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St Johns Antigua


Pooch
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Our cruise stops at St Thomas, St John and CocoCay.  Beach day will be CocoCay obviously.  I’m thinking Charlotte Amalie will be our shopping day (we love browsing shops)?  What do we do at St John’s?

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  • Pooch changed the title to St Johns Antigua
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We were there last about 2 years ago on Freedom. Going back in October on Symphony. We did the excursion to Ffyres  Beach which included lunch at the restaurant there and I think 2 drink coupons. If you do that, go early. Our group of 4 couples left mid-morning from the ship and by the time we got there, the only chairs available were second row. 
 

Valley Church Beach is a favorite of @Matt

We were there twice in the mid 90’s on Monarch and both times did Jolly Roger Pirate Cruise (basically a drink fest). We were in our 20’s so ‘nuff said lol. 
 

There is a cute shopping area right at the port and we always get pizza and Pain Killers at Big Banana Holding Company 

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So it looks like every stop is a beach stop?  I love a good beach but was hoping for something different in at least one port.  Obviously Coco Cay is a big beach.  Is there shopping in St Thomas?  I mean local shopping not the high end jewelry/handbags/perfumes kind.

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1 hour ago, Pooch said:

 Is there shopping in St Thomas?  I mean local shopping not the high end jewelry/handbags/perfumes kind.

Sure, but it's mostly the same duty free type shopping including jewelry/handbags/perfumes like other ports plus cameras and electronics and booze - the typical duty free stores.  Lots of t-shirt stores too.

What are you thinking when you say "local shopping?".  Groceries are all brought in on barges so a bag of potato chips is 30% higher than the mainland but there are grocery stores. 

 

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1 hour ago, Pooch said:

Is there shopping in St Thomas?  I mean local shopping not the high end jewelry/handbags/perfumes kind.

There's the typical cruise port style shopping area if that's what you mean.  However, the Oasis ships do not dock at the Havensight pier which has a much bigger port shopping area.  Oasis class ships dock in Crown Bay.  There's a much smaller shopping area immediately at the Crown Bay pier, but it's really not much at all.   You can catch a taxi to the shopping to Dronningens which is basically their main street where you'll find some local shops here and there but most of the typical tourist things like Harley Davidson..it's that kind of an area.  If you go all the way over to Havensight there's more cruise port shopping but you can catch the sky ride to Paradise Point from where, which is kind of cool if you've never been before.  It's a one-and-done most likely, but you will have an awesome view from the top of the bay and can order some yummy drinks and enjoy the scenery before taking the sky ride back down.  It is going to run you likely $25 a person for the ride, though.

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1 hour ago, Pooch said:

Ok so shopping is out.  Original cruise had Key West and Costa Maya for shopping/sightseeing & Cozumel & Grand Cayman for beach.  Now it’s Coco Csy (beach) Antigua (beach) St Thomas (beach) ☹️☹️ 

Yeah, we aren't a beach family at all but somehow keep going an Eastern Caribbean itinerary over and over again.  A big strike for me with St. Thomas is they doesn't have typical taxi service there.  They use open-air vehicles and the charge is per person based on where you are going which can add up.  Then they sit and wait until a vehicle is full before they'll even leave.  It's one of those ports that I would always recommend a group do an excursion or arrange private transportation just because of the cost.  The first time I ever went we rented a Jeep and drove all over the island, which is more of my speed for an excursion over a beach or shopping.  They drive on the other side of the road there, so that was quite thrilling at times.  Otherwise, we may hop off there and walk around the immediate port area and then get right back on board and enjoy an empty ship.

I've never done Antigua before, so that will be a new one for me that's showing up on some of my upcoming itineraries.  It looks like a lot of the notable sights there are walkable from the port, so that's likely what I will do there at my first visit.  It looks a little more enticing shopping-wise than St. Thomas too.

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I'm not sure how active of an excursion you want, but when we visited Antigua in 2019 we did the Stingray Swim & Snorkel and LOVED it! When else am I gonna get to hold a stingray? They were quite gentle and friendly. (The food that's given to them for coming there probably helps!)

The water at the sand bar where the rays were was only about waist deep so it's not necessary to be a strong swimmer. Except for a couple attempts at trying to look under the water, I don't think I even used the mask and snorkel provided.

 

Me and Stingray2.jpg

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That excursion is not listed in my cruise planner as yet.  But I will keep my eye out for it.  My husband & kids want to do the helmet diving in St Thomas but that’s not listed yet either.

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On 7/14/2021 at 1:46 PM, Pooch said:

That excursion is not listed in my cruise planner as yet.  But I will keep my eye out for it.  My husband & kids want to do the helmet diving in St Thomas but that’s not listed yet either.

Do you still have Antigua as a port? It was just replaced with St Maarten on my October Symphony and Antigua has been replaced on several other ships too

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We stopped in Antigua in August 2019 and did a Royal excursion that circumnavigated the whole island so you could see all of its "365 beaches" from the boat. At lunch they stopped on the southeast side of the island at a secluded beach for lunch and snorkeling. I believe in the cruise planner it was called Antigua by Sea? The lunch was great and of course the boat staff was fun and entertaining. 

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