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We have pretty much narrowed it down to the Champagne Catamaran excursion to St. John while we are in St. Thomas. Princess offers the 1/2 day (4 hrs) for $79 pp and a full day (6 hrs) for $109 pp. The longer excursion includes a full lunch while the shorter only offers breads, fruits and cheeses....which is fine. If anyone has taken either one of these trips, I would love your thoughts.
We took took the half day last month thru carnival. They did not offer the full day, if they had I would have loved that. We had a great time. Crew was friendly and knowledgeable, the views were beautiful. snorkling very good and snacks and drinks plentiful and good. have a great time.
The name of the Carnival excursion was St. John Champagne catmaran sail and snorkle or something like that, It was $89.0pp. It departs different times depending what carnival ship you're on. We were on the Glory. In port from 10.00 to 8pm. The excursion included van ride to Red Hook and we left the port approx. 1:10 pm and were back at 5:40.I didn't find out till afterwards you can do this privately. The company was called Atlantis and they have more then 1 cat. The half day cruise on your own thru them also provides transportation from pier to Red Hook, same snacks and drinks and cruise and costs $60.00 It leaves port at 12noon and you get back a little after 4pm. i think you have 30min. less snorkle time. You don't have to snorkle. You can stay onboard or a short swim to beach. sorry i don't remember the web set. Use the search forum option on this board and you can look it up. have fun no matter what ya'll decide to do!!
I live in St Thomas and recently went on a half-day catamaran. To me, a half day really isn't long enough - the catamarans are slow, so you don't get too far from St Thomas.
We went with Loveland (I know they service Carnival, but probably not under that name), and what made theirs different is the captain will take the non-snorkelers out in a dinghy so you can get closer to fish. Also, on a half day trip, they don't have much time to look for fish, so if there aren't fish at the first stop, they may not have time to get to another.
We went on a day when there weren't ships in town, so the crew was probably less formal with us than they would be with the cruise ship passengers, but they were very friendly and kept the drinks coming (rum punch).
Some of the other catamarans leave from an area that's closer to the cruise ships - I think Dancing Dolphins is one of them. I've heard nothing but good things about all the operators, so you'll probably have a good time no matter which one you go with. I'd definitely go for the full day, though.
Ms411, Is the HeavenlyDays still in St Thomas? We had so much fun with Tom and Terry on that boat (years ago). They have both moved back to the mainland but if the boat is still there I will try to book it while we are in port!
Heavenly Days is the catamaran that Princess uses for the full day sail. She is out of the Bolongo Bay resort.
We did the full day and loved it. Before we booked it we researched it quite a bit on the Princess boards and the consensus was/is that the full day is a much better experience! You also leave from the cruiseship dock, if that makes a difference to you.
We didn't snorkle either, just noodled over to the island. There were those who snorkled, those who noodled, those who took the inflatable to and/or from the island and those who stayed onboard and drand/ate.
Take the full day. Remember the sun screen.
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We did the full day on Heavenly Days thru Princess in March. While it was a lot of fun, I would have rather done the half day. Most of the time was spent traveling back and forth and we had a very windy day and choppy waters. About half the group was more than a little green by the time we got to St John with quite a few hanging their heads over the side. The crew took great care of all of us, the lunch was wonderful. Just a little too long for me and I am usually a water nut. To each their own.