Sailing to St. Thomas, U.S.Virgin Islands

St. Thomas is located in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean sea. The U.S. Virgin Islands is composed of three main islands. St. Thomas is the most popular. The other two islands are St. John and St. Croix.  St. Thomas is best known for its water sports, shopping, and its beautiful beaches but it really offers so much more.StThomas33

The capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, located on St. Thomas, is Charlotte Amalie.  It was founded by the Danish in the 1600s.  It is a popular cruise-ship destination and offers excellent beach resorts as well.  Many historic buildings can still be found on the island including a watchtower called Blackbeard’s Castle, constructed in 1679.  It still exists today as a reminder that pirates once occupied this territory.

My arrival to St. Thomas is part of a 7 night cruise aboard the Princess Cruises Emerald Princess Cruise Ship, which I will blog about at a later time.  As my ship was arriving into port I was amazed by the stunning colors of the island including the various blue tints of the water, the green hues of the tree-lined mountains, the Palm Trees swaying in the wind, and the many sand colored structures topped with red roofs.

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Visitors Information Center
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Drive on the Left

St. Thomas is known to have the most stunning beach in the Caribbean-Magens Bay Beach. I got off the ship and hired a taxi right outside the port gates to take me there.  The ride was very enjoyable as my driver proudly shared information about the beauty of his island.  He made sure I knew what the island had to offer and gave me suggestions of things to do for the day.

Please note: Make sure to tell the driver where you want to go and ask how much the cab fare will be.  You can negotiate the fare if you feel the price is too high but your driver will more than likely become a tour guide and provide great information along with the transportation thus making the trip worthwhile.

It was early in the morning when I arrived and there was an entry fee of $4 per person to get access to Megan’s Bay.  The beach and the surrounding park were not crowded yet.  There is a snack counter, bar and souvenir shop here.  Beach chairs, umbrellas, floats, lounge chairs, snorkels and mask, fins, towels, lockers, paddle boards, paddle boats and kayaks can be rented at the beach.  The waters are so calm and clear making it a perfect setting for water activities.  The beach location is surrounded by hills on each side and not too far in the distance are a couple of other small islands that look so close that I think I could float or swim to visit them.  With its stunning overall beauty I realize why Megans Bay Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.  When you visit I think you will agree.

After relaxing for a while I decided to take in a couple of the tourist sites and do some shopping before returning to my cruise ship.  My first stop was at a popular viewing spot known as the Mountain Top, which as the name implies is located high above the water.  The information there said it was 1500 feet high.  From this location you will get a panoramic view of about 15-20 islands of various sizes that are part of both the U.S.Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.  What a view!  After admiring this breathtaking sight for quite some time, I continue my journey to an area called Red Hook to eat lunch.  Red Hook has a variety of restaurants to choose that offer Italian dishes, seafood, pizza, and BBQ.  Irish, Mexican and American can also be found here.  The food smelled so good and was deliciously seasoned with local spices.  After lunch I decided to go shopping for some local souvenirs.

St. Thomas has a reputation for having some of the best shopping in the Caribbean.  First I stopped at Yacht Haven Grand which has several well known retail shops with a great selection of merchandise.  Havensight was the final area that I decided to shop at since it is located near the cruise port.  The stores at Havensight sell jewelry, alcohol, china, crystal, perfumes, art, watches, clothes, and cameras plus souvenir trinkets like shot glasses, t-shirts and handmade crafts. Many great bargains can be found while shopping in St. Thomas.  Remember that some of your purchases may qualify as duty-free purchases.  Of course I bought a few things to help remind me of this wonderful trip.  Unfortunately it’s time to return to my cruise ship and say goodbye to St. Thomas for now.

I really enjoyed my time here on St. Thomas.  The island is beautiful, the local food was delicious, the beaches are breath-taking and the people are so friendly.  The locals really love their island and are very proud to call St. Thomas home.

As the sun goes down on a very enjoyable day, I will always have fond memories of how beautiful this island has proven to be.  My cruise ship may be sailing away from St. Thomas but I am confident that I will return here again one day in the near future.

St.ThomasSunset

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