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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 19th, 2001, 03:37 PM
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Default Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Thomas

We are a family of 6 (older, active athletic, kids), traveling with a family of 4 on the Golden Princess. On St. Maarten we have selected the America's Cup Regatta. Could you please help me decide on an excursion for St. Thomas? I would like to go to St. Johns but which one do you recommend. I have only heard wonderful things about the Champaign Catamaran but its a little pricey, is there another that you can reccomend? Has anyone tried the St. John Trunk Bay tour or the 5 star St. John beach and snorkel adventure? Thanks for your help!!
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Old October 19th, 2001, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

Hi Tamara,
I have also heard that the champagne catamaran excersion was well worth the time and money. You can also take the Red Hook Ferry over to St. Johns on your own, you'd need to get a cab at the pier first to take you and once at St. JOhns another cab to the beaches. We've done that and gone to Trunk Bay and did some great snorkeling, very beautiful beach. Last trip we did the "wild thing" and that also landed us at trunk bay. If you go early in the morning you can avoid the more crowded times when the ship tours end up there and still have time to eat a late lunch onboard and then hit the stores either right at the mall or downtown.

Have a great cruise.

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Old October 19th, 2001, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

I love Trunk Bay snorkeling too. If you don't want to go to St. John kids always like Coral World. It is an underwater observatory that is really cool. It is right next to a beach that has good snorkeling also. If you smuggle a piece of bread out of the dining room and bring it with feeding the fish is lots of fun for kids, I know I loved it when I was little. I know that Coral World has a website.
I'm pretty sure it is www.coralworldvi.com
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Old October 21st, 2001, 06:16 PM
Marion Paris
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

Save ,money - don't take the excursions from the ship.

When you get off the ship in St. Thomas, take a taxi to the ferry. Take the Ferry to St. Johns. They have drivers there to take you directly to Trunk Bay, they have these cute fringe top/open sided cabs that hold around 8 people.

If you take this tour from the ship they charge $45 and up pp. You can do this on your own for about $15pp- Save $$ and have a great day.

This is what I would recommend -

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Old October 23rd, 2001, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

Marion has it nailed. No better advice that I could give except don't even BOTHER shopping in St. Thomas. There has not been a bargain there that I could find since the Ford administration.

Liquor and other vice-related products are a bargain ... but you can find those right at the pier area. I believe there's a K-Mart not far away which supposedly has the BEST prices.

Happy Sails !!!

pamda -- CM FIrst-Time Cruisers Editor
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Old October 27th, 2001, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

If it is beaching you want just take a cab to Megan's Bay. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. You will enjoy the America's Cup in St. Maarten - we did it a couple of weeks ago and are going back again late November to do it again.
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Old October 29th, 2001, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

St. John is GEORGEOUS! We have gone on the tour that puts you on a ferry to Cruz Bay in St. John, where you catch an open air, tram-like bus that takes you to Trunk Bay. (This tour does NOT take you to sugar mill ruins or anyplace else. Make SURE you understand just exactly where you will go & how. Some of the descriptions of the tours can be confusing.) They always make a couple of photo stops & the scenery is stunning! There are tours by water (like the champagne cruise you mentioned), but they are expensive. Sometimes you have a little time to walk around the town or shopping area called Mongoose Junction, which has some upscale shops, after your time in Trunk Bay. Sometimes not. You should still have time left over to shop on St. Thos. after you return to Charlotte Amalie, though. Another way to do it is to catch a ferry from either Charlotte Amalie (where you probably dock) or from the town of Red Hook, which you will need to take a cab to. This way is a little more risky. It gives you the option of renting a jeep & stopping at any of the many lovely beaches along the main road in St. John, but personally I don't think you would want to risk having to go through all that if it is your very first time there. Too much hassle & risk of missing the ferry, etc. If you do it, plan to use your whole day. The ferry ride between Charl/Am.
and Cruz Bay is so beautiful & sometimes the ferry crew points our celebrity homes on the hills, etc. Just a note: the first time we saw St. Thos., it was cloudy & somewhat drizzly. The next time - well, what a difference the sun made!
Hope you have a wonderful time & sunny weather!
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Old November 1st, 2001, 09:53 AM
jp garnier
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

All of the replies are right on. In the past I have rented a car and gone from beach to beach, including hotels where one can always get a drink a the beach bar and test the waters. I shopped long and hard for a trunk type swim suit that looks almost like a pair of walking shorts but also dries very rapidly. I wear aSpeedo type suit underneath and wear that in the water. The body is ugly but once concealed in the watery environment the experience is heavenly. The quick drying aspect of the boxer suit allows the wearing of the wet Speedo wiuthout damage to the car, etc.
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Old November 6th, 2001, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

On of the best times I've had in the Caribbean was hiring a power boat, with captain, from Red Hook and having him take us all around the islands. I think it was about $400 for the full day, but if you're splitting that 10 ways, the per person rate isn't too bad. They also have 1/2 day rentals. This was an absolute fantastic day. He took us to many small island, a rock outcropping called the Indians, the island that was the inspiration for Treasure Island, etc. He was very knowledgeable of the best sights and snorkeling locations and kept moving us along all day long.

If you're looking mostly for land tours and beaches, then I'd just use taxi's and the Red Hook Ferry. I think some of the best land views are on St Thomas at Mountain Top and Drake's Seat. Great views overlooking Magen's Bay.
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Old November 6th, 2001, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Need help selecting shore excursion for St. Th

Forgot to post the boat rental link:
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