st. john half day champagne cat sail (FROM ST. THOMAS)

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#1
New Jersey
526 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
has anyone done this excursion. (it is Celebrity excursion from st. thomas , 4 hours) do you have to swim ashore to the beach from the catamaran? the excursion is desribed as "The brisk sail across Pillsbury Sound brings the catamaran to its special mooring destination where you can swim to or reach the beautiful National Park Honeymoon Bay Beach via dinghy". If i am right, a dinghy is a small boat that will bring us directly to the beach?
is this worth $80??? how much time is actually spent on the catamaran and the beach?
thanks!!
#2
12 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I'm also interested in comments or recommendations from anyone who has done this excursion. Looks like it would be fun. I'm also interested in comments about the dinghy ride to shore,since I'm not a strong swimmer.
Thanks!
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#3
Georgia
6,262 Posts
Joined May 2000
While I have not done this excursion, I have used a dingy. The catamaran was in water about up to our necks and we had beach bags to carry ashore so decided to use the dingy. As I recall it held about 6 people and was just a minute ride to the shore. Some people just got in the water and sort of carried their stuff on their heads to walk ashore.
For me I think $80 is kind of pricey for a 4 hour trip.
#4
Nebraska
2 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
I took this excursion last week. It was awesome! They will take you to the beach in a little, motorized boat if you wish. I swam over to the beach after some snorkel time in the water, but didn't stay long...I wanted to get back out in the water.
The snorkel site was fantastic. The water was calm and so clear. You will see all kinds of sea life. I had never snorkeled before and haven't even been swimming in probably 5 years...so I was a little nervous. But was adventurous and jumped off the boat in snorkel gear, rather than decending the stairs into the water. Because of the salt water, you will float.
The equipment provided was very good. Flippers, snorkel mask, and life vest.
The crew is young...and fun. Very laid back folks.
Yummy rum punch and a light snack (cheese, bread, fruit) on the way back to St Thomas.
I would take this excursion again in a heart beat.
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#5
CANADA
1,260 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Does this go to Buck Island/ Turtle Cove? We were thinking of the Turtle Cove Excursion, Has anyone done that?
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#6
Tampa, Fl
256 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I took the Turtle Cove excursion from Princess. It was one of my favorites ever. We were on "The Cat" which at the time was a brand new catamaran. The crew was great as was the snorkeling.

I'm going back next month and plan on taking the Champagne tour this time. Just to try something new. I would recommend Turtle Cove.
#7
Rockwall, Texas
204 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
We have done the champagne 1/2 day sail to St John three times, with a fourth booked for this March. This is definitely my favorite excursion. Have not done through Celebrity, but Princess used the catamaran from Bolongo Bay resort (you can google and find information) and RCCL Freedom OTS used the Adventurer Catamaran both times. All three went to honeymoon beach. It was breathtaking and not crowded. Good snorkeling and beautiful scenery. Someone from the excursion I was on in Sept '09 posted their video on You Tube:
http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_u...Oo&view=videos

Good luck deciding!

Anne
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#8
Rockwall, Texas
204 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by MERCE4
We have done the champagne 1/2 day sail to St John three times, with a fourth booked for this March. This is definitely my favorite excursion. Have not done through Celebrity, but Princess used the catamaran from Bolongo Bay resort (you can google and find information) and RCCL Freedom OTS used the Adventurer Catamaran both times. All three went to honeymoon beach. It was breathtaking and not crowded. Good snorkeling and beautiful scenery. Someone from the excursion I was on in Sept '09 posted their video on You Tube:
http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_u...Oo&view=videos

Good luck deciding!

Anne
Oops...I did not post the link correctly.
Correct link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzG3ioTq4Oo
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Upcoming cruises -

RCCL Adventure-5/13/17 & 5/20/17, first back-to-back!
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Celebrity Millennium-6/9/18, Alaska Cruisetour
_________________

Happy to have sailed -

Celebrity: Constellation-7/15

RCCL: Liberty-1/2/17; Liberty-1/3/16; Jewel-3/15; Navigator-12/14; Independence-3/14; Allure-9/13; Navigator-12/12; Serenade-8/12; Freedom-5/12, 3/12, 6/10, 9/09; Rhapsody-3/07, 3/04; Grandeur-3/03

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#9
CANADA
1,260 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by coffeyk
I took the Turtle Cove excursion from Princess. It was one of my favorites ever. We were on "The Cat" which at the time was a brand new catamaran. The crew was great as was the snorkeling.

I'm going back next month and plan on taking the Champagne tour this time. Just to try something new. I would recommend Turtle Cove.
Did you see Turtles? What was it like? Thanks
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#10
Philadelphia area
6,726 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by merinski
Did you see Turtles? What was it like? Thanks
Did this tour. Saw one turtle. But, lots of fish, coral reefs were great. It was a great excursion.

Someone asked about time, from what I remember, about an hour to get there, 2 hours snorkeling and beach, another hour going back. It does leave from Red Hook, which is a cattle car ride to and back also.

If you want turtles, Buck Island. Did that excursion on the Fury. Turtles galore. This excursion leaves right from the Havensight dock. Very convenient.
#11
Tampa, Fl
256 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by merinski
Did you see Turtles? What was it like? Thanks
Yes we saw several turtles. Probably more than 10. It was a great excursion, boat, and crew.
#12
CANADA
1,260 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by coffeyk
Yes we saw several turtles. Probably more than 10. It was a great excursion, boat, and crew.
Thanks, can you tell me how many people were on the boat? Was it party or relaxing?
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#13
Tampa, Fl
256 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by merinski
Thanks, can you tell me how many people were on the boat? Was it party or relaxing?
Just want to be sure I was clear I was referring to the Turtle Cove tour. I have not done the Champagne one yet; that is next month. I can return with a review in December on that.

There were probably 20 people on the cat. There was more than enough room for everyone. The ride out was relaxing and peaceful. After we snorkeled the crew pulled out beer and rum punch and turned up the music. The atmosphere became more upbeat and fun. No one was out of control however but the noise level was increased for sure.

We actually enjoyed this tour so much that we went to the Princess excursion desk to fill out a review card. I actually had to stand in line for a good 20 minutes; which for me during vacation says a lot. The crew deserved the good review though.
#14
CANADA
1,260 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by coffeyk
Just want to be sure I was clear I was referring to the Turtle Cove tour. I have not done the Champagne one yet; that is next month. I can return with a review in December on that.

There were probably 20 people on the cat. There was more than enough room for everyone. The ride out was relaxing and peaceful. After we snorkeled the crew pulled out beer and rum punch and turned up the music. The atmosphere became more upbeat and fun. No one was out of control however but the noise level was increased for sure.

We actually enjoyed this tour so much that we went to the Princess excursion desk to fill out a review card. I actually had to stand in line for a good 20 minutes; which for me during vacation says a lot. The crew deserved the good review though.
Thank you, yes it was the Turtle Cove one that I was interested in. 20 people for a cruise tour is good.
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NCL Hawaii 2005
Carnival Western Caribean 2006
Disney Bahamas 2008
Princess L.A. to Van. 2008
Celebrity Panama Canal 2009
Princess Van to Ketchekan 2009
RCL Mexican Riviera 2010!
Carnival Spirit Mexican Riviera 2011
Celebrity Equinox Eastern/Southern Caribean 2012!
Emerald Princess Eastern Caribean 2012/13
Golden Princess 2013 Alaska
Celebrity Equinox 2014

#15
Georgia
1 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
We loved this excursion...u ride on the catamaran for about 45 mins to honeymoon beach. Once there u can jump off boat and snorkel or swim to shore...u also have the option of the small dingy boat taking u to shore. It was worth the $80 each to me and my hubby. The ride back to st Thomas was just as relaxing as u sail most of the way without power and it is just georgeous....we went the week of November 12th....
#16
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
745 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
You can do Honeymoon Beach on your own very easily by taking the Ferry to Water Island - it is only $10 pp round trip. It seems like a lot to pay an extra $70 for basically the same service.
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#17
Tampa, Fl
256 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Just got back from the Champagne tour, it was great. We only saw 1 turtle though. The beach was nice and the snorkeling was great. It was a fairly large group maybe 50. You would typically swim to the beach but the crew could drive via a small boat any guests not wishing to swim the distance. Anyone have questions let me know.
#18
Down Yonder, VA
2,629 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by MERCE4
Oops...I did not post the link correctly.
Correct link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzG3ioTq4Oo
Thanks for posting the video. Does anybody remember if they still serve the painkillers drink? Last time I did this excursion in 08 thats what was served. Lots of fun on this excursion.
#19
2 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
We are planning on going on the Half Day Champagne Cat Sail on our upcoming Royal Caribbean cruise... and noticed that it warns that participants must be able to get back on the boat without assistance. I have not noticed that warning on any other excursion... is it extremely difficult to get back on this boat? Sorry... silly question... but we are a bit older and too heavy... want to be sure we can do this. Any comments welcome.
#20
3,286 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by adanc3rsmom
We are planning on going on the Half Day Champagne Cat Sail on our upcoming Royal Caribbean cruise... and noticed that it warns that participants must be able to get back on the boat without assistance. I have not noticed that warning on any other excursion... is it extremely difficult to get back on this boat? Sorry... silly question... but we are a bit older and too heavy... want to be sure we can do this. Any comments welcome.
I didn't do the 1/2 day catamaran but I have done the full day catamaran excursion to St. John. There was a staircase that came down in the middle. The stair case does not go all the way to the bottom of the sandy area, but does go into the water for quite a bit. The buoyancy of the water should help got you up onto the stair case and from there is a matter of getting upright and climbing up. I am not in the best of shape but didn't have any problems. I was traveling with someone who had just had knee replacement surgery and they used the zodiac dinghy with her which was less climbing.

I have in the past contacted the excursion operator to ask questions. If this is an excursion you are interested in, don't hesitate to call the excursion operator. They are usually extremely helpful.