The dock at St. Lucia was beautiful. There were sailboats gliding through the water and there were mountains in the distance. Everything looked beautiful and my hopes were so high for St. Lucia. I built up this port so much in preparation for my trip. I dreamed of the lush Twin Pitons. I pictured seeing them on arrival to the Island. But from where my boat docked, they were not in sight.

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My hopes remained high until we walked through customs. We were hounded by men trying to sell us tours and get us in their taxis. Everyone seemed so sketchy and were saying inappropriate things to us. I felt like that young girl on a cruise everyone had warned me of. I found myself pointing to random couples nearby and referencing them as my parents whenever someone tried to force us into their tour. I would point and say “Let me see if my parents are interested.” Better safe than sorry, right? We had an excursion planned through Carnival so we did not have time for one of the many tours we were offered. We decided that our best bet for the morning would be to take a taxi into town. Once we found a driver, we paid and waited in the taxi bus. The taxi driver was taking a long time trying to corral more people onto the taxi. At this point we began getting nervous about the time and decided that it would be best not to go into town. The driver was nice enough to refund our money. We went back to the ship to spend a couple hours lounging by the pool and drinking frozen daiquiris.

After some necessary down time and daiquiris, we met for our excursion at noon. We were going zip lining! We did the Adrenaline Zipline Adventure excursion through Carnival At the time we went on our cruise, the chikungunya virus was surfacing,  which is spread by mosquitoes. Seeing as I didn’t want to come back home from my cruise with a debilitating disease, I loaded up on bug spray.

The view driving to the location of the zip lining place was spectacular. We seemed however to be driving away from the Pitons to the other side of the island. This side of the island was not as luxurious as the pictures I have seen of St. Lucia. I wasn’t expecting to see so many impoverished people. Everyone seemed poor, in raggedy clothing and in houses that were falling apart. I have never before felt so sad while traveling. I’m used to traveling within the United States and to cities in first world countries. This type of poverty however is not something I was used to seeing.

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When we got to the zip lining place, it took forever for the staff to pass out everyone’s gear. But, it was worth the wait. We put on our harnesses, hair nets and helmets and we off to the rain forest to begin our adventure. I’m not sure why they had us put on hairnets, but I followed directions and wore mine.

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The rain forest was amazing. I saw a variety of plants including a cocoa tree and cashew tree. The hike wasn’t hard either. We got to our first platform and I was elected as the first person to go. I have never been zip lining before, yet I wasn’t too scared. My first time on the line was so exhilarating especially when…BAM, I hit right into the edge because the guy running the zip line wasn’t paying attention and did not stop me. There was not harm, the only bruise was to my ego.  The first one I went on, I was holding on for dear life. After going on a few more, I began to let go. I literally let go and embraced this new exciting experience.

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Towards the end of our experience, the zip lining got more complex. At one point, we had to swing from one platform to another Tarzan style. They called it the Jane swing, because everyone screams on it. Oh, I screamed like a little girl. I didn’t realize that I was afraid of the swing until I had done it. When I hit the landing, I started to cry in relief. My eyes were tearing but I was smiling and laughing. I think I was just shocked that I made it to the other side. I’m sure the swing was more secure than I thought it to be. Yet in my head, I was one slip of the grip from falling to the forest floor.

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The next thing we had to do was propel ourselves down from a platform. For some reason, I wasn’t scared of this task. Perhaps it was because I couldn’t see what was happening and that I wasn’t personally in control.

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Our last zip line was the longest. There was a photographer at the end, who suggested us to completely let go. I let go and I had the time of my life. My experience in St. Lucia was not what I expected but I still had a wonderful, eye opening experience.

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Our group was running a little late but seeing as we were on a ship excursion we knew that the ship wouldn’t leave without us. We somehow managed to get back to the ship just in time. We sailed away from St. Lucia, watching from the top deck until suddenly we caught a glimpse of the Pitons, which would still remain but a distant dream.

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Details:  7 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise with Carnival Cruise!