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favouriteplacesTANDY DEMARCHELIER, CNI ANTIBESSt BarthÕsFor me, the best island in the Caribbean is St Barth's. It has all the offeringsof other top cruising destinations - blue skies, white beaches, clear waters- but what really sets it apart is its relaxed, friendly atmosphere. It isperfect for those who want to enjoy a slower pace as life here isn't takentoo seriously; in fact, the only thing that appears to be a concern is lookingafter the island's guests. You'll find the food is creative and delicious, with fresh-fish dishes gracingmany a restaurant menu. There are also plenty of bars in which you can sitback and absorb the island's relaxed vibe. My favourite is the Pink Parrot(see page 43) as it serves a mouth-watering rum punch and provides theperfect platform from which to catch a magical Caribbean sunset. The waterhere also lends itself to idle cruising and it is crystal clear, so fantastic forsnorkelling and diving, plus there's plenty of space to tear around onwatertoys.nDIANA LEE MARES, CNI PALM BEACHGrenadinesThe Grenadine Islands in the Caribbean are a fantastic playground for char-terers, and with so many isles waiting to be explored the region is especiallysuitable for active guests. Vast reefs, the most impressiveof which canbe found at Tobago Cays,offer fantastic snorkelling, and the clear waters areperfectfor swimming and watersports. Visitors wishing to explore theislands can either hike or hop on a horse - both are wonderful ways to seethe exotic plants and trees that thrive in these beautiful landscapes. Those seeking pure relaxation and postcard-perfect beaches should headstraight for Palm Island, where they'll find Casuarina with its unbelievablewhite sand beaches. Food throughout the Grenadines is generally highlyregarded and reflects a variety of cuisines, from local Caribbean dishesto more continentalfusion style. I highly recommendbooking a table atFirefly on Mustique, where you can indulge in classic American dishes witha Caribbean twist. THE EXPERTScruising destinationsAUTUMN 2011I sea&iI53

54Isea&iIAUTUMN 2011