East Car. on HAL-should I bother trying to book on my own
Or just go through HAL?
Our stops are Grand Turk, Tortola, St. Thomas and Halfmoon Cay (guess that last one is moot).
For example, I was told to go to St. John and skip the more touristy St. Thomas. We're in St. Thomas from 7:00am - 6:00pm. Should I do the 4 hour tour to St. John offered by HAL to snorkel Trunk Bay? Or, should I get a ferry and get to a beach that offers snorkeling myself so I can get there earlier/stay longer? First time in the Caribbean and I have no clue how much of a pain it would be to organize it myself. I'm also traveling solo.
Any advice is greatly appreciated!! Can't wait for November 10th!
going to St. John is great advise, for me i would personally skip the 4-hour ships tour and do it on your own, between waiting for your tour, loading the tour bus getting to the ferry pier, the ride over to St.John, loading the tour bus to the beach and doing it all in reverse to get back to the ship it really doesn't give you a whole lot of beach/snorkel time. You can do it on your own very easily and have as much or as little beach time as you prefer. A tour that i would recommend for St. Thomas is the Champagne Catamaran Sail - this is a great tour, its a treat you sail on a beautiful cat to a beautiful cove where you can swim, snorkel and just relax
St. Thomas has some beautiful beaches too if you've not been there before. St. John is mostly national park, with beautiful terrain and beaches. If you are going to St John, it is easy enough to do it on your own, and then you are on your own timetable. Just start your return back with plenty of time to spare. You'll most likely be catching taxis and ferries with some of your own shipmates.
I've not been on the Champagne Catamaran Sail, but have had many friends say it was fantastic. You could also book a private sailboat for a trip from St Thomas to St John, joining others grouping together for this experience.
Thanks for your replies. I haven't been to either island before, and I think I want to do some snorkeling. I understand that St. John is better than St. Thomas - at least there are more places with good snorkeling. I've heard Coki is good, but gets crowded. I've also been told to see Trunk Bay as it's very nice and good snorkeling. Someone also said to see Trunk Bay and then go over to Cinnamon, as it's worth the move to see both.
I'm sure no matter where I end up on either island, it will be great.
msmarvel - couple of tips for snorkeling in St.John - Trunk Bay is the most popular spot the attraction is the marked snorkel trail which is great, however Trunk Bay is the destination for all the cruise ship excursions, it can get very crowded and its a bit of a tourist trap, you have to pay to get on to the beach. On the other hand Cinnamon Bay is just the oposite.The two beaches are practically next to eachother. Cinnamon is a campground, no entrance fee and its a bit rustic. The beach is beautiful, the snorkeling is great, you can rent float mats, masks snorkels, the facilites are clean. You can bring your own soda,water, snacks, there is a nice outdoor grill restaurant to get lunch. No alcohol allowed on any of the beaches at St. John. Another great beach to explore on St.John is Hawksnest. A great source of info is www.vinow.com
I have been on the vinow website, but there are so many posts to sort through. I've researched other places besides Trunk and Cinnamon, but since i'm by myself (unless I find others on my cruise who want to do the same thing), I don't want to go anywhere too remote. Just hoping that anything left on the beach, which would molsty be what I wore over my bathing suit and flip flops, would be safe while snorkeling.
I went to the site for Cinnamon, but it was mostly about camping there so I couldn't get a good feel for it. Is it easy to catch a taxi from Cinnamon back to the ferry? Or can I arrange it with the driver that takes me there in the morning?
msmarvel, if it were me wanting to snorkel my choice would be coki beach,yes it gets crowded but it is right beside coral world and fish hang around there cause they know the food is plentiful. and also you can be at coki beach and snorkeling before ur even to st.john on the ferry. nice beach great faculities and great snorkeling,hey its a no brainer for me,but wherever u go u will enjoy. have been to st.thomas about 12 times since 1990 and did go to st.john once but seems to me that u spend more time on bus and ferry than u have at st.john. our group is on the carnival liberty and think we will be in tortola on the same day,which is thurs. nov.15th. have a great cruise
There is a wonderful catamaran trip that goes from St Thomas to st John, great food, snorkeling, beach stop etc in St John. Amazing. Its not a private charter so it is great for couples and singles and there is lunch and drinks included