On our last visit we went to A.H.Riise to purchase our ten bottle (3 yr supply) of Crown Royal Rye Whiskey. To my amazement , they had the 1 liter bottles priced at $19.95 each.(This is the same price that local outlets charge here in Florida, when they are running a promotion.) I asked a clerk to verify this price and was informed that the listed price was their best deal.
Unique Suggestions: It was too late in the day to shop elsewhere and expect ship delivery, so we left without making a purchase.
Fun Alternatives: The next day, our ship docked in St Maerten, where we purchased the same liquor, same size bottle for $12.50. So much for Saint Thomas as a duty free port where you can get the best prices.
I can't prove that we were bamboozled (I so seldom get to use that word! Isn't it fun?), but I believe it. The Princess ported at the new docking facility - not Havensight - and we lit out for our destination of Coki Beach for great snorkeling. I'd wanted to catch a safari bus as we had at the previous year at Havensight pier. But, there were no safari buses available and eventually we made up a cramped cab of 6 and got underway. One couple was going to Redhook to catch the ferry, so we went there first. The other couple was going to Sapphire Beach. When we got there, the driver refused to take us the extra distance to Coki Beach because HE SAID the water was too rough at Coki and that we needed to stay at Sapphire. Not knowing whether it was a lie, or not, we stayed. The point is - make sure you know what you are getting yourself in for. If Coki was indeed too rough, and he knew it, then he should have told us from the start. I'm sure he lied but it was 'his town,' not mine, so I went with the flow. I won't make the mistake of not being clear about the final destination again.
Fun Alternatives: Stick to the safari buses if you can. It's a flat fee and they go where you say. Plus, they are a delightful way to see some of the island.
Magens Bay is a beautiful beach area but it was a minimum $8 per person to get there each way. Once you are there, you are stuck unless you pay $8 to get back down the windy hills on the buses. The locals weren't real friendly and one guy actually went off on us about how we were ripping off the locals when we tried to negotiate a lower fare for the 8 of us! Okay. Hmmm...$64 for us each way for about a 20 minute drive times hundreds and hundreds of cruise passengers seems to be a good living even here in LA.
Unique Suggestions: Not sure how to get a cheaper ride. Maybe this is one of those ports where it's worth it to buy the excursions.
The Kon Tiki advertises itself as a glass bottom boat tour, but the glass bottom is minimal. In actuality, it's a party boat with the highlight being all-you-can drink rum punch and loud music. Some people get really really drunk on the trip and I've seen parents uncomfortably dragging their children off of the boat at the end of the cruise. There's nothing wrong with party cruises like this, as long as that's what you want and expect, rather than a cruise to see sea life.
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy Honeymoon beach on Water Island and buy food from Heidi's food cart , the pizza boat, or the Bohemian Beach Bar (proceeds go to a local alternative school).
Fun Alternatives: Go on a snorkelling cruise instead. They take you to cool spots and you see more fish.