Fondest memory: July 2010; my wife and I said aboard the Caribbean Princess with my Mom and her fiance. My Mom had never been to St. Thomas before and it was a pleasure showing my Mom the places and things we love about the island.
We had a wonderful experience in St. Thomas. The people were so friendly from the cab driver, the store clerks, the waitress in the restaurants and the local people on the street. We had so much fun talking to people and getting the local suggestions on shops and restaurants. The shop clerks were all nice especially the shop that we bought my Breitling. The sales clerk actually came around the counter to hug me and wish me happiness with the watch. She even took a picture of Liz and I.
These friendly people made our trip to St. Thomas even more special. No wonder Liz's uncles live here...the people are great!
Favorite thing: When on this ship you must purchase your soda or buy a soda card for unlimited refills. The only free beverages are: water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, tea and juices with breakfast. I wanted to have the option of being able to have soda so I purchased the card. They give you a refillable thermal cup and place a soda sticker on your seapass to identify that you have purchased the soda package. Either present your cup or show them your seapass to obtain a soda.
Royal Caribbean hands out an information sheet regarding customary gratuity amounts. Envelopes are provided in your stateroom the day before arrival back in the home port. You can put money in the envelopes for the appropriate staff or go to the customer service desk and have the gratuity added to your seapass account.
The Gratuity Guidelines are:
Dining Room Waiter: $3.50 per day per guest
Assistant Waiter: $2 per day per guest
Stateroom Attendant: $3.50 per day per guest
Head Waiter: $0.75 per day per guest
We generally over tip because we receive such excellent service.
On Board the cruise ship they have an internet cafe to keep you connected to school, work or loved ones. The cafe has a number of workstations available for use. You can also bring your own laptop and use their WI-FI service. Liz always needs to have internet access since she is in school and brings her homework with her wherever we go.
The internet pricing is $.55 a minute or you can buy a package. We always buy a package. The package rates are: $28 for 60 minutes, $38 for 90 minutes or $55 for 150 minutes.
WI-FI areas of the ship aren't always very good. We seemed to have the best connection in the Schooner Bar. Be aware the connection is very slow and can be frustrating to use.
St. Thomas was more than I had hoped for. The island was beautiful and the weather was perfect. The people were friendly and nice. The food was outrageously delicious. The shopping was great.
Fondest memory: I loved being in a new place with Liz. I enjoyed walking around the island, sightseeing, shopping and enjoying a fabulous lunch.
One of the best places for information on what to do in various ports is
Cruise Critic. The Cruise Critic St. Thomas forum board was very useful in planning shore excursions, whether the ones offered by the ship or independent, and there is also St. Thomas port information with hints on where to go, what to do, where the ships dock, where to eat and how to get around.
To find out how many other cruise ships will be in town along with you, check
Cruisett.com. The more ships in town, the more competition for independent guides and tours and the more crowded the main attractions will be.
Many different cultures have inhabited the US Virgin Islands first there were the Ciboneys, followed by the Arawaks and then by the Caribs and the Tainos. Christopher Columbus claimed the islands for Spain in 1493 and this is where the virgin part of the name comes in, when he spotted a chain of islands to the north he christened them Las Once Mil Virgenes (11,000 virgins) in honor of Ursula who was martyred by the Huns for refusing to marry a pagan prince.
The Danes established the first settlement on St. Thomas in 1672 and on St. John in 1694. St. Croix was added to the Danish West India Company in 1733, and plantations soon sprung up all over the islands.
In 1685 the slave trade came to St. Thomas, more than 200,000 slaves were brought here from Africa to harvest cane, cotton and indigo. St. John and St. Croix had the plantations, St. Thomas was a trade center. The slave trade ended in 1792, but the slaves weren't freed until 1848, still it was 17 years before the US freed their slaves.
The US part of the US Virgin Islands came in 1917 during WWI when the US purchased the islands from Denmark for $25 million after realizing their strategic position. In 1927 US citizenship was granted to Virgin Islanders but they do not vote in US elections, instead having their own government.
Since St. Thomas is one of the US Virgin Islands, a territory of the United States, the local currency is the US dollar. We didn't have any need to use a credit card or ATM but you should be able to use your credit card or ATM card with no problem.
I always like to bring small bills with me when we go to the Caribbean, that way you can hand the taxi drivers exact change, have money for tips for guides or buy things at the market without having to get change. If you are coming in by cruise ship, the passenger services desk can break larger bills for you.
Favorite thing: "Sunny Liston Tours - the lover boy fun tours known for lots of fun and excitement." This is quoted from Sunny himself on an email he sent me. His tours are filled with fun, He has an open air tour bus that takes you around the island with a final stop at Sapphire Beach for a little romp in the sun. Tour was $25 per person. A real good value! Check him out at sunnylistontours.net
this was my first trip. i went alone and i loved it. it was so much fun. go to st john for the day. wander thru the old warehouses. everything costs too much but you are in a paradise. sit on the beach or swim but just enjoy.
Fondest memory: a daquiri at the top of the island with a view of magen's bay.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, sampling the local beer is definite must.
What do the locals drink, what beer is most popular, which beer is hardest to find, does it come in a half pint glass just like grandma used to drink…or better still, a full pint glass like I drink??? These are all good questions that need to be answered...
There only appears to be one beer brewed in the U.S.V.I., Blackbeard Ale. However, if you get a hold of a bottle of Blackbeard Ale the label suggests something sinister is afoot. Although St. Croix is “advertised” on the label, the small print indicates it is actually brewed in Minnesota. Ah, a poser…sort of…apparently the “real” Blackbeard Ale is brewed in Christiansted, St. Croix, but the bottled version is done in Minnesota and has nothing to do with the Chrisiansted version.
Unfortunately, Blackbeard Ale wasn’t around when I was in St. Croix, but I did try the bottled version while in St. Thomas in 2003. Although the bottled version wasn’t bad, its taste really didn’t fit the Caribbean well and Karl switched beers after just one bottle of Blackbeard’s…I hope the “real” Blackbeard Ale on St. Croix is a better reflection of the character it portrays. Fortunately for me, several bars had my favorite Caribbean beer, El Presidente (a DR beer), and I was spared the agony of drinking something out of character.
Favorite thing: There are various types of stores, and ferries to St. John and the British Virgin Islands depart from the Red Hook Ferry Dock. Many charter boat companies are located in the vicinity. Red Hook is also the home of a few interesting bars and restaurants.
At 1542 feet above sea level, the summit of St. Peter Mountain is the highest point on St. Thomas. Mountain Top. You will find a shopping and dining area. The view is beautiful. The balcony outside the shopping area will provide you with the opportunity to view and photograph panoramas of the Sir Francis Drake channel, the British Virgin Islands, and beautiful Magens Bay.
It's open from 9am to 4pm.
Coral World is a marine park and Undersea Observatory, located at Coki Beach.
Open daily and holidays, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The ticket booth closes at 4:00 pm.
$18 Adults, $9 Children (3-12 years), $52 Family (2 adults and up to 4 children)
Magens Bay Road, , 00802, Caribbean
Good for: Couples
7338 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie, Caribbean
Good for: Business
The hotel rooms were old and the bathroom's were rusty, dirty, and downright disgusting. The food...more