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Nov 22, 2008 12:42 PM

South Caribbean Cruise - off shore lunch recs

Cruising the Southern Caribbean in Jan 09 and would love to get destination/lunch/snack/local specialities recommendations accessible from the following port sites:

Puerto Rico - San Juan:

St Thomas

St Kitts - Basseterre:

Domenica - Roseau:

Barbados - Bridgetown:

St Lucia - Castries:

Guadalupe - Point-a-Pitre:

St Martaan - Philipsburg:

St Croix - Frederiksted:


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  1. If you want local food in St. Lucia near the port, take the water taxi to the marketplace which is right across the bay from where the ship docks. Go through the duty free mall to the street, turn left and go up to the corner. Cross the street into the marketplace with the red roof and go straight through. There are a bunch of little food shops back there making local food. One of my favorites is a chicken roti. which is a curry-type stew wrapped in flatbread. You can also buy local spices right there. That market that you walk through sells lots of local crafts and the usual tourist t-shirts, etc. The prices are usually pretty good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jujuthomas

      Great, this is exactly the type of local info I was hoping to get from fellow traveling Chowhounders.

      It is a different dining challenge for cruising hounders as all of our meals are covered on the ship, yet if there is something unique and local and not overwhelmed by the continual disgorging of thousands of cruise tourists, it will be worth looking for on our own when we hit these ports. Appreciate you nice directions and description.

      1. re: glbtrtr

        You are so welcome. I only wish I'd had a chance to sample the food I saw for sale in that alley... we were in a hurry, but next year for sure! You will be able to see your target from the ship, there are 2 large market places on that street, both with red roofs.

        We've also been to St. Maartin, unfortunately didn't hit much off the main drag in Phillipsburg, so I can't really direct you there.

        1. re: jujuthomas

          Leave Dutch Sint Maarten and go to back street in Phillipsburg and take the local bus to or search here for lunch eats...MUCH better on the French side IMHO. Tropicana might be good..Le Vie En Rose?? We had lunch at Le Source which was fine but check out other options. Phillipsburg is to be missed.

    2. How did it go? Find anything new? We're cruising through St Thomas and St Martaan at the end of the month and I'd love some recs if you have them. As the only food lover on the trip, I'm a little freaked out that I'll be spending a week eating eggs from a carton.

      I will definitely be summarizing my finds here. Hopefully, the more of us that use the boards post trip the more resources there will be for our next adventures...

      7 Replies
        1. re: emmaroseeats

          Realized that food during port stops was not that important as one eats well on the ship for breakfast and dinner. And unfortunately after my Mofungo disaster in Puerto Rico, I lost all taste for any more Caribbean food explorations. I did get robbed in Antigua, keep that in mind if you visit there and want to go exploring on your own - it is the crack cocaine transit center between US and South America. Not all is idyllic in these parts sad to say.

          So sorry, no unique food reports but did like the food on Holland America Maasdam and they had the by far very, very, very best breads and baked goods of any ship I have travelled on. Their croissants alone were worth the trip --- and that explains why lunch in port was just not a priority.

          1. re: glbtrtr

            totally agree on the croissants on Holland America - just returned from the Caribbean on the Westerdam - and those croissants were addictive.

            As for the food - nothing much stood out in St Thomas and san juan with the exception of the fresh coconuts and sugar cane juice in St. Thomas. Otherwise it's one jewellery store after another.

            1. re: Pizza Lover

              So glad to get the croissant tip confirmed, as we leave on the HAL Rotterdam in a few more months and I know the very first thing I will have - glad to know this is the Holland America Line tradition.

              Like the great hot bread on AirFrance makes it almost worth flying through CDG, which is insanity for any other reason. Good for Holland America. Man does live by bread alone, sometimes.

              The breads and baked goods on HAL were a 100 times better than the much pricier Crystal Cruise where they were doughy, dull, flavorless and boring.

              1. re: glbtrtr

                One tip to make the most out of the caloric intake of the croissants - make sure that the croissants you get are the warm ones (on the westerdam they were by the waffle station) - not the ones that sit out in the other areas.

                1. re: Pizza Lover

                  My first days I slathered them with butter too, but they were so good I realized that was not even necessary. Thanks for the "hot" tip.

                  Our HAL dinners were very nice, Lido lunch buffet not so great, but dining room on the Maasdam was lovely, formal, great service, nicely portioned and almost always excellent choices. I came away quite a fan of HAL.

        2. While it's true that Grand Case on the French side of St. Martin is considered the gourmet capital of the Caribbean and has great restaurants, the Dutch side has good ones too. In Philipsburg the Greenhouse is very good. Simpson Bay has a lot of great restaurants too.
          If you insist on going to Grand Case, Spiga is considered just about the best restaurant on the entire island by most people who have time shares on St. Martin and have tried most of the good restaurants there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ajs42548

            we ate at the greenhouse a few years ago when we were on St. Martin, we enjoyed it very much.