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HELP! St thomas excursion choice

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Hi! This is our first trip to st. Thomas. I was planning on simply hopping a taxi with my two teens to magens beach, which matt says is a must do. My question is, should i do this or do the secret sands excursion to smith beach. Im a tad nervous about traffic if we just do it ourselves, but we are the only ship in that day from what i can tell (if i looked right!). Is magens not to be missed? Is secret sands worth 150 for the 3 of us? I keep second guessing and I'm kinda paralyzing myself! Thanks for any advice! Jane

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Well I have not been in St Thomas for about 20 years but I do not think the beaches have really changed that much. I went to both beaches and they were very nice.  Magens Bay is on the north coast and a short taxi ride from the port. It had many nice white sandy areas to. It is a really nice beach with a family crowd, and I do mean crowd as it had lots of people. But great water and nice to swim. But the same atmosphere is not found at Little Magens Beach  is just down a small trail and it is a clothing optional beach....seeming to attract free spirits.

 

Smith Beach (Lindquist Beach)  is on the east side of the Island, If you shoot photos it may not be as good because of the sun depending on the time of day. But it is the beach many professional photographers used because it is beautiful when the light is right . I seem to remember that within a short distance from the shore I found a wonderful reef full of fish and coral. This beach also is a short taxi ride from the town. 

 

I hope someone else can provide more current information to go along with this background information. Also if I can make a overall suggestion? Stop second guess, and over thinking, it is a vacation with wonderful choices, whatever you pick should make for a great trip.

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Unless you in St. Thomas on the weekend, it is rare to be the only ship in port, but it is possible. I stopped there on a Sunday, and we were the only ship in port. So if you are, that will mean less traffic.

 

Magen's Bay is great and I would definitely recommend it. Just hop a cab, really a safari bus, and head over. Head back about 2 hours before all aboard and you should be fine and have plenty of time should the unforeseen happen. I always play it conservatively, so others may suggest less time.

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As Kris said, grab a taxi and go to Magen's Bay and enjoy your day there.  

Traffic is a concern on the island, so give yourself a few hours (3 should do it) to get back.  

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I've been to St Thomas many times, and in fact have vacationed there outside of a cruise.  Love the island.  

 

In most of the Caribbean you don't need to book a formal excursion.  St Thomas is a prime example.  You can take a short hike to town to shop a little or grab a cab to go anywhere on the island.  Magens Bay is really nice.  There is good snorkeling on both ends of the beach.  There are options to rent a chair and lots of food and drink options.  And it's beautiful.  Ask your cabbie to stop on top of the hill so you can get a photo of the ships in port.  There may even be a stopping point on the way down to take an over the top photo of Magens Bay.  Someone said to allow 3 hours.  I really don't think you need that much.  If you are uncomfortable with the time back to the ship, you go right to Magens Bay from the ship and then come back early to do some shopping either in town or in the ship area. 

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 If you are uncomfortable with the time back to the ship, you go right to Magens Bay from the ship and then come back early to do some shopping either in town or in the ship area. 

I think that is a solid strategy, and something we do as well.  Make the beach a half-day event and then spend time in-town, which is quite close to the port area.

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Best tip for getting to Magens Bay that I have is to leave the ship early especially before the excursions do and grab a cab. Getting off the ship early will allow you to get there before it gets crowded. Because we were at the beach so early (around 9:30 or so) we were done early so we grabbed a cab back to the ship without any problems. Once back in the port area we were able to walk around the town. I want to say the entire cab fare and admission for the three of us was between $50-$70 with tip.

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Thanks everyone! You have convinced me that magens will be great! Im hoping we dock a bit early and we will head right there, give ourselves 2 and a half hours to get back, and shop if we get back early!

Are there always taxis available for the ride back or do we need to schedule it with whoever drops us? Jane

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Are there always taxis available for the ride back or do we need to schedule it with whoever drops us? Jane

There's always a few taxis hanging out at Magens Bay at any given time.  You can arrange with your driver to pick you up at a certain time, but I think the last time he told me to just pick one that's already there rather than wait for him.

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Hello All,

 

Long time reader-first time posting here! I also have a question about a shore excursion at St. Thomas but I didn't want to start a whole new thread. 

 

We will be on the Allure and my wife and I want to do the tramway to Paradise Point and then Magens Bay. We are just going to grab a taxi to Magens Bay as I see no reason to book the excursion through Royal for that. However, I see that there is an excursion for the tramway. My question is, is this excursion simply a ticket for the tramway and we have to find our own way to the tram station? Or, is transportation included in this from Allure to the station? 

 

I know the Oasis class ships dock at the port that is not directly across the street from the tramway so if transportation is provided I think it's a good deal, but if not I can just buy tickets once we are there.

 

Lastly, if there is no transportation is the best way to get there just to hop in a taxi? 

 

Sorry for so many questions! This is our second cruise and the first we did the western Caribbean on Freedom so we are unfamiliar with St. Thomas. 

 

Thanks! 

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I think the tram is one of the few exceptions where the price is actually a bit less than it is if you buy it in person.  Matt has done the tram, so I'm sure he'll chime in.

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My question is, is this excursion simply a ticket for the tramway and we have to find our own way to the tram station? Or, is transportation included in this from Allure to the station? 

I did this excursion on my last visit to St Thomas, which you read the review of here: http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2015/08/05/excursion-focus-st-thomas-sky-ride-paradise-point

 

There is simply a ticket and you can easily walk from the ship to the skyway. Even with our stroller, we made it there in 10 minutes.  It's very close by.

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Matt, you made the walk from where Allure docks to the tramway? Everyone I have talked to made it seem like it was too far to walk.

Yes, I made the walk to the tramway that I reviewed in that link.  It was maybe a 10 minute walk.  

 

Keep in mind there are two vantage points that are easily confused: Paradise Point and Mountain Top.  Mountain Top is definitely too far to walk, but Paradise Point is quite close to where RC docks at Havensight.

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They dock at Crown Bay Center   so it really is not a walk most would want to make as it is on the far side of the harbor from Ride The View. I found this great picture on the Crown Bay website.  The picture was taken of Oasis of the Seas making her first St Thomas port call on December 12, 2009. Look at the side difference next to that other smaller cruise ship.  If you look across the harbor off the stern you will see three other cruise ships docked in a row, that is where Ride The View is located.

 

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 That is one really great photo of a very impressive ship. Just think about this Royal has three of these giant ships and a fourth under construction. No other cruise line in the World has even a single ship the comes near this size let alone four of them.

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We just got back from St Thomas and wanted to put 2 big enthusiastic thumbs up for the Secret Sands excursion.  It was phenomenal.  We did this excursion that included the trip to Smith Bay Park/Lindquist beach, beach chairs, and drinks while at the excursion.  We absolutely loved it.  There were very few people there (the guide say excursion was capped at 50 people and there was no one there but our excursion).  it was a beautiful beach.  The sand was soft and fluffy, the water was crystal clear, and the view was fantastic (see included picture).  The only thing was that we wished it lasted longer. 

post-3942-0-61324000-1459187379_thumb.jpg

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Just wanted to give an update as there was some confusion regarding where Oasis class ships dock in St. Thomas. We docked on the other side of the bay, Crown Bay, and it is indeed too far to walk to paradise point. The taxi fare was $7 a person each way. If you buy your tickets for the tram through royal it does not include transportation.

 

It was easy going from ship to paradise point to Magens Bay and back to the ship though!

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