We are sailing to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and Nassau. The kids want to do the dolphin encounter and also snorkle with stingrays. We won't have enough time to do both in Nassau and the other islands don't offer the Dolphin's.....which other place would be the best snorkle for stingrays ? And the best calm water beaches for swimming. Sailing on the Glory. First time to the Eastern.
Thanks in advance.
as far as i know Nassau is your only stop that offers both dolphins and stingrays.
You mentioned dolphin encounter - personally i think dolphin encounters are a waste of time and money, you would be much better off doing an actual dolphin swim. On a dolphin encounter you stand in the water on a platform with a bunch of other people, the trainers swim the dolphins by you and you get to pet them(if you are lucky), and that's about it.
You are right you don't have time to do both, you need to decide which you want the most.
As for nice calm beaches for swimming pick anyone on either St. Thomas or St. Maarten and you can't go wrong.
St. Thomas - i think that you and your kids would love Coki Beach/Coral World - very good beach and Coral World is a pretty neat place to see. Good snorkeling here if you are interested. Maegan's Bay Beach is gorgeous but its very touristy , pricey and gets crowded very fast. There are also some gorgeous beaches over on St. John Island which is a short ferry ride from St. Thomas. Trunk Bay is the most popular - all the cruise ships end up here, so it can get crowded, snorkel trail which is interesting. Lots of other great beaches to choose from.
St. Maarten - Orient Bay Beach is a great beach, it gets busy but its a good busy. One section of this beach is clothing optional, if that's a concern to you. Dawn Beach is a very nice beach - very family oriented - quieter than Orient.