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tada Nov 30th, 2004 01:26 PM

One day in St. Thomas/St. John
Message: My wife and I will be stopping in St. Thomas on a cruise in late February. We're interested in seeing VI National Park, and from what I have read here, St. John is the island to see. I've researched taking the ferry and renting a Jeep to see the island. Can I get your opinions on using this one day, and is this idea better than a controlled cruise excursion? Thank you in advance.

wtggirl Dec 1st, 2004 08:36 AM

St. John is your best choice for a day excursion as this island is about 2/3 national park. A highlight of the island is the many beautiful beaches and the popular Trunk Bay beach. You have probably seen many pictures of this beach as it is in many cruise brochures. I think you would be fine to do this on your own, except you must be very careful about your timely return to St. Thomas. If you have any kind of delay, be it bad weather, etc., the ship will not wait for you. However, if you take the ship excursion you will be waited for in case of a delay. I have taken the ship excursion to trunk bay twice and it was very nice. Keep in mind that some cruise lines demand you wear a life vest when in the water however. Last I was there Carnival did NOT require one and RCCL did. Regardless of which way you go, consider your day there a "teaser" as it will not be enough time and you will want to return.

LindainOhio Dec 1st, 2004 02:31 PM

We spent a day on St. John when we were on a cruise years ago. We took the ferry over and rented a jeep. We had a great time exploring the island and had no trouble getting back to the ship on time. Driving St. John the first time is quite an experience---the roads are paved but they are curvy and sometimes steep with curves.
We have since rented a villa on St. John---it was wonderful. Once you see St. John, I wouldn't be surprised if you too will want to return. Spending a week on St. John was one of our favorite vacations.

ScottB Dec 2nd, 2004 12:55 PM

My wife & I also have a cruise stop in ST Thomas and we at first wanted to go to St John for the day. St John is on our wish list and has been for 2-3 years now. After a lot of research, we decided to stay on on ST Thomas for our short cruise stop. The reason is that STT has many beautiful beaches, and plenty of snorkeling for us (which is what we love the most). We simply did not want to feel rushed with taking the ferry over, and also getting to the beaches & back. By staying on STT, we can definitely get to several beaches in one day, and easily get back to the dock on time. At this point, as much as we want to see St John, we are saving it until we can stay there for at least a week or more. Just another option to think about....Either way I'm sure you'll have fun. Ahhh...St John...I will get there soon....

Sherri1 Dec 2nd, 2004 06:10 PM

Having been to St John several times and
also going to St John on a day trip from
a cruise, I would suggest you definately skip St Thomas and plan your day on St John. I personally would not recommend renting a vehicle for one day only. It is more time consuming, anxiety driving on the left on some pretty winding and hilly roads. Your time and money could be better spent by
renting a taxi to take you anywhere you
would want to go on the island, leave the driving up to someone else, and they
will take you to any beautiful beach on
the island. You can come back into town,
shop at a few stores, have lunch or a beer at Woodys .
I will strongly suggest you leave ample
time for delays of any kind, and that you take the ferry back to St Thomas giving you a little extra time there as well. You can always shop a little once
you get back to Havensight near the ship.
Remember, you are on island time there
so sometimes, things don't always run as
'scheduled'. A beautiful place to go.!

wtggirl Dec 5th, 2004 03:56 PM

I have been to St. Thomas 3 times on cruise ships. Twice I went to St. John and once stayed in St. Thomas. Although Magens Bay beach is beautiful on the north side of St. Thomas, it does not hold a candle to St. John. Unless you plan a trip back soon, I recommend St. John. Quick story: My second trip to St. John we went to Trunk Bay. While in the water a huge storm cloud came over and it started to pour. It was a really neat experience in the water when the cool rain was hitting the warm sea. The large fish seemed to come closer to the surface and the pelicans started diving in get fish very close to us. We could actually put our snorkel mask in the water and watch them. Well, when we returned to shore we realized EVERYTHING was absolutely drenched. Our towels, our clothes, everything. I will never forget the cold, wet return on the ferry sitting with my girlfriends in just our bathing suits. Keep in mind that ship excursion go rain or shine! Also, be prepared for a quick change in weather- bring a water proof bag!

tada Dec 5th, 2004 04:14 PM

Thank you for all of the responses. But I still have a question. I'm not a great swimmer or really into snorkeling, but I would like to see as much of the island as I could. Would it be better to hire a taxi for a tour of the island (research says $45 for two hours/two people or $55 for 3 hours/two people), or rent a Jeep and do it on our own ($70/day). We will only have limited time on St. John in order to give us time to make the ship.

island_breeze Dec 7th, 2004 04:37 AM

Do the taxi tour guide to get your bearings. Will be less stressful and time consuming. Then in 5 years when you return to StJohn, rent a Jeep, stay on the island, and spend lazy warm days exploring instead of rushing back to the cruise ship's toot.
Oh and don't forget to pick up Uncle Joe's BBQ from the corner for the ferry trip back.

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