We have been to St Thomas twice and the second time the absolutely best thing we did was take the ferry over to St John and go to the beach there. It may not fit into your schedule but honestly if you are looking for one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, take the ferry and enjoy the day at St John. They also have some wonderful restaurants in St John near the ferry docks. Shopping in St Thomas can be done right near the cruise terminal so unless there are any particular sites you want to see in St Thomas, not sure if you need a driver to take you around.
Our first trip to St Thomas we went to Coki Beach since we were told Megan's Bay gets very busy. Coki Beach is small, a bit of snorkeling but nothing like St. Johns.
We went to Maegan's in June. We were told that if there are lots of ships in port on any given day then Maegan's will be busy. But when we were there our ship was the only one in port and we had Maegan's nearly all to ourselves! Very quiet, relaxing, gorgeous, and worth the entrance fee of $3/pp.
I forgot to add, if you go to Maegan's you will find St Thomas Dairies right outside. They have the tastiest and BEST alcoholic milkshakes there. Someone on these boards gave us that wonderful hint and we're so glad we decided to take the extra five minutes to stop there. Yummy! The best milkshake I've ever had!
You might want to rely on your driver to make your choice. But , that said , I would recommend one of these three. 1) Maegens Bay- a very pretty place, all facilities , but, because it is a park there is no competition and stuff is a bit high priced. Great sand and water, virtually no snorkelling. 2) Saphire- full facilities, nice beach, decent snorkelling. 3) Coki-A bit smaller, but full facilities, scuba and snorkelling right off the beach . For some reason everyone just flops down at the bottom of the main stairs and it can feel crowded. Just walk down the beach a bit for all the space in the world.
Coki is also right next to Coral World, a paid underwater attraction that might attract some of your group.
Last time we were in St. Thomas we took the ferry over to St. Johns and went to Trunk Bay for snorkeling. It was well worth the trip. The snorkeling was exceptional, Trunk Bay is a National Park, and your tax dollars are well spent here. The facilities were great, it's uncrowded, and absolutely beautiful.
If it's not too late my suggestion is to cancel your all day tour of St Thomas and go to St John. It is a short boat ride to Cruz Bay in St John which has wonderful restaurants and shopping. From there you can tour the beautiful island which is unspoiled since 2/3 of it is National Park. The beaches are like out of a movie and not crowded. I'm sure using the net you can arrange a tour easily. We went to Megan's Bay about two years ago. When we got there early AM it was wonderful. By 11 AM is was like Coney Island. It all depends on how many cruse ships are in that day. Best of luck.
I agree with HiltonHead's post....take the ferry to St John (Ferry is right in the shopping area) When you get off the Ferry in St John there will be cab drivers right at the dock. They drive these nice open pickup truck type vehicles with rows of padded bench seats in the back and a canvas roof. Our last trip we had a gentlemen named Bernard. They are wonderful and you can work out a price for an island tour with them.....including beach stops, etc. We paid $20 per person and had a great very informative tour. The beaches are sp beautiful in St John, like post card photos.............
I agree with those who suggest St. John's. We found it to be absolutely beautiful. However, we have always had to take a cab to Red Hook to catch the ferry. Where can you catch a ferry near the shopping district in St. Thomas? We also have been to Sapphire beach and we had the beach almost to ourselves. We asked the restaurant staff for some lettuce and had a fun time feeding all the iguanas. I must caution that even though the beach and the view from the beach is very nice, you will encounter a rocky bottom when first entering the water. There is a very nice little bar on the penninsula at the end of the beach, a small shop, restaurant and snack bar too.
We took a cab around to the main shopping area and the Ferry to St John was boarding right there......the ferry ride is a little longer from there than it is from Red Hook and you have to watch the schedule, because I don't think it runs as often, but I liked not having to take the cab to Red Hook........Check out the Ferry schedules on the website: