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Brianinidaho

Cheap Transportation on St. Thomas

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Thanks to all who have posted, this info helped us out a ton!

 

We found these open air safari buses cheap, clean, safe, and fast. The taxi racket here is a rip off... 6 people to go a few miles at $60!! compared to less than $15 on the public transportation.

 

No wonder local folks don't take the tourist taxis!

 

Have fun at St. Thomas... but save some cash also!

 

Fred

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Manoverboard

 

Thanks For Your Valuable Info. It Definitely Helps With Planning Ahead. We Are In St. Thomas On The Crown Princess In Early Oct. We Are Docking At The Crown Bay Pier. How Long Would It Take To Get To Red Hook On The $1-$2 Open Air Bus? Where Do We Go To Catch It When We Leave The Boat? And Lastly-do You Think We Will Have Enough Time To Go To St. John To Rent A Dinghy If We Are There From 7a-3p? We Did Godfrey's Tour In The Past And Would Like To Experience St. John. Thanks For Any Info.

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Transportation questions: Our ship, docking at Crown Bay, along with 5 others being in St. Thomas will arrive on a Saturday. Is the traffic worse as compared to the weekly "rush hour"? We will need to go to the Sapphire Beach/Marina for our planned excursion. My understanding is that it is about a 30 minute trip(?) There may be as many as 8 in our group. Are the fares less pp if you have a larger group? Do these taxis accomodate 8? I can't figure out the fares from the posts. sorry, seems confusing. I am concerned about making it back to the ship...excursion ends at 4:15, MUST be onboard by 5:30.....any advice is much appreciated. Thank you

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Just so there is no misunderstanding, I was attempting to describe the conditions pedestrians would encounter when walking from the CROWN BAY marina to the center of Charlotte Amalie. Most cruise ships dock at Havensight, east of downtown. Crown Bay is west of the downtown area and gets used much less. Although there is a lot of traffic to content with, the walk from HAVENSIGHT to Kmart is only a short distance. Didn’t mean to provoke an argument –just trying to provide some information for cruisers who may get docked at Crown Bay. Since fewer ships go there it’s harder to get information about that area.

 

 

Crown Bay is now all Princess' ships new home, so this will apply to a whole lot more of us now.

 

.

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I will say it again, this is great advice.. there is a reason the taxi's line up at the ship... they are making a killing! Take what the locals take... safe, fast, fun, and cheap!

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We are on Princess also. Which way do we walk when we get to the road and how far is it to the independant bus site? Alan

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The taxi business is a huge racket here. It is “regulated” which appears to be simply an organized racket. There is a reason why there are hundreds of taxis inside the gated area of the port waiting to give rides. If I lived there I would want to drive a taxi as well because of the rates they charge. When you get off the ship, they want $13 per person to go to Red Hook, $10 per person for a group of 2 or more. We had 7, which would have been $140 round trip (I rented a car here once for $30 per day.. ya, they drive on the other side, but we made it work). So, we walked outside the gate and was offered the same trip for half price by a taxi. Walked 2 blocks toward Kmart and found that the locals were ridding the open air taxis for $2 each. Roundtrip was $28 for our party of 7 versus $140. And the local open air bus and the private expensive taxis all have the same traffic problems. The stops our bus made added less than 4 minutes to the total time. And we felt 100% safe the entire time. My point is that it is easy to see why no locals take the cabs that all the tourists line up to take… way too expensive. So if you are adventurous slightly, save a ton of money. The drivers are helpful. There are little doorbell type buttons on the roof you push to signal the drive you want off.

 

Thank you for this tip. Just got back from here also.... this helped!

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Manoverboard

 

Thanks For Your Valuable Info. It Definitely Helps With Planning Ahead. We Are In St. Thomas On The Crown Princess In Early Oct. We Are Docking At The Crown Bay Pier. How Long Would It Take To Get To Red Hook On The $1-$2 Open Air Bus? Where Do We Go To Catch It When We Leave The Boat? And Lastly-do You Think We Will Have Enough Time To Go To St. John To Rent A Dinghy If We Are There From 7a-3p? We Did Godfrey's Tour In The Past And Would Like To Experience St. John. Thanks For Any Info.

Has anyone answered this question?

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M411-

wow, what you described is exactly opposite of our experience and the experience of many who have posted.

Yes, the taxi drivers are paid to be nice... paid extremely well. In other words, they are very very expensive in my opinion.

We found the very short walk up to Kmart refreshing after eating cruise food for a few days. We found the safari bus extremely easy to find. And the bus stopped, the driver nice, and the ride safe and fun. We certainly saw a local side of the island that we would have not found riding in an expensive taxi.

 

Many crew and experienced travelers to the island were all walking to the Kmart area without any problem. Others can just follow them!

 

Many others agree, skip the high priced taxis! My 2 cents.

 

B

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Do these safari buses go to Saphire beach? How much will it cost to get there? How will we know when we are at saphire beach? How long does it take to get there?

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lieno - they do pass in the area but there isn't a well marked area you could go to that I am aware of to catch one, and there is a chance you'd be standing there for a while and not have a dollar ride pass...from Havensight area they pass more often and from a more designated spot as its a more central/busy area.

 

Melissa - yes they pass Sapphire, you'll need to walk from the main road to the beach... short walk, somewhat steep and then flat. Look for the Sapphire hotel signage, the road is on the side of a hill the beach down below. No they do not go to Mountain Top.

 

--Islander

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Brian in Idaho-

Couldn't help notice that you have been on lots of cruises and lots of cruise lines. Would really be interested in your comparison of the different cruise lines and itineraries. Have you posted any of that information in a different forum?

This will be our second cruise on RCI and I have to admit the first was sort of a bust. It was only a 5-day to the Bahamas in Feb and the weather was so bad we were only able to get off the ship once (they couldn't run the tenders because the surf was so rough). We've decided to try RCI again this year and we leave next week - Yippee! We have a stop in Nassau again -hopefully a better experience than last time.

We have also been on Carnival Miracle western carib from Tampa and Celebrity Century western carib. Celebrity is our favorite so far, but that cruise was 5 years ago and I've heard some negative reports lately about Celebrity.

Would be curious about your experiences and opinions, if you have the time. Thanks!

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Our ship (Norwegian Spirit) docks in St. Thomas at 11am, and it may take awhile to get off the boat. So our plan is to get our shopping in Charlotte Amalie done first (since shops close at 5pm??) and then go to Sapphire or Coki beach mid-afternoon. We would like to take public transportation to save some $$ (family of 5). Can I take a bus into Charlotte Amalie from Havensight, and then another from town to the beach? Where would we go to catch the bus? The ship doesn't leave until 1am, so we will have lots of time to get back from the beach.

Thanks for your help!

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We are also going to be a group of 7 - 1 of which is a toddler. Mainly because of the baby, I want to make absolutely certain that we are being very, very careful.

 

Are these "private" transports also at Red Hook to take you back?

 

Thanks so much for the advise. When adding up just transportation for the 7 of us around St. Thomas and St. Johns, it was getting to be very expensive. This would be great.

 

We took 4 small children, very safe, and they are public transportation, and it saved us a huge amount of money!

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Hello,

 

Yes you can take public transportation from the Havensight area to CA/town... you can also walk -takes about 25-30 minutes. You can catch public transportation from town to the east end (route which Sapphire and Coki are along). There are bus stops along the waterfront road in CA/town. There are shops in Havensight, you could shop there.

 

...a couple notes. To get to Coki via public transportation you get dropped along the main road and have to walk about 1/2 a mile through a seedy area and this is the same area you wait for the bus in. The sun sets here pretty early, its recommended you take a taxi for getting around in the evening.

 

--Islander

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There is one outstanding question that I have not seen asked that I can use some help from...

 

Can you get to Megan's Bay using the "Dollar taxi's?" If so, how do you get public transportation to the Megan's Bay?

 

BTW - Brian, I've noticed you have been providing similar advice on other islands. I love and share your travel philosophy. You've contributed a lot to these boards. Thank you.

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I will be sailing on the Carnival Miracle on May 11. We stop in St. Thomas. My DH and I would like to take the day and goto Sapphire Beach. Exactly, step by step, (since this is our 2nd cruise ever) do I get an inexpensive ride from the peir to Sapphire and how do we get back to the peir after we are done for the day? Thanks in advance for any and all information.

Your Pal,

Brydie

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Big Sky - Magens Bay is not on the pubic bus route, so no you can not use the dollar rides or public transportation to get there.

 

byrdie - If you are docked in Havensight, walk through the shopping area, exit to the main road. Turn left when exiting and walk until you get in front of Wendy's (fast food place). There is an intersection there, a Y, you can continue left toward town or turn right toward K-mart. You want to go right, toward K-mart. There is a bus stop area close to K-mart. You can catch the 'dollar ride' from there or the public bus, depends on which you want to take. Your wanting to go the East End route, getting off at Sapphire... ask some fellow bus takers for help or confirm with the driver both when getting on and to make sure you get off at your stop. You'll have to walk about 10 minutes down the Sapphire entrance to the beach. Some of the buses may go as far as Tutu and then you'd have to switch buses... not sure though; the driver can clarify this for you. To get back from Sapphire you'd walk back up to the place you got off at and wait, you'd want a bus or dollar ride going to the Havensight area.

 

--Islander

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This is wonderful thank you so much for the detailed info. I will print this page and take it with me. You are a jem! All my best, Brydie :)

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