Cruising in March 2011 on Oasis and can't decide which beach excursion to choose in St. Thomas. Does anyone know the best beach area, one that is sandy, not rocky, and has amenities like snorkeling gear, a snack bar, etc. Should we book an excursion or go on our own?
Hi KWtraveler, We have taken a cruise tour to St.Johns and it is a great snorkeling trip. Lots of beautiful fish to see there. On our last trip there we grabbed a cab and went to Megans Beach/Bay and paid an admission to the park there. The Bay is beautiful, the waters calm, and the beach serene. We did not snorkel here but I have heard that it isn't the best place for that.
Hi KWtraveler, I'll second Peterl's recommendation for Trunk Bay-absolutely perfect! If, however, the weather isn't that good or you want to stay on St. Thomas, Coki is the best for both snorkeling and beach. Magen's is a good beach for just hanging out at the beach. Sapphire is a good beach for snorkeling, but there are a lot of little rocks going into the water. The north entrace to the water is a little better, but it doesn't have the ammenities that Magen's and Coki have.
I have to give a third thumbs up to the idea of going to St. Johns to Trunk Bay Beach. I just did it last Saturday for the second time and absolutely loved it. You can rent the snorkel equipment right by the beach for $5 per set. They also have a snack bar there with hot food such as burgers, hot dogs, fries, etc.
It is easy to get to...after you get off the ship, head towards the taxi area and tell them you need to go to Red Hook to catch the ferry. That is $10 per person. Next, take the ferry to St. Johns ($6 per person each way). Then, at the Cruz Bay ferry terminal, simply take a taxi to Trunk Bay ($6 per person) where the admission is $4 per person.
Just remember...the ferry leaves every hour on the hour from each terminal, and the cab ride to Red Hook can take up to 20 minutes, so you really should get off the ship as soon after 8:00am as possible. Plus, the line to buy the ferry tickets at the Red Hook terminal can be rather long, so consider that as well. The last thing you want to do is be stuck at the ferry terminal waiting for almost an hour!
I know it sounds complicated, but it is really rather simple and there will be lots of other cruisers right there with you, so don't be afraid to ask them questions.
Trunk Bay is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and the underwater snorkel trail is awesome!