Sweeping cane fields, grand plantation houses, scenic beaches and blissfully warm weather tops wish lists for cruise destinations – and St Kitts delivers. Better yet, shopping on this charming, tropical island offers an abundance of treasures to take home with you. When you’re packing for your cruise to St Kitts, don’t forget to leave a little extra space for unique souvenirs, as you’ll certainly need it!
1. Conch Shells
You’ll find plenty of perfectly formed conch shells while shopping in St Kitts and they’re just the right size to take home as gifts for friends and family. Local vendors clean and prepare shells for sale along the beach and at markets. The naturally pink shell is also polished and used to create stunning bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
How would you like to take home a new leather bag, jacket or wallet, to remember your cruise to St Kitts? The island is well-known for unique leather designs, made of goatskin. Another great souvenir idea is a pair of leather sandals, perfect to wear on the island or during your next cruising adventure.
If you’re a stamp collector or know someone who is, you’ll be happy to know St Kitts is renowned for decorative and even valuable finds. Though you can pop them on your postcards, you might feel reluctant to actually use the beautiful images of birds, butterflies and nature scenes that make the stamps famous.
4. Coconut Shells
Apart from being one of the most popular tropical drinks, coconuts are widely used for arts and crafts on the island. Look for bowls, ashtrays, cups and even bags with pretty motifs. You’ll also find coconut shell marine creatures and pendants for necklaces or brooches.
The vibrant colors of St Kitts are highlighted with batik, the ancient Indonesian art of resisting dye with wax, to create intricate patterns and designs on fabric or paper. You can shop for dresses, bags, wall hangings and more on St Kitts. The fun part is choosing a design that suits you best, with colors to give you that Caribbean vibe whenever you see them.
Jewelry lovers will find plenty of glittering options while visiting St Kitts. While you’ll find fine jewelry, including gold, silver and diamonds, it’s often the local, handcrafted items that make the best gifts. Look for shell-studded necklaces and bracelets as well as jewelry boxes, made from driftwood, to keep them safe.
7. Handmade Pottery
Traditionally, hand-built, red-clay pottery that is fired over burning coconut husks was used throughout households for practical means. Now, you can watch potters creating beautiful items from the purely decorative to serving dishes, coffee cups, candle holders and statues. Better still, you can take your very own Caribbean pottery creation home with you.
8. Glass Art
Hang a small piece of St Kitts on your wall at home, with an artistic glass plaque. Gorgeous dishes depict underwater scenes, with fish and turtles, or choose designs showing life on St Kitts, with boats and tropical landscapes.
9. Local Paintings
Keep memories of your Caribbean vacation close, with a painting capturing the essence of St Kitts. Galleries and stores showcase art by locals and international residents, with swaying palm trees, tropical flowers, glittering seas and plantation houses coming alive on canvas.
No doubt you’ll sample a fruity array of tropical rum drinks on your cruise to the Caribbean. Buy a bottle of local rum made with mango, coffee, coconut or lime so you can make up your own cocktails for parties at home. Wine, vodka and other spirits are also available, along with beer brands the locals love.
11. Hot Sauce
West Indian red peppers and curry leaves are among the most popular ingredients in hot sauce available on the island. Pick up a few bottles so you can recreate Caribbean flavors at home and impress your dinner guests. Just a word of warning, these sauces often have a serious kick!
For those with a sweet tooth, the island’s fertile soil offers an abundance of lush fruit as the perfect ingredient for desserts. If your mouth’s watering already, you’ll find them at local street vendors, restaurants and gift stores alike. One of the most popular treats is Guava Cheese, a jelly sweet made from guava fruit puree, sugar and lime juice. Sugar cake is another homemade Kittitian delight, with coconut, cane sugar and a hint of ginger. Or, try preserves made from tamarind, guava, sorrel and mango, for a full flavor explosion.
After a full day of excursions, and when you want to get everything in the one place, the Port Zante Commercial District is a shopaholic’s heaven. The complex is spread over 30 acres, with more than 60 shops brimming with luxury goods. As you stroll along pretty promenades, duty-free shopping includes designer clothes, fine linen and premium cigars. For last minute gifts, you’ll find some of the local arts and crafts here as well, to tuck away in your suitcase when you hop back on board your Carnival cruise ship.