Thinking about St. John and how to go
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If you don't want to spend much time on lunch, consider grabbing something to go from High Tide http://www.hightidevi.com/ and take it to the beach. I picked High Tide because it is the first restaurant you come to when you step off the ferry dock and their food is decent. Another option would be to grab a taxi and ask them to take you to Sam & Jack's Deli http://stjohndeli.com/ before heading to the beach. You can call in a carry out lunch for the beach as well. You can call them on your way to the Red Hook Ferry.
There is a snack bar (burgers, hot dogs, chips, drinks) at Cinnamon Bay so that's an option for food, too.
As for beaches, Cinnamon and Maho are both GREAT! Maho is my personal favorite beach on the island. There is now a restroom there (new in the last year) but no other facilities. Cinnamon has restrooms, chair and snorkel gear rental, the snack shop. So it has more facilities. You need to decide what's more important. You can ask your taxi driver to come back and pick you up at a designated time at any beach you go to. You can't go wrong with either beach.
The nice thing is by the time you get to the beach, Oasis passengers who have traveled to St. John will be heading back to the port.
If you had a little more time, I'd highly recommend taking a taxi from Cruz Bay to Shipwreck Landing in Coral Bay and then onto a beach but I don't think you have quite enough time to really enjoy Shipwreck and the beach.
Feel free to ask additional questions! Wish I were going with you!
Since we are arriving in port 11 am not sure what we will do about the lunch thing, I like your suggestion on it depends on what is important to us.....last trip to St. John we arrived on the 1st AM ferry so we were hungry, maybe not so much this time. We will see we have time to make a decision.
My main concern is not the cost of the meal but the quality of the food served. Since we will have cruisemates traveling with us we probably won't decide until the day of!
Even though we have a few months before we travel I am already getting very excited just remembering the beauty and serenity of St. John.
Thanks for your input.
You'll find helpful reviews in tripadvisor under St John restaurants or just by searching the STJ forum on TA.
If you want to forego Cinnamon, et al you could head directly to Coral Bay for an enjoyable afternoon. Take a look at TA reviews on CB to get an idea if that would be worth looking at.
Have a great day!
We are in port 11-7 do you think a taxi ride to Coral Bay is doable in this time frame, even if we opt to skip lunch on the island?
More concerned on getting a cab to take us back to the ferry.
Decisions, decisions, at least we have a couple more months for research.
Thanks everyone for your input!
OH, and to answer your question ~ yes, Coral Bay is doable in your time frame as long as you don't want to spend time lounging on a beach. You'll have time to stop and see beaches just not stay for any length of time. Any taxi can take you to Coral Bay, have lunch and then enjoy stops at the north shore beaches on your way back to the ferry dock.
RCCL offers and interesting alternative with a 6.5 hour trip that leaves from the pier, tours the park (beaches) by boat and then still gives you 3.5 hours on your own for only $40.00
But, the deciding factor was that our ship docks at 8 and the RCCL excursion only leaves at 10 AM. This will be our first stop arriving from Boston (3 sea days) and I know as soon as we dock I'll want to get off the ship.
Ultimately though, it will cost almost as much to go on our own and give us the same amount of time in St. John.
Again, thanks for all the useful info.
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Monica, for me you made the right decision. I love being on the water when we stay on st John for a week but not when we are there for a day on a cruise ship stop. I want to sit on the beach and enjoy the view from there. It is different. Plus you can come and go as you please and see what you want. If you are on Oasis or Allure you'd be docked at Crown Bay making shopping ay Havensight a bit more time consuming over docking at Havensight. Have a fantastic time.I have to say we're lovin' the water whenever we are in the islands (even in the USVI). I would definitely go with the tour that stops at different spots for the variety, especially on a cruise stop. What a great way to enjoy a coastal view of STJ and a couple different gorgeous beaches as well? Spend more time in each bay when you return for a week stay.
If docked in Crown obviously shopping at Havensight is not convenient.
Enjoy your day, and if you do decide to return for a real visit consider splitting your time between the BVI and STJ for the gorgeous beaches and different vibe in the BVI.
We stayed at the Westin. We had beachside rooms so had a wonderful view of the beach.
While the beach isn't quite as nice as the other beaches on the island (it had sea weed), but it is adequate. I like being able to able hit the water in the early evening when it cooled down with a beer in my hand.
They had float mats which were free, but you had to sign for them and if you didn't return them before 5pm there was a 5 or 10 dollar late charge. There was a sign saying you weren't allowed to take them off-property, but I a can not see how they could enforce it.
We rented a jeep for the most of the week. It wasn't too hard to remember about staying on the left.
One day we went to Cinnamon Bay. We went to the left, after settling in and walking the beach, decided we should have gone to the right past the point. The left had rock but not too many.
About a week before our trip I remembered to send an email for reservations at Zozo's at the bar. We were able to secure them. Although we didn't have reservations until 6pm we arrived at 5:30. Walked around the ground a bit and then headed to the restaurant. They don't seem to reserve particular seats at the bar, it was first com/first serve. They just ask you to not leave an odd seat between you and others. Since we were first, we chose the seats next to the railing.
The bartender was amazing, very friendly and accommodating. I know he has some fans on this board. Unless something change in the last week and half, his last day working was last night.
We started with the bruschetta of the day, which was steak, caramelized onions and cheese. It was very good, and several other people that arrived ordered it based on our recommendation. For our entrees, I ordered the stuffed pork chop. It was good, but a little overcooked. I can understand this as the cook needs to make sure the stuffing is cooked/melted. The white bean/hot andouli sausage was great. My wife had the shrimp and risotto. It was fantastic. For desert we split a flan servered with a fruit sauce. By the description we weren't sure if it was a flan or cream brulle, but Carlos filled us in. It was decent. The nice thing was we started to chat with the couple seating next to us. Compared notes etc. All in all a great night.
Another night we ate at the Fishtrap. We started with conch fritters which were good. I had the grilled fish of the day (mahi) while my wife had fish creole. I think my wife's choice was better. A couple of times we at Margaritta Phil's. The first time, the bartender/server working that day was a bit ditzy, but we got through. The next time the bartender/server (different from the first time), was good. The potions are large, I could only eat half of mine. Although they list enchiladas and burritos separately, I could not tell much difference as both were smothered with with cheese sauce. I can only imagine the calories. The food was good though.
We also stopped by the Tap room a couple of times, the first time just for drinks. We happened to hit it during happy hour, where wine was $1 off the normal price at just $6 a glass. The pours were good. This was the bargain of the week. Anywhere else you were talking mininum $10/glass of wine. The second time we stopped, we split a order of hummus and my wife had the pulled pork sandwich. Both were good.
Also, the tap room sells 6 packs of beer to go for $8. At the Starfish Market they go for $10. Speaking of which. We stopped there several times to buy wine and canned beer. The hotel room had mini refrigerator to keep our drinks cold. Definitely cheaper than buying that type of stuff at the deli at the hotel. We also bought prepared sandwiches and chips for the beach.
We also hiked up to the Windmill etc.
Eventually we ended up at Coral Bay. We stopped at Island Blues for some snacks and drinks. We ordered Edamame and conch fritters. The edamame was different, they fixed them with soy sauce, sesame seeds, and sea salt. Plus there was a little spiciness. Very good, and something I need to try fix at hope. The other reason why we stopped here was because they had free wifi. The hotel includes internet access with the resort fee but our Nook couldn't log into it. It had issues at Island Blues so we were able to download some more reading material. If we had more time, I would have liked to go back.
This is it for things that may be of interest to cruise passengers stopping for a day (although I guess zozo's isn't appicable