Hi sandiamountains, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Champagne Reef is fabulous. We've been to Dominica twice and both times have done that snorkel. You can do it from the beach, but I highly recommend taking a boat/sailboat to do this snorkel. The beach is not like a typical Caribbean beach, there are boulders lining the water. When you try to get into and out of the water, you get slammed against them. It's much better to take a snorkel excursion. Here is a link to some pictures, click on the Emerald Princess. There are a few pictures above and below the water of Champagne Beach. We went to Trafalga Falls and the Emerald Pool as well, but have not done the water park. Champagne Reef is one of the best, if not the best, snorkels I've been on in the Caribbean. Best wishes, and once again, welcome aboard.
Your photos of the Emerald Princess are fabulous. Did you hear anyone talk about the Carib excursion? We want to snorkel at a few of the islands, but not all. We are trying to determine which islands we should do snorkel excursions and which other excursions we should take. We are going to Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, St Thomas, St Kitts and St Lucia. We are active and like outdoors things, not shopping. We have a 9 and 14 year old. I really appreciate seasoned cruiser advice!
I've not talked to anyone who has done the Carib excursion. Dominica (Champagne Reef) and St. Thomas are my favorite snorkels. Barbados is pretty good and like I said, we've never been disappointed with the Tiami catamarans. We've only been to Antigua once, but are going back there this December. We did a sail/snorkel there, and had to fight off way too many jelly fish to enjoy the snorkeling. This year I think we'll just go to English Harbour and then catch a beach. We didn't get to do any afternoon tours because my hubby had way too many rum punches on the snorkeling trip. St. Thomas is the place for shopping (which I don't like either). We normally grab the ferry and go over to St. Johns and up to Trunk Bay. It's a beautiful beach with a self-guided snorkel trail about 50 yards off-shore. All the ammenties you'd want. The children might like Blackbeard's castle in St. Thomas,it's a tourist trap, but a good viewing area. St. Kitts we did the fort and a tour of a batik factory, plus 2 sail/snorkels there. The snorkeling was ok, but not exceptional. The fort was fun, lots of climbing and good views. The batik factory was very interesting to me, it's like tie-dying, only they do it with hot wax. I love St. Lucia, a snorkel to the pitons is great, Pidgeon Island is really nice. The last time we were there, they had a pirate ship excursion that sailed to Pidgeon Island, stayed there about 1 1/2 hours for swimming and snorkeling and then sailed back to the port. We took a cab there, and they charged us way too much money. The excursion would have been much less expensive. There some beautiful beaches in St. Lucia, too. I'd suggest an excursion there as taxis are really expensive. There are some kiosks set up in the terminal area, but I don't know if they'd be less expensive than the ship's tours. Our USD is worth more than their caribbean dollar, so you might be able to find some good bargains.
There's a "Find" feature in the upper left hand corner. You can enter your ports and it will pull up all the posts made about them. I'm sure you'll find something that will interest you. Y'all have a wonderful itinerary!
Thank you so much for all the helpful advice! We were thinking of doing the Pirate Ship - I think the kids would get a kick out of that! We were thinking of the kayak/snorkel in Antigua, but I'm wondering about jelly fish. We were there over 20 years ago on our honeymoon and had no jellyfish problem. It's probably hit or miss.
You can book an excursion or take the ferry. The ferry runs out of Red Hook or Charolette Amalie. It runs regularly out of Red Hook and the times vary out of Charolette. Once you land in St. Johns, there will be a host of "Open-Air" cabs. They will take you to Trunk Bay and stop along the way for photos. St. Johns is a beautiful island and Trunk Bay is magnificent. I think you'll enjoy the Pirate ship, too.They do offer the adults free rum punch, but be careful, they are potent. You're right about the jelly fish, we were there in late November, so that could have been it. We couldn't move a half an inch without running into a school of them. It wasn't fun at all.
There are 2 ports in St. Lucia, if it's Castries, then yes. I think the other one (can't remember the name) you would as well. I know one of them we had about a 20 minute boat ride to them when we went snorkeling. I used to have a really good memory , now, well-not so much