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Harmony in August/St John


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Hi we are going on Harmony of the seas in August. We have a 14 and 8 yr old. Our youngest has special needs so when we stop in St Thomas it will be from 12-8 pm. We would like to find a less crowded beach or more private beach to go to. I have been doing a lot of research and it seems that St John might be a great area to go to. We would like to go on our own like rent a car or take a ferry over. Is this possible to go to for 4 hours and get back in time to port? Suggestions? 

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44 minutes ago, Harmony Family in August said:

Hi we are going on Harmony of the seas in August. We have a 14 and 8 yr old. Our youngest has special needs so when we stop in St Thomas it will be from 12-8 pm. We would like to find a less crowded beach or more private beach to go to. I have been doing a lot of research and it seems that St John might be a great area to go to. We would like to go on our own like rent a car or take a ferry over. Is this possible to go to for 4 hours and get back in time to port? Suggestions? 

I cannot address how easy or difficult this would be with special needs, and of course depends on the specific needs, but I have absolutely done this and is my number one recommendation for St Thomas. Here's how we have done it:
 

1) Get off the ship ASAP, grab the first taxi, take it to the ferry. Know the schedule of the return ferries, and ask your driver to meet you back there so you don't need to wait for any taxi when you get back. Have his number (assuming you're American, most phone companies treat US Virgin Islands like any other state so calling/texting is easy and included) just in case.

2) Ferry across, grab a taxi on the other side to the beach of your choice.

3) Reverse the trip for the way back. Make sure there's at least one more ferry that can get you back to the ship on time in case there's any issue...so for example (just making up times here) if you know you need to be back on the ship by 7:30pm, and there's a ferry that drops you back to your taxi at 6:00pm, leave on the one that gets you there at 5:00pm...knowing the 6:00pm ferry is there, just in case).

 

With a nine-hour port day, we have been able to spend four hours easily on the beach at St. John, plus stopped for lunch and beers before the return ferry, and returned to the ship over an hour before "all aboard".

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22 hours ago, Harmony Family in August said:

Thank you so much! This was so helpful! I so appreciate it. We are super excited. My youngest gets extreme anxiety around large crowds. He is very outgoing so we will be talking about the ship with him like now so he will know what to expect. 

If you do go to St. John, try to stay away from Trunk Bay. It's the busiest beach over there. If you get there early enough, you can camp out far away from others (when we got there just about 9:30am, we were just about the only ones on the beach) but by the time you get there it could be quite busy. There are a myriad of other beaches that a taxi can take you to. Trunk Bay does have the perk of restrooms, showers, chair/equipment rental, and (I believe) recently re-opened food (though I could be wrong)...but of course that's a direct correlation to it being the busiest, so determine your priorities and go from there.

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