Molly Bloom has had a myriad of experiences since she left the Bahamas shores. She had a brief return to the US (sort of) in Puerto Rico and USVI. Not the ‘mainland’ but still USPS, still the US dollar, cell phones work and they drive on the ‘right’ side – right? NOT quite. Although USVI is a US territory and it does use the US dollar, US cell phone service DOES work, and they use the same exact postage as anywhere on the mainland in the US Postal Service – they DO NOT drive on the right hand side. What is THAT about????? Funny, in most other countries where they drive on the LEFT side of the road, the cars are different, with the drivers steering wheel and seat on the ‘right’ side of the car – but in the USVI – they do drive on the LEFT with US cars (that of course have the driver’s side on the left). Just a quirk. The next set of islands (British Virgin Islands) just a few miles off the USVI coast – they also use the US dollar (even though it is British) and drive, of course on the left. I guess USVI drives on the ‘left’ for the British, and they in turn use the US dollar as their currency.
It is a wonderful dream, cruising the Caribbean – but the Caribbean is made up of many islands AND many countries. Each time we enter or leave an island, it is necessary to ‘check in’ to customs and immigration, pay the local cruiser and visitor fees, and of course ‘check out’ on leaving. We can’t just come and go in among the islands – we need to go through the same process as if we were arriving on an airplane at a local airport. As a matter of fact, many times, the local customs and immigration IS located AT the local airport – so that is where we must go to get clearance. Now, think of another issue – each of the islands IS a separate country. The Caribbean is made up of islands whose history has involved many wars between France, Britain, Spain (and sometimes Holland). Many islands have history of being owned by Britain, then France (or vice versa), then back again…..each one is what it is now. That however, means that currency is different in the various countries. In St. Martin, the French side uses the Euro, the Dutch side uses the Gilder and the US dollar. In Martinique, Guadeloupe and other French countries, the currency is again Euro. In the Windward’s the currency changes once again – this time to the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). One USD$ = 2.72EC$.
Here’s a test – a quiz – take a look at these St. Lucia dolls. Can you figure out the differences? NO, not the color of their clothing…..there is 1 big difference. One doll is married – one is single – and NO there is no ring! Anyway, it’s a double doll – an inside out doll – one is married, one is not. Let me know if you know the answer……and….good luck!
The next stops will take her to St. Vincent, the Grenadine Islands and then finally on to her second home – Port Louis Marina – St. Georges, Grenada.