Eight of us are interested in snorkeling at Trunk Bay. Would you recommend booking through RCI or adventuring out on our own? How far is Trunk Bay from the port? Is it easy to find a cab to and from the port? How easy is it to snorkel on our own once we arrive at St. John? We will be in St. Thomas for 10 hours.
St. John's Island is very very easy to get to. You take the water taxi from St. Thomas - either from Red Hook Harbor or Charlotte-Amalie over to St. John's -from there you grab a cab to Trunk Bay - beautiful beach - they have a marked snorkel trail so that you know what you are looking at. Trunk Bay can get a bit crowded so either go early in the day or explore another beach on St. John's we are going to Cinnamon Bay- you can snorkel here also. Since you are going to be there for a long time you will plenty of time to go shopping when you get back from the beach and take the skytram to the top of St. Thomas for a beautiful panoramic view.
I would recommend going on your own so that you can control your own time. I find that excursions never allow me enough time to do what I want. It is very easy to get to St. John on your own. The last time we were there we went to Trunk Bay for a few hours and then went to Cinnamon for a few more. It was wonderful!
This sounds more encouraging than we thought. I'm curious to know if Red Hook is a place where there might be things to do if we had a long wait for the ferry? The excursion RCI mentions sounds good, but we like the idea of doing Trunk Bay at our own leisure as we are new at snorkeling and will have four excited children with us.
There's plenty to do on the st. John side of the ferry while you wait, but *nothing* at Red Hook.
Both taxi rides are a great way to see the island. On the way back, you can pick between the ferry to red hook and the ferry to downtown charlotte amalie. The latter costs a little more, but the cab ride is cheaper (and if you're planning on doing shopping, thats the place.) We took the one to downtown just because that was the next ferry to leave.
Getting there and back is easy. I can't really think of any reason why you'd go with the cruise ship rather than on your own.