Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Host Anne

Spending a Day on St. John

Recommended Posts

You're most welcome, Parrothead. Cruise was terrific (if too short). Wishing you a wonderful cruise as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Host Anne, our ship will be there from 8-4 on April 8th along with I think four other ships. Was planning to get over to St. John to avoid some of the crowd. Is that time frame too rushed?

 

Worrywartmama -- I hit the edit instead of quote so I apologize that this appears as an edit...sorry about that!

 

That is an average amount of time for a cruise ship stop in St. Thomas. If you get off the ship as soon as possible when you arrive, you should be able to catch the 9:00 AM ferry. I'd be taking the 2:00 PM ferry back so you are getting in a taxi on St. Thomas around 2:20. That should be plenty of time to get you back to your ship for your departure. That gives you about 4 1/2 hours on St. John. It's not a ton of time but enough to give you a good feel for just how beautiful it is if you get out and drive the north shore and check out the beaches. ENJOY!

Edited by Host Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a few questions I've been wondering while researching a day on St John from St Thomas cruise port this year... sorry if they are repeats:

 

1.) does anyone know which dock NCL Escape uses in late September?

2.) any thoughts on honeymoon beach - i would prefer less crowds (i.e. Children) but want picturesque beach, good snorkeling, and at least snacks/water if not chair rentals etc.

3.) anyone have experience navigating from st Thomas to St. John and beaches as a solo female traveler. I'm not a scardy-cat and always aware of my surroundings, but prefer research to complete unknown.

 

Thanks in advance!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cruzin ~ I'll check and see if I can find where you are docking.

 

Honeymoon is very nice and one of the closest beaches to Cruz Bay. I've only been here once (we did a snorkel kayak trip from here). It would be a nice spot to spend the day and snorkel. Nice views back to St. Thomas. There are other beaches I'd rather snorkel (Maho and Francis) but they aren't great for a cruise ship stop and there are no facilities for rentals or food. Your choices are Honeymoon, Trunk or Cinnamon. All are great.

 

You won't have any problem going to St. John on your own. There will be plenty of taxis when you disembark your ship to take you to the Red Hook Ferry. When you get to Cruz Bay, you'll likewise find plenty of taxis to take you to the beach. All you need to do is tell them which beach you want to go to. There will be lots of people doing the same thing. Have you found your roll call for your sailing? Chances are you could find others to join you to get to St. John. I've often taken people from our roll calls.

 

Let me know if you have more questions....we're heading back to St. John for our annual anniversary trip soon. Can't wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Host Anne, thanks for the detailed reply. i have the roll call and a fb group so i'll find out if anyone else is planning to head that way.

 

Happy anniversary to you!! Have a wonderful trip :)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There has been an old (and very long) thread on getting to St. John. It's has lots of good information but after four years, much has changed. I've updated my "spending a day on St. John" and am posting it below so folks don't have to dig through bunches of pages. Feel free to ask questions. I love St. John ... it's a special place. If you've never been, consider it.

 

Getting to St. John on your own is pretty easy.

 

When you disembark the ship, there will be plenty of open air taxis filling with passengers heading to St. John. You'll take the taxi from here to Red Hook where you'll catch the ferry to Cruz Bay. Ferry rates are currently $7 each way. The ferry runs every hour on the hour from Red Hook to Cruz Bay and then back from Cruz Bay to Red Hook.

 

There will be plenty of taxis waiting for you when you get to Cruz Bay. They'll take you to one of the many beaches -- Hawksnest, Trunk, Cinnamon and Maho have restroom facilities while Trunk and Cinnamon have snack bars, chair rentals and snorkel gear rentals. Trunk Bay has a $4 per person entry fee. There is an underwater snorkel trail here that is well marked.

 

There will also be plenty of taxis at Trunk and Cinnamon to take you back to Cruz Bay. If you head to one of the other beaches be sure to arrange a pick up time with the taxi driver who drops you off. They always come back if you pre-arrange a pick up time.

 

If you’ve never been to St. John, you might want to consider taking an island tour. They run about $25 per person and you can ask to be dropped off at one of the north shore beaches after the tour for an hour or so. We've done this frequently when we have guests with us who haven't been to St. John before. The history, views and people of St. John are wonderful. It’s definitely worth learning more about this very special place that is 2/3rds U.S. National Park.

 

Cruz Bay is filled with lots of great beach bars, restaurants and shops. It's a great little town. Two main shopping areas are within close walking distance to the ferry dock. Wharfside Village is to our right as you walk out of the ferry dock area. Beach bars line the area with a variety of nice shops behind them. About a five minute walk to your left when you disembark the ferry is Mongoose Junction. This is an upscale shopping area also with a wide variety of restaurants and shops.

 

For those going on their own, if you’ve never done this before, I’d recommend catching the ferry back to St. Thomas three hours before your ship sails. So if you ship leaves at 6:00, take the 3:00 PM ferry. If you have done this trip several times, you are most likely safe taking a ferry 2 hours prior to your ships’ departure. It all depends on your comfort level. Traffic from the Red Hook ferry back to the ship can be heavy. If your ship is docked at Crown Bay, always allow three hours for the return. Most of the time, a two hour window is fine getting back to the ship if you are docked at Havensight.

 

APPROXIMATE PER PERSON COSTS TO GO ON YOUR OWN

Roundtrip taxi from ship (Havensight) to Red Hook: $20

Roundtrip ferry cost: $14

Roundtrip taxi cost to Beaches: $14

TOTAL APPROXIMATE COST: $48

 

Fares could vary slightly depending upon your taxi. If you are docked at Crown Bay, add approximately $4 roundtrip for the taxi to Red Hook.

 

Note: Check out excursions with your cruise line as well. Some are essentially offering ferry service to St. John. Doesn’t give you as much time on the island typically, but it is a nice alternative if you don’t want to go on your own and the prices have been reasonable.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions! ENJOY!!!

 

HI ANNE---I need your help...I haven't been to Trunk bay for about 5 years but I did do it on my own with directions somewhere on this site. Can you give updated instructions Please :D

I loved getting the local bus--I think it was in front of the Kmart if I recall---it took us right to ferry---much cheaper than a taxi---We had no problems that day---Could you be a doll and give me 2017 info?? Thanks in advance!!

Kris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kris ~ Sorry that I can't help you with bus info (I'm guessing you meant in St. Thomas getting to Red Hook). That's not something we've ever done. I'd suggest googling St. Thomas bus schedule. When you get off ferry in Cruz Bay, St. John, there will be lots of taxis waiting to take passengers to Trunk. There's not really another way to get there. It's currently $8 one way to Trunk if you are on your own. It's $6 if you are with others.

 

Have a great day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the $2 bus circumvents the East End of STT and is obviously less expensive than the $10 taxi from Havensight. We've passed folks who were waiting for the bus get passed up by more than one bus because they were full of locals. So just be aware of that potential delay. There may be another bus option we're not aware of and perhaps some one else can help there.

If going to STJ we'd spring for the $10pp taxi just because time is so precious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ann. We will be sailing on Viking Sky with St Thomas arrival on 1/5/18. DH and I have not been to this island, nor St John for many years. From what I can find, there are no other cruise ships in port that day!? Is that even possible!? What I cannot locate is where we will dock. We are scheduled 8-6. This is our last stop on a 22 day cruise, so part of me wants to chill completely and just stay on St Thomas....and part wants to go for it and head to St John. I think that the logistics from where we dock will help decide.

Any assistance with this would be appreciated - and any input from all is great as I am a bit perplexed on this final port.

Thanks much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just for clarification regarding Anne's comment about the water being rough, during January all beaches throughout the BVI and STJ and STT were experiencing high surf, rip currents, and areas of flooding as well. That has since subsided, and through the webcams you can see beaches like Sapphire on STT, White Bay on Jost, and CGB on Tortola are looking very calm. There will still be surges, and especially during the winter months. But the recent incident was very expansive and affected most of the beaches.

 

Is this a regular part of winter month beach conditions? We are heading to BVI and USVI in early January 2018 and with children so i'm hoping for some beautiful beach weather/calm waters for the most part. Fingers crossed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this a regular part of winter month beach conditions? We are heading to BVI and USVI in early January 2018 and with children so i'm hoping for some beautiful beach weather/calm waters for the most part. Fingers crossed?

 

No, that was an extraordinary event with high swells for an extended period. In January (winter months in general) there can be sea swells and rougher water depending on sea and wind conditions. But with good conditions the various beaches can be very nice and calm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Host Anne - Just returned from our trip. Thanks for your help with St. John questions. Followed your directions, were wowed by Cinammon Bay, got back to the ship safe and sound. Success! Much appreciated.

 

Host Anne, our ship will be there from 8-4 on April 8th along with I think four other ships. Was planning to get over to St. John to avoid some of the crowd. Is that time frame too rushed?

 

Worrywartmama -- I hit the edit instead of quote so I apologize that this appears as an edit...sorry about that!

 

That is an average amount of time for a cruise ship stop in St. Thomas. If you get off the ship as soon as possible when you arrive, you should be able to catch the 9:00 AM ferry. I'd be taking the 2:00 PM ferry back so you are getting in a taxi on St. Thomas around 2:20. That should be plenty of time to get you back to your ship for your departure. That gives you about 4 1/2 hours on St. John. It's not a ton of time but enough to give you a good feel for just how beautiful it is if you get out and drive the north shore and check out the beaches. ENJOY!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone done any hiking from Cruz bay to beach day? I was thinking of doing the short hike to honeymoon beach and trying to figure out for an average hiker how long to plan it taking?

 

Also, how can you arrange for taxi pick up if you don't take a taxi to your destination?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad this bubbled up to the top. I was just looking for a reminder of prices for the ferry and cab, We've done St. John on our own in the past, but I was just thinking of an alternate option. Going to St. Thomas on the Disney fantasy in October. They have a tour, St. John on your own for $37, which basically gets you over there and back. But it sounds like the boat leaves from where the ship docks rather than Red Hook. Once you get there, you have two and a half hours on your own. If we go totally on our own, we shoot for the 9:00am ferry and go to Truck Bay and then return on the 1:00 ferry., so the time on St, Jon would likely be the same,. So, I'm wondering if, in this case, doing it through Disney makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone done any hiking from Cruz bay to beach day? I was thinking of doing the short hike to honeymoon beach and trying to figure out for an average hiker how long to plan it taking?

 

Also, how can you arrange for taxi pick up if you don't take a taxi to your destination?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Julia ~ I haven't personally done the hike from Cruz Bay to Honeymoon but many have. If you search for videos or instructions on the Lind Point Trail to Honeymoon, you'll find specifics. It's a little over a mile from the National Park Service Building where you pick up the trail (it's about an 8 - 10 minute walk from the ferry dock to the NPS building and trailhead).

 

We've been to Honeymoon but it does great crowded with cruise passengers. Many like Solomon just as much or more. It gets less crowded and the trail to Solomon is at the .7 mile mark on the way to Honeymoon.

 

Don't know about Solomon but you should be able to get a taxi from Honeymoon by walking back to Caneel Bay Resort. It's a pretty flat walk back to Caneel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So glad this bubbled up to the top. I was just looking for a reminder of prices for the ferry and cab, We've done St. John on our own in the past, but I was just thinking of an alternate option. Going to St. Thomas on the Disney fantasy in October. They have a tour, St. John on your own for $37, which basically gets you over there and back. But it sounds like the boat leaves from where the ship docks rather than Red Hook. Once you get there, you have two and a half hours on your own. If we go totally on our own, we shoot for the 9:00am ferry and go to Truck Bay and then return on the 1:00 ferry., so the time on St, Jon would likely be the same,. So, I'm wondering if, in this case, doing it through Disney makes sense.

 

Sandy ~ we've done the cruise line's St. John on your own excursion several times. It's really nice to get picked up at the ship and not mess with getting to Red Hook. Plus it's faster to get to St. John. 2 1/2 hours doesn't seem like much time on the island, though. The one's we've done (on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean) were all 3.5 - 4 hours on St. John. Maybe your in port less time than we typically are. I can't think of any downside to getting to St. John this way. ENJOY your day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sandy ~ we've done the cruise line's St. John on your own excursion several times. It's really nice to get picked up at the ship and not mess with getting to Red Hook. Plus it's faster to get to St. John. 2 1/2 hours doesn't seem like much time on the island, though. The one's we've done (on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean) were all 3.5 - 4 hours on St. John. Maybe your in port less time than we typically are. I can't think of any downside to getting to St. John this way. ENJOY your day.

 

Thanks, Anne. Time in port is 7:45am to 4:00pm. I'll have to double check the time on St. John. In this case, doing the excursion through the ship may make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a golf cart now that will take you from Caneel to Honeymoon Beach. $5 per person each way. The service is provided by VIEcotours.com - the same people who rent chairs, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone done any hiking from Cruz bay to beach day? I was thinking of doing the short hike to honeymoon beach and trying to figure out for an average hiker how long to plan it taking?

 

Also, how can you arrange for taxi pick up if you don't take a taxi to your destination?

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

 

I think it took about 40 minutes each way.

It was a lovely walk - just wear water shoes rather than flip flops because it's rocky.

 

 

So glad this bubbled up to the top. I was just looking for a reminder of prices for the ferry and cab, We've done St. John on our own in the past, but I was just thinking of an alternate option. Going to St. Thomas on the Disney fantasy in October. They have a tour, St. John on your own for $37, which basically gets you over there and back. But it sounds like the boat leaves from where the ship docks rather than Red Hook. Once you get there, you have two and a half hours on your own. If we go totally on our own, we shoot for the 9:00am ferry and go to Truck Bay and then return on the 1:00 ferry., so the time on St, Jon would likely be the same,. So, I'm wondering if, in this case, doing it through Disney makes sense.

 

We'll be on the Fantasy in December and I was wondering whether it would be worth it to go over to St. John.

2 1/2 hours isn't very long (see above remark about the 40 minutes to the beach. That leaves about 1 1/2 hours at the beach itself.

Is there possibly a catamaran ride over that would be more likely to drop you at a beach rather than Cruz Bay? (And would be a more pleasant ride than a ferry)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we've done the cruise line St. John on your own excursion, we had at least 3 1/2 hours on the island. If we go on our own, we may have an extra 30 - 60 minutes on the island if we get an early ferry over to Cruz Bay.

 

Whether it's worth it depends on your time in port. You can be to a north short beach from Cruz Bay by taxi in about 15 minutes (Hawksnest/Trunk/Cinnamon). So if beach time is important, I'd skip the hike and taxi to a beach.

 

I also recommend checking the cruise ship schedule in St. Thomas to see how many ships are in port with you. If it's more than 3, I'd skip Trunk. It can get extremely crowded on ship days.

 

Ms411....thanks for the tip on the golf carts at Caneel. We've only driven in to go to Honeymoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Enjoy, Sandy!!! You'll have a great day regarding which way you go :-)

 

Thanks. With no other ships in port, Trunk Bay will be a pleasure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it took about 40 minutes each way.

It was a lovely walk - just wear water shoes rather than flip flops because it's rocky.

 

 

 

 

We'll be on the Fantasy in December and I was wondering whether it would be worth it to go over to St. John.

2 1/2 hours isn't very long (see above remark about the 40 minutes to the beach. That leaves about 1 1/2 hours at the beach itself.

Is there possibly a catamaran ride over that would be more likely to drop you at a beach rather than Cruz Bay? (And would be a more pleasant ride than a ferry)

 

The excursion itself is 4 1/2 hours. You get 2 1/4 hour on St. John, more than enough time to enjoy yourself.

 

Think about it, if you get back to the ship before everybody else, that's more time to enjoy the Aquaduck :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome for the golf cart info, Anne. It now makes the beach accessible for those with mobility issues or those carrying coolers, etc. Also gives you a few more minutes to enjoy the beach if you're only visiting for a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...