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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-28-2008, 07:49 AM
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You can catch the ferry from Charlotte Amalie or from Red Hook. The ferry runs on a more predictable schedule from Red Hook as that is the one that the locals use. The cab fare to Red Hook was $18/pp the last time we went in November '07, the ferry was $6/pp round trip, and I believe it was $4.50/pp cab fare to Trunk Bay, and $2.50/pp entrance fee to Trunk Bay. The ferry runs every hour from Red Hook, from Charlotte it varies. I believe they start at 9:30am and run every 2 hours or so-island time. $78/pp for the snorkel trip is not a bad price at all, on your way back, you'll be served rum punch. The reason we like doing it on our own is because we can spend as much or as little time as we want, depending on the time we arrive. It's not that it's less expensive. It might save a few bucks, but not that much. We are also very comfortable doing it on our own, since we've been there a lot. It is well worth the time and energy to go, it is one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Absolutely beautiful! I cannot imagine anyone not recommending Trunk Bay. The cab ride to/from Red Hook will take you the longest. It's a 2 lane road and when a lot of ships are in port, it can take over 30 minutes to get to Red Hook. The ferry ride over from Red Hook takes about 20 minutes, from Charlotte it takes about 45 minutes. Just make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship if you don't take a ship's excursion. Add it up and I think you'll find that $78/pp isn't a bad way to go. Just my two cents
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:47 AM
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There will be people coming off your ship wanting a cab to Red Hook. You will all be directed to certain drivers. The ferry runs on schedule. This is as easy as it gets to "tour" on your own, and the very long day in port should give you lots of security in terms of getting back in time. We got to Trunk fairly early as we were in the first wave off the ship, and stayed after the ship's tours had been summoned by bull horn away. We got back to the ship by 4 with no problem. It was all the time we wanted in Trunk. Remember: a ships tour that promises 3.5 hours is half transportation time and waiting for stragglers. Most ship's tour people we chatted with a Trunk got about 1 1/2 hours there. That is not a good value.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spoheat:
There will be people coming off your ship wanting a cab to Red Hook. You will all be directed to certain drivers. The ferry runs on schedule. This is as easy as it gets to "tour" on your own, and the very long day in port should give you lots of security in terms of getting back in time. We got to Trunk fairly early as we were in the first wave off the ship, and stayed after the ship's tours had been summoned by bull horn away. We got back to the ship by 4 with no problem. It was all the time we wanted in Trunk. Remember: a ships tour that promises 3.5 hours is half transportation time and waiting for stragglers. Most ship's tour people we chatted with a Trunk got about 1 1/2 hours there. That is not a good value.
Thats nice to know, so if you are not on the tour the horn is a good warning to know it is time to head back.

Here is a ferry schedule for the OP, so depending on when you get there you may be able to take the ferry from Charlotte to save on cab fair
http://www.usvitourism.vi/en/stjohn/...portation.html
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:45 AM
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Penny's prices are spot on. The only thing I'll add is that the kid's ferry ride was cheaper. You can also try to negotiate a cab ride for a group for a bit less (to Red Hook).

The local bus ride back was $2 pp. So you can save money on the way back by taking the bus instead of a taxi. (Just walk past the many cab drivers to the entrance of the ferry dock area, the bus stops right there. Ask which direction they are going and/or tell them you need to get to the cruise port) Going TO Redhook can be done on the bus too, but you will have to ask a local (not a cab driver) where the bus stops. I could show you, but I can't describe it in enough detail for you to be certain. So, for about half the cost of the ship's tour you can spend more time at the bay. BUT the ship's tour is also worry free. Its up to you. Its not difficult, but do bring cash for the ferry/bus/taxi if you decide to do it on your own. (We brought our own snorkel gear, so we didn't have that expence.)
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
quote:
I think the ferry and taxi/bus would be cheaper
Doing it on your own isn't always a bargain, and peace of mind also has value and a price.


I think this is what my TA wabnts us to be aware of, also I do not snorkel so can we still sign up with carnival if we just want to go to the beach and not snorkel????
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ricks:
It has been a long time since we did this but....
We took a relatively inexpensive tour of St. John through the cruise line. This tour passed by Trunk Bay. So we just got off the bus, spent the day there and hopped back on one of the buses that frequent the area back to the ferry. At the time it seemed like something that happens all the time. It cost us about half of what the snorkle tour did. Don't know if that is still an option now.
How can I find this information out this seems like it could work for those of us who just want to go to the beach????
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Old 05-29-2008, 06:53 AM
 
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My two cents....Don't follow the horn. It simply means that the cruise ship tour is departing the beach and does not mean you need to head back. In December, my wife and I spent two more hours on the beach than did the folks who took the ship-sponsored tour.

I do highly recommend the ferry that goes directly from Charlotte-Amalie because it costs an extra $20 per person round trip to take the taxi to red-hook, not to mention, you will spend over an hour in the taxi round trip! If you do take the taxi to Redhook, DON'T BUY A ROUND TRIP FERRY TICKET! Buy a one way and then when you are leaving the ferry terminal in St. John's to go back, you can check the schedule and buy the tickets to the ferry that goes directly back to the ship.

I am a nervous nellie when it comes to things like missing the ship, but I had no problem going out on my own. There are so many people around to help you, you will never be stranded and alone. Just relax and have fun. Once you get there, it will be clear what to do.

If, in the end, you are too nervous, take a taxi to Coki beach or Magen's Bay beach. They are both beautiful as well.

Good luck,

Brad
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wheels87:
My two cents....Don't follow the horn. It simply means that the cruise ship tour is departing the beach and does not mean you need to head back. In December, my wife and I spent two more hours on the beach than did the folks who took the ship-sponsored tour.

I do highly recommend the ferry that goes directly from Charlotte-Amalie because it costs an extra $20 per person round trip to take the taxi to red-hook, not to mention, you will spend over an hour in the taxi round trip! If you do take the taxi to Redhook, DON'T BUY A ROUND TRIP FERRY TICKET! Buy a one way and then when you are leaving the ferry terminal in St. John's to go back, you can check the schedule and buy the tickets to the ferry that goes directly back to the ship.

I am a nervous nellie when it comes to things like missing the ship, but I had no problem going out on my own. There are so many people around to help you, you will never be stranded and alone. Just relax and have fun. Once you get there, it will be clear what to do.

If, in the end, you are too nervous, take a taxi to Coki beach or Magen's Bay beach. They are both beautiful as well.

Good luck,

Brad
Are these two beaches closer than Trunk Bay?????
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:07 PM
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They are on St Thomas, so I imagine travel wise they are closer
St Thomas Beaches
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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Yes, Coki beach and Magen's Bay beach are both on St. Thomas and are easily accessible via about a 20-30 minute cab ride (if I remember correctly). You can simply get off the ship and tell one of the people on the pier that you want to taxi to __________ beach and they will put you in the appropriate taxi. There will also be taxis waiting to take you back to the ship at each location.

They are both wonderful and would make a great first trip to St. Thomas.

Good luck,

Brad
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