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St. John Advice


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I will be on Carnival Dream in November and we will docked at West Indian from 11-7. There are only 3 other ships in port that day. The Freedom 8-6, Celebrity Reflection 8-5 and the Oasis 10-7 docked at Crown. If we travel to St. John I don't think we will have much a problem getting there but what about getting home. What time does the last ferry leave? Would you visit St. John when you are in port from 11-7 or just stay on St. Thomas?

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We will be there also in November and have decided to take the excursion from Carnival that goes to St. John. ( usually do not use ships excursions )

 

I'm having issues with this port too. I am on the Carnival Valor and Wanted to take a private tour but they don't return until 3:45pm and all aboard is 4:30pm so too close for comfort for me.

 

Which Carnvial tour did you book? I was looking at the Champagne Catamaran but think it will be too boring for my 19 yr olds. I really want to go to St. Johns but its hard to tell which excursions stop there.

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First of all the best option for STJ is a "self-excursion" taking a taxi to Red Hook and ferrying from there. You just take a return ferry that gets you back to RH at least 1 hour before your back on board time.

 

Having said that we would go to one of the East End beaches on STT with that limited time in port. You'll spend at least 2.5 hrs traveling, although that's a nice part of the experience too.

Edited by blue_water
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First of all the best option for STJ is a "self-excursion" taking a taxi to Red Hook and ferrying from there. You just take a return ferry that gets you back to RH at least 1 hour before your back on board time.

 

Having said that we would go to one of the East End beaches on STT with that limited time in port. You'll spend at least 2.5 hrs traveling, although that's a nice part of the experience too.

 

blue_water, you make it sound so easy and I'm sure it is but thats just too much traveling for me to feel comfortable. I wish we had one more hour in St. Thomas so I can book with New Horizons and be done with it but their excursion just cuts it to close for my comfort.

 

Its our first stop on the cruise so I wanted to start it off with a great excursion but right now I may just do Sapphire Beach and enjoy the scenery

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blue_water, you make it sound so easy and I'm sure it is but thats just too much traveling for me to feel comfortable. I wish we had one more hour in St. Thomas so I can book with New Horizons and be done with it but their excursion just cuts it to close for my comfort.

 

Why not contact New Horizons and see if they will adjust their schedule to fit yours? You really don't want to miss the adventure!!

Edited by satbeachbill
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Why not contact New Horizons and see if they will adjust their schedule to fit yours? You really don't want to miss the adventure!!

 

I have. They only come in 15 mins early. Others said they make it back to the ship by 4:15pm which is 15 mins before All Aboard but I'm just not comfortable with that. I was hoping they would start an hour early and return by 3pm to give us some wiggle room but they don't. :o

 

I was really looking forward to booking with them too. It sounds like a wonderful time.

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First of all the best option for STJ is a "self-excursion" taking a taxi to Red Hook and ferrying from there. You just take a return ferry that gets you back to RH at least 1 hour before your back on board time.

 

Having said that we would go to one of the East End beaches on STT with that limited time in port. You'll spend at least 2.5 hrs traveling, although that's a nice part of the experience too.

 

I've done this before but it's been many years. I remember it working out perfect, we had all day so could plan accordingly and got back to ship in plenty of time, etc. BUT I don't remember how long it takes to get from ship to ferry and then the ferry ride. We are going back out next month and want to do this again. Do you know the time frame for the taxi ride and the ferry?

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You're docked at Havensight which is perfect. The taxi to Red Hook is about 25 minutes once you leave the dock. The ferry leaves once an hour on the hour so just grab the next one, the ride is a nice 15 - 20 minutes. The taxi from Cruz bay to the beach will be 15 minutes or so. So figure about 2 hours + any wait times.

Sapphire is 3 minutes past Red Hook so that would be a 1 hour roundtrip ride but STJ is beautiful if you have the time to go there, and the taxi and ferry ride is a nice part of the day too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Janice ~ we almost always go to St. John. Since we've visited St. Thomas many times over the years, once we started going to St. John, it's our preferred choice now. Bluewater gave you great information on the timing of taxis and ferries. I'd recommend disembarking your ship as soon as they say you can get off; you should be able to catch the noon ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay and be on St. John by 12:20.

 

From there you can choose to head to one of the North Shore beaches (a ten - fifteen minute taxi ride) or opt for an island tour that typically lasts 2 - 2.5 hours. Tours usually run about $25 per person in an open air taxi. There are tons of them when you get off the ferry in Cruz Bay.

 

With the timing of your departure, take either the 4:00 or 5:00 PM ferry. If you've never done this before, I'd consider the 4:00 PM as it gives you little more time. The 5:00 PM ferry back which should get you back to Red Hook about 5:20. Plan for a 25 - 30 minute ride back to the ship so you'd be back to Havensight before 6:00 PM. If you want a little time to shop at Havensight, take the 4:00 PM ferry back. With the 4:00 PM ferry, you'd be back a little before 5:00.

 

For us, it's totally worth it to spend several hours on St. John. But everyone is different. Good luck with your decision and enjoy whatever you do!

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Janice,

My husband and I, also from MD, are going on the same cruise (Carnival Dream 11/16-23) and were looking at getting to Trunk Bay or another St. John's Beach outside of excursions. Would possibly be interested in pooling resources if you find anything of interest. Also there are some good replies on the same subject today from JesusFreak7 posting.

Cheers,

-Maria

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  • 3 weeks later...
Janice,

My husband and I, also from MD, are going on the same cruise (Carnival Dream 11/16-23) and were looking at getting to Trunk Bay or another St. John's Beach outside of excursions. Would possibly be interested in pooling resources if you find anything of interest. Also there are some good replies on the same subject today from JesusFreak7 posting.

Cheers,

-Maria

 

Hi Maria,

No need to pool resources. Actually the nice thing about being on your own is you aren't stuck in queues waiting for others to join you. And you will meet these other folks on the ferry who have the same ideas and interests. As stated above just hop the next taxi to Red Hook, get your roundtrip passes, and board the next ferry. If the weather is nice get in line so you can try to get a seat on the open deck to enjoy the short ride more.

Enjoy your day, the transportation there and back is part of the experience, and you will find that many ppl do this "self-excursion" every day because it is so easy.

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Blue_water...I had to draw out my day plans from your suggestion and others. Please tell me if this is reasonable. We will take taxi straight to sapphire and hang out for a while and snorkel. Then 20 min before the top of the hour get to ferry at red hook to go to St. John. Go to a north end beach. Hang out. Taxi,ferry,taxi back to ship. 4 total ships in on jan 9th. Have to check times. What is the cost for legs of taxi and ferry?

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Blue_water...I had to draw out my day plans from your suggestion and others. Please tell me if this is reasonable. We will take taxi straight to sapphire and hang out for a while and snorkel. Then 20 min before the top of the hour get to ferry at red hook to go to St. John. Go to a north end beach. Hang out. Taxi,ferry,taxi back to ship. 4 total ships in on jan 9th. Have to check times. What is the cost for legs of taxi and ferry?

 

That seems like a lot in one day. With the taxi & ferry times I consider St. John's a day trip in itself! Sapphire alone is a good 30 - 40 minutes from the ship, depending on where you are docked. I wouldn't do both, nor have I ever heard of anyone doing both.

Edited by Sunny AZ Girl
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By the time you get to Sapphire, walk to the beach, get in/out of the water, dry off, etc. your hour will be long gone.

 

Red Hook is very close to Sapphire, but if you're going to St. John I wouldn't reduce your time there by doing Sapphire first.

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Blue_water...I had to draw out my day plans from your suggestion and others. Please tell me if this is reasonable. We will take taxi straight to sapphire and hang out for a while and snorkel. Then 20 min before the top of the hour get to ferry at red hook to go to St. John. Go to a north end beach. Hang out. Taxi,ferry,taxi back to ship. 4 total ships in on jan 9th. Have to check times. What is the cost for legs of taxi and ferry?

 

What are your arrival/departure port times? If you do have time I would head to STJ first, then if you still have time when you return to Red Hook taxi to Sapphire then return to port if you still have time. As the previous poster said STJ is a good day's excursion alone. Most people go to Sapphire to sabe the extra 2 hrs travel time to STJ beaches and have more beach time.

 

Taxi to Red Hook is $9 - 11pp each way depending on the port, ferry is $7pp each way, and taxi to STJ beach another $6pp each way. Taxi from RH to Sapphire another $5pp even though it's just 3 minutes.

 

So total roundtrip cost to STJ + taxi to Sapphire is $~51pp.

Hope that makes sense!

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