Our second port stop brings us to St. Thomas, a beautiful island in the United States Virgin Islands.
We got up at about 7:30am and got ourselves ready. We knew we had to be ready to go early to take advantage of our time in port. We grabbed a quick breakfast in Park Cafe, which coincided nicely with Harmony of the Seas arriving into Charlotte Amalie harbor.
We grabbed some coffee from Cafe Promenade to watch our docking in Crown Bay. I do not recall if I have ever been on a Royal Caribbean cruise that docked in Crown Bay, and not Havensight.
Being that it is the Fourth of July (Independence Day for the United States), the ship and crew are in the spirit of the holiday.
The ship pulled into port right on time and we were cleared to go ashore shortly thereafter. No lines at all to get off the ship. In fact, I was literally the first person off the ship!
Once off the ship we took a taxi to Red Hook to catch a ferry to St. John. The taxi dispatcher warned us of long lines and possible delays due to the Fourth of July celebration in St. John. We decided to try it anyway, and off we went.
The taxi to Red Hook is perhaps 20 minutes long, although it goes over some steep mountains that offer quite a view, or a lot of anxiety (depending on your mood).
The line for tickets at Red Hook looked long, but it moved quickly and we purchased our tickets and boarded a ferry. Usually ferries leave every hour, on the hour, however due to the demand to go today for July 4th, they were running ferries continuously.
The ferry ride itself was short. I think it is listed at 20 minutes, but I think it is closer to 10-15 minutes. There was a slight chop on the water, but no issues with getting sea sick at all.
In St. John, the entire town was engulfed in its Fourth of July celebration, which more closely resembled Carnival. Nonetheless, we went to find a taxi.
It took us a while to find one, because we were unaware where to go to find one. Many streets were closed off for the festivities, so we had to do some searching. We found the taxi stand and hopped on a taxi to bring us to the beach.
St. John is mostly a large U.S. National Park, and there are many beaches to visit. We picked Cinnamon Bay beach based on the recommendation of Disney Cruise Line Blog writer, Scott. While Trunk Bay is often the popular choice, Cinnamon Bay is very close by and far less crowded.
Walking into Cinnamon Bay, it looks more like a forest than a beach. You walk down a path to the beach area, which is open for all to enjoy. There was no beach entrance fee either.
There is a small restaurant, gift shop and beach facility store. We rented two chairs for $10 each and went to find a spot on the beach.
I have to say, I was really impressed by Cinnamon Bay. The beach is pristine, water crystal clear and a warm 80-something degrees.
It was pure bliss relaxing at Cinnamon Bay. My wife and I enjoyed the surf, along with just relaxing on the beach. We even grabbed a lunch from the food truck that serves a couple of choices, plus plenty of snacks and drinks.
After a few hours, we decided to head back to the ship. We would have liked to stay longer, but we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get back. No sense in adding a heart attack for fear of missing the ship to our list of activities.
The return trip was essentially just like the way there, but reversed. All in all, a great time! I think all the great things people say about St. John is absolutely true and I would love to return. My wife even said we could easily bring the kids with us next time.
My only complaint on the beach we went to was there is no food/drink service, and little to no shade. Keep that in mind when planning your day.
On our way back to the ferry, we got a sampling of the celebration happening in St. John.
We got back to the ship around 3:30pm, and did the usual post-shore excursion shower and dressing.
We had dinner reservations at 8pm at Izumi, but our light lunch earlier left us quite famished, so we asked if we could dine earlier at Izumi. The staff could not have been more accommodating.
With the Ultimate Dining Package, each guest gets $50 to spend. Plus, you can combine the stipend for the table. Fifty dollars is a lot for Izumi, and it afforded me the opportunity to indulge even more than I would if I was paying cash.
Following dinner we went to the Schooner Bar to enjoy music that was right up my wife's alley. She is a major Broadway fan, and the musical conductor for Grease and Columbus the Musical was playing jazz music for an hour, followed by a series of Broadway songs sung by the cast of Grease.
We had seen similar performances on Allure of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, and it is one of our favorite shows to see. Royal Caribbean has so much wonderful live music onboard, and seeing this kind of a performance is always a treat.
The Royal Promenade transformed into Fourth of July central, with lots of decorations and live performances to coincide with holiday.
All the fun in the sun started to catch up with us, so we called it a night.
Tomorrow is another sea day.
- There were special Fourth of July cocktails available at all bars.
- As an Indian food lover, I was pleased to see chicken tandoori pizza at Sorrentos.
- Voom performance has been exquisite thus far. That puts my mind at ease with three more work days coming up.
- Check out this Fourth of July cake. Note the car in the background that provides scale.