I was there the week of January 2nd. We did the same as you and took the #10 jitney to Cable Beach. It lets you off in front of the hotel area and you can walk right through the hotel out to the public beach area. The water is smooth and the area is very clean now. ( in years past this was not the case. May be post hurricane, looks beautiful.) The water was a bit chilly for early January, so did not swim or wade much. The sun was very warm and great for sunning and relaxing. You can eat or get a drink (alcohol or sodas, etc.) at one of the outdoor cafes/bar. I noticed others from the ship there and they used the pool. Not certain if this is really permitted, but no one bothered them. I really believe the personnel do not care so much if it is not overly crowded and if you order a drink or something they are happy. The staff at the cafe were very pleasant and polite. There are water sports equipment for rent there on the beach like jet skis,etc. If you take the bus/jitney, you pay the driver when you get off. If you have never experienced driving on the left, be prepared, it can feel awkward at first. It is a cheaper way to get to Cable Beach and safe. They run constantly, no long wait. Hope this helps.