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Best snorkelling out of these islands ....


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travelling on NCL dawn - ports st marten, st Thomas, Martinique, st Kitts, Barbados and Antigua - we want to snorkel once during the cruise

Which island would you recommend??

Any others tips for these ports would be appreciated as well :D

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travelling on NCL dawn - ports st marten, st Thomas, Martinique, st Kitts, Barbados and Antigua - we want to snorkel once during the cruise

 

Which island would you recommend??

 

Any others tips for these ports would be appreciated as well :D

 

 

 

We have taken the NCL excursion "Champagne Catamaran to St. John's" each time we were in St. Thomas for snorkelling, and can not say anything but wonderful things about it. We intend on doing this same excursion again when we are on the Dawn in January.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Just a note in St John, for good quality snorkeling off a beach on St John you need to go to Waterlemon Cay or another spot further out from the more popular beaches like Trunk and Cinnamon, and you'd need to trust a driver to return for you or rent a car which can be hard to do for one day. Another option is a day sail where you moor off the cays of STJ, High Pockets and Yacht Nightwind are two very popular independent operators. The champagne cat Proud Dance Mom mentioned that is offered through the ship is another option, but for a beach or snorkeling day we'd go on our own or choose a daysail with just 6 ppl like High Pokets. For St Thomas we'd choose Sapphire Beach for the coral and sea grass areas.

 

Our only snorkel experience in Antigua was off Green Island with turtles and that was just ok, I'm sure there are better options there.

 

Reading trip reports on trip advisor can also help find great snorkel spots not regularly mentioned on cruise critic.

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We went to Sapphire Beach on St Thomas and really enjoyed it. There were areas of coral, and sea grass, and also sandy areas just to swim. There is also a place to eat, have drinks, and change into dry clothes. We took a cab from the pier (we were on Carnival) and it was $30 for 3 of us. We arranged for our cab to come back for us, but there were cabs waiting to take people back to the pier.

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We went to Sapphire Beach on St Thomas and really enjoyed it. There were areas of coral, and sea grass, and also sandy areas just to swim. There is also a place to eat, have drinks, and change into dry clothes. We took a cab from the pier (we were on Carnival) and it was $30 for 3 of us. We arranged for our cab to come back for us, but there were cabs waiting to take people back to the pier.

 

We love Sapphire, we've rented a condo there a few times and there's no place better to stay!

Taxi is $10 - $11pp each way depending on where you dock.

 

This is a webcam with a nice drone video -

http://www.sapphireinthesun.com

 

This cam is by the new beach bar -

https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/us-virgin-islands/st-thomas/east-end/saint-thomas-virgin-islands.html

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Amberjohn, Wyndham Turtle Bay is a new property opening Oct 27. It is located on Lambert Beach and was formerly a resort of the same name (Lambert Beach Resort). You probably won't find much info on cruise forums so you may want to read past trip advisor reviews from folks who stayed there.

 

Jean you have a great day planned!

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We did a catamaran in Barbados with Calypso Cruises. They picked you up right outside the terminal and took you to the ship. I booked thru trip advisor and it was $100/pp. They only take like a dozen or so people, so it's not crowded. The catamaran was very nice----there were even magazines in the bathroom, lol. When we got on board, they had coffee, tea, and other drinks waiting, along with fresh cookies. We went out to our first stop and fed and swam with the sea turtles, and the next was a shipwreck to snorkel. It was beginning to get crowded with other people arriving, and we left and sailed up the coast. We stopped at a small deserted beach, and the crew cooked an amazing lunch while we played in the water. The snacks and drinks never stopped the whole day. We sailed back to the dock and they dropped us off at the terminal. It was probably the most relaxing excursion I've ever been on. As best as I can remember, taxi charges are regulated in Barbados. We teamed up with 2 other couples and got a van at the terminal once and the driver took us around to all the places to see.

 

In St. Martin, you have to do the tourist thing and go to Maho Beach for sure. The big planes come in the afternoons, but if you want to get a chair (not free), you have to be there before they sell out. There are 2 bars there. I hope they get rebuilt before your cruise. There's a pretty beach by the water taxi terminal (I think it's about $5 round trip to the cruise terminal), and restaurants and lots of shopping. Most of the restaurants didn't take cards last year. Our first time there, we did an island tour and learned a lot, but it was long, and we didn't get to do much else.

 

In Antigua, the first time, we caught a cab with another couple and went to a beach. It had a restaurant that wasn't too expensive, and bathrooms and showers. The 2nd time, we did an island tour with Laurence of Antigua. He's very knowledgeable and takes you to all the best photo spots too. His van has Wi-fi too!

 

The first time in St. Thomas, we caught an open air taxi with some others and took a trip to see the important spots, and then I went to Coral World and swam with the sea lions. The next time, we took the ferry to St John, and went to a beach----I can't remember the name of it---but they had a pretty good snorkeling spot there with markers underwater telling some of the things you would see. There was a rocky island there with cactus all over it, and the snorkeling was around that island. There were restrooms and showers there. I think it might have been a national park. Afterwards, on the way back, the driver stopped at some overlooks and we took pics.

 

In St. Kitts, we rode the train around the island. It's very loud and you can't always hear the guide. They give you drinks---with rum if you like, and there is a small bathroom on the train. The tour wasn't very long, so there's plenty of time to walk around in port and shop.

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For St Maarten/St Martin we'd recommend avoiding the tourist hot spots like Maho and head for a nicer beach like Friar's Bay and Happy Bay. If you want a closer beach Dawn is nice, just a lot more crowded...

Maho is the place to go if you want that experience (just be safe as there was a jet thrust-related death there) and you can have a lunch at the SSBB...

 

On Antigua, we also enjoyed a great private island tour with Lawrence. Another visit we enjoyed the Excellence two-deck catamaran, snorkeling was ok, the best part was cruising through the harbors. Have not seen such blue water before or since our visit to Antigua...

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