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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Default Grand Turk, Tortola, St Thomas...Help!

What do you suggest for a family with a 10yo, almost 6yo, Mommy and Daddy (this will be 3rd cruise - first to E.Caribbean) and 4 first-time cruising adults?

We will all be bringing our own snorkeling gear. Some of us love to hike. Most of us love to swim.

Grand Turk - no clue!

Tortola - would love to get some info about the Baths - or anything else of interest traveling with kids.

St Thomas - looking to ride over to St Johns to either Trunk Bay or Cinnamon Bay. Is one nicer, more secluded than the other? We are really open to any suggestions. I've also heard that Coki and Sapphire beaches are nice. How do they compare with the other two?

We don't like the whole 'touristy' idea. We're going to relax and would prefer to explore on our own. Any suggestions would be a huge help! As you can see we are still in the planning stages and have ideas but nothing definite.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Tortola was one of our stops on our June cruise on the Liberty. My grandson (16 yrs. old) and I booked a snorkeling adventure on a catamaran. It was totally awesome, best snorkeling I've ever experienced! After an hour of snorkeling off the catamaran, we relocated to a beautiful bay where there was a restaurant and plenty of time to go swimming from shore. Also, complimentary rum punch on the return to the ship, need I say more? We ruled out the Baths because there is a long, rugged descent to the beach and not much beach area...the water looked very shallow. I couldn't imagine walking back up that path after a day in the sun dragging all our snorkel equipment and beach gear.

St. Johns Trunk Bay is gorgeous but if you book an excursion thru the cruise line, there just isn't enough quality time for snorkeling. It is nice tho and you can swim out to a line of buoys and look down in the water and there is a sign on the bottom identifying the coral and fish you are seeing...you just swim from one buoy to the other. There are changing rooms, restrooms and snack bar.

I heard that Coki Beach has pretty good snorkeling. We went to Sapphire Beach once and it was o.k., relaxing and very quiet. The beach and water were nice but not good for snorkeling...crummy restrooms and a small convenience store on the beach where you can purchase snacks and beverages. I don't think we'd ever go back there again.

When we stopped at St. Thomas in June, we took a taxi to Magens Bay Beach ($8/one way per person and $4/person admission). The beach was spectacular, nice clean sand and water but not good for snorkeling. You can rent lounge chairs on the beach $5 and there are restrooms, a small souvenir store and restaurant/bar. The water was luxurious.

We are going to stop at Grand Turk on a cruise booked for next year. I know there is a nice beach at the end of the pier with a Margaritaville restaurant which has a huge pool.

Traveling with my grandson, I always try to book an excursion that has restrooms and a snack bar available, very important in my opinion.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 06:15 PM
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well i've only been to st. thomas out of the three that you have mentioned and coki beach is a gem. great for snorkling. not crowded either... enjoy
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Grand Turk, Tortola, St Thomas...Help!

Toss your kiddos in the roped area in front of Margaritaville on Grand Turk(either side of cruiseship pier). There are small critters in the potholes to see while snorkeling and occasional schools that do Lilliput proud. Might also bring buckets and shovels for sand castle building?

Do St. Johns from St. Thomas, or else Coral World. Watch for mongeese, and termite nests on St. John that would do Texas proud. Nice snorkeling.

The Baths start with a ferry ride, then a land trip, then a short hike down the hill to the water. No problemo for the kiddos. The chickens who usually hang at the top of the hill are cool for kiddos who have never seen free ranging chickens. There are some rock caves the kiddos might enjoy climbing through in The Baths.

Secluded beaches out of the states can get "interesting." The places I have mentioned were not "interesting" when I was there with my kiddo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamJ
What do you suggest for a family with a 10yo, almost 6yo, Mommy and Daddy (this will be 3rd cruise - first to E.Caribbean) and 4 first-time cruising adults?

We will all be bringing our own snorkeling gear. Some of us love to hike. Most of us love to swim.

Grand Turk - no clue!

Tortola - would love to get some info about the Baths - or anything else of interest traveling with kids.

St Thomas - looking to ride over to St Johns to either Trunk Bay or Cinnamon Bay. Is one nicer, more secluded than the other? We are really open to any suggestions. I've also heard that Coki and Sapphire beaches are nice. How do they compare with the other two?

We don't like the whole 'touristy' idea. We're going to relax and would prefer to explore on our own. Any suggestions would be a huge help! As you can see we are still in the planning stages and have ideas but nothing definite.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 07:09 PM
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Yes, baths are shallow. More a hiking than a snorkeling place. 8)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosetattoo
Tortola was one of our stops on our June cruise on the Liberty. My grandson (16 yrs. old) and I booked a snorkeling adventure on a catamaran. It was totally awesome, best snorkeling I've ever experienced! After an hour of snorkeling off the catamaran, we relocated to a beautiful bay where there was a restaurant and plenty of time to go swimming from shore. Also, complimentary rum punch on the return to the ship, need I say more? We ruled out the Baths because there is a long, rugged descent to the beach and not much beach area...the water looked very shallow. I couldn't imagine walking back up that path after a day in the sun dragging all our snorkel equipment and beach gear.

St. Johns Trunk Bay is gorgeous but if you book an excursion thru the cruise line, there just isn't enough quality time for snorkeling. It is nice tho and you can swim out to a line of buoys and look down in the water and there is a sign on the bottom identifying the coral and fish you are seeing...you just swim from one buoy to the other. There are changing rooms, restrooms and snack bar.

I heard that Coki Beach has pretty good snorkeling. We went to Sapphire Beach once and it was o.k., relaxing and very quiet. The beach and water were nice but not good for snorkeling...crummy restrooms and a small convenience store on the beach where you can purchase snacks and beverages. I don't think we'd ever go back there again.

When we stopped at St. Thomas in June, we took a taxi to Magens Bay Beach ($8/one way per person and $4/person admission). The beach was spectacular, nice clean sand and water but not good for snorkeling. You can rent lounge chairs on the beach $5 and there are restrooms, a small souvenir store and restaurant/bar. The water was luxurious.

We are going to stop at Grand Turk on a cruise booked for next year. I know there is a nice beach at the end of the pier with a Margaritaville restaurant which has a huge pool.

Traveling with my grandson, I always try to book an excursion that has restrooms and a snack bar available, very important in my opinion.
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