I am taking a cruise to Barbadoes, St. John's, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Tortola in December 2005 out of New York. I have never been to any of these islands before. I would love to receive feedback about the best beaches to visit when arriving there; with best being defined as beaches that: have that crystal clear blue water, are not crowded allowing some degree of privacy, and lastly beaches that are close to where the ship is docked to save money and time traveling to them. Also any comment on the wave size would be fantastic. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
check out www.vinow.com for information on the USVI.
St. Thomas -all of the beaches are beautiful with crystal clear turquoise waters and white silky sand. IF you want to snorkel then i would look at either Sapphire or Coki Beaches. Meagan's Bay is also gorgeous, but no snorkeling and it can get a bit crowded. Short cab ride from pier to all major beaches on St. Thomas. If you want to make a bit of an effort-think about taking the water taxi over to St. John Island from St. Thomas. Breathtaking beautiful beaches, great snorkeling.
This is truly a winner. Go to Virgin Gorda and go to the Baths. It is the best. Go a couple of google searchs for "Virgin Gorda Baths" to view what it looks like. This should be a tour option you can arrange through the ship. I generally stay away from ship sponsored tours, but the logistics of getting there is easier if arranged by the cruise line. It is the most unique beach experience ever.
St Thomas I recommend Saphire as being beautiful, quiet, good snorkeling, amenities and gorgeous view.
St John, any public beach. Most popular , Trunk Bay.
Barbados , any Beach on the south shore.
St Martin Dawn Beach has everything you are looking for.
Tortola. Most popular will be Cane Garden Bay. Speak to a cab driver about other choices like Apple, Smugglers or Brewers. Be sure to make a round trip arragement if you go somewhere besides Cane Garden Bay. The suggestion of the excursion to the Baths and Devils Bay on Virgin Gorda is a good one.