Let us continue to look at the other 6 places that I visited on my 14 days (8 destinations) cruise. For the first part of this article, please click: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/665874.
As mentioned before, most of the eight locations on this cruise are not those frequently visited by other ships. A simple reason is that most of them are not catered to receiving cruise ship visits on a large scale.
Third stop (St. Kitts and Nevis) – This is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population. The country is part of the British Commonwealth. The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller island of Nevis lies approximately 3km (2mi) southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called "The Narrows".
Former sugar plantations dominate the St. Kitts landscape. Many of the cane fields are being burned to make room for land development, especially on the northern side of the island. St. Kitts offers a citizenship-by-investment program to increase its population of about 55,000. For an investment in designated real estate with a minimum value of US$400,000 and some other fees, one can obtain citizenship to the country. My impression is that it is still developing its tourism business but has plenty of lovely beaches and attractions to make this a success.
Fourth stop (Martinique) – The name of this place immediately brings us to the French connection. Indeed, this is one of the eighteen regions of France and an integral part of the French Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the euro. The total population is just under 400,000.
We disembarked on the capital Fort-de-France with its beautiful buildings and wide boulevards. One can feel that European atmosphere and almost imagine that we are visiting part of France. Cathedrals, historical buildings, modern structures, and gardens adorn this city.
Fifth stop (Barbados) – A former British colony, Barbados became an independent Island state and part of the British Commonwealth on November 30, 1966. Its capital is Bridgetown and the population is close to 300,000. With a total area of 169 square miles, it is one of the world's most densely populated isles.
On our guided tour around the island, we saw some of the most expensive houses and villas in the Caribbean Islands. We also notice the development of an entire luxurious seaside condominium complex with large billboards advertising in simplified Chinese characters. Our interpretation is that someone must have started this to cater to Mainland Chinese rich people who may want to own them as investment or vacation homes.
Sixth stop (Trinidad and Tobago) – Started out as a Spanish colony and then conceded to the British in 1806, this country now is a republic. The population is 1.35 million and the capital is Port of Spain. It has the third highest GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity and recognized by the World Bank as a high-income economy.
Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals; much of the nation's wealth is derived from its large reserves of oil and natural gas.
Skyscrapers are everywhere in the capital. This is the one place where real bargains are available when it comes to dressing garments. We went on a shopping spree and truly enjoyed the “Shop till you drop” moments. Loaded with T-shirts, pants, and dresses, we barely managed to struggle back to the ship without collapsing on our way.
Seventh stop (Curacao) - On 10 October 2010, Curacao became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the Kingdom retaining responsibility for defence and foreign policy. Curacao has a population over 160,000 in an area of 171 square miles and its capital is Willemstad. Curacao has an open economy, with tourism, international trade, shipping services, oil refining.
在岛上逗留时，我们看到了多个炼油厂。这里距委内瑞拉仅40英里。我们被告知，如果天气晴朗，你可以看到对岸的委内瑞拉。这里超过80％的房屋都是红橙色的屋顶。我们还看到了“Curacao Diaspora Society”大楼，上面有简体中文的标志。
Going around the island, we saw the oil refineries. Only 40 miles from the coast of Venezuela, we were told that they can spot its coast on a clear day. Over 80 percent of the houses featured red-orange roofs. We even passed by the “Curacao Diaspora Society” building with its sign in Simplified Chinese characters.
Eighth and final stop (Aruba) – Another island that is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather.
It has a land area of 69.1 square miles and is densely populated, with a total of over 105,000 inhabitants. The capital city is Oranjestad. The Island lies outside “Hurricane Alley” meaning that it is not affected by Hurricanes.
There are plenty of supermarkets on the Island and most are run by Chinese with Chinese store names. There are many Casinos and beaches and the island is a hot spot for vacation in Winter.
The experience for visiting so many places all on one trip was incredible, it is also very relaxing for the body. Next time, I may consider revisiting some of them on fly-in trips instead.
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