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Sapphire Beach still offering amenities? Problems?

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I am so glad that I found this thread on Sapphire Beach. We will be stopping in St. Thomas on our Feb. 16th Carnival Valor cruise and this was one of destinations for the day. We've been to Magens Bay and wanted to try another beach. Any other suggestions?

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so, it looks like either coki or magen's beach then? i know magen's has facilites , does coki?

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If you want to go off the beaten path:

John Brewer's Beach has bathrooms and mobile vans with local food and drink. Also has some picnic tables.

Hull Bay has a restaurant and bar,good snorkeling. No chairs.

 

Then some other beaches with chairs, bar/restaurant, bathrooms:

Morning Star (at the Marriott)

Bolongo Bay (Iggie's is a fun beach bar)

Limetree/Bluebeard's- has a pool bar/grill.

Cowpet Bay (at the Elysian)- Sangria's bar/restaurant on the beach...

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so, it looks like either coki or magen's beach then? i know magen's has facilites , does coki?

 

Yes Coki has facilities and vendors.

Not sure what kind of beach experience you are looking for LYoung. But when on a cruise stop in on St Thomas we like a gorgeous beach with beautiful water colors and island views and natural shade and good snorkeling and a few food & drink options and restrooms. We want it all! :D But most of all we want the nicest beach that's not real busy.

Sapphire has always been our first choice, Secret Harbor and Coki 2nd & 3rd and not necessarily in that order. If you are in the mood for a more lively vibe over a condo resort atmosphere then Coki is better. Both offer snorkeling.

 

The other beaches are also nice, these are just our top 3 when in STT.

Edited by blue_water

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thanks blue water!

secret harbor sounds pretty good, how far from port is it?

we stopped at coki for a while last time, so I would like to see a different

beach than there & magens.

as long as there is food/drink/chair and hopefully good snorkeling, we're all set!

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How does SH and Coki stack up to Trunk Bay...In anyone's opinion?

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Forums mobile app

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Well, I think DH and I are still going to try to go to Sapphire - we'll probably try taking the $2 bus to get there, just to avoid taxi drivers trying to talk us out of it! However, I'm a little concerned about getting back - does anyone know whether there will still be taxis waiting to take people back to the ship, or will we have to depend on the bus?

 

If so, how long is the walk from the main road to the beach? It looks like it's no more than a quarter mile on google maps, but I know how misleading their maps can be. Also, I read somewhere that the bus runs on a circular route, heading counterclockwise, so to go back we'd want to get on a bus going the same direction as the one that dropped us off - true? Many thanks for any advice!

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The walk is 5 minites and you get the bus at the same place that they let you off.

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It's downhill to the beach and uphill back to the road so on a hot day it can be fun so be sure to have water.

 

I don't know if anything has changed as far as security since the dive center was closed, but I don't think the guard will give you a problem. Anyone could always walk to the Sapphire Village Restaurant and then down to the beach...

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Thank you - we're youngish and in decent shape so an uphill climb won't kill us. If we can get a taxi back, even better - I'd be fine taking a taxi there, but I really don't want to have to get into it with a pushy driver. I guess we'll see if we can get equipment at the dive shop at the Havensight mall and go from there - if they're no longer renting, maybe we'll just head to Secret Harbour instead. I really had my heart set on Sapphire, though!

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I understand, we love Sapphire over all other beaches there...

The walk isn't that bad, we've just seen ppl waiting for some time for the $2 bus in that heat and felt bad for them but that was their choice of course.

 

Have you considered buying just a mask and snorkel before cruising? Many ppl get by without the fins for off the beach snorkeling. And you can tell the driver you're taking a daysail on the New Horizons at 10 or renting jet skis at the marina.

SH is our second choice, just not Sapphire...

 

I'm sure you'll have a great day whatever you choose!:)

Edited by blue_water

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A friend told me the dive shop in Havensight may be closing. He's already sublet half his space. If you really want to snorkel at Sapphire, buy and bring your own as blue water suggests. That's the only way to guarantee you can do what you want. If going to Sapphire, bring your own everything - chair, food, drinks, snorkel. That's how the locals go to the beach.

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Ugh...I was just about to book us on a eastern caribbean cruise for Nov. mailny because I have always wanted to go to Sapphire Beach. If it was just dh and I it wouldn;t be a huge issue as far as restrooms go but with 3 kids in tow, ages 15,12 and 7 it may be a major pita.

Not sure what to do now :(

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No Sapphire beach changes your mind about the eastern Caribbean? There are so many other things to see and do if Sapphire is not available.

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I understand about Sapphire actually, we would probably find an alternate activity or decide to head to STJ and try Cinnamon or Maho. But you may have to do Trunk, not sure if you can rent snorkel gear elsewhere?

How long are you in port lovey?

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A friend told me the dive shop in Havensight may be closing. He's already sublet half his space. If you really want to snorkel at Sapphire, buy and bring your own as blue water suggests. That's the only way to guarantee you can do what you want. If going to Sapphire, bring your own everything - chair, food, drinks, snorkel. That's how the locals go to the beach.

 

Yes, we considered buying gear and bringing it with us, but we sort of ran out of time (we leave on Saturday!). We're flying in to Miami the morning of the cruise, so I doubt we'll have time to stop anywhere to purchase it. Perhaps we'll find a shop in San Juan. It won't kill us not to go to Sapphire, it just looks so beautiful!

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I understand about Sapphire actually, we would probably find an alternate activity or decide to head to STJ and try Cinnamon or Maho. But you may have to do Trunk, not sure if you can rent snorkel gear elsewhere?

How long are you in port lovey?

I just booked us today !!! We are supposed to be in port from 8a.m.-4pm.

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Yes, we considered buying gear and bringing it with us, but we sort of ran out of time (we leave on Saturday!). We're flying in to Miami the morning of the cruise, so I doubt we'll have time to stop anywhere to purchase it. Perhaps we'll find a shop in San Juan. It won't kill us not to go to Sapphire, it just looks so beautiful!

 

DH just reminded me that Amazon sells EVERYTHING, so I went ahead and ordered us a couple of sets of masks/snorkels. I don't think we'll need fins - I usually prefer to swim without them myself anyway. Sapphire, here we come!

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DH just reminded me that Amazon sells EVERYTHING, so I went ahead and ordered us a couple of sets of masks/snorkels. I don't think we'll need fins - I usually prefer to swim without them myself anyway. Sapphire, here we come!

We packed our own masks/snorkels back in 2009 when we went to Chankanaab and it worked out great. We didn't use fins either!

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You can buy masks and snorkels at Havensight, and I think they are the same brands as in the States but no shipping or sales tax. Check the Caribana store if you are docking at Havensight.

 

KMart also usuallysnorkel equipment, but not during Christmas.

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Royal Caribbean offers a Sapphire Beach excursion. They say it includes loungers, snorkel gear and drinks. Does anyone know if RC uses the items that were at the dive shop or other option? THANKS!

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Well this is real heartbreaking to hear. I swore with my last cruise that I wasn't cruising the Western Caribbean anymore (since that's what I have done the last 5 cruises and I'm getting a little tired of the same ports) and was going to book an Eastern just so I could head back to Sapphire. :(

 

I noticed the webcam is no longer working either.

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Yes the cam is being repaired. The situation with the property owner is still developing and owners there are waiting to see what develops. Minimal impact on owners and renters but a big disappointment for day visitors. Food and drink are still available, but the lack of public restrooms is a problem.

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