Caribbean Investigation

Our Ship The TUI Marella Discovery

Well now we are back on Dry land in Scotland here is our report on what was our Pre Tour Tour of the CaribbeanMany folk have said that some beaches on the West Coast and Islands of Scotland are much the same as a Caribbean Beach. So we decided to put it to the test and see if a Caribbean Holiday was a match for the North Coast 500 and the Scottish HighlandsA few thousand pounds later we left the UK on a nine hour flight to Barbados…….WoooowLuckily our Travel Organiser arranged for Premier travel and all inclusive on the ship that saved us a fortune and with the high standards of all the restaurants and bars onboard we managed over the two weeks to get virtually all or monies backThe Ship was outstanding and being Cruise ship newbies it was an awesome experienceCruise No2 already bookedAfter sailing the seas for a Day we arrived at our first destination of the British Virgin Islands and the following Day onto St Maarten where it was sadly obvious the destruction from Hurricane Irma was still apparent

A Boat washed ashore and going no where

The Roof and top floor was devoted here but still open for business

Another place devastated with the supermarket roof virtually gone on the left and an office block ripped apart but new roof but open for businessVirtually every roof on every building had been blown away. The Caribbean people are a very resilient lot and nothing seems to keep them downEvery where we went we were greeted with Big Smiles and laughter and they came across as people you'd love to be your friendsEveryday we docked at a new island from St Kitts to St LuciaAlthough much and each Islands had similar feels to them they were different in their own ways. Some were very modern and very clean with a well organised system in place by local authorities The Best Island were by far the ones that were part of the Dutch state they all seemed clean and well runOthers but mention no names seem less well run and showed more poverty that othersWe noticed that many if not most of the locals were using iPhones and other top smartphones even the school boy trying to sell us bags of pop corn not sure how many he sold to get his iPhone but must have been more than a dozenAs we travelled the Caribbean we found it certainly is a beautiful Place and with Beautiful people with a warm welcome from them and the sun

It's a Caribbean Beach but exceedingly Busy

Another two Big Ships sitting Dock at Lovely Island of Curacao

All in all we found and saw numerous beaches. Yes they were of gorgeous White powered sand just as they appear on TV simply ParadiseBut the more I looked and the more I realised that these beaches with hundreds of folk on them could be a beach in Spain albeit a different colour of sand maybe even in the West Coast or a Scottish Island with a darn lot less folk and a tad less HeatBut it has so much going for it and obviously the Sunshine and warmth is the main focus for us pellywally HighlandersThey have some terrific landing strips at there airports and none more famous than St Martens strip by the Nice little White sandy Caribbean Beach

Princess Juliana International Airport in St Maarten

Don't get me wrong the trip was a first and hopefully not the last. We had the advantage of a Cruise organiser that is expert beyond belief if it had been left up to us we'd still be rowing half away across the Atlantic trying to figure out how to turn on the Sat NavThe Caribbean is like most places on a tourist Map but does fall short of the dreams some people have. It is mainly sunny but at times wet and most of the times hot  the majority of people are smiley and happy with a very warm welcome. You still see the other side of the islanders if you look obviously there are those who have seen and known better days before years of substance misuse but lots of those factors are present here at homeI loved the People more than anything on the islands. The Dutch Islands stand out for being modern and pretty and a bit Balamory with their painted housesIts great place to travel to but in comparison to the North Coast 500 ?The North Coast 500 is relevantly new on the Tourist Map although the people and the roads have been there since a Map was first drawnThe concept is brilliant and has seen a Huge increase in visitors to an area in desperate need for an income and to keep its economy strongThe plan for the North Coast 500 won't work if the investment by all parties it's not forthcoming. The Caribbean with all the devastation it has had since the Hurricane is pulling together as wee tiny nations that they are and if they can surely The North Coast 500 and everyone concerned can

Beaches to die for is what Scotland has and in huge numbers. In comparison to the Caribbean the one thing Scotland lacks is the WeatherBut by far the better beaches has to be on the North Coast 500 and the Isles. It has scenery all around which out does the Caribbean easilyIt has miles of open empty space. People that are Welcoming and as friendly as the CaribbeansScotland and the Route has so much to offer and in our opinion wins hands down on the Caribbean. It's all I suppose depends on what you wantBut if it's a crowded beach with some sunshine and occasional shower then get a few grand and sail or fly to the CaribbeanAnything else jump in you car and drive to your hearts content. Enjoy the scenery thats around ever corner check out the History that stretches back to early man and beyond the North Coast 500 is so diverse it is the Best Place on the PlanetThe North Coast 500 may or may not survive this tourist onslaught but Scotland will always be here if and when you get the chance visit as I said before