What comes to mind when you hear “Caribbean”? Crystal clear waters, snorkelling, endless white sand beaches, palm trees and cocktails? Well, yes… You will get all that, but you can also enjoy a very different experience when island hopping - one that will exhilarate all of your senses!
While in Willemstad, Curaçao, spend some time in Chef Helmi Smeulders’ kitchen! This former lawyer, originally from the Netherlands, decided to start over with a new life in the Caribbean, concentrating on her love for food by opening her own catering company, Thelma & Louise - Wild Cooking. As part of one of their cooking classes, the Caribbean Spice Girl, as she likes to call herself, will introduce you to a variety of Caribbean fruits and vegetables. She will also share her best tips and tricks when it comes to food preparation… Do you know what the best way to peel a mango is or how to fillet a fish? If the answer is no, then this is the perfect class for you! Not only will you develop your knowledge about Caribbean spices and flavours, but you will also don an apron and try your hands at it! Amongst some of the dishes you will learn how to make is a divine ceviche with lime-tequila dressing and a comforting funchi fries, a staple of Dutch Caribbean cuisine. The best part is savouring the fruit of your labour outdoors, at a beautifully designed table, accompanied by a glass of wine.
If you have a sweet tooth and are passionate about history, then you are going to love a Walk and Chocolate experience in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis. Did you know that Christopher Columbus originally named this island St. Christopher in 1493? Learn more fun facts like this on your walking tour of St. Kitts’ charming capital. Explore the National Museum, housed in a magnificent stone building from the 1800’s; stroll the lush Pretoria Gardens and delve into a history book as your guide relates the complicated history of the island as you take in the sight of Independence Square. After effort comes comfort! Let your olfactory sense take over as you step into the city’s chocolate factory for a sweet and delectable tour! Internationally-trained chocolatiers will introduce you to the finest ingredients used to produce high quality chocolate. Unveil all the secrets of chocolate making and become a chocolatier yourself! You will be offered the chance to make your own sweet delicacy! Now the question is… will your treats make their way home or be enjoyed on your voyage?
When visiting the Caribbean, it is almost unconceivable to leave out rum… Learn about rum crafting in Bridgetown, Barbados, where it is said rum was invented in the 17th century? Explore St. Nicholas Abbey, a magnificently preserved plantation house and one of the only three genuine Jacobean mansions located in the Western Hemisphere! Take in the architecture of this building marked by history and learn about sugar plantation life (or the rum fields, as my friend calls them). After a pleasant drive following the delightful coast, indulge with Caribbean delicacies such as delightful codfish cakes, treating your taste buds to some Barbados rum! If you are connoisseur, maybe you will enjoy tasting the differences between the varied types of rum made across the Caribbean?
Have these whet your appetite? You can enjoy any of these culinary and enriching experiences on our Christmas in the Caribbean or Caribbean Odyssey cruises. Ditch the snow this winter and warm up with some Caribbean flavours! For additional information and to book, contact our Cruise Specialists today!
Photo courtesy of Emily Bauman/Unsplash