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La Maestra March 15th, 2008 06:44 PM

Blackbeard's Castle/St. Thomas
We would like to do our own excursions in St. THomas. Do we need reservations for Blackbeard's Castle? I went online to the site and it mentioned reservations. I"m also not sure the cost. Also does anyone have an opinion if we could go to the Castle, take the tram to the Point and see Coral world all in one day on our own? If so, how would you do it? Thanks for any help? We're on the Destiny in June if anyone has more advice for any of the ports for us!!

misguidedangel March 15th, 2008 08:27 PM

I was disappointed with Coral World, not because of the displays, but the size, it is very small. It is interesting to see the colorful fish and sea life, but the semisub wasn't worth it (barely any fish around). Blackbeard's Castle, now that is on my list to see when I am in St. Thomas in September!!!!

You might be able to do all of them, but getting to Coral World too us over 30 minutes and back was just as long.

Ro March 15th, 2008 11:40 PM

Can't wait to get to St Thomas in April. Last time I was there was in June 1974 when I went on my honeymoon and stayed at the Frenchmans Reef Hotel that had just opened.

La Maestra March 16th, 2008 11:51 AM

Thanks for the info on Coral World. The sub idea did sound appealing because we're not divers but this would be a way to be there. We have seen turtles, stingrays, fish on other trips so maybe this wouldn't be worth it then.

Floridanamaw March 16th, 2008 03:16 PM
You can go up to the top of this.

This is what you will see at Blackbeards Castle, no castle, just this. But, there are several other things to see also. We took the ship tour and we had access to the three pools there, the old house tours, the rum factory. It's really pretty from there.

Statue of Blackbeard. There is a history of blackbeard that is interesting.

I don't know what kind of tour you get if you just go on your own. I would check into it further. St. Thomas is beautiful and the view from paradise point is great, especially at sunset.

La Maestra March 17th, 2008 01:22 PM

Beautiful photos. Did you take the tram with the ship's tour also? I'm not sure we would take advantage of the swimming pool at Blackbeard's castle but it looks interesting and I bet the view is wonderful.

Floridanamaw March 17th, 2008 01:37 PM

We did take the tram up to Paradise Point. We bought the tickets aboard the ship. I think they were 17.00 each, but if for whatever reason you do not get to use the tickets they will refund your money if you take the unused tickets back to the excursion desk. It is beautiful from Paradise Point. Here is a link for the pix I took from there. Most are sunsets. The Bushwacker is very good. The back of the ticket has a coupon for 1.00 off the drink. Also, if you go to the web site they have discount coupons for asst. things.

subtropic March 18th, 2008 01:07 AM

If it works into your schedule try to use the pools-they are wonderful. The tram is right by the cruise ship if you tie up at Havensight

La Maestra March 18th, 2008 05:56 PM

So do you think we could do the tram and Blackbeard's Castle easily on our own? Good to know the tram is right there. How far is Blackbeard's Castle? Will we be able to walk from the pier? Do you know how much it is ? Maybe we will want to try the pools after the walk there if it's hot!! Do we need reservations for the self-guided tour? I'm trying to decide if it's cheaper to do it on our own so we can choose how much time or just do the cruise excursion which is $46 and includes the Castle but no tram 4-6 hours. We have to pay a taxi to take us back to the ship anyway. I"m not sure I have a good enough feel yet for the area. A detailed map is my next project I think. All info is appreciated everyone!!

Floridanamaw March 19th, 2008 12:59 PM

What are your port times? A lot depends on how long you will be in St. Thomas. We were there from 10AM until 8PM, having to be back onboard by 7:30PM ( I think). We had plenty of time to do the Blackbeard Excursion, shop, and shop and then do the tram. Our tour started at 10 or 10:30. We were at Blackbeards by 1:00 or so. We spent a lot of time viewing the museum homes, in the Rum Factory sampling free rum punch, resting. We then walked to the shopping area in town, then walked to the Havenport mall area and shopped. We went up to Paradise Point about 6:00 and stayed until just after sunset, then headed back to the ship and was onboard a little after 7:00. From Blackbeard to the pier is about a 15 minute walk. We didn't have any trouble doing it. But they have open air buses that run all the time, I think they cost about 2.00 to ride. We did the ship excursion because we are just more comfortable doing it with them. Once they drop you off at Blackbeards you are pretty much on your own anyway. It's all in preference as to what you do own your own or through the ship. Enjoy your cruise.

La Maestra March 23rd, 2008 10:59 AM

So what did you get for you $$. A tour ride around the city first? Then they drop you off at Blackbeard's Castle and you tour yourself correct? Then did you do the tram on your own? The description talks about Charlotte Amalie. Is that actually a different town the excursion takes you to for shopping? The info says you have to take a taxi back? It's so nice to have others for info!! THanks!

Floridanamaw March 23rd, 2008 11:22 AM

The excursion price included the tour of the city (Charlotte Amalie) stopping at Drakes Seat and the price of entrance to Blackbeards and all the pools (3) all the historical buildings, manor houses, the rum factory, the 5 acres of grounds. Once you get to Blackbeards it's all self-guided through the rest of it. Being our first time in St. Thomas the excursion was worth the price for us. We did enjoy it. Next time we go we might just explore on our own and not do excursions. I'm know when you get off the ship there are lots and lots of people selling their excursions. While we thought it was worth the money, somebody else might say it was a total rip off. Now, our excursion in St. Maarten was a rip off, but that was because of the bus driver. That's a whole other story. I cannot find prices for the Blackbeards excursion to book on your own. If you are really interested I would give one of the places a call and see what they have to offer for the time you will be there. Enjoy your cruise.

colorcrazie March 23rd, 2008 02:15 PM

Unless you want that day to be a total fitness program day, do NOT try to walk to Blackbeard's. St. Thomas is very, very hilly, and the castle is on top of a hill. A long, very strenuous walk. And Coral World is quite a distance away from the pier. Although I really enjoyed it. Would definitely go back again. Small, but interesting.
Just my 2 cents,

La Maestra March 23rd, 2008 10:25 PM

So maybe if we don't do the ship's tour we could take a taxi to the Castle then walk back down and do the tram later in the day. I looked at the Blackbeard's Castle website but it never really said how much and it made it sound like you needed reservations. Anyone done it without? Good to know the walk is a bear! We're average as far as in shape but I would hate to be so tired I wouldn't enjoy the rest of the day. Helps to know maybe the taxi up is the best way to go!!

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