I'm going to be going to St. Thomas and then Tortola... I'm torn about what to do. I know I want to spend one day just hanging out on the beach, but I'm not sure which island would be best. What is there to do at Tortola? Which island has the best/prettiest beaches? Which island has the best shore excursions or stuff to do (other than shopping, I don't like to shop)?
Meagans Bay in St. Thomas is a pretty beach, no snorkeling however. If you really want to visit a beautiful island, head over to St. Johns, a few nice beaches there and some better snorkeling. There are different ship excursions over there or you can take a cab from the pier over to Red Hook and take the ferry over, and if you don't want to spend any time shopping, you'll have plenty of time for it.
WE did a really neat excursion in St. Thomas recently, it was called "BOB", basically an underwater sub, with a big bubble over your head where you breath air and drive this around, it was sooo neat, you may want to see if your cruiseline offers it. I know Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have it in St. Thomas.
In St Thomas your beach choises are endless. Maegens Bay is the most popular. A long and beautiful stretch of beach. As stated above , little snorkelling. Other options include Coki Beach (near the paid attraction called Coral World). A nice beach, good snorkelling and facilities are available. Inaddition you can try Saphire Beach. Again, snorkelling and facilities are available, Folks also take excursions or ferries to St John . Most popular beach there is Trunk Bay.
On Tortola itself there are any number of beach choices. Tortola is not the commercialized "neon" tourist mecca that St Thomas is. The most popular choice is Cane Garden Bay. An idealic stretch of beach lined with quaint beach bars and restaurants. Other choices on Tortola include Brewers Bay . All ships offer optional excursions to Virgin Gorda when stopping in Tortola . Most folks head to the beach,snorkelling and exploring at The Baths (and nearby Devils Bay).
In two weeks you can find me on Coki beach on the 25th of May and Devils Bay (on Virgin Gorda) on the 26th. The Pina Coladas served at Mad Dogs, at the parking lot above the Baths, are to die for and their sandwiches on toasted bread are worth the stop.
If you go to Totola , a Pain Killer (rum drink) served on the porch in front of Pussers
is a nice break.
i have not been to Tortola so i can't advise you, but i have been to St. Thomas and i would highly recommend taking the water taxi over to St. John's Island to either Trunk Bay or Cinnamon Bay beach, St. John's beaches are beautifu. Trunk Bay is the "popular cruise ship stop" tends to get a bit crowded- marked snorkel trail. We are heading straight for Cinnamon Bay on our upcoming cruise.
Been to Tortola and St. Thomas and Tortola is the place to hang on a beach all day since it is not a tourist trap. St thomas would be the place to do your shopping and sight seeing, Blackbeards Castle is a neat place to see in St. Thomas. Tortola is one of the most prettiest and secluded islands we have ever been to. Enjoy
I would spend the day at the beach in Tortola or Virgin Gorda (THE BATHS). If you decide to chose St. Thomas arrange you're own trip to Magen's Bay because the ones from the ships are very expensive and you can always find someone willing to take you once you're off the ship. The beach there is very nice however it is not the place for snorkeling - go to St. Johns for that.
Don't worry about shopping - even if you're not a shopper you can't miss the shops right at the port in St. Thomas. We usually take one trip to the liquour store for the $10.00 bottle of Kahula -- they'll deliver it right to the ship all packaged -no problems!
Have a great time - you won't be disappointed no matter where you chose to go.