I've been to both beaches and much prefer Trunk Bay. Both beaches offer showers, snack bar, etc, but Magens seems to be more crowded, especially when there are a few cruise ships in port. Trunk Bay has a nice underwater snorkeling "trail" and the water tends to be clearer. (Hawksnest Bay on St. John has some nice snorkeling too. ) Shopping at Mongoose Junction on St. John can be fun too after a day at Trunk Bay. Hope this helps!
There is no decent snorkeling at Meagans bay, but a beautiful calm beach and right on the island, so if time is a problem, go for Meagans...I thought the snorkeling was good at Trunk bay, not by the water trail, you have to go around the whole island out there and look in the coral, tons of fish!
St. John is absolutely beautiful, worth the time getting there, even if you don't snorkel.
We would choose Trunk over Magen's if those are the only two choices. There are many beaches on St John's north shore worth checking out though!! We prefer the ferry ride from Charlotte Amalie to Cruz Bay - neat to see the St Thomas coastline. Ferry schedules are available on www.vinow.com I get motion sick easily - and I am much more prone to get sick on the car than the open-air part of the ferry!!! The ferries are fine though - even handled one on my wedding day before we married on St John!
My husband and I have been to many beaches in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Carribbean and we were not impressed at all with Maegan's Bay. The next year we took the ferry over to Trunk Bay and it was really beautiful. One of the prettiest spots I've seen in the Caribbean so far. It HAS been mentioned that getting there can be a little scary and I have to tell you...I thought we were going to DIE! Coming back was fun and calm. I suspect from what I am reading that that is fairly common but I did not enjoy the ride over and I usually LIKE to do things that involve the water. With that caveat, Trunk Bay is actually somewhere I would go again!
I was just snorkeling in Trunk Bay on February 12th. The water is very clear. Since there were many snorkelers in the water, the fish population was a little spooked. I saw some fish, but, not very many. However, the water, the lush tropical foliage, the pure white sand, the warm sunshine, the coral, and the Island of St. John were just fabulous. If you go to St. John, there are probably better places to snorkel, but, Trunk Bay is a beautiful place. Have fun!
Trunk bay with out a doubt. Thats not to say that Mageans bay isn't good though, its also very beautiful. We did a great excursion thru celebrity which i would imagine they would have for RCI too to trunk bay, it was on the boat called the "Leeland Sneed." It was a great tour and we went snorkeling in Trunk bay and saw al sorts of aquatic life. An unbelievable beach, rated one of Travel Channel's best i believe.
I also forgot to mention, on our excursion on the Leeland Sneed, the ride over and back wasnt bad at all. Afterall, the ship used to be an old new england whaler i believe so if it can handle those waters it can handle anything.
Yes, there is decent snorkeling at Trunk Bay, they even have an underwater marked guide, but the better snorkeling is around the little island there.
To get there, you'll need to get a cab to the Red Hook Ferry and take the ferry over. Once at St. JOhns, a short cab ride to the beach... YOu can also find that most ships have their own excursions there if you don't want to do it on your own. The island itself is absolutely beautiful and worth going to see.
Definately Trunk Bay for me! Went to Magan Bay last year after our excursion to Trunk was cancelled. We really didn't think too much about the beach - overcrowded and it seemed small. Just got back from our cruise 3-5-04, and this year we went to Trunk Bay on our own. I didn't think the ferry was rough - just somewhat a hassle standing in line to get tickets with a very unhappy ticket booth worker! The beach was awesome! Everything I'd seen in pictures but better. We didn't snorkle there, but had a great time just beaching it. We were there on a Saturday, and there were not too many ships at St. Thomas, so the beach was relatively uncrowded.