we should have about 6 full days to work with - one of which will be on Nevis. All suggestions welcome!
Thanks.
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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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Lars, I don't think it is practical to do Basseterre and the rain forest tour in one day. Try Basseterre in the a.m. and Brimstone Hill/ Romney Manor after lunch. Most of the taxis on St. Kitts/Nevis are minivans. If you are renting a car why don't you take the Sea Bridge car ferry between the islands? http://www.discover-stkitts-nevis-be...tts-nevis.html
That way you'll have your own car on Nevis too. There's nothing wrong with the Frigate Bay area. Why would you stay clear of it? You might also look into the Sugar Cane Train around the island. http://photos.igougo.com/pictures-ph...ane_Train.html By the way: on Nevis, visit Chevy's and Sunshines on Pinney's Beach. There is a new multi-million (U.S.) dollar resort being built in the area.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 04:01 PM
  #25  
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Hi Nevisian,
Sorry for the confusion. We are not avoiding Frigate Bay at all. It looks beautiful, and seems to have some good activities(scuba, snorkeling, kayaks, etc.) We are thinking of staying at the Timothy Beach Resort. Regarding transportation: I had read that the minivans that run around the island(like a commuter bus I suppose), as opposed to the taxis that can be hired for island tours - do not run between Frigate Bay and the rest of the island. So - if we wanted to visit Basseterre in the am, and Brimstone/Romney Manor after lunch - and we did not rent a car on that day(having rented it to do a leisurely island tour on a previous day)and did not want a guided tour - we would need to take a regular taxi from point to point?
Have any readers had a positive experience traveling the roads via scooter(in Bermuda it was fun, as long as we kept our distance from the limestone walls!)? Or are the roads to hilly, winding and narrow?

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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 04:31 PM
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Lars,
I would recommend taking a taxi point-to-point. You can get a taxi to "the Circus" and spend the a.m. in Basseterre and then a taxi from Basseterre to Brimstone/Romney. Have the taxi wait for you. Find out the charge for the tour in advance ; there should be no "waiting charge". There are also plenty of taxis at both Romney and Brimstone. One reason to take this tour in the afternoon is if there is a cruise ship in that day. The island tours usually start in the a.m. for cruise ship travelers which leaves you less crowded and hurried in the afternoon. The cruise travelers tend to wonder Basseterre in the afternoons waiting to get back on the ship on time (4:00ish).

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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 04:39 PM
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I was just thinking that you are going to have so many things to do that you're going to have to come back again to complete them! I pity the visitor who just wants to lay on the sand all day. You're destined to have a great time. Make sure you post the results of your trip. Don't forget to take off your watch when you arrive and put it in the room safe. The only thing you need to know is that sundown is at 6:30.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 05:39 PM
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All very good information.
Rental cars are not allowed by the rental agencies to use the Sea Bridge.
Although the Captain, most likely, will let you pass.
If you rent on St Kitts, have an accident on Nevis in the same car, your insurance is void.
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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FYI:

Just received an e-mail from Bullseye Car Rentals regarding taking rental cars on the Sea Bridge.

"There is now a new and much easier way to take rental cars to Nevis.

The Ferry from the Peninsula that leaves every other hour does a great job. A few of my customers including myself have done so and it is easy."

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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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Does that mean that they insure cars on both Nevis and St. Kitts? And other agencies don't?

CW
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Nevis and St. Kitts are one Federation. My insurance is good on both islands. I can't imagine that a company with offices on both sister islands wouldn't have insurance for their fleet. Check with the individual rental agency and, of course, your hotel can help you. The citizens have been taking cars back and forth on the Sea Hustler for years.
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 06:46 PM
  #32  
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I know that St. Kitts and Nevis are one country. I asked the question because reports on other forums from recent visitors said that insurance, from at least some rental agencies, did not cover rentals on both islands.

Doesn't make sense to me but I think it would be a good thing to clarify for visitors.

Perhaps resident insurance is different from rental cars? Maybe you could ask your on-island sources.

Thanks,

CW
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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Yes, personal car insurance will cover a privately owned vehicle on both islands.

"Insurance" on rental cars is a different product. It depends on what type of coverage the rental car company has in place which varies from company to company. Some rental car companies are "self insured" others have policies with varying limits, some might see this situation as a chance to charge you more for "extended coverage" and some just don't want you taking their cars to the adjacent island. That's why it's important for you have to check directly with the car rental company rather than rely on a blanket answer on an internet travel forum.

The point is visitors are renting cars in a foreign country and, if they get in an accident, especially one that results in major property damage or bodily injury or death to a third party, they could be in for major legal problems if they don't have proper insurance. The local courts won't accept a defense that claims "Well, I shouldn't be held liable because the contributors on the Fodors Travel Talk Forum said it was OK".

Use common sense, all you have to do is ask the rental car company whether or not they allow you to use the ferry.
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I just spoke to Clarissa at Bullseye Car rental in St. Kitts: http://www.bullseyecarrental.com. I thought that I'd start on St. Kitts since most visitors come in through SKB. Bullseye, for one, does allow it's rental cars to use Sea Bridge. When (and if) I hear from the other agents I know I'll post it.
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 11:06 AM
  #35  
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Thanks, Nevisian for taking the time to do this.

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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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You've just got to visit both islands to get the picture. And what a wonderful picture it is! Besides, the Sea Bridge is a real experience in and of itself! The rental agencies also arrange for your visitor's driving permit (about $68.00 U.S. with a valid driver's license from home).
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Old Dec 2nd, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Caines Car Rental on St. Kitts (Hertz) also allows you to take the rental car on the Seabridge.
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