St Thomas USVI has been a port of call on two of my cruises, Regal Princess and Carnival Breeze. And I wanted to bring you my experiences there and maybe give you some tips for your next visit.
First, a little about St Thomas USVI. The island is part of a chain of islands called the US Virgin Islands which also includes. St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix all part of this beautiful paradise.
You can visit St Thomas by flying in and staying at a resort or by cruise ship. You will not find the all inclusive resorts in St Thomas like you will in Mexico orJamaica.
You will often find St. Thomas on Eastern and Southern Caribbean Itineraries 7 Nights or longer.
My first trip to St. Thomas was on Regal Princess in November 2018. There was one thing I knew I wanted to do and that was take the gondola up to Paradise Point. Pictures and videos of the views I saw prior to my cruise were amazing.
The entrance for the gondola is about a 10 minute walk from the ship but there is a lot of shopping to partake in on the way. Once you get to the gondola, you can purchase your ticket there and wait in line to board one of the cars which by the way, do not stop so be careful. Each car holds around 8 people and the ride takes about 5 minutes. If you are afraid of heights, close your eyes and think good thoughts.
Once you arrive up top, you have the options for a little shopping including some local artist plus a bar/restaurant. I personally was not hungry so I grabbed a bushwacker frozen drink and enjoyed the view. I have no idea what was in it but it was good.
You have a few options to get tickets, You can purchase an island tour excursion the usually includes tickets, tickets through the ship or simply walk up and buy them. The cost was around $20.00 per person and its unlimited rides for the day. I believe you can even go up at night if your ship is still in.
The remainder of my time, I simply walked around the shops,, watched the still walkers and enjoyed entertainment by locals.
My second trip to St. Thomas was on the Carnival Breeze in August of 2019. For this trip I was with family and we made the decision to visit Magens Bay.
To get there we walked a few blocks off the ship and there was plenty of open air shuttles taking people to different locations around the island. Just tell the person running the area you want to go to Magens Bay and they will get you on the right shuttle. Not sure what else to call it but a shuttle. Its open air so your view is amazing especially on those tight roads going over the mountains. The cost was about $10 per person each way so not too bad. There is a fee to get in but I believe the taxi ride included the entrance fee of $5
Magens bay is one of the most picturesque beaches in the Caribbean with hills surrounding the bay and clear calm water. My cousin even swam with a sea turtle which made her trip. Now one thing about beaches in the Caribbean, they are not what you find here in Florida. Here is Florida, the beaches can be wide and pretty long but in the Caribbean like with Magnes Bay, its fairly condensed Now we did go early and there was only the Breeze in port so it was not very crowded.
There are chairs and a few tables to set your stuff while you swim and seemed like plenty of room to spread out. One tip, if you do want to snorkel, go towards the hills on either side where the rocks are for more sea life. But be aware, it does get deep quick so be ready to swim.
After a couple hours at Magens Bay we headed back to the ship, changed into dry clothes and headed out to explore downtown. I did not, but my cousin did check out the pirate museum and said it was pretty good. We bought some souvenirs and headed back to the ship.
One of the perks of St. Thomas is you will likely not sail away until night time so you get a view of the hills light up which is a beautiful sight.
How can you visit St. Thomas?
Most cruise lines will have an itinerary that includes St. Thomas. Royal Caribbean and Princess seem to have a good amount of options plus Carnival has a couple. Most of the time the stop is joined on the itinerary with stops in San Juan and or St Maarten.
Fly & Stay
Spending a few days or a week in St. Thomas is a fantastic way of seeing the island. Gives you a chance to explore and even spend the day on St. John.
Some of the top resorts in St. Thomas
The Emerald Beach Resirt
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham
For US Citizens since it is a US Territory, you only need a Birth Certificate and Government Issued Picture ID.
USVI Travel Portal Here you can see the requirements to enter the USVI. Currently a COVID 19 PCR test is required within 5 days prior to travel.
For more information on St Thomas or other travel destinations, I can be reached at the contact information below.
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.