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Old 05-05-2008, 09:14 AM
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Can anyone tell me which of the snorkeling shore excursions are worth taking at this port. We are cruising with Royal Caribbean at the end of June and are overwhelmed with the choices. Love to snorkel so any suggestions would be greatly appreciate. Feel free to add comments about Puerto Rico as well since this is another of our stops. Thanks! Ted B.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:31 PM
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We did this itinery last year and will be doing it again on '09. We went to trunk Bay for snorkeling. It was gorgeous. Trunk bay is a beach area. You can swim, sun, read your book, or snorkel from shore. Equipment is for rent there. There is a concession (hot dogs, fries, etc) The rest rooms are clean (by Caribbean standards) and since it is a US National Park there is an information office and the people speak English. To do this we took a cab from the pier (there are dozens, someone will be rounding up people as they exit the ship--you will share an open air multi seat cab with other people going to the ferry at Red Hook. you ferry to St. Johns, and do the cab again. It is less complicated than it seems as you will find yourself in a group of folks all doing the same thing. The advantage of this is we save a couple bucks over going through the ship, and my family wanted to spend the day and the ship's tours are called back to their transportation HOURS before we were ready to leave. This is a long port day, even allowing lots of extra time for things like goats on the road in front of your cab you can be back in plenty of time. You need to carry cash--American as you need to pay for each leg of your journey and National Park entrance fee. We even shopped after we returned and I think we were at Trunk 5-6 hours. There is a ferry from Charlotte Amalie but it is a long ride that way and can be rough and cool. We didn't want to be seasick on our port day!

In San Juan we were docked by Old San Juan. We walked to El Morro fort. It is a scenic walk, good Kodak moments, the fort is fabulous. We toured it on our own, the brochure was as good as a guide. We walked back and stopped in a couple shops and drank a pop too. It is about a mile up a grade. You could take a cab to the fort and walk back (downhill). We liked San Juan enough to consider going to Puerto Rico for a vacation.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:35 PM
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Oh, yeah, Coki beach can be reached by cab and in on St. Thomas, the snorkeling is good there too. I just try to steer people to Trunk Bay as ST. John is 90% undeveloped and largely national park. Everyone should see what the Caribbean looked like before Carlos and Charlies!
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:08 AM
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I'll second Trunk Bay and can offer another suggestion for snorkeling that is a little better than Coki on St. Thomas itself-Sapphire Beach. The snorkeling is better, but the amenities are not. There is a restroom, a place to rent equipment and chairs/umbrellas, a place to get something to drink and eat, but it's not set up as well as Coki for tourists. The snorkeling there is better. Trunk Bay is the best unless you're worried about having to take the ferry over. If the offer the catamaran sail/snorkel to Honeymoon Beach on St. John, that's a great trip. Scott Taylor took that one and he said it was fantastic, sounded like he liked it more than Trunk Bay. Just a few more suggestions to confuse the issue
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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If you are going to Trunk Bay, there is a ferry that leaves directly from the pier in St. Thomas and goes to the ferry terminal in St. Johns. Just make sure that you ask for the direct ferry and not the ferry in Redhook. I think the locals direct you there so the taxi companies can get their cut. When all things are considered, taking the ferry directly from the pier saves about one hour of time and $10 per person.

Good luck,

Brad
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:47 PM
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I will third Trunk Bay!

Brad, I have always taken a taxi to Red Hook and then got on the ferry. I started doing it when the taxi fares were lower though. You make a great point about the time and money savings. The last time the taxi driver decided to pick up another passenger on the way, and make a side stop. It ended up with us getting there too late for that hour's ferry. No tip for him!

I have heard it is a rougher ride from Charlotte Amalie. Does anyone know if this is true? If not too bad, I am going to do this the next time as well. I usually do tip the taxi driver at least $3 for 2 people each way. So this would save at least $26 for two people. Thanks for mentioning this.

Here is a link to the ferry schedules.

Dwayne
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:45 PM
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:47 PM
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Actually, it is spelled "TRUNK" BAY
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:48 AM
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I believe the main reason, besides making money, for Red Hook is because the ferry runs on a real schedule. It is the one the locals use to get to/from work, and it is a reliable schedule. We have gone from Charlotte, but the schedule isn't reliable. It is a little rougher if the wind is blowing, but not that bad. And it is a little more expensive from Charlotte, I don't remember exactly, but I think it was $4/pp more.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:18 PM
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Thanks to everyone who responded to my cry for help. Your comments are greatly appreciated and very helpful. No doubt they will contribute greatly to the vacation my family and I are so looking forward to. Looking forward to Trunk Bay!...Ted
 
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