We've already registered for the "Dolphin Encounter" in Nassau, Bahamas which for a family of 4 is costing nearly $500 for a few hours, so we've decided NOT to participate in any cruiseline sponsored/sanctioned excursions at both St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Rather, at one of those ports, we're going to go by taxi to a beach and rent snorkeling equipment, jet ski's, lounge chairs, maybe parasailing, etc. At the other port, we'll walk around, do some shopping for jewelry (gold and watches), handbags (Coach, Gucci, etc), and basic souveniers.
Regarding St. Thomas and St. Maarten... any suggestions which may have a beach with easy access to the water sports (and, preferably clean bathrooms and possibly a fresh water shower for after the beach)? Either one of the two better than the other for shopping convenience, safety, value?
Thanks in advance for your help... I'm looking forward to giving my feedback after we return!
Here goes my pitch for Trunk Bay. You can catch a ferry in St. Thomas and take a cab in St. John to Trunk Bay. It is one of the top ten beaches in the world. White sand beach with shade available. Beautiful warm, crystal clear water with a self-guided snorkel tour about 50 yards from the shore. There are fresh water showers, a snack bar, lockers, a place to rent snorkel gear, and a couple of shops (not cheap). Bring your camera for some beautiful pictures on the ride to/from Trunk Bay as well as Trunk Bay itself. There are some nice beaches on St. Thomas as well. Maagen's Bay or Coki Beach. Both St. Thomas and St. Maarten are good for shopping. IMO, St. Thomas is better for beaches. Have a wonderful cruise!
Many thanks, Penny3333... I appreciate your help. I'm thinking of going to Coki Beach rather than spending $56 round-trip ferry fare for the four of us to go to St. John... and, spending 90 minutes on a ferry. I've heard that Coki Beach is great for snorkeling, and they also have jet ski's, parasailing, etc.
I'll let you know how it all turned out when we get back! Thanks again!
I thought the same thing about spending the money to go to Trunk bay. That was until I came across a web site that had cab fairs on it. It was going to cost $18 a person round trip to go to Coki beach. We are a family of four and would have spent nearly $75 on transportation. If I am off base here I would hope that some one could correct me in the pricing, or perhaps there may be public transportation. Good luck and have fun!
The cab fares in St. Thomas are per person, they have the rates established and published, so everyone will charge the same. They usually have mini-buses (van type vehicles) that they pack and will not move until they are full. Coki beach is a very nice beach, but to me, Trunk Bay is beautiful. Have a wonderful time!