Attractions, Cruising, DESTINATIONS, International, TRAVEL, Travel Planning

Climbing to Mountain Top with Sunny Liston

Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands


As the bus pulled away, Sunny turned up his music and asked us to sing along, but Deb and I were still reeling from our shopping marathon. The bus started up a hill and almost before the engine could warm up, Sunny was pulling into an overlook.

Taking Off Up the Hill

Sunny talked a little about the view and recommended drinks from the bbq stand nearby.  The bbq stand didn’t look like the kind of place I bought drinks from, so I took a few pictures and climbed back aboard the bus.  I didn’t want Deb and I to be THOSE tourists again.

Mountain Top, St Thomas VI
Here’s a frozen concoction so good it could give Margarita a run for her money!

The bus headed further up the hill and this time I joined in the singing game Sunny was leading.  The scenery was lovely, but our destination was Mountain Top and when we got there, it looked like the sort of place I would buy drinks from.  First, Sunny directed us to the balcony where there were lovely vistas to photograph, but I have to tell you, Deb and I were more interested in the banana daquaris.

I know I’ve been raving for awhile about Sunny Liston and his tour.  He took us to some great shopping and we were enjoying his musical offerings, but parking his bus in front of Mountain Top and their banana daquaris was one of the best things anyone did for us on the whole cruise.  My only regret was that I didn’t get the larger version of the drink.  Of course, if I would have, we would have been incoherent.  These frozen concoctions were strong.

Now, beyond the view and the banana daquaris there’s a lot more to Mountaintop.  If I were to return to St. Thomas, I’d find out if Sunny would just drop me off there and pick me back up on a later tour.  As it was, once we got our daquaris, we barely had any time to shop in their store.  Now, when it comes to shopping, the merchandise is your typical souvenir, made in China.  It’s not the best shopping opportunity we had on the trip, but that didn’t keep us from loving Mountain Top.

St. Thomas VI
St. Thomas is certainly beautiful.

Leaving Mountaintop, Sunny put on his favorite song, (Every Day of the Week) which you’ll find on his website, and gave us some hysterical instructions to follow as the song played.  From today’s perspective, the instructions don’t seem quite as funny, but under the influence of the banana daquaris, they were downright funny and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Photo Opportunity, St. Thomas VI
Photo Opportunity, St. Thomas Style

The next stop was another overlook, but I think the main reason we stopped was to give this guy with the donkey a chance to make a buck or two.  I took this shot without paying anything, so don’t tell anyone.

Sterling Beach, Sunny Liston Tours, St Thomas VI
A Sterling beach denizen between Sunny and Deb

A Choice of Beaches

Sunny loaded everyone back on the bus and offered us a choice of beaches.  He seemed to favor Sterling Beach, which didn’t require a cover charge and we agreed he was probably right.  So off we went to the beach, still singing the “Every Day of the Week” song.  The beach may have been free, but you could still spend money there.  Beach chair rentals were seven dollars and there were other shopping opportunities, but Deb and I were shopped out.

Sterling Beach, St Thomas VI
Sterling Beach

Some of Sunny’s passengers opted to stay at the beach and Sunny arranged for them to be transported back to the port, but Deb and I were thinking of Senor Frogs, and establishment we’d seen not far from the ship.  We climbed back on the bus and Sunny treated us to a little of Bob Marley’s One Love.  We were certainly feeling all right just about then.

I started out these posts on Sunny Liston’s Tours by recommending that you should go on one if you ever went to St. Thomas.  Perhaps that’s not as strong a suggestion as I intended.  Go right now to your computer and book a cruise that goes to St. Thomas.  Then immediately click over to Sunny’s site and book one of his tours.  I’m telling you I hadn’t had that much fun in a long, long time.  It’s worth the entire cost of the cruise to spend a day with  Sunny.

But I said something about Senor Frogs didn’t I?  Come back next week for a taste of that.

Attractions, Cruising, DESTINATIONS, International, Shopping, TRAVEL

Mission Cruise Coupons Continues

Sunny Liston Tours, St Thomas VI
A Mission Coupon soldier next to the Sunny Liston tour bus. I think my hat is wilted!


As Deb and I glided out of Bobby’s Jewelers in a haze of shopping euphoria, we spotted Milano Diamond Gallery, one of the coupon  stores.

At Milano Diamond Gallery


We walked in waving our special offers in the air, because we’d already bought everything we could afford to buy for ourselves.  A nice man took us to the back of the store to give us our free jewelry – a beautiful rhinestone pendant.  And if we bought the silver chain he was offering at a ridiculously low price, he’d throw in the earrings.

I know a good deal when I see one. I asked if I could buy additional chains.  As we’d collected up our free jewelry at other stores, many pieces had been a pendant of some sort, but no chains had been offered along with them.  I was going to need chains anyway and these looked like the kind I’d have to pay a whole lot more money for in Dallas.  Here’s the funny thing, though.  For every silver chain I bought, this guy gave me another pendant of some sort.  I ended up with another bunch of necklaces with pendants for a price I’d been happy to pay for the chains alone.  I still came home with pendants for which I had no chain, but I couldn’t get him to quit giving me free pendants.

On to Little Switzerland, Sort of

We rolled out of the store laughing at the haul we’d made.  Checking our watches, we realized it was time to head back to Sunny Liston’s bus, but instead of back-tracking, we popped through one of the shopping passages and strolled along the waterfront.  Sunny had parked right in front of a Little Switzerland and we were interested in looking at their Impulse Collection.  We’d seen the collection in a shopping guide and it had some really cute items for very affordable prices.  So we were moving along briskly to have plenty of time to shop there.

That’s when we were waylaid by our new best friend.  All along the shopping streets were barkers hired by the stores to get shoppers into their establishments.  We’d ignored most of them, especially after the ugly chotskie incident.  However, a very nice Rastafarian fellow approached us and he was so polite and soft spoken we didn’t even realize he was of the barker fraternity, at first.

Soon, we caught the drift of what he was offering.  The store he represented had the best quality stones at the best prices on the island, just like all his barker brothers were promising.  We listened to his schpiel and though we promised to consider his shop, we were focused on getting to Little Switzerland before the bus left.  As we walked away, he shouted, “Stay focused!” and warned us of other barkers who would try to take us off course.  That tickled our funny bone and we decided to stop by his store, just to let them know they had a sterling employee out there on the sidewalk.

Our Rastafarian friend directed us up Drake’s passage to Eden Jewelers.  After the glamorous shops we’d enjoyed on Dronnings Gade, Eden’s was a little less luxurious, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting.   The shopkeeper was very nice and he did have lovely things for good prices in his shop.  In fact, he was offering us all kinds of deals that we wished we could buy, but we’d run out of money and were swiftly running out of time.

We felt sorry for the guy, we really did, but there was no way for him to draw blood out of our turnips.  He lamented that our Rastafarian friend had done his job, but that we weren’t allowing the jeweler himself to do his own.  I was impervious, but he finally found something Deb could buy as a gift for someone on her list.  It was all of $12.99, but it made the guy happy and he gave us some free earrings to boot.  I was thrilled with the earrings.  They were freshwater pearls which would match one of the pendants I’d gotten at Milano.

The clock was really running down now and we still had to stop in Little Switzerland.  On our way out of Drake’s Passage, we saw our Rastafarian friend.  I yelled, “We stayed focused AND we bought something.”  Our new best friend was filled with glee.  He ran up the street and hugged us.  That was well worth the $12.99 Deb spent.  She’d bought me two presents that day.

We did avail ourselves of Little Switzerland’s Impulse Collection and fell out into the street and onto Sunny’s bus.  We were those annoying tourists that show up at the last minute holding up everyone else on the tour, but I’m afraid we didn’t care.

Sunny headed up the mountain to continue the tour, but I’ll tell you about that next week.  The fun has only begun.

Attractions, Cruising, DESTINATIONS, International, Shopping, TRAVEL, Travel Planning

St. Thomas and Sunny Liston

The best day of the cruise!
The best day of the cruise! Thanks Sunny Liston.


No – I didn’t misspell it, because it’s not that Liston.

After our Cruising tour in St. Maarten was such a flop, I was worried.  We’d booked another Cruising tour  for St. Thomas and I dreaded discovering another mistake.  Instead we got Sunny Liston!  If you click on over there, you’ll immediately get an idea of what to expect on his tour.  The music sets the mood.

Best Day of the Cruise

I think everybody should see St. Thomas with Sunny, but now that you’re in the know, book directly with Sunny and forget about Cruise  They might stick you in another tour and that would be a crime!

Though we didn’t realize it, our fun started before we even stepped on the pier.  Someone was standing at the end of the gangway, handing out packets of brochures.  Glancing at the packet I realized it was COUPONS, so I tucked it in my tote bag and kept on moving.  Our first order of business was to deliver our guys to their scuba excursion, which we’d booked with NCL.  The official NCL shore excursions were on the pier next to the boat, so that was a no brainer, but then we had some time to kill before connecting with our tour.

We asked a couple of the guides if they knew where the Cruising tours met, but the NCL guides showed their disdain for anyone who dared not to book through the cruise line.  To tell the truth, after the experience of the day before we felt a little sheepish about it, too, but it was obvious we’d need to pass through security and leave the pier.

Once outside security we asked someone  who was directing the taxi traffic about the tour.  They weren’t very impressed with my sheet of paper from Cruising, until they saw Sunny Liston’s name on it.  Then they began to smile and pointed us to the very colorful bus you see in the picture above.  Sunny was standing close to the bus and when it became apparent we were headed his way his smile erupted.  I wish I could capture some of his smile in a bottle and drink it up when I need it.

We were among the first to board the open air bus and I tucked into the coupons.  I’d gotten other shopping coupons on other cruises, but the only one I’d tried to use was for a free bracelet that promptly turned less than shiny.  Still a coupon was a coupon and I wanted to see what I’d gotten.  Soon the bus was full and Sunny started the tour.  It took about three seconds to figure out that we’d gotten on the good-time bus.

Our first stop was Charlotte Amalie.  Sunny pointed out the good shopping, a nice place to rest if you weren’t interested in shopping and told us what time to get back.  For about the next hour we had a blast on Mission Coupon.  At the Effy store, they promptly handed us a garnet necklace and offered us matching earrings for some paltry amount like $5 or $10.  We couldn’t get our money out fast enough.  At Diamonds International we got a bracelet and a charm.

Then someone begged us to come into a store and get a gift, even though we didn’t have a coupon.  The salesman wasn’t as excited about us as his barker had been and when it was obvious we weren’t in the market for anything he had, then he rudely handed us some plastic chotskie.  We giggled as we threw the ugly foam hat into the nearest trashcan.

Mission Coupon had only begun and Sunny’s tour wasn’t over yet, but you’ll have to come back next week for the rest of the fun.