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mitsugirly

My review of Sapphire Beach & Paradise Point

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So Excited To Cruise -

Just curious what boat you are on. We will be be leaving I think in 23 days...I think...and will be hitting Sapphire beach too. Thirteen years ago (yikes) we went to Maggens beach...don't really remember it. Excited to go to see this beautiful beach. Have a great cruise!!!:D

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Does anyone bring a noodle to float on while they snorkle?

I am a sissy :( when it comes to deep water.

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Does anyone bring a noodle to float on while they snorkle?

I am a sissy :( when it comes to deep water.

 

I personally don't, but I did see someone with a flotation device last year. They also rent various items at the shop, snorkel equipment & floating mats, etc.

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Great review! Not only are we going to Sapphire Bay, I am gettng the camera. I really appreciate the input.

Jan

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Does anyone bring a noodle to float on while they snorkle?

I am a sissy :( when it comes to deep water.

 

i thought the noodle was a great help to aid in floating and swimming and to ocassionally kick back and float around. you can buy them on the island at the kmart store up the hill from havensight.

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Thanks Lil Nemo,

I was planning on bringing one in my suitcase :eek: or buying one in Florida when I get there :) . I am afraid they will be too expensive to buy in St Thomas.

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Well, just found out we will be docking at Crown Bay rather then Havensight so it will be a challenge to get transportation to sapphire beach and then to Havensight mall to do a little shopping. Hope it won't cost me an arm & a leg.....:(

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on a different thread i saw that you posted that you used a waterproof bag to keep all your important things in, where do you find those and how much do they cost?

 

thanks so much for the review... hopefully i can convince the others i am traveling with to choose sapphire beach. it sounds amazing!

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on a different thread i saw that you posted that you used a waterproof bag to keep all your important things in, where do you find those and how much do they cost?

 

thanks so much for the review... hopefully i can convince the others i am traveling with to choose sapphire beach. it sounds amazing!

 

Please see this thread: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=29272885&postcount=32

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Thank you so much for posting your beautiful pics! We are going to St Thomas in Feb and I was debating where to go to snorkel.....a prefer beaches cuz I can spend hours in the water. You made my decision easy! Looks awesome!!:)

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Thank you so much for posting your beautiful pics! We are going to St Thomas in Feb and I was debating where to go to snorkel.....a prefer beaches cuz I can spend hours in the water. You made my decision easy! Looks awesome!!:)

 

You are very welcome. You will love it. :)

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What type of camera were you using? Really enjoyed your pics.

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I was using a Canon D10 point and shoot. It's heaven (and I'm ad slr girl :)). This cruise, I'm not even going to bother bringing my slr with me. This camera does a great job in both daylight, underwater and night. :D

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Well, just found out we will be docking at Crown Bay rather then Havensight so it will be a challenge to get transportation to sapphire beach and then to Havensight mall to do a little shopping. Hope it won't cost me an arm & a leg.....:(

 

Emerald Beach / Lynburg bay is in walking distance of Crown Bay I was there Sept 2010 on the OASIS we didn't walk we took a cab for $4 each

free restrooms nice calm waters Bar and food on the beach even with the OASIS with 6000 people the beach wasn't crowed everyone was going to Megans Beach but I found on this message board this fine little beach and from ship to beach within 5 minutes I here Megans takes about 20 -25 minutes see here a few pics

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=29585118&postcount=14

 

THis Sept 2011 I will be at Havensight on the Carnaval Valour so may go to Sapphire enjoy:)

 

Download * Google EARTH * http://www.google.com/earth/index.html not Maps and go to St Thomas and highlight the photos icon on the left click on them to see photos of the beach and other places

Edited by S.Jersey Adventure

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mitsugirly your review pushed us to go to Sapphire rather than another beach and we loved it. Thanks for posting!

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mitsugirly your review pushed us to go to Sapphire rather than another beach and we loved it. Thanks for posting!

 

You are very welcome. Did you post a review and do you have any pictures to share? I would love to see them. :)

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Hi I'm going to St Thomas next week and thanks to your review it definitely pointed me towards Sapphire beach. I noticed that you said that you left your stuff on the beach, did you happen to notice any lockers available?

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Hi I'm going to St Thomas next week and thanks to your review it definitely pointed me towards Sapphire beach. I noticed that you said that you left your stuff on the beach, did you happen to notice any lockers available?

 

No sorry. We wasn't looking for any. We just picked a spot under the grape trees and headed for the water. It was not crowded at all and we really wasn't too worried. We could keep an eye out on everything from right in the water. Since snorkeling is all the way up to the beach, all you have to do is basically walk in the water and you are there. Of course we never bring anything and leave it on the beach that isn't replaceable and nothing expensive. We snorkel with a fanny pack that is water proof and it will hold our cash and sail card in it. I have an underwater camera, so that is with me. Only other thing we take is the towels and our cover ups and shoes. :)

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You are very welcome. Did you post a review and do you have any pictures to share? I would love to see them. :)

 

Sorry, I didn't post a review, just a few comments here and there. I was surprised my cab driver didn't want to take us here, he wanted us to go to Coki, and then Magen's. He 'accidentally' drove us to Coki first and it was actually good because it confirmed that I did not want to go there; it just looked like a bad area. I just kept repeating, no, we want to go to Sapphire. There were actually quite a few people at Sapphire by noon, a lot of cruise ship passengers. My husband walked on the beach and said, "This is heaven."

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My husband walked on the beach and said, "This is heaven."

 

That's exactly what we kept saying. We were VERY sad when we had to leave and could have spent forever there. :) We told each other that some day we want to come back and vacation there, but in reality, we know of all the crime they talk about on the island and the islanders will even tell you not to go out at night. So, it will probably never happen (an actual vacation there), but I definitely would go back for a visit. :D

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Loved reading your review of Sapphire beach only to finish it off with amazing photos, thank you !

What did they charge you for the beach , chair rentals etc... ?

 

Looks like Sapphire will be our choice . I have been to coki a few years back. My son LOVED the snorkeling there but it did seem a bit seedy even then. Once you're on the beach it's fine . Just pulling in and getting there was not the best.

 

How far of a drive from the cruise ship to sapphire ?

 

Thanks for any more info you offer.

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Loved reading your review of Sapphire beach only to finish it off with amazing photos, thank you !

What did they charge you for the beach , chair rentals etc... ?

 

Looks like Sapphire will be our choice . I have been to coki a few years back. My son LOVED the snorkeling there but it did seem a bit seedy even then. Once you're on the beach it's fine . Just pulling in and getting there was not the best.

 

How far of a drive from the cruise ship to sapphire ?

 

Thanks for any more info you offer.

 

We did not rent beach chairs because we "set up shop" under a grape tree for shade. The only time we were out of the water was to get something to drink and we sat on our beach towel under the tree and then went right back to snorkeling. We don't stay still very long. :D This is what most people did as well. I don't recall seeing very many people down by where we were renting the chairs.

 

I don't recall exactly how long it took us. I know it was less than 1/2 hr, but we were also dropping people off at various places along the way.

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St Thomas

 

 

I was really skeptical about this island due to all the negative news reports after the shooting of the teenager from the cruise ship a few months ago and all the gang related violence taking place on this island. However, I’m SO glad I decided to go ahead with my plans for the island.

 

 

We knew before going on our cruise that we wanted to go places on our own by taxi instead of a tour service. Our plans were to visit Paradise Point first for pictures, then on to Sapphire for some snorkeling, then on to Maggens for a short period before heading back to the ship.

 

 

When we arrived at Paradise to get on the skylift, they were not open yet to my surprise. They did not open until 9am. It was only 8am. I was not only disappointed but shocked knowing that the ships come in this early, you would think that they would be open this early to make more money. We did buy our tickets on the ship (which is actually CHEAPER than purchasing them at the skylift box). Our cruise line also offered your money back if you didn’t use the tickets. WOW. The only time you would ever see that happen.

 

 

So, we decided to walk back to the port and catch a cab and go on with our plans to Sapphire Beach. A lady was there to take us to the beach. She waited until that van was OVER PACKED and people sitting on laps before she would leave. People in the van where complaining and saying “seriously you think you are going to fit more people in here-no way” only for her to get more people in the van. 4-5 people in a 3 person seat!

 

 

The driver was very talkative and talked about the island. She told us how they basically only rely on the cruise ships coming in to make a living. She stated how much it hurt them if a ship didn’t come in that day or rearranged their schedule. She told us that living in the “ghetto” would cost you no less than $250,000 per house and above. She said the nicer homes would cost you an average of 1 million. WOW.

 

 

 

She took us to Sapphire and dropped us off. Upon entering this beach area, all I can say is WOW!!! I had found Paradise finally! The beach was absolutely beautiful. The beach was lined with natural shade grape trees, clear blue water and white sandy beaches. We quickly put out things under a tree and claimed our area then headed out to the water. Instantly fish greeted us. I didn’t realize just how many where under there until I put on my mask and went under. They were SURROUNDING ME! They followed us all over the place. They were very friendly and would get right up in your face. I couldn’t believe it. We swam over to the shaded area that we knew were coral and started investigating. When my husband went under the first time, right in front of him was a jelly fish. I ran back and got my camera and started taking pictures. I found it very hard to focus on something that clear in clear water to begin with. It was a task and I wasn’t very happy with the results, but continued on exploring for fish. They were everywhere. So many different species, colors and types of fish and coral everywhere. We were absolutely amazed at this place.

 

 

 

I ran up and grabbed the box of fruit loops I had brought with me and began feeding the fish. They became our friends the rest of our visit and even took the food right out of my hand. It was amazing. We swam over to the right (in front of the Sapphire Beach Resort) and found even more types of fish. We snorkeled nonstop for hours only getting out a select few times to rest for about 10 min. When we did get out, we were exploring the sand and trees that were full of huge Iguana’s at that point looking down on us and watching us like a hawk. How amazing was that! The best of both worlds-sand and water animals!

 

 

 

I have to say hands down, this was the absolutely BEST beach I have ever been to. We decided right then and there that we not only wanted to come back someday soon, but we wanted to actually stay on the island for an extended visit (not just on a cruise ship). I was that impressed with this beach.

 

 

We had brought our own snorkeling tube and goggles, but I was having a problem with my goggles fogging up for some reason. My husband did not. We were also lacking the fins to be able to adventure out deeper. So we decided to rent the entire snorkeling package (which included everything you needed) and it was only $7. The hut also sold ice cold pop and beer that hit the spot. I mean ICE COLD. We spoke to the workers there for awhile and they commented on how much they LOVE their job there at the beach hut. What a wonderful way to spend your working day.

 

 

 

We snorkeled for awhile longer and decided that we had better head back toward the port if we wanted to try to squeeze in our trip to Paradise on the skylift. (As much as we hated the thought of EVER leaving this paradise)!!!

 

 

We quickly caught the skylift up to Paradise Point after only having to wait for 1 round of trams to pull in (there are 3 together-one set going up while one set comes down). It was beautiful up there. Breath taking. However, I was very disappointed that I had my camera on for HOURS non stop taking fish, beach, and Iguana pictures that my battery was now dead. I managed to get it to come on long enough to snap a picture, then it would die, then another picture, then it would die again. I did this several times before it would no longer turn on. We then order the famous Bushwacker drink. We were going to order food, but the waitress was taking FOREVER 1) giving us a menu 2) coming back for our drink order 3) coming back with our actual drinks then 4) coming back again to see what we wanted to order. This process was about ½ hour already. So we told her to forget the food, we’d just have our drinks. She acted very disturbed about this and rolled her eyes and walked away. It took another 15 minutes for me to flag her down to tell her we were still waiting on our check for the drinks. Then another 10 minutes to come back with the bill. Geesh. Either they need more help or different people. I did not find them friendly at all.

 

 

There was some type of parrot/bird show going on up there, but we did not have time to watch it since we had spent so much time just taking care of the drink situation. It was time to head back to the port and catch a few stores along the way before boarding again. The ride back down did take a little longer. We caught the 3rd tram that came up. But, they run every 7 min (the guy up at the top said 5 min to us so I’m not sure). Either way, it didn’t seem too long. Each lift holds 8 people per cabin. We noticed only 6 per cabin seem to be getting in. Had people been filling them the way they should, we would have been on much sooner.

 

 

All in all, we didn’t find really GOOD prices on tee-shirts there or any good discounts you would normally see in tourist spots. We got a tee for $18.99 and sun glasses for $20 (since my husband accidentally broke mine the first day on the cruise). We stopped in the jewelry stores to find that the prices they quoted us were outrageous compared to those on the ship.

 

 

My final conclusion: St Thomas is by far is a beautiful island of Paradise. I hate the thought of everything bad going on at the island and hope that things continue to improve in the months and years to come. It would really be ashamed if cruise ships stops coming to such a beautiful place. I really hope to visit again soon and actually stay on the island. I would still like to visit Maggens Bay. But if you want to go somewhere with excellent snorkeling and beautiful beaches, I highly recommend Sapphire!!

 

 

If you have any questions that I might be able to answer, I'd be happy to try.

 

 

Here are some picture I took while I was there. Enjoy!

 

 

http://kimbakerphotography.smugmug.com/Vacation/4th-day-St-Maarten-1/13875332_BZdcm#1017703050_nhpoV

 

thanks for sharing!, how much was the taxi and i love the pics! what camera did u use for the underwater shots?

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