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Spending a Day on St. John

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weloverunning ~ The good news is there are only two other ships in St. Thomas with you on Jan. 3. That's on the light side. The other good news is that you are docking at Havensight so you are closer to Red Hook than if you were docking at Crown Bay. If you can disembark as soon as the ship is cleared, you should be able to make the 9:00 AM ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. That will put you on St. John before 9:30.

 

I'm not sure I'd recommend the Johnny Horn hike out to Leinster for ship passengers. I'd say a 25 minute ride from Cruz Bay to the trailhead is probably a little short on time. It's probably closer to 35+. It's a long, winding drive from Cruz Bay out to the trailhead. You can get a taxi to drop you here most likely but you'd absolutely have to make arrangements for them to pick you up at the Annaberg parking lot at a set time and make sure you are there. Neither one of these is an area where you can readily find a safari taxi.

 

Note that Waterlemon is a good swim from shore and the currents around the cay can be quite strong. It's recommended to snorkel counterclockwise around the cay. I've only ever snorkeled here (several times) off of boats. I wouldn't be comfortable swimming out and snorkeling from shore. You should find out what the water and currents are doing before heading out there from shore. Also note that you won't find a sandy beach here. It's pretty much rocks and pebbles.

 

There is nothing to eat or drink anywhere along the route you are thinking about so be sure to bring along plenty of water and whatever you want to eat. I think a better thing to do might be to take a taxi to Annaberg; hike the Leinster trail out to where you can see Waterlemon Cay and then go back to Anneberg to pick up the taxi back to Cruz Bay.

 

Know that you are in a pretty remote part of the island at Annaberg/Waterlemon. Not sure how good cell service will be.

 

With only three ships in port, you'll probably be OK with a 4:00 PM ferry back to St. Thomas but that's the latest I'd head back. I wouldn't even think about chancing the 5:00 PM ferry as traffic back to the ship will be slow.

 

As others mentioned, you do not want to do the Charlotte Amalie ferry. It's unreliable and often rough.

 

Have you looked at other hikes? The Lind Point Trail is much closer to town and leads to Solomon and Honeymoon? It's much closer to town and the ferry dock. Try this site for info http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/saint-john/lind-point-trail since Ms411 noted the other link had old photos.

 

Enjoy whatever you do.

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Hi Friends,

 

We will be in St. John on 12/30 (through Celebrity's St. John on your own excursion) and are interested in going to a beach that would have kayaks available, as well as a great beach and amenities! We have never been and are super excited!

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Jen ~ Virgin Islands Eco Tours runs the equipment rental at Honeymoon beach. Here's a link http://viecotours.com/ I think it's probably the easiest and closest spot for cruise passengers to kayak on St. John. This is a lovely spot. We did the Honeymoon day pass and rented kayaks when we were here last March. ENJOY!

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How is the snorkeling these days at the beach that has the snorkeling trail? Has the coral been damaged by all the visitors? Are there many colorful fish?

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allentown (is that allentown, PA?) ~ that beach is Trunk Bay. Yes, the vast amount of people that snorkel here has damaged the trail over the years. I haven't snorkeled the trail in years so I can't say what you might see here at this point. It's still a beautiful beach and I'm guessing you'll still some colorful fish here but I honestly can't attest to how good the snorkeling is.

 

We snorkel other beaches now that we are familiar with the island, even when on a cruise.

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allentown (is that allentown, PA?) ~ that beach is Trunk Bay. Yes, the vast amount of people that snorkel here has damaged the trail over the years. I haven't snorkeled the trail in years so I can't say what you might see here at this point. It's still a beautiful beach and I'm guessing you'll still some colorful fish here but I honestly can't attest to how good the snorkeling is.

 

We snorkel other beaches now that we are familiar with the island, even when on a cruise.

 

Yes, I am from Allentown, PA. I have been to Trunk Bay but my snorkel mask was leaking so I could not do the trail .I forgot the name of the beach-senior moment!. Yes, it is beautiful. I have been there, but missed the snorkeling last time.

 

DH was not with me that trip. I am trying to decide whether to head back to Trunk Bay with him or stay in St. Thomas where we like Emerald Beach very much ( not for snorkeling though). Knowing what the snorkeling is like at Trunk Bay might help us decide.

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Hi - I was wondering if everything is up and running now at Cinnamon Bay? I will be there in2 weeks with Escape. Thank you!

 

 

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Hi Friends,

 

We will be in St. John on 12/30 (through Celebrity's St. John on your own excursion) and are interested in going to a beach that would have kayaks available, as well as a great beach and amenities! We have never been and are super excited!

 

Thanks for your help!

 

This is too late for you but others might find it useful. We took the "St John on your own" from Celebrity a few weeks ago. This is the first ship excursion we've ever taken but since we were at Crown Bay we thought this would be the easiest way to get to St Johns. I guess in the end it was but it wasn't quick. Tour was supposed to leave at 9:30 and it's a 35 minute boat ride. We got to St Johns a bit after 11AM. By the time we walked to the boat, got everyone loaded then went over to the other cruise dock to pick people up, it took forever. Next time we take the ferry I think.

 

We took a taxi to Caneel then walked to Honeymoon Beach. About a 10 min walk, very easy. We were going to Trunk but with 6 ships in port we thought it might be a bit crowded. Beautiful beach and water. Might be the prettiest water I've even seen. There was a place that rented water toys but we walked to the end of the beach and it was not deserted, but close to it.

 

When we we done we decided to walk back. It is a long hike :). I run a lot so it wasn't bad for me but my wife was NOT happy. It is not an easy trail either. Up, down and do it all over again. All rocks, nothing flat and hot. So, if there are any doubts, walk back to Caneel and get the taxi back.

 

St Johns was all I heard about. It was beautiful!

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Does anyone know where does the NCL Gem docks in STT? Looking at excursions, it doesn't appear a DIY tour to STJ is offered so we would need to do the taxi/ferry route on our own. The itinerary lists us there 8-5 on fri. 3/24. Thanks!!

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Does anyone know where does the NCL Gem docks in STT? Looking at excursions, it doesn't appear a DIY tour to STJ is offered so we would need to do the taxi/ferry route on our own. The itinerary lists us there 8-5 on fri. 3/24. Thanks!!

 

You are at Havensight so on your own is so easy, just taxi to Red Hook ferry. You are also the only shop scheduled.

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I believe I read that Havensight is a bit further for the taxi to Red Hook, so allow a bit more time for the taxi?

 

 

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Kristin ~ I do not think everything is back up and running at Cinnamon. Let me check with friends who live on the island. I'll report back. I'll be there next week so I may be able to give you a first hand report as well.

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This is too late for you but others might find it useful. We took the "St John on your own" from Celebrity a few weeks ago. This is the first ship excursion we've ever taken but since we were at Crown Bay we thought this would be the easiest way to get to St Johns. I guess in the end it was but it wasn't quick. Tour was supposed to leave at 9:30 and it's a 35 minute boat ride. We got to St Johns a bit after 11AM. By the time we walked to the boat, got everyone loaded then went over to the other cruise dock to pick people up, it took forever. Next time we take the ferry I think.

 

 

Thanks for this summary of your experience. I too will be on Celebrity in February docking Crown Bay. I've read through much of this thread with discussion of the timing to take taxis and ferries. When you say next time you'll take the ferry, are you suggesting taking a taxi to Red Hook for the quicker and more reliable ferry? Or taking the longer, less reliable ferry from Havensight (which may require a short taxi ride from Crown Point perhaps)?

 

Anyone else with recommendations for those on ships arriving at Crown Point? With the longer taxi ride to Red Hook is the ferry near the ships a better way to reach St. John quickly? If I dock at Crown Point at 8:00am, it may be iffy that I could make the 9:00am Red Hook ferry.

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Kristin ~ update on Cinnamon ~ Food concessions are now open; you can rent beach chairs, snorkel equipment, etc. So you should be good to go for a day there! :) ENJOY!

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Cloudy ~ I've docked in both locations many times. Making the 9:00 AM ferry from Crown Bay if unlikely. If you had a group to fill a safari taxi and all got off the ship immediately, you could make it. Otherwise, it's unlikely. The taxi's from Crown Bay will not depart until they are full. The fill fairly quickly when lots of folks are disembarking but perhaps not quickly enough to get you to the 9:00 AM ferry from Red Hook.

 

I would not suggest considering the Charlotte Amalie ferry. It's very undependable and the ride is normally rougher. Although if you do the ship ferry service, you're going to have a bumpy ride as well. For me the question would be whether your ship ferry service makes an additional stop to pick up people at Havensight. If they do, you'd be better off catching the 10:00 AM ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. You'd get to St. John about a half earlier than what others have described with a pick up at Havensight.

 

Sadly, there is no quick and easy way from Crown Bay to the Red Hook ferry. Maybe your ship will arrive a little early and you can disembark a little before 8:00 AM. You never know. Be ready to get off the ship before they make announcements. If you can disembark quickly, maybe you can make the 9:00 AM Red Hook ferry.

 

Good luck!

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If you are off the ship early I would definitely shoot for the 9AM Red Hook ferry. Worst-case is you take the 10AM but you can shop a little close to the ferry, and that's much better than taking the ferry from port or town...

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I would not suggest considering the Charlotte Amalie ferry. It's very undependable and the ride is normally rougher. Although if you do the ship ferry service, you're going to have a bumpy ride as well. For me the question would be whether your ship ferry service makes an additional stop to pick up people at Havensight. If they do, you'd be better off catching the 10:00 AM ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. You'd get to St. John about a half earlier than what others have described with a pick up at Havensight.

 

Thanks for the advice Anne.

 

Upon further examination, I've found that the Charlotte Amalie ferry has only one morning departure: 10:00am. As noted on these websites:

 

http://www.varlack-ventures.com/ferryservices.html

http://www.stjohnusvi.com/ferry.html

 

Thus, I might as well plan for the 10:00am Red Hook ferry. This would get me to St. John quicker. The only better option would be to hope the cruise line's excursion trip arrives earlier.

 

Anne, are there cafes or a deli near the Red Hook ferry or at arrival at Cruz Bay (in vicinity of taxis) to buy sandwiches - I am not sure about finding food I want at the Trunk or Cinnamon concession stands.

 

Thanks again.

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cloudy ~ the thing about the Charlotte Amalie ferry is that sometimes it goes and sometime it doesn't. It's just not dependable. The Red Hook ferries go like clockwork (at least they always have for us).

 

Yes, there are a few places right around the Red Hook ferry terminal. Across the street is a market (now called Moe's http://www.moesvi.com/home.html). if you have an hour to kill waiting for the 10:00 AM ferry, you could head over here and grab some deli sandwiches (would save you time in Cruz Bay). There are a few bars/grills but I'm not sure they'd be open at 9:00 AM. There's a small bar/food spot inside the Red Hook terminal itself as well.

 

The best place to grab something from a deli is probably the North Shore Deli in Mongoose Junction. It's on your way to the north shore beaches and unless you are on a safari taxi with tons of people, your driver would probably stop and let you run into the deli to pick up sandwiches. You could also call them form Red Hook and place an order that would ready for you to pick up (that would save time). Their number is (340)777-3061.

 

The concessions at Cinnamon & Trunk are under new management. We'll may be there next week so I'll post some info if we make it to the beach. Here is a link to the new restaurant at Cinnamon http://cinnamonbayresort.com/dining-shopping/raintree-cafe/ and the new offerings at Trunk http://cinnamonbayresort.com/dining-shopping/trunk-cafe/ Both look a little better than the standard burgers and hot dogs typical of a beach concession.

 

ENJOY whatever you do!

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Definitely do not consider the CA ferry, Anne is correct in that it is very unreliable. And Moe's has a great Deli (and wine attic) and would be a perfect place to grab sandwiches if waiting for the 10AM ferry if you have a cooler bag. But hopefully you make the 9 AM and can just grab something at the beach!

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Thanks for this summary of your experience. I too will be on Celebrity in February docking Crown Bay. I've read through much of this thread with discussion of the timing to take taxis and ferries. When you say next time you'll take the ferry, are you suggesting taking a taxi to Red Hook for the quicker and more reliable ferry? Or taking the longer, less reliable ferry from Havensight (which may require a short taxi ride from Crown Point perhaps)?

 

Anyone else with recommendations for those on ships arriving at Crown Point? With the longer taxi ride to Red Hook is the ferry near the ships a better way to reach St. John quickly? If I dock at Crown Point at 8:00am, it may be iffy that I could make the 9:00am Red Hook ferry.

 

Anne, gave you good advice. We too docked at 8:00 am but the tour didn't leave until 9:30. I'd say play it by ear and when you get on the ship ask when the tour meets. If it is 9:15 or so I'd just get off early and take the ferry. Another benefit of the ferry is that you can take the 3:00 pm ferry back, not the 2:30 so that's an precious extra 30 minutes. If you do have to wait until the 10:00AM ferry you are at least on the island exploring and not on the ship :) This is what I'd do. We waited to book on the ship becasue we had a lot of OBC to use.

enjoy

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Thank you for this great summary Host Anne. It was exactly what I was looking for. Bringing Party of 9 there on DCL cruise in April for daughter's birthday. Can't wait to get to Cinnammon Bay. Based on your picture, it is beautiful!

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Does Cinnammon Bay have umbrella rentals or natural shade available? My mom will be traveling with us in April and can't be in the direct sun for long.

 

Thanks in advance for any help

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Hi Worry ~ no worries....Cinnamon has rentals although I'm not sure about umbrellas. I'll be there this week and check for you. You really don't see beach umbrellas on St. John beaches. The North Shore beaches (of which Cinnamon is one) does have quite a few places where you can place beach chairs in natural shade. We are normally able to find a shady place. I'll check on the umbrellas for you and I'll see if I can find a photo for you so you know what the shady areas look like.

 

By the way, it is truly beautiful!

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