My wife and I will be on the Carnival Victory in June. We want to go to trunk bay for the beach and a little snorkeling. A few hours at the beach is good enough for us (we donít need to spend the whole day). My wife also wants to do some shopping in downtown (not just next to the ship). We are comfortable grabbing a taxi from the ship to downtown and shopping on our own. We donít need an excursion for that part of it (we have been jewelry shopping in St. Thomas several times).
So, regarding the Trunk Bay part, I looked on Carnivalís website and I see the following excursions offered:
1) St. John Trunk Bay Beach & Snorkel, 4 hours, $49/person
2) Five Star St. John & Trunk Bay, 4 hours, $59/person
It appears that the 5 star excursion offers travel aboard a 115 ft boat, anchors at trunk bay for ONLY 90 minutes, they provide you with snorkel gear and free rum punch.
It also appears that the cheaper St. John Trunk Bay Beach and Snorkel excursion gets us there by a ferry and bus. No comments listed about snorkel gear or how long we are actually on trunk bay.
I am leaning towards the cheaper excursion, but I need to know whether I should plan on renting snorkel gear there (if yes, how much per person) or if I should bring my own (which I have) or whether itís free.
Also, how long are we actually at Trunk Bay and how long is the travel part of this 4 hour excursion?
We are in port from 8am-6pm, so I see no problem with doing both the trunk bay and shopping downtown. In fact, it looks like we can do one, then come back to the ship for lunch and do the second.
Do either of these excursions have time of departure limitations (such as only departing at 8am or only at noon or something like that)? Thanks in advance.
May I make a suggestion. You will spend an hour (at least) in transit each way to St John/Trunk Bay. Between standing around waiting for an excursion to get going, transport to Red Hook, Ferry to St John and cab to Trunk Bay. Trunk Bay is OK, but there are many beaches just as nice on St Thomas.
Take a cab to Saphire Bay. While others are standing waiting for a ferry, you will be on a perfect beach. Snorkelling off this beach is better than Trunk Bay. Full facilities here. Bar, restaurant, restrooms, outdoor shower, chair and snorkel rentals, convenience/souvenir shop. Crowd will be 10% of Trunk Bay and beach is safe and gorgeous. Facing the water, snorkel the outer edge of the coral and rock formation on the right had third of the beach. Taxi each way will cost $6 to $8 per person depending on which port (Havensight or sub base) your ship is in.
Another alternative is Coki Beach, again full facilities and good off the beach snorkelling .
Spend your time at the beach, not in cabs and ferries.
Trunk Bay is beautiful but it gets very crowded, all the ships excursions end up here. If you want to go to St. John i would suggest another beach and doing it on your own. Its cheaper and you get more time, we did a ships excursion once and felt very hurried and only ended up having maybe 1 hour on the beach tops. You need to take a taxi from the pier to Red Hook Harbor where you grab the water taxi over to Cruz Bay then you grab an open-air jitney to the beach. There are many beaches that do not charge an admission fee unlike Trunk Bay - check out this web site www.vinow.com. We really like Cinnamon Bay Beach. Bring your own snorkel gear if you have it, leave your fins at home and rent them (really cheap) at the beach.
We did a Trunk Bay Excursion from the Carnival Destiny in 2001, didn't snorkle, just the ferry and bus to the beach and back. The other posters are right, most of the time was getting there and back. We had about 1&1/2 hrs on the beach, not really enough time to enjoy that beautiful beach and island. You can go on your own from the Red Hook ferry and taking cabs, haven't tried that yet, though. PapaBill is right about Sapphire Beach on St. Thomas. It is really nice and not a very long taxi ride, you would have more beach time.
I've been to both Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay...each are equally good but Cinnamon isn't as crowded. If you want good snorkeling and the same great water, I'd suggest Cinnamon.
St John is worth the transports, just to see the beauty of the island. If you have a couple hours to take the island tour....it's fantastic! Tours are sold right off the ferry dock in St. John as well as on St. Thomas.
We took the ship's snorkel & tour excursion on Celeb--the boat to the island left nearby the ship saving alot of time--still it was a rough ride over....then a tram to the park-- snorkel gear incl vest & an update was included....Probably I'd pick the deluxe trip Trunk Bay is truly one of the wonders of the world if you hit it on the right day! You may only be there a short while but will remember it for a long time & then have time to shop as well--there's great shopping at Havensight Mall where the ship docks---travel elsewhere can be very time consuming--roads are congested!