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minniem

Need advice about St Thomas and St Martin

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Hi , my husband and I are cruising to these islands in Dec on Regal.  Len has some stomach issues that make it difficult  to know when or if he will be able to leave the ship. Because of this we usually do not do ship excursions and just get off when we can  and look for something to do.  Anyone have any advice on how to get around these islands and things to do.  We have been to these islands before but did not get off the ship.  Thanks for any ideas you can share.

Jan

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St Thomas has lots of shopping, cafes etc near the main port. Otherwise it’s easy to grab a cab and go to a nearby beach for a few hours.  It’s been a while but I remember lots of taxis available in St Marten also.  I would suggest you check out the specific port boards for more details.  Also many of the Caribbean Islands have websites run by their tourist board with lots of information including maps of the port ares, transportation information etc.  Try https://www.visitusvi.com/st-thomas or Trip Advisor.

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In both St. Thomas and St. Maarten it is fairly easy to just walk around town.

St. Thomas. The ship docks at Havensight. The Havensight shopping mall is right there. There are also taxis right at the pier that can take you to the downtown area which is a short ride. Downtown is interesting.

St. Maarten. The ship docks near town. It's a 15 minute walk or taxis are available. There is also a water taxi. Front street is right on Great Bay beach. You can also just go to this beach. 

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In St. Maarten, walk to the town (where the beach starts, basically where the waterfront changes from north-south to east-west) and then a few blocks inland. You will see vans driving west with the destination on the windshield. "Marigot" will take you to the French capital of the island and there are other destinations as well. The cost is $2 per person, pay the driver when you get off. It is polite to say "Good morning" to the occupants when you board. To come back, look for a van that says "Phillipsburg".

Edited by Wehwalt

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3 hours ago, skynight said:

In both St. Thomas and St. Maarten it is fairly easy to just walk around town.

St. Thomas. The ship docks at Havensight. The Havensight shopping mall is right there. . . .

Princess ships may also dock at Crown Bay, which is on the other side of downtown and less convenient.  We have seen this when we docked at Havensight and noticed another ship over at Crown Bay.  Re Havensight, other than the shopping there is the Sky Ride up to Paradise Point for great views.

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1 hour ago, BarbinMich said:

Princess ships may also dock at Crown Bay, which is on the other side of downtown and less convenient.  We have seen this when we docked at Havensight and noticed another ship over at Crown Bay.  Re Havensight, other than the shopping there is the Sky Ride up to Paradise Point for great views.

 

The contract for Crown Bay is over and Royal Caribbean now has the contract there.  It is now rare for a Princess ship to dock there.

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Check how many ships are in port in St Maarten, cabs can go quick.

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4 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

Princess ships may also dock at Crown Bay, which is on the other side of downtown and less convenient.  We have seen this when we docked at Havensight and noticed another ship over at Crown Bay.  Re Havensight, other than the shopping there is the Sky Ride up to Paradise Point for great views.

It is scheduled for Havensight (WICO). Two or three years ago Carnival Corp. did not renew the contract with Crown Bay. Since then ships dock at Havensight.

Dec. 11th – Wednesday

ALLURE OF THE SEAS – 5,408 PassengersCB (7:00 AM – 5:30 PM)

CARNIVAL CONQUEST – 2,984 PassengersWICO (7:00 AM – 3:00 PM)

REGAL PRINCESS – 3,560 PassengersWICO (10:00 AM – 10:00 PM)

SEADREAM I – 112 PassengersCruz Bay (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

NORWEGIAN ENCORE – 3,998 PassengersWICO (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

Dec. 25th – Wednesday

ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS – 3,114 PassengersCB (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

NORWEGIAN GEM – 2,394 PassengersWICO (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

REGAL PRINCESS – 3,560 PassengersWICO (10:00 AM – 10:00 PM)

NORWEGIAN ENCORE – 3,998 PassengersWICO (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

 

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Paradise Point Tramway is also really close to the port and has fantastic views of the island.  There are a few shops at the top as well as a nice restaurant and bar.  The ship is there late so you could also go up in the early evening and see the lights of the city.  It is very pretty in the evening.

 

Have a great trip!!

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8 hours ago, skynight said:

It is scheduled for Havensight (WICO). Two or three years ago Carnival Corp. did not renew the contract with Crown Bay. Since then ships dock at Havensight.

Dec. 11th – Wednesday

ALLURE OF THE SEAS – 5,408 PassengersCB (7:00 AM – 5:30 PM)

CARNIVAL CONQUEST – 2,984 PassengersWICO (7:00 AM – 3:00 PM)

REGAL PRINCESS – 3,560 PassengersWICO (10:00 AM – 10:00 PM)

SEADREAM I – 112 PassengersCruz Bay (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

NORWEGIAN ENCORE – 3,998 PassengersWICO (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

Dec. 25th – Wednesday

ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS – 3,114 PassengersCB (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

NORWEGIAN GEM – 2,394 PassengersWICO (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

REGAL PRINCESS – 3,560 PassengersWICO (10:00 AM – 10:00 PM)

NORWEGIAN ENCORE – 3,998 PassengersWICO (8:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

 

There is the possibility of tendering at St Thomas. We did that on the Crown Princess a few years ago. Depends on the number of ships. 

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Also is your husband is having a good day in St Thomas while you are strolling downtown it is very easy to jump on a tour of the island.

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6 hours ago, CountryCruiser said:

There is the possibility of tendering at St Thomas. We did that on the Crown Princess a few years ago. Depends on the number of ships. 

No tendering in December for the Regal. It is assigned to Havensight (WICO). Havensight can easily handle the 3 ships assigned there on December 11th and 25th.

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On 9/25/2019 at 6:44 AM, minniem said:

Hi , my husband and I are cruising to these islands in Dec on Regal.  Len has some stomach issues that make it difficult  to know when or if he will be able to leave the ship. Because of this we usually do not do ship excursions and just get off when we can  and look for something to do.  Anyone have any advice on how to get around these islands and things to do.  We have been to these islands before but did not get off the ship.  Thanks for any ideas you can share.

Jan

 

 

A little gem of a place we enjoy visiting, and maybe a bit outside-the-box of typical destinations, is the little sand floor Hebrew synagogue in Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas).  It is very charming, and they have a very nice little gift shop.  We aren't Jewish, but it's like how you'd visit a cathedral even if you aren't Catholic. They are welcoming to all; you usually can just walk in and look around. They give little talks about the history of St Thomas and the islands to the small groups of visitors that come through. But, it is an active synagogue, so official "things" might be going on (in which case, it could be closed to visitors). I truly love their gift shop. 

It is on one of the steep hills above the heart of town, maybe 2? 3? blocks up. We usually taxi into town, and then walk up to it. It is a challenging walk up for us, and in the warm Caribbean sun, but we do it. You could have the taxi take you straight there from the ship, and then you can walk down to town. 

 

This link is their own website.  You can also read about it on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor gives high marks (No. 1 place to visit on St Thomas!) and has more varied info about it. 

https://synagogue.vi/

 

 

Edited by WoodstockGirl

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A few years ago, I was there and had just had surgery - did not want to get off ship with the crowds - got off after most, did a short walk, then asked a taxi driver to drive me around the island. He stopped if I asked him to, did a few photos, got a drink and brought it into his cab and he let me off right at the pier. It was not expensive - private tour.

Or, you could leave that taxi, if there is somewhere you want to stop for any length of time - no shortage of taxis touring around will pick you up and take you back to ship.

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43 minutes ago, WoodstockGirl said:

 

 

A little gem of a place we enjoy visiting, and maybe a bit outside-the-box of typical destinations, is the little sand floor Hebrew synagogue in Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas).  It is very charming, and they have a very nice little gift shop.  We aren't Jewish, but it's like how you'd visit a cathedral even if you aren't Catholic. They are welcoming to all; you usually can just walk in and look around. They give little talks about the history of St Thomas and the islands to the small groups of visitors that come through. But, it is an active synagogue, so official "things" might be going on (in which case, it could be closed to visitors). I truly love their gift shop. 

It is on one of the steep hills above the heart of town, maybe 2? 3? blocks up. We usually taxi into town, and then walk up to it. It is a challenging walk up for us, and in the warm Caribbean sun, but we do it. You could have the taxi take you straight there from the ship, and then you can walk down to town. 

 

This link is their own website.  You can also read about it on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor gives high marks (No. 1 place to visit on St Thomas!) and has more varied info about it. 

https://synagogue.vi/

 

 

Is there an admission charge ?

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1 hour ago, MissP22 said:

Is there an admission charge ?

 

 

No, it's a functioning synagogue.

You go in just like you'd go in to any other place of worship.

If someone gives you an interesting presentation there they would probably happily accept a donation.

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Thanks to those you updated me on the Crown Bay situation.  We haven't been to St. Thomas for a few years.

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6 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

Thanks to those you updated me on the Crown Bay situation.  We haven't been to St. Thomas for a few years.

 

Unfortunately we LIKED Crown Bay.  Lousy location, few shops but walking distance to the marina where the Water Island ferry goes out of.  Still remember going to Honeymoon Bay on Water Island with the two of us and two guys stocking the bar as the only ones there that day.

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1 hour ago, LeeW said:

 

Unfortunately we LIKED Crown Bay.  Lousy location, few shops but walking distance to the marina where the Water Island ferry goes out of.  Still remember going to Honeymoon Bay on Water Island with the two of us and two guys stocking the bar as the only ones there that day.

It appears that we are among the few who like Crown bay over Havensight.

It's so much quieter & only a 25 minute walk to the beach. 😄

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