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Old February 13th, 2011, 09:21 PM
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I recently became my elderly dad's guardian and caregiver. I had booked a cruise to Alaska last year for this May. In light of recent events, I decided to transfer my booking to a later date. The cousin I will travel with told me she'd like to do the Caribbean instead. I was able to do the transfer with no problem. We are now booked on a ten day southern Caribbean in November 2012.

The ports of call are in: St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St Lucia, and St. Maarten. I've never been to any of these places and would like to do an island tour of them all. My cousin is wanting to spend some time on the beach somewhere. My question is, which of these places would be the better beach day?
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Old February 14th, 2011, 08:36 AM
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I would plan a beach day at either St. Thoms or St. Maarten...In St. Thomas there is meagans bay, which is a short cab ride from the pier, or a longer commute and get over to St. John's and pick a nice beach there. In St. Maarten there are also a few inclding Orient Beach...Both have some good shopping as well.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 10:23 AM
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All of these islands, St.Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, and St. Maarten, are known for wonderful beaches...last week, our local tv station did a show on St.Lucia,and showed some exquisite beaches. Megans Bay in St Thomas, is very popular, but a quick ferry over to St Johns, is a worthwhile trip, for a slice of paradise.

For years I have heard about Sandy Lane Beach in Barbados, here is a link...if I am lucky enough to go back to an island I so enjoyed, I could be very happy here..Barbados beaches - Sandy Lane Beach for Barbados Vacation and Caribbean Resort and Barbados Hotel. and finally, St Maarten, has Orient Beach,and Dawn Beach to name a few...

Pull up some pictures of the beaches,and see what they offer as far as amenities..lounge chairs, available food, rest rooms etc,and see which is the best place to plunk yourselves down for a few hours Another possiblity is to see if day passes at a resort on the beach, is something you may want to consider.Have fun planning.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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Thank you ladies. I know I'll have fun planning this trip. I will probably change my mind a half dozen times about what we are going to do and where. My cousin gives me general details but then expects me to do all of the planning and to make it all happen. I don't mind until I boil it down to maybe two or three options and she still can't make up her mind!

I think St. Lucia is off the list for a beach day. I really want to see the island. I would really like to see Dominica too, so it probably will be a no go for the beach. Trip, I hope you get to go back to Barbados. A week at Sandy Lane would make you (and me) very happy!

I am thinking right now that maybe taking the ferry to St. John would make for a good beach day. St. Thomas is on just about every eastern sailing, so it will be a place I'll get to go again. Meagan's Bay looks nice but I bet is very crowded. We went to Seven Mile Beach in Georgetown when we cruised last spring. We took a taxi to the public beach, and I wished afterward that we'd spent just a bit more money to go to the more private beach down the road. Like I said, I'll probably change my mind a half dozen times before it's actually time.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 06:46 AM
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I forgot about Boatyard beach in Barbados, close to the port too...Lots of water activites with restaurant/bar on the beach.

I think you'll love going over to St. Johns, good decision, truly a beautiful island.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 08:07 AM
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Moraine, I was ill when we docked in Dominica, so we stayed onboard. All the people who came back from their excursions to the mountains, and,the falls, really enjoyed them. Their really is no shopping to speak of, nature lovers rejoice..

Take a peek:Dominica Travel & Tourism: hiking, diving, whale, dolphin & sea turtle watching, tours, festivals, taxis, car rentals and more.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Moraine - here is a link to St. Thomas board of tourisim that we have found to be super helpful www.vinow.com. I agree that taking the ferry over to St. John is the way to go, the beaches are beautiful- we love Cinnamon Bay- Yes Megan's Bay beach is gorgeous, but you are right, it is very crowded, a couple of options on St. Thomas proper - Sapphire, Emerald beaches
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Old February 15th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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The most amazing water I ever saw in the Caribbean was at Saphire Beach...just like a postcard of paradise.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 01:34 PM
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shhhh Trip don't tell anyone how beautiful Sapphire beach is. lol
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Old February 15th, 2011, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the link Lisa. I've been looking at Sapphire Beach. It is beautiful but I bet it could get crowed too. All of this looking at beautiful beaches makes me wish I had the money to spend about half of the year in the Caribbean!
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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She mentioned she might like to rent a wave runner. I noticed private wave runner "tours" offered in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Anyone did one of these?

Also, wondering if you have more time if you catch the ferry to St. John yourself? The ship excursion seems kind of short.

Was thinking of doing the whale watching tour in Dominica but think we'll be there the wrong day for that. They have them Wednesdays and Sundays, and we'll be there Thursday.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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we rented waverunners right at the beach in St. Thomas, wondering what kind of "tour" you were looking at what that might be. As for St. John definately do it on your own, not enough time if you do a ships tour,just budget your time grab one of the waiting cabs at the pier in St. Thomas head to Red Hook Harbor,allow 30-45 minute cab ride - the ferry to St. John leaves every hour on the hour, once you dock at Cruz Bay, grab one of the open-air jitney cabs to the beach of your choice,the beaches are all gorgeous
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Old February 17th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Thanks. I figured the do it yourself would be longer.

I'll try to post a link for the "tour" place.

St Thomas Excursions and Shore Tours Guide for St Thomas Cruise Ship Passengers visiting Charlotte Amalie and St John Virgin Islands


Looks to be cheaper than just renting one on the beach, and it might be lots of fun.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 05:54 PM
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So, I sent my cousin the link. She looked at the excursion, which they call Guided Jetski Snorkel and Safari. She wants to do that. I've also been looking at beaches in Barbados. Miami beach looks wonderful. Been thinking of doing the beach thing there. May do the waverunner/jetski thing in St. Maarten. If we do that, then do I still want to go to St. John on the St. Thomas stop, or should we do something else? All I know for sure is that we are going to do the island tour of St. Lucia, and an island tour in Dominica if we can't to the whale watching. Other than that, it's all up in the air.

By the way Trip, I thought Sandy Lane looked really nice, so I went and priced the place at hotels.com. I knew it would be expensive, but dang. The cheapest room they had was $1,700 a night. I'll be spending a week there...in my dreams.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 06:25 PM
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Slide over Moraine,I'll be right beside you!!
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 06:46 PM
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*hands Trip a drink* Enjoy.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Moiraine, that jet-ski excursion in St. Thomas sounds wonderful. I would doubt that you would have enough time to do both the jet ski excursion and a visit to St. John, that would be a lot of running around. It sounds like that excursion leaves from downtown Charlotte-Amalie, lots of neat shops downtown for something to do after your excursion.
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