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Review of Sapphire Beach

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Thanks for all this advice. Can't wait to go! One more ?, because I see differing opinions: approx. how far away is it from the ship? TIA.

 

20 - 40 min, $9 - 12pp each way depending on where you dock (Havensight is closer than Crown Bay).

 

I think you would find Magens to be rather boring- or at least less interesting - and also more crowded than Sapphire but that's just our experience. Sapphire just has more "character" than Magens.

 

Have a great cruise everyone!

Edited by blue_water

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We were at Sapphire Beach last week. The cab (truck) was $10 per person. There were about 12-15 people in the truck to start with and we went from beach to beach dropping people off. Five or six of us got off at Sapphire. The driver ask what time we wanted picked up, we told her and she said she would be there at that time and gave us her card. After waiting about 20 mins longer, another driver asked us who we were waiting for and we showed the card (he was from the same company) and since she was already 20 mins late he said he would take us back (only us in the truck cab) for $35, so they do make deals.

 

I found it to be the most picturesque beach I have ever been to but far from the best beach. Others have mentioned how shallow it was but it was over my head (5' 6") not far from shore (maybe 3 feet out) just to the left of the middle! It was windy that day so maybe that made a huge difference in the depth of the water??? Because it was so windy and deep we didn't snorkel - my 12-year-old son had a hard time getting back to shore just being 4-5 feet out because of the wind.

 

The beer (Bud Light, not sure what other brands) was $3/bottle from the stand by the dive centre, pop was $2/can. When my husband was waiting to order, someone in front requested a customized drink consisting of a few different liquors and he was only charged $9 for it. DH said it was a pretty big drink. We did have one person come by asking if we wanted to order pizza or salads but never saw any food areas. There looked like what had at one time been a food service place at the point by the closest resort but it was pretty forlorn looking when we were there.

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Yes a driver may be glad to have a fare returning at a certain time and offer you a deal.

The restaurant is up the hill behind the marina and there is a beach grill (Banana Cabana) down the beach, there are runners from each plus from the pizza place in RH.

You may have been better off going to the right where the reef is but yes the beaches can be rougher on windy days when there's a sea swell. We've seen it very calm most days.

None of the STT beaches are as nice as the nicest we've been to over the years, but Sapphire and Coki come pretty darn close.

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We were at Sapphire Beach last week. The cab (truck) was $10 per person. There were about 12-15 people in the truck to start with and we went from beach to beach dropping people off. Five or six of us got off at Sapphire. The driver ask what time we wanted picked up, we told her and she said she would be there at that time and gave us her card. After waiting about 20 mins longer, another driver asked us who we were waiting for and we showed the card (he was from the same company) and since she was already 20 mins late he said he would take us back (only us in the truck cab) for $35, so they do make deals.

 

I found it to be the most picturesque beach I have ever been to but far from the best beach. Others have mentioned how shallow it was but it was over my head (5' 6") not far from shore (maybe 3 feet out) just to the left of the middle! It was windy that day so maybe that made a huge difference in the depth of the water??? Because it was so windy and deep we didn't snorkel - my 12-year-old son had a hard time getting back to shore just being 4-5 feet out because of the wind.

 

The beer (Bud Light, not sure what other brands) was $3/bottle from the stand by the dive centre, pop was $2/can. When my husband was waiting to order, someone in front requested a customized drink consisting of a few different liquors and he was only charged $9 for it. DH said it was a pretty big drink. We did have one person come by asking if we wanted to order pizza or salads but never saw any food areas. There looked like what had at one time been a food service place at the point by the closest resort but it was pretty forlorn looking when we were there.

 

If your other cab came back, would it have been another $10 per person again?

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Yes it's $10pp each way. No need really to arrange for a taxi to come back as there are always taxis available.

 

And thanks for your report jtdlmc!

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I am a super planner so trying to scope out our day. We understand that there are better beaches but taxi, water taxi, taxi options get expensive and time consuming so looks like consensus is that Sapphire is best option from WICO (Havensight). We are on Carnival Dream from 11-7 so does this sound right:

 

11AM-12PM Get taxi right outside port (is there a specific line or is it like nassau where you just grab someone inside the port?) then its $10 pp so our family of 4 is $40. About a 15 min ride right?

Enjoy the beach until 5ish and grab a cab to Paradise Point for the best pictures? Any idea on this cost?

6ish - take tram back down to port and board ship by 6:30. Purchase tram ticket from Carnival excursion desk.

 

Does this sound about right for our day and timing?

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There are taxis right at the port, a coordinator will direct you to one, $9 - 10pp each way, 20 - 30 min ride.

 

Love the PP idea but I would leave Sapphire by 4:30 to have time to enjoy PP as that area will be busy at that time. You'll still have a good 4 - 4.5 hrs at Sapphire.

 

Not sure what better beaches you are referring to, perhaps Trunk or Cinnamon on St John? They are also nice, but you will love Sapphire, and for your relatively short day in port you'll have a couple extra hours in which to enjoy PP so excellent choice!

Enjoy!

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If your other cab came back, would it have been another $10 per person again?

 

Yes, the second driver gave us a deal so that he would have a fare and not have to drive back empty as there weren't many people left at the beach.

 

Enjoy the beach until 5ish and grab a cab to Paradise Point for the best pictures? Any idea on this cost?

 

Cab will be $10 per person back to Paradise Point. We bought the PP tickets from Carnival at $19/person and to purchase them at PP they were $21. The bushwhacker was somewhere between $7-9 I think, I didn't actually see the per drink price just the total bill.

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We will be in St. Thomas in June. Last time we went to Magen's Bay. Hated it! Please give me an honest opinion of Sapphire Beach. Shade is very important to us. Also, is it hard to find a taxi back to the ship? Thanks!

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The nicest beaches on St Thomas are the East End beaches - Coki, Smith Bay (aka Lindqvist), Sapphire, and Secret Harbor from north to south. Here's a Mimi-description of each to try and compare as honestly as possible.

 

Coki - very small and intimate bay and gorgeous beach with decent snorkeling and Coral World is also there. Gets crowded as the day goes on and there are several vendor shacks there. Nice beach but busier vibe, safe for families but some don't feel comfortable. Too busy on ship days for us, we'll go there on quiet days though.

 

Smith Bay - still relatively undeveloped with only restrooms and chair rentals. Gorgeous beach and water, quietest spot for sure.

 

Sapphire - Gorgeous beach lined with 3 condo resorts with beautiful shades of water (sapphire to turquoise), best snorkeling, nice shade along the beach with both Seagrape and palm trees, dive center and 3 options for food & drink. Home to 3 condo resorts so very safe and no vendors, gorgeous island views.

 

Secret Harbor - very small and well-protected bay with dead calm water much like Magens, one condo resort and restaurant but no shade for cruise ship visitors (reserved for condo guests). Snorkeling is decent.

 

We're biased toward Sapphire and rent there, we've looked at condos for sale at SH but that bay just doesn't appeal to us. Magens is over-rated in our opinion and still gets crazy busy, and Coki is a busier vibe but nice if you're looking for that. Sappgire stayed relatively quiet on big ship days (20k) while we stayed there. All of these are generally quite calm but there can be a sea swell and high winds that can impact snorkeling.

 

I believe you were also asking about day sails to St John in another thread? We went on the New Horizons right out of Sapphire Marina and loved it.

Good luck!

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Can someone please tell me how long it will take up to get to Sapphire Beach for the dock?

How many docks are there? where does RCCL dock?

And can we just get a taxi on the dock to drive up to Sapphire or should we reserve one?

Thank you for your help.

Oh and how far is the shopping for the beach?

Edited by J&RLOVESTOCRUISE

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The dock (Havensight or Crown Bay) depends on the ship you are on, 20 - 40 min ride. There will be taxis loading up right in the dock area, you'll be directed to one. There is shopping at the Havensightdock and downtown of course.

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Very very very stupid question: we are going to be docked in Charlotte Amalie. Is this Havensight? I **think** I remember Crown Bay was Princess cruises. We will be on CCL Splendor. Which port is closer to Sapphire? TIA :o:o:o

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Not stupid at all Karen, it gets confusing because there are 2 ports as well as an anchorage!

Yes the Splendor docks at Havensight, this is also listed as "WICO" (West Indian Company) on the cruise schedule at vinow dot com.

WICO is the closer part to Sapphire and the other East End beaches, 20 - 30 min taxi and about $20pp roundtrip.

Here's a helpful map for STT - Crown Bay is to the west of Charlotte Amalie and Havensight is to the east -

 

http://www.virginislandsthisweek.com/us_virgin_islands_maps/

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Thank you so much. That was really helpful. I printed the map to take with us. Have been to STT 3x and I don't know why I am getting a brain freeze over everything! It's been many years and in the meantime we have been to the "same old same old" aka HMC, GT and Nassau and Port Canaveral. We just hang out on the ship, or get off and hang out on a beach right next to the ship...so we have to fire up the jet packs for this cruise!!! :cool::rolleyes:

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We love going to Sapphire (gorgeous beach and bay) and then to Paradise Point after for the amazing view and drinks, then it's a very short walk from the Skyride tram across the street to the dock. Easy day but a great one.

 

Have a great cruise!

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sorry for the double post but here it goes again.

 

Ok so my Wife and I and a group of our friends have a excursion leaving from Coki beach but it only last for about a hour & half. after which I would like to go to Sapphire beach. With all the great reviews and pictures from everyone on here I would love to visit and experience this beauty of a beach. Does anyone know what the cost will be for a taxi? or if its a ok safe walk? We will be a group of 9. I used google maps it said 6 min drive/taxi ride or 40 min walk I dont mind walking if its beautiful out and its a safe walk...

 

We will be docked in st thomas from 10am - 6pm

 

our excursion is from 12pm- 1:30pm

 

Just to give you guys more information.

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You will need to taxi, the rate isn't posted but would be $5 - 6pp. With 9 people the driver may give you a better price but just depends on how busy they are already.

 

We recommend Sapphire over Magens and many of the other beaches and we even rent a condo there because we like it so much. It's not quite as nice as the nicest beaches we've visited but is the nicest beach on STT in our opinion because it just has that character. Coki is also very nice, just a much smalller bay so it has a busy or vibrant vibe.

Edited by blue_water

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First of all, much thanks to BlueWater for the helpful information on Sapphire Beach and helping me with my decision-I say "my" because I made all of the arrangements, did the research, etc., because I enjoy it and my DH really appreciates my efforts and likes that everything is taken care of (: I was waivering between taking the ship tour to St. John for the day and Sapphire Beach. We are SO GLAD we went to Sapphire!

 

TAXI INFO: We arrived in port at 10:00, one of the later arrivals for a busy port day. Taxis are readily available, just holler "Sapphire Beach" and they get a group together for that beach. A couple we met on cc from Texas joined us which added to the fun. There are open-air taxis and vans. We were directed to an air-conditioned van which the driver packed pretty tight. My DH shared the wheel well :eek: The cost was $10pp.

 

ARRIVAL: After getting off of the taxi, we walked onto the beach at about 11:00 and we entered with BIG SMILES-this was our kind of beach! The beach was busy but definitely didn't feel crowded. The views and water colors are spectacular and I just loved the quaint feeling of this beach! As I mentioned, we were some of the later arrivals and there were still plenty of shade trees to place our $7.00 pp lounges and belongings. Next time, we would only get one lounge because I am in the water most of the time. Don't forget to bring your towels and sun screen of course.

 

After we were settled under our "private" beautiful shade tree, we rented snorkel sets for 10pp. For those that don't like or want to snorkel, you can actually see some fish in the shallow gorgeous warm waters. We didn't actually swim out too far to snorkel. We were on the right side of the beach where there is supposed to be the most fish. We didn't want to swim out that far and we saw some beautiful fish but would have seen more if we went out farther.

 

FOOD AND DRINK: We ordered $3.00 beers and delicious rum drinks-can't remember the cost for those-from an open stand which was close to us on the right side of the beach. For lunch, DH ordered a hot dog and I got the incredibly delicious Mahi sandwich ($14) which I highly recommend.

 

RETURN: Again, taxis are readily available any time. We left via taxi at about 3:30 with our friends. It took about 45 minutes to return; allow an hour to be safe. We originally planned to taxi to Paradise Point after the beach and would have had enough time but opted to return to the ship instead. That means we need to return :D

 

SUMMARY: I would consider renting a condo and staying at Sapphire Beach for a week or so. I'll have to get the details from BlueWater :)

 

After planning all of the shows and being so busy on the ship, it was really nice to have a relaxing day at this beautiful "kick back" beach and I would highly recommend it!

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WOW - thanks for the great report Sue babe - it's really refreshing to read a report so descriptive of a destination and so well-written. You had the same feeling about Sapphire that we did when we saw it for the first time - nice, vibrant yet comfortable atmosphere with plenty of natural shade along the beautiful beach and the exquisite water colors and island views - everything you could possibly want for a day or a lifetime! You captured the essence of this beach very well and after reading this I want to return to Sapphire right now! :p

 

I do recommend spending a week there, and it's great because of the close proximity to Red Hook for fun evenings and the Red Hook ferry for access to St John and the BVI. We're BVI fans more than VI fans, and Sapphire is becoming a bit of a problem for us because we like it there so much. :rolleyes: Tough problem, right?

 

Thanks again, and I hope you both enjoyed a very happy anniversary and your DH a happy birthday (it must have been his right?)! :)

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Hey, Sue Babe great review and you nailed it perfectly. Yes we are the couple that was with Sue Babe and Hubby at Sapphire Beach. We all had a wonderful time. Can't wait to go back one of these days.

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Sapphire is an extremely safe beach. There are 3 condo resorts here so you are sharing the beach with the owners and renters there. Other than the beach runners from the grill and restaurant there are also zero vendors there which makes it even safer. So no worries, just use common sense when it comes to large amounts of cash.

 

Do you have to purchase a day pass to use the beach at Sapphire?

 

Joe

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hi Joe,

The beach is free to the public, you will have to pay for lounges, floaties, kayaks and such. But the gorgeous beach with plenty of shade is well worth that.

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We had Sapphire/Lindquist on the radar for our cruise last November on Freedom, and rented a car from Budget (had some trouble with it) but we also docked at 10:00 and it was really pushing it to stop at both Smith Bay and Sapphire so we just stayed at Lindquist. The traffic is heck getting back to the pier!

This time on Allure we will definitely go to just Sapphire and will just take a cab (no more rentals):o....thanks for the good info on it. I've been watching YouTube videos on both these beaches forever and there is a webcam at Sapphire so you can see it all year:

http://www.caribbean-on-line.com/caribbean-web-cams/sapphire-beach-st-thomas-webcam.shtml

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