Ah, today is our first port of call for the Caribbean Legends itinerary. Good morning Anguilla. It is a beautiful morning for breakfast at Veranda. The Eggs Benedict do not disappoint. And neither does the fresh Caribbean breeze on deck with views of beautiful Anguilla. We can't wait to get out and explore this charming Caribbean island.
We are docked in Road Bay. Most of the better beaches, hotels and beach bars are 20 to 30-minutes away car. Anguilla is the picture perfect Caribbean island before any development explosion. Pristine, protected shorelines, calm surf, soft sand beaches (many with pink-hued sand), spectacular coral reefs, delicious potent rum punch, upscale boutique hotels and idealistic beach bars.
Windstar really only offers one excursion in Anguilla - Shoal Bay Beach Transfer. And that is exactly what it is - a transfer. Albeit to a beautiful 2 mile long Caribbean beach. The 30-minute van transfer delivers guests to the area where they will find a number of venues to spend the day, including Elodia's Beach Bar, a local, low key Caribbean style bar and restaurant on the more secluded end of the beach. Other options are hotels and restaurants like Zemi Beach Resort and The Manoah. Aside from some private homes and a cluster of restaurants and bars, the beach is otherwise yours they say. DISCLAIMER: We did not do this excursion or go to this area.
Instead, we chose to visit Bankie Banx famed Dune Preserve, on a gorgeous beach looking straight out to St Maarten. The beach and view are stunning. Beyond that, Dune Preserve was founded by famed reggae singer Bankie Banx. Banks likes to say Dune Preserve is about turning lemons to lemonade. Examine this ultra-cool, ultimate beach bar (in my opinion) as we did. You will find shipwrecked boats, driftwood, battered coconut trees, and other discarded materials came together to form this amazing erector set-like structure.
NOTE: Our day in port fell on a Monday, and Dunes Preserve is "closed" on Monday. But determined to see firsthand the location Jimmy Buffett chose to record his DVD/CD Live in Anguilla, off we went by cab, undaunted.
Dune Preserve may have been closed but we had full run of the place. We heard music waffling in the breeze as we approached so we explored and admired the bar and beach. Must confess I enjoyed a rather dynamic rum punch served by a legit Rastafarian. I highly recommend Dune Preserve. By the way they have an acclaimed Sunday Brunch at Noon with Bankie performing. Next time for sure!
After exploring, photographing and chilling at Dune Preserve we toured Anguilla by cab, pausing at beaches and upscale resorts. Anguilla is now one of my favorite Caribbean destinations. The beaches and water surrounding it are absolutely picture-perfect gorgeous. And the laid-back, not overly developed vibe make Anguilla an ultimate Caribbean island.
A Look at Today's Events of Interest:
6:15 PM - We joined the Captain, Officers and fellow guests fort the Champagne Welcome Reception in The Lounge.
6:30 PM - Without leaving the Lounge or our Champagne, we listened to Destination Manager Steve prepare us for Montserrat, tomorrow's port of call. While Montserrat does not offer an abundance of excursions it is clearly fascinating. Steve covers this and as always, has loads of advice, whether you do a cruise line tour or not.
6:30 PM - The casino slots are now open until close. At 9 pm the table games open.
7:00 - 9:00 PM - Restaurants are open for dinner. Tonight we have a special treat. We have been invited to join Hotel General Manager, Richard Maier for dinner at his table. We were joined by an interesting group of fellow guests, many who have previously sailed on Windstar. For me, it was fascinating to hear his stories of getting into the cruise industry, the evolution of his career, interesting personal and professional experiences and the history and future for the ship itself. My Seafood Bouillabaisse, desert and the wine were each fantastic.
9:00 PM - ??? - Live music and dancing in the Star Bar, and also at Compass Rose. The party goes until you bail out. Since this was the second day onboard so guests are well rested and stay up later than the first night.
DRINK OF THE DAY: Peach Martini
Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Orange Juice. $8.25.