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Sapphire Beach still offering amenities? Problems?

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Just got back from our cruise and I'm happy to report that we had a lovely day at Sapphire. We took the $2 bus there and back (waited less than two minutes on either end) and encountered a number of other savvy cruisers and daytrippers doing the same.

 

Sapphire itself wasn't too crowded when we arrived around 11am, but it was hopping by the time we left at 2pm. The eastern end of the beach (in front of a set of condos and near the coral reef) was pretty well populated with people on loungers (presumably condo guests/owners), but as you worked your way west, it was mostly daytrippers (and some locals) on towels. The runners from the restaurants were busy on the east end but didn't really venture too far west of the dive shop. There were a couple of vendors set up selling souvenirs and sodas just west of the dive shop. I didn't investigate the bathroom situation and I didn't notice anyone else asking around for a bathroom either. Honestly, for a short trip, most people are just going to pee in the ocean, whether they admit to it or not!

 

There was a stiff wind when we got there, making the water a little rough for snorkeling until it calmed down around 1pm. We paddled around the coral area for a while and saw some interesting fish - nothing crazy, but it was still enjoyable. If we return to St. Thomas, I would consider going back to Sapphire, but I'd be interested in heading to St. John or even just checking out another beach on St. Thomas as well.

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Just got back from our cruise and I'm happy to report that we had a lovely day at Sapphire. We took the $2 bus there and back (waited less than two minutes on either end) and encountered a number of other savvy cruisers and daytrippers doing the same.

 

Sapphire itself wasn't too crowded when we arrived around 11am, but it was hopping by the time we left at 2pm. The eastern end of the beach (in front of a set of condos and near the coral reef) was pretty well populated with people on loungers (presumably condo guests/owners), but as you worked your way west, it was mostly daytrippers (and some locals) on towels. The runners from the restaurants were busy on the east end but didn't really venture too far west of the dive shop. There were a couple of vendors set up selling souvenirs and sodas just west of the dive shop. I didn't investigate the bathroom situation and I didn't notice anyone else asking around for a bathroom either. Honestly, for a short trip, most people are just going to pee in the ocean, whether they admit to it or not!

 

There was a stiff wind when we got there, making the water a little rough for snorkeling until it calmed down around 1pm. We paddled around the coral area for a while and saw some interesting fish - nothing crazy, but it was still enjoyable. If we return to St. Thomas, I would consider going back to Sapphire, but I'd be interested in heading to St. John or even just checking out another beach on St. Thomas as well.

 

This is good to hear, I have read a lot of nice reviews of Sapphire and was planning on going there anyway on our up coming cruise in March.

 

Thanks for the update, if you have anything more to add please feel free.

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Sapphire is indeed our favorite and if you are ok with no restrooms or rentals it is a great beach. There are food and drink options available, the Banana Cabana beach grill is between condo bldgs B & C.

Enjoy!:)

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I had always thought that, if you had a restaurant, then you needed to have a washroom. Is that not the case in the USVI?

 

 

 

My understanding from following this situation on here (I haven't been personally so I stand to be corrected) is that the restaurant on/near the beach is not an actual restuarant, but more of a tent set up, so it does not offer washrooms.

The other option for food is a nearby restaurant, not on the beach, that runs food down usually. People have suggested using that for washrooms in another thread. Apparently it is a small restaurant and I can understand them not willing to allow people who are not customers to use the washroom although I'm not sure what the circumstance actually is.

 

ETA - yes,found it. It was this thread, on page 1.

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.

Edited by 1kaper

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Just got back from our cruise and I'm happy to report that we had a lovely day at Sapphire. We took the $2 bus there and back (waited less than two minutes on either end) and encountered a number of other savvy cruisers and daytrippers doing the same.

.

How was it taking the bus?

Was it difficult getting back to the ship?

See any taxis?

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My understanding from following this situation on here (I haven't been personally so I stand to be corrected) is that the restaurant on/near the beach is not an actual restuarant, but more of a tent set up, so it does not offer washrooms.

The other option for food is a nearby restaurant, not on the beach, that runs food down usually. People have suggested using that for washrooms in another thread. Apparently it is a small restaurant and I can understand them not willing to allow people who are not customers to use the washroom although I'm not sure what the circumstance actually is.

 

ETA - yes,found it. It was this thread, on page 1.

 

Yes the BC is a beach grill as I mentioned and not a restaurant facility.

The Sapphire Village restaurant is small and caters to resort guests but does have a runner on the beach taking orders. 1kaper your take on folks going there to use the restroom is exactly accurate, it's not equipped to handle day visitors.

 

Sapphire is currently a beach with no restroom facilities so base your decisions on that and you will be fine.

Edited by blue_water

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How was it taking the bus?

Was it difficult getting back to the ship?

See any taxis?

 

VERY easy to take the bus. We just walked out of the port area, past all the cabbies trying to drum up business, and stopped at the intersection by Wendy's. There was an official looking bus stop down the street to the left, but that is the bus that goes west to Charlotte Amelie and Lindbergh Bay. We crossed both streets of the intersection so that we were catty-corner from Wendy's, in front of the Giant Gas station and across from the Pueblo supermarket. We saw a couple of locals standing in the driveway/parking area between the Giant Gas and the Rainbow Kids next door, so we walked over there and asked if they were waiting for the bus. As they were answering, a bus pulled up! We told the driver we needed to stop at Sapphire and asked some locals to let us know when we were getting close (which was actually unnecessary, as there is a huge sign when you get there).

 

On the way back, we saw a bus at the stop as we were walking up the hill, but we didn't quite get there in time to flag him down. I was concerned that we'd be waiting forever for another, but someone came within two minutes (btw, there is a small shaded area where you can stand and wait). We were a little confused because his truck had a "Taxi" sign on top, but we just asked if he was the $2 bus and he confirmed. I didn't see any actual taxis waiting at Sapphire, but we weren't really looking.

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

Have a great day!

 

I've stayed at Secret Harbour Resort for a number of land vacations. The beach is lovely and though small is a perfect size for the resort guests. I can't imagine it being able to absorb the numbers of people who would have gone to Sapphire. When I stayed there, chairs were for the use of hotel guests only, with no rental options. The restaurant there is great.

 

If hordes of cruise ship passengers start going there, I think it will have a very negative impact on the resort guests.

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Taxis are going there now and as you mentioned there are only 25 - 30 chairs available for day visitors and no shade to speak of. So SH will undoubtedly be affected as will all of the other beaches. Because SH and Coki are so small they will show it more than the other beaches.

 

We never felt bothered by day visitors when staying at Sapphire because the bay is quite a bit larger and folks can spread out. And everyone leaves by mid-afternoon anyway.

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Alsmez

Thanks!

I have visited Sapphire Beach a dozen times. All time favorite!

Sad that now it's become a "private" beach for the condo owners. :(

And more difficult for cruise passengers to get to/from.

Think we'll be heading to Coki... Our second favorite beach in STT.

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For those who have taken the bus from the cruise ship port to sapphire beach - did you feel unsafe in any way while walking to the bus stop or at the beach? Sorry to hijack the thread.

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For those who have taken the bus from the cruise ship port to sapphire beach - did you feel unsafe in any way while walking to the bus stop or at the beach? Sorry to hijack the thread.

 

My husband and I went to Sapphire Beach in November. We rode in a van with other people. I never felt any fear in any manner. The driver was great, and the beach is incredible. We are trying to decide if we are going back to the same place. We are heading back in April

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We were just at Sapphire 2/11/14. That is one incredible beach. We got off the cruise ship and hopped on an open air taxi. They kind of tried talking us into going to Coki bit we heald our ground and insisted on going to Sapphire. I am so glad we did. Just incredible. The view was stunning and the beach wasn't crowded at all. I'll definitely return.

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Forums mobile app

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We were just at Sapphire 2/11/14. That is one incredible beach. We got off the cruise ship and hopped on an open air taxi. They kind of tried talking us into going to Coki bit we heald our ground and insisted on going to Sapphire. I am so glad we did. Just incredible. The view was stunning and the beach wasn't crowded at all. I'll definitely return.

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Forums mobile app

 

Would add a little more detail to your trip, please?

Food, drinks and is the restroom still closed?

 

Thanks.

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No restroom, but we didn't have a problem there. Dive shop closed. There is a small beach bar with food and drinks and they had a waiter walking around but we didn't use it. The entrance to the resort is at the top of a hill and up at the entrance is a bbq truck. It was some of the best bbq I've ever had. We had chicken thighs and they were awesome. We loved their homemade sauce. I even bought some to bring home. There was hardly a crowd there. Only resort people. Plenty of shade. We will go back.

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Forums mobile app

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For those who have taken the bus from the cruise ship port to sapphire beach - did you feel unsafe in any way while walking to the bus stop or at the beach? Sorry to hijack the thread.

 

I assume you're referring to the $2 bus and no worries there, great way to meet others doing the same thing as well as locals. You have to walk outside the port gate which isn't an issue, and youi will have to walk down the hill to Sapphire and back up to the entrance when you wait for the return. It's a hot walk up the hill on a hot day but nothing to worry about.

It may take more time of course since you sometimes have to wait for the bus or it can make several stops along the way.

Edited by blue_water

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;)

Would add a little more detail to your trip, please?

Food, drinks and is the restroom still closed?

 

Thanks.

 

Yes the public restrooms and dive center that rents chairs, etc are currently closed. But there are a few options for food and drink.

As mentioned, Off the Grid food truck has great BBQ if you want to carry that down to the beach for a lunch, they're located near the entrance to Sapphire.

The Banana Cabana beach grill is situated between condo bldgs B & C and they also may have a runner taking orders on the beach if enough people are there. Their mahi mahi sandwich is excellent and they serve beer, rum punch, and other tropical drinks.

The Sapphire Village restaurant behind the Sapphire Marina also has food and drink and may have a runner. If you eat here they have a restroom.

You can also grab a lunch and drinks at the best deli on the island at Gourmet Gallery at both cruise ship ports.

 

If you can get by with a towel on the beach and the sapphire-colored water for relief you'll be treated to a gorgeous beach with abundant natural shade along the shore, soft sand, and beautiful island views. ;)

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We were just at Sapphire 2/11/14. That is one incredible beach. We got off the cruise ship and hopped on an open air taxi. They kind of tried talking us into going to Coki bit we heald our ground and insisted on going to Sapphire. I am so glad we did. Just incredible. The view was stunning and the beach wasn't crowded at all. I'll definitely return.

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Forums mobile app

 

Our driver did the same thing. He even went so far as to basically call me an idiot for going to Sapphire. He told us he would wait because we would be back in less than 5 minutes. I'm not sure if he ever stuck around because we were there for hours :)

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We had chicken thighs and they were awesome. We loved their homemade sauce.

 

I even bought some to bring home.

 

You live on STT or brought food back onto the ship??? :rolleyes::confused:

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Wish I read 4Tacos post before this afternoon. We tried to go there today and all the taxi drivers at the port tried to talk us out of it. We got in a taxi that said he would drive by it when going from Red Hook to Coki so we could see no one was there. And I will say, when we drove by there was not a car in the parking lot and looked desolate. I wonder if he showed us some other entrance. Coki was great but we had been there before.

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You live on STT or brought food back onto the ship??? :rolleyes::confused:

 

I bought a jar of bbq sauce and brought it back on the ship to bring home with me. It made it home but not before TSA opened my bags to inspect. Fortunately we had no problems. Hands down, some of the best BBQ sauce. Sweet and smokey!!

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Wish I read 4Tacos post before this afternoon. We tried to go there today and all the taxi drivers at the port tried to talk us out of it. We got in a taxi that said he would drive by it when going from Red Hook to Coki so we could see no one was there. And I will say, when we drove by there was not a car in the parking lot and looked desolate. I wonder if he showed us some other entrance. Coki was great but we had been there before.

 

From the top of the hill, it does seem rather empty...but that is the secret!!! When you drive down the hill and onto the resort parking lot, there were plenty of cars there from resort guests. Our driver did not put too much pressure on us but he did try to make us feel like we were making a bad decision. Fortunately the group in the front of the cab were also insistent on going to sapphire and so we just put the pressure right back on him. He gave in rather quickly but did make a couple more remarks as we pulled into sapphire. I'm so glad we held our ground.

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Hands down, some of the best BBQ sauce. Sweet and smokey!!

 

Sounds like some of the girls I've had the pleasure to have known! ;)

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I bought a jar of bbq sauce and brought it back on the ship to bring home with me. It made it home but not before TSA opened my bags to inspect. Fortunately we had no problems. Hands down, some of the best BBQ sauce. Sweet and smokey!!

When I hear the word "food" I'm thinking ribs, chicken, fries, etc.

Not sauce in a bottle. ;)

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