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Sapphire Beach still offering amenities? Problems?

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Previous post mentions closure of dive shop and subsequent lack of facilities for cruise ship visitors (restrooms).

How significant a problem is this? Are there other facilities and places to rent chairs, use rest rooms, etc.?

 

 

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There are still 4 food & drink options but no chair or snorkel gear rentals. Also the question on the restrooms is not yet answered.

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We were there until 2pm today. Everything was open. Rented chairs for $7 each. Dive shop was open. Ordered food from Banana Cabana and the bathrooms were open. Folks were renting kayaks and snorkeling. We were concerned after all the comments and asked in at the tourist office on the dock. One of the workers called the dive shop to verify that they were open before we ventured over there. Had a great day! Just beautiful!

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It's my understanding that Sunday, Jan 5 was last day, but whatever/whoever was forcing the closure was not identified.

 

Sapphire has been an iffy situation for years, so who knows what's next?

 

From what I've seen on other Caribbean islands, a restaurant provides lounges and amenities for the day for a fixed price. I think the association at Sapphire should provide chairs and equipment as a revenue stream for beach maintenance and security.

 

I think the previous arrangement may have given too much control and revenue to the dive shop.

 

I don't think Sapphire would have become as popular without Internet forums, and now other entities sense an opportunity to generation revenue for their property.

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Owners there reported today was indeed the last day for the dive center, still many questions and we should know more in the days to come.

 

We discovered all of the gorgeous East End beaches without the internet but we stay in the BVI and hop off from STT. But we love Sapphire and hope to continue to stay there.

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Owners there reported today was indeed the last day for the dive center, still many questions and we should know more in the days to come.

 

We discovered all of the gorgeous East End beaches without the internet but we stay in the BVI and hop off from STT. But we love Sapphire and hope to continue to stay there.

 

Thanks for continued updates blue - water, I've been reading posts on this beautiful beach for months. (Also enjoy watching webcam). I was anxious to try this beach, previously we visited only Magen's Bay. Your continued updates are appreciated. We are in St. Thomas Feb.21. Cheers

 

 

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We were there until 2pm today. Everything was open. Rented chairs for $7 each. Dive shop was open. Ordered food from Banana Cabana and the bathrooms were open. Folks were renting kayaks and snorkeling. We were concerned after all the comments and asked in at the tourist office on the dock. One of the workers called the dive shop to verify that they were open before we ventured over there. Had a great day! Just beautiful!

 

Sounds like a wonderful day, and possibly one of the last ones for awhile. Thanks for the message and enjoy the rest of your cruise!

 

 

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It's my understanding that Sunday, Jan 5 was last day, but whatever/whoever was forcing the closure was not identified.

 

Sapphire has been an iffy situation for years, so who knows what's next?

 

From what I've seen on other Caribbean islands, a restaurant provides lounges and amenities for the day for a fixed price. I think the association at Sapphire should provide chairs and equipment as a revenue stream for beach maintenance and security.

 

I think the previous arrangement may have given too much control and revenue to the dive shop.

 

I don't think Sapphire would have become as popular without Internet forums, and now other entities sense an opportunity to generation revenue for their property.

 

Thanks for comments, I will be anxious to hear about any new developments. Tripadvisor comments sound less than encouraging about a potential reopening. Cheers

 

 

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Previous post mentions closure of dive shop and subsequent lack of facilities for cruise ship visitors (restrooms).

How significant a problem is this? Are there other facilities and places to rent chairs, use rest rooms, etc.?

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

 

It's a problem only for daytrippers really, the condo property is doing well and we love renting there. The only thing owners have to do is make available beach chairs for renters because they previously had an agreement with the dive center.

 

The real history of the issues at Sapphire are clearly described by Bill in post# 11 here for those interested. Disregard much of the rest of the thread.

 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147404-i172-k7085636-o10-Shappire_Beach_at_a_Corssroads_Owners_get_it_together-St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

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It's my understanding that the dive shop was maintaining the restrooms. Before they took them over they were pretty disgusting most of the time. The condo association doesn't have the resources to maintain a public restroom. Those restrooms were for restaurant patrons when the bar and restaurant were open years ago.

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Yes still waiting for confirmation but I would expect the restrooms to be closed if the dive center remains closed. Not good for daytrippers except those able to use the alternative "facilities" :p :D :p

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That's a great question! The eating options include

* Banana Cabana which is a beach grill serving sandwiches and drinks - no restroom there.

* Sapphire Village Restaurant on the hill behind the marina, they have a runner taking orders on the beach. I seem to remember they have restrooms but I have to check again to see if that's right and if they're open during the daytime.

*Off the Grid is a food truck parked at the top of the entryway, great food but no restrooms there.

Senor Pizza is in nearby Red Hook and has a runner at the beach but no restroom options there.

 

So the restroom is definitely the one question if you're there just for the day unless something changes.

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Sapphire Grille up the hill does. Banana Cabana does not. That's basically a large tent serving limited offerings. Don't know where they wash their hands - maybe an office at Sapphire.

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Thanks!!

 

I certainly don't need chairs (a towel on the sand is fine with us), toys (we are self entertaining), snorkel gear (we have our own), etc...however, a washroom is pretty important if you are there for several hours.

 

I think we will go to Megan's Bay for the day instead, even though it doesn't have snorkeling there.

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I don't know how the SV restaurant would like being invaded since they're not equipped for larger crowds...

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Thanks!!

 

I certainly don't need chairs (a towel on the sand is fine with us), toys (we are self entertaining), snorkel gear (we have our own), etc...however, a washroom is pretty important if you are there for several hours.

 

I think we will go to Megan's Bay for the day instead, even though it doesn't have snorkeling there.

 

I would suggest Secret Harbor for snorkeling and better food, but Magens is a nice beach to relax at.

Have a great day!

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Glad I found this thread - we were planning to taxi to Sapphire in a couple of weeks and rent snorkel equipment there. I'll keep an eye out for further information. Also, is there anywhere near the cruise port to rent snorkel equipment if we still decide to go to Sapphire? I suppose we could also buy some in Miami before we depart...

Edited by Alsmez

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Water World at Havensight used to rent snorkel equipment, but I now here they may be closing soon. They have already sub leased most of their space to a clothing souvenir store.

 

I suggest everyone at least buy their own snorkel mouth piece. It may make you more comfortable when using rented equipment.

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I would suggest Secret Harbor for snorkeling and better food

Have a great day!

 

What facilities are available there? (chairs, umbrellas, restrooms, etc.)

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We tried to go to Sapphire Beach this morning but the taxi driver talked us out of it. He took us to Secret Harbor instead. The public area with chair rental is kind of small and narrow but quite a few people are out snorkeling. I just might try it myself if I ever manage to drag myself up out of my chair... The taxi driver had yesterday's newspaper which had an update on the beach closure but I didn't get a chance to read the whole article. They did say that the actual beach is open for use but there are no services available as of yesterday and taxis have been advised not to take people there.

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And the small size of Secret Harbor makes it a questionable choice for cruisers, imo. If everybody flocks to SH there will not be enough chairs to accommodate everybody.

 

IMO, if you want snorkeling from the beach, go to St John where there are bigger beaches with good snorkeling. Cinnamon would be a good choice.

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We tried to go to Sapphire Beach this morning but the taxi driver talked us out of it. He took us to Secret Harbor instead. The public area with chair rental is kind of small and narrow but quite a few people are out snorkeling. I just might try it myself if I ever manage to drag myself up out of my chair... The taxi driver had yesterday's newspaper which had an update on the beach closure but I didn't get a chance to read the whole article. They did say that the actual beach is open for use but there are no services available as of yesterday and taxis have been advised not to take people there.

 

Hm, I wonder if we'll be able to convince a driver to take us, and if so, whether there will be a way to get back? We were only planning a short trip so we can probably make do without facilities, and if we can rent/buy equipment elsewhere, we'd be fine. Will the public buses still be running to and from Sapphire?

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