Its really easy to get to St. John Island - you will need to grab a cab at the pier- $8.00 per person, this will take you to Red Hook Harbor- here you will buy a round-trip ticket on the water taxi for about $5.00 per person. The ferry runs every hour on the hour and it takes a good half hour to get to Red Hook from the pier. Once docked at Cruz Bay on St. John Island you grab another cab - around $5.00per person to any of the beaches. Trunk Bay is the most popular- they charge admission. There are plenty of great beaches all with pristine turquoise water, white sand and really good snorkeling. We like to go to Cinnamon Bay which is basically next door to trunk bay. Its nothing fancy, but it has clean facilites, you can rent floats, snorkel gear and sunfish type sailboats, they have a nice little outdoor grill to grab a burger. No liquor allowed on any of the beaches on St. John.
I don't know if parasailing is available on St. Thomas, i know that you can rent jet-skis on St. Thomas - nothing on St. John - its a park.
Since you said that you aren't big shoppers i would suggest that you hit the beach in the morning, come back to the ship, change clothes, maybe grab a bite to eat and then hire a cab for a couple of hours to just tour the island. Make sure that you get to the top of the island, the view is amazing, I can't recall off hand the name of the spot that you would want to go to, but your cabbie would know.
There is a mall ( Havensight) right at the pier so if you just wanted to wander around you don't have far to go.
How about a day sail (6 person max). There are alot of sails operating out of St Thomas and it is supposed to be the highlight of your cruise. This is from all the stuff I have read and from my parents. I will let you know personally after we do it on Sept 28th. I am so excited. We are going with Ike Witt charters but they are all supposed to be good. Here are a couple of sites to give you the idea. www.sailwinifred.com www.ikewittcharters.com www.sailjester.com
Also, if you want to spend the money, the America's Cup Regatta is supposed to be a blast. I think we are going to hold off and just go to the beach. I would like to see Maho beach, where the airplanes land and then go to a quieter beach and maybe jet ski.?.
Like I said, we are going Sept 25 thru Oct 4th ish so if you want to e-amil me afterwards, I'd be happy to tell you what I learned.
I did know that the Americas cup and Maho were on St Martin but she had asked in a different thread about there so I thought I would combine them. Always cutting corners!
Ike Witt is in line with the others. They all run about $125. per person (ouch)! Depending on the time of year, some of them offer a cash discount to $99. (quite significant). Capt Pat (Ike Witt) didn't in Sept because there are not a whole lot of boats in the area. I decided to go with them because I had heard alot about them and then I called ConciergeVI.com and she raved about him (and Fantasy and Winifred). She said he is very personable and he will get in the water and snorkle with you and show you things. I'm sure you know but it includes a breakfast snack, open bar, lunch and he will either take you where he thinks is nice or wherever you want to go. Beach, sailing, snorkling. I am very excited. I hope the weather is nice. When are you going? Like I said, if it is after us, e-amil me (in case I forget to get back on here) and I will tell you what I learned. The people going with us are doing totally different things so I will have two perspectives to share.
Re St Thomas- You should also check for day sails with www.interlinesail.com
We went sailing with them to St John, and the price was $99 for a fantastic day. We did 2 snorkel stops, both excellent. The Captain let me take a turn at the wheel, which was a lot of fun. The beach stops were just too beautiful for words, and the snorkeling was fantastic- lots of fish and coral reef. We had plenty to eat and drink, and they returned us to the dock in time for us to also go shopping. The area of Red Hook had lots of shops and restaurants, and we enjoyed seeing all the different boats in the harbor.
We also shopped at the stores right on the cruise ship dock. St Thomas was our favorite port.
IN St Thomas we went to the little store bought juice and rum/ ice and a minnow bucket to mix drinks in. took a cab to Megans bay 3.00 to get in we took our own snorkle's. They have a snack stand and picninc tables, showers. On the way back the cab stopped for us to do photos and a little roadside stand. When you get cab don't pay them until they come back for you. That way you have a ride back to ship. we did all of this for 20.00 a person.
Pride of America
We took a tour from Pasqual's Tour bus. he greets you when you get to St. Thomas;. Told us to meet him at 12 noon and took us by open bus for a tour including top of Megans Bay - stopped a couple of times for pictures then to Sapphire Beach for 2 1/2 hours and then brough us back to ship. $20 for adults $15 for kids. Great guy.
When you get off the ship, there will be lots of cabs waiting. Hop in one and they will take you to coral world. The cab fare is 8.00 for 4 of you. It will cost 17.00 to get in coral world. It is great. There is a large building setting on the bottom of the ocean. It is all glass and you feel like you are diving. Up top there are large ponds with sharks. stingrays. turtles and others. We spent 4 hours there and will be going back again in Feb.
We asked them why the ship did not sell tickets and they said that the cruiselines want 30 per cent.