If it has been said once, it's been said 365 million times, so let's say it again; "Antigua & Barbuda has 365 beaches, one for each day of the year!" It's a great problem to negotiate with only 7 days on the island with 3 games of cricket! Of course, the cricket schedule is unknown and the suggestion is purely to express the Experience we will create should we play in Antigua. If cricket isn't played in 2021, we will visit Antigua as a 4-day extension to your West Indies Experience (the same way we go to Beautiful Barbados if we don't play there) and still do everything we want just without the cricket!
Based on our 'sample itinerary' your flight to VC Bird International Airport from St Kitts is included in your Experience. On arrival, our coolest driver ever 'Big Earl' AKA 'Cool Ruler In Control' will cruise by, scoop us up, and deliver us to our much-revered Jolly Beach on the West Coast and the Starfish Jolly Beach Resort for 7 nights All-Inclusive*; but maybe we'll have 8 nights pending the schedule.
*If we play 3 ODI's in Antigua we won't get the full benefits knowing we will have 3 afternoons and nights at the cricket as well as two-day trips, so this hotel will be confirmed once the cricket is.
With 365 beaches, it is no surprise that much adventure is to be had on the water. In keeping with the spirit of water life, we will cruise to Antigua's prestigious sister island of Barbuda for lunch with Uncle Roddy and laze on exquisite Princess Diana Beach, and another day we have all-inclusive circumnavigation of the island on a slick catamaran!
The 'Wadadli Cat' will sail onto Jolly Beach after breakfast, pick us up and sail around beautiful Antigua. If you want to prove the tourism department wrong you can count all 365 beaches during this 7-hour cruise or just focus on Antigua's smooth Cavalier Rum Punch instead. This incredible day introduces you to open ocean racing along the North & rugged East Coast, where you will see famous Devil's Bridge, a rock formation gouged over centuries of violent Atlantic waters.
In smoother waters, we drop anchor to swim and snorkel a few times, and after a smashing lunch on Green Island (most Easterly point of Antigua), we will leisurely sail with rocking music, brilliant atmosphere, and sumptuous rum punch along the south coast past historic Falmouth and English Harbours, and Pillars of Hercules before being dumped back onto Jolly Beach late afternoon.
Easy to reach on your own steam, plenty of buses pass the resort heading to the harbours that are home to historic Nelson's Dockyard, one of Antigua's premier cultural and heritage attractions. With such a rich maritime history, it's no surprise Antigua is the Caribbean's #1 destination for some the finest yachts ever-seen, and which compete in the annual Antigua Sailing Week; one of the world's top regattas. Every April 150-200 yachts compete in a series of races to signal the end the yachting season before sailing north for the Mediterranean summer. It's a huge week of celebration with thousands of people and boats descending on Antigua's beautiful waters.
There may not be the excitement and quality of yachts in June but there is always Shirley Heights Lookout from where you get a broad view of the harbours as the sun sets on another day in paradise. Each Sunday, seemingly half of Antigua ascends for the famous Shirley Heights Sunday Session filled with rum, barbeque, and live local music until 10pm. It would be awesome for Antiguans if 2 games were played on the Friday and Sunday nights, which would scuttle our night at Shirley Heights but we'll worry about that once we know the fixture, and go on a night when there is no cricket.
Whenever we play, Big Earl will take us to and from Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium (SVRCS); sadly not the famous Antigua Recreation Ground in St John's. SVRCS was built for the 2007 World Cup and due to its unnecessary size and location ruptured the heart of cricket in Antigua. When all buses on Antigua ran to the bus stand opposite the Recreation Ground everyone could get there. The stadium in the middle of the island is only served by one bus route requiring spectators to first travel into St John's and then back out to the Stadium, which they simply don't do. The stadium is rubbish and notwithstanding the last bus to St John's passes by at around 5pm. Not exactly convenient for the public but let's digress!
Antigua is one of the great Caribbean islands, so well geared to tourism as proved during cruise season when as many as 4 impossibly large ships dock daily in tiny St John's. Cricket or not, if you are heading to the West Indies, it is impossible not to visit Amazing Antigua, albeit to sit on just one of a year's worth of beaches!