Magen's Bay is a very nice beach with a snack bar. It can get pretty crowded but not oppresively so - just find a quiet spot & settle in. If you are looking for good snorkeling you might want to take a ship tour to St Johns.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Thanks, Paul....a lot of people have told me that Magens Bay is over crowded and not worth the trip. I've heard mixed reviews on Coki Beach. Did you take a taxi to Magens Bay? Do they have restrooms? Snack bar?
ok, just read something in the carnival forum, and it is talking about trunk bay you have to take a ferry to. so i think you are right rosetatto! we must have done a different beach that started with a t. geeze! sorry for the confusion.
Just returned from my cruise on the Valor to the eastern Caribbean. We asked our taxi driver to take us to Coki Beach and he suggested Sapphire Beach. He said we could get out and take a look at Coki Beach and if we didn't like it, he would drive us to Sapphire Beach. We did not like the looks of Coki Beach, it was very crowded, full of run down shacks and lots of locals hanging around. We asked our driver to take us to Sapphire Beach which was beautiful and not crowded at all. The beach and water were very clean. You could rent lounge chairs ($7) and water rafts and noodles were free. There were restrooms and a souvenir store had cold beer, soda, and snacks for sale. There was no Tiki Bar or restaurant at Sapphire Beach which probably kept the young crowd away. It was a quiet, beautiful beach....perfect for swimming and working on your tan. We had made arrangements with our taxi driver to pick us up at a certain time which worked out great.
popsec - Sapphire Beach is about 10-15 minutes(with no traffic) from the pier at Havensight. I don't recall the taxi rates - go to www.vinow.com that information will be there.
Traffic in St. Thomas can be a nightmare during the afternoon, plan on your trip back to the ship to take twice as long.
Popsec....The taxi to Sapphire Beach was $9/person one way. There were four of us in the taxi...I think if you travel to a beach in a van (which holds more people) the price per person is $1 less. The ride to the beach was approximately 20 minutes. We arrived around 10:00 a.m. and asked the taxi driver to pick us up at 2:30 p.m. (we figured 4 hours in the sun was enough time). This worked out very well, he was there at 2:30 p.m. on the dot.
I've "heard" that Sapphire Beach is not as good as it once was. Apparently, there's now no place to shop, eat, or get a drink. If you're just looking for a nice beach, with no services, it should be fine.
I hope that rosetatto's report is correct and my other info is wrong! Please let us know when you get back. We'll be in St. Thomas in November.
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Fern....there was a bar in a building near the chair rental office but it was closed, it also looked like they had a restaurant at one time....they were both closed, don't know why. People on the beach had coolers loaded with beer. There is a small souvenir store that has cold beer, soft drinks, water, snacks, etc. We went there because it was recommended by our taxi driver as an alternative to the more touristy beaches and it is a beautiful beach with crystal clear, clean water, soft sand, not crowded, and very relaxing. The beach itself is very wide, lots of room to spread out. If you are looking for a livelier atmosphere, with dining establishments, lots of bars...try Magens Bay or maybe Coki Beach on St. Thomas would be what you're looking for. We wanted a quiet beach where we could just relax, we weren't looking for a place to spend all day drinking, eating and shopping. We had plenty of time to return to the ship, change our clothes and go back out to do a little shopping.