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caribbean2000

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About caribbean2000

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Falmouth, MA USA
  • Interests
    professional guitarist/teacher, snorkeling, TRAVEL!!!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess!!!!
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. Looks like we'll have to get there early. I thought this cruise was on March 31! ;~) <sorry, couldn't resist>
  2. Agree, to a point. Cinnamon is our favorite beach for snorkeling on that side of STJ (much better might be a bit of an exaggeration however, but it is definitely better is you know where to go). If you had the time to rent a jeep and go over to the other side, Salt Pond Bay and Lamshur have excellent snorkeling). We will be heading over to Cinnamon in less than two weeks when we visit off the Regal Princess. But - and this is a big but - if the wind is strong and onshore none of the beaches on the south side of STJ - Trunk, Hawksnest, Cinnamon, others.... - will have good snorkeling because the water will be churned up and you won't be able to see much of anything. It is a real bummer if you make the effort to get over to STJ and find the snorkeling poor. If you do go to Cinnamon and water is calm, walk all the way down the beach to the right and snorkel along the rocks out to the point, this is where you'll see the most fish. Or swim out to the small island off the beach and make your way around it, you'll see fish out there. But so check the wind direction and force when you dock in STT, if it's brisk from the south or SW, Secret Harbor is still your best bet for good snorkeling. Have fun!! Gene & Kathy from Cape Cod
  3. We've done this twice and will sign up for it immediately when we board the Regal in less than two weeks. Love it! (pun intended)
  4. Forgot to mention - you can usually sign up for an excursion out to Buck Island in the dive shop if you want better snorkeling. It is primarily for scuba divers but the boat anchors close enough to shore that you can make the short swim in to the rocks along the shore where there is plenty to see. Not sure of the cost, we did it a few years ago. Just inquire at the dive shop to see if space is available. I believe they go twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It was a 3 - 4 hour excursion.
  5. We will be sailing in three weeks, 2nd time on the Regal, also sailed the Royal and many other Princess ships (this will be our 19th overall with Princess - yes, we love Princess!!!) Do you happen to have a list or can recall the production shows? Was Beatlemania one of them (hope so!). thanks
  6. Excellent job on the review, concise and with many important points. I can't stand reviews that go on forever and include pictures of the burger someone had at the Dennys the day before the cruise ;~) We've sailed on the Caribbean Princess four times, the last being a year ago and yes, the little things are disappearing but frankly as long as cruising remains such a bargain compared to all other types of vacations I'll live with that.... to a point.... We're back on the Regal in a little over three weeks, can't wait!!!
  7. I doubt it, it's a pretty loose set-up there. You pay for the chairs (which have seen their duty, if you know what I mean!) at the dive shop and then drag them to where you want to be. But..... a party of seven may be a bit cramped there as the beach area for day-trippers to use is only maybe 100 or so feet long and not very deep. It's likely that it will be crowded with you arriving in early afternoon. All beaches on St. Thomas are open to the public - below the high water line. Which means you can enter the water wherever you like but in the case of SH, cannot lay down in the larger area reserved for guests of the resort. You may want to reconsider the other ones you asked about so you're not disappointed. Or go over to St. John assuming you can get the 12:00 noon ferry from Red Hook. You then take a taxi/jitney to the south side beach you select - there are taxis running all the time. But keep in mind that the traffic from Red Hook back to your ship can be pretty heavy in the late afternoon especially if there are a lot of ships in port. We've had it take 45 minutes; a little less from Secret Harbour. There is always at least one taxi waiting at SH.
  8. Secret Harbour: Better in our experience than the other two and almost always calm water due to its orientation and the fact that it's in a bay protected on three sides. Also, no strong currents to deal with as can be the case at Sapphire. And because it is a resort you won't be hassled by beach vendors. Only issue could be with you arriving so late in the day beach space may be at a premium; the majority of the beach is reserved for people staying at the resort but there is a smaller area to sit to the right as you face the water. FWIW, the dive shop there also runs snorkeling excursions on their boat (moored right there) that go out to Buck Island. Not too expensive, good snorkeling (although you'll be in fairly deep water along the edge of the island. It's primarily for scuba people). We love Secret Harbour, have stayed there for a week and returned many times off ships. It's our go-to destination if the wind direction promises to make the conditions murky off the south side beaches on St. John. Have fun!!
  9. Yes, you would have enough time if you do your best to make the 9 a.m. ferry from Red Hook. But the south facing beaches (Hawksnest, Oppenheimer, Trunk, Cinnamon) are totally at there mercy of the wind direction as far as the snorkeling is concerned. Strong on-shore winds make the water very murky and you won't see much of anything. A better bet may be to stay on St. Thomas and go to Secret Harbour. Nice little resort with above average snorkeling right off the beach, plus a great little beach bar/restaurant and chairs and rental snorkel gear available through the dive shop.
  10. We stayed at Little Divi for a week a few years ago and have visited St. Martin many times off ships. We're pretty avid snorkelers, always bring our own equipment and shorty wetsuits. Generally the snorkeling is only fair at best in most places around St. Martin, although we did take a poor boat excursion once that stopped at a very small inhabited island and the snorkeling was pretty good there. At Little Divi, yes, the best snorkeling is along the rocks to the left side of the beach. You'll see a few fish, not a lot of big ones, mostly sergeant majors, etc., the "usual suspects." We usually take the shuttle boat out to Pinel Island (which we will do next month) and although they tout their snorkeling off the far end of the left side of the beach there is very little to see and my guess is that there there will be even less after the hurricanes. In any case, it's a great beach.... just don't expect a lot of ooh-ah sights when snorkeling off any of the beaches on St. Martin.
  11. We'll be on the Regal in about a month. Received the notice from Princess that we can get the OM by mail after uploading information and images. We will be doing this but my concern is the issue of port security where a cruise card is necessary to show to get through (local security, not to get back on the ship). Has anyone dealt with this? thanks
  12. St. John, USVI. St John's, Antigua. There are some great private excursions right at the dock in St. John's Antigua. We took one a few years ago, can't recall the name but it was a 40' power boat that took only about 18 passengers, went to Bird Island for lunch and snorkeling. I'll see if I can dig out the name, they were great. Valley Church Beach on Anitgua is a beautiful beach but not great snorkeling as it's a clear sand bottom. Most people take excursions to the "tug boat" where there is quite good snorkeling but no beaching. Many private tours available to go there.
  13. Which ship are you on? Very few stop off St. John and none dock there.
  14. This is a complicated question but one that crops up here all the time; good idea to search back through the posts. However..... First and foremost, between coral die off due to climate change/water temps rising and possibly the use of toxic sunscreens by swimmers on St. John for decades, plus the devastation from the recent hurricanes the snorkeling in many places off St. John is not as "amazing" as it once was. However, it is still worth going. You can take any number of private or ship sponsored excursions to get there. We have stayed on St. John twice, on St. Thomas twice and gone over to St. John off ships at least a dozen times over the last 20 years. We LOVE snorkeling and with the exception of Bonaire, we've found the best snorkeling in the Caribbean off St. John compared to the 20+ other islands we've visited in the Caribbean. However....... The best snorkeling places (Salt Pond Bay, Lamshur, etc.) are on the far end of the island and most if not all taxis will not go there. There is bus service that is very inexpensive but the schedule is unreliable at best. You could rent a jeep in Cruz bay but that may not be worth it time-wise. Most people opt for the south shore beaches like Trunk, Cinnamon, etc. There are taxis readily available in Cruz Bay. The big unknown is the weather conditions and how they will effect the snorkeling on that side. If there has been or is a strong on-shore wind the water will be murky and the snorkeling will be poor visibility-wise. If you opt for going on your own you should plan on getting off your ship ASAP and getting a taxi over to Red Hook to get the ferry. We always try for the 9:00 ferry to maximize our time if we have to be back on the ship in St. Thomas by 4:30. Be sure to buy round trip tickets in Red Hook to save time getting back in Cruz Bay. From what you said, I think your best bet is Trunk Bay as they have loungers and the snack bar has recently re-opened. Just don't expect "amazing" snorkeling but if the conditions are good it can be very good. The coral is mostly dead but you will see plenty of sea life. We prefer Cinnamon as there are fewer people but there are still no places to rent beach gear there after the hurricanes. Hope this helps! Gene & Kathy from Cape Cod (we'll be going back to St. John the first week of April off the Regal, can't wait!)
  15. I understand that we will have to wheel off our luggage. Not a big deal. We have taken cabs many times to and from FLL airport so we know the time frame for that. If the ship is late that could certainly affect the flight situation for us but knowing we would be able to disembark at the times mentioned assuming the ship is on time is good info, thanks. Later flights are more than double the price of the one we're looking at so that definitely factors into our decision.
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