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After reading this forum, plans have changed. Can you help, please?


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You folks have saved us from excursion regret. Thank you! But now, we don't know what to do. :)


We will be on Royal Caribbean's Mariner the first week of September, and are scheduled for Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas for 9am to 6 pm on Wednesday. Our children were very excited to see the two pirate castles listed, and we planned to try to visit both. After reading here that they are not very pirate-y, we have decided to make a new plan, and this is where we need your expertise.


The children (one in elementary and one in high school) are both fascinated with pirates, so we would love some serious pirate fun. I don't think a tower and hotel with a pirate's name will do the trick. I have, at least, managed to convince them that will not be seeing Johnny Depp, but can you recommend some pirate-themed activities?


If the pirate idea just isn't going to happen, our next choice would be a great beach. We would like one that is beautiful, does not involve a great deal of travel (well, other than the thousands of miles getting to the island on the ship!), and has restroom facilities. Ideally, the little one would have room to play in the sand and build sand castles. We are not interested in watersports or waverunners and such. Rafts, slides, and the like are good, but not required.


We would also consider some sort of underwater expedition, like a submersible or such (not snorkeling/scuba diving), or a "swimming with the...[ocean life]," as long as it did not require advanced swimming. My little one can swim, but is not expert.


The only other consideration is that my husband will be 6 weeks post-operation at the time (an extensive abdominal surgery). While he will be mostly recovered, he won't be doing any long hikes or activities that require a high level of physical endurance.


So, what can you recommend for us? I am leaving our plans in your capable hands!


Thanks so much!



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For a beautiful, but pirate free, day take the kids and your recuperating husband to Coki Beach. Sand beach, calm waters, easy snorkeling, restrooms, food, drink, clean, friendly.... Be one of the first off the ship, take the cab from the pier ($9 per person each way) and you'll have the beach to yourselves for a good hour - we did anyway.


We've been home just one month, exactly, and are trying to figure out when we can go back.

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There is a tour that involves treasure hunting and a boat, and there's a beach near the boat dock. It's called Hassel Island Historic Tours, and it leaves from the Marriot Hotel (not too far from the cruise ships), and it involves hiking, historical lecture, and a treasure hunt. For now, the tours are by appointment only.


Check http://www.islandtreasurevi.com, or e-mail island_treasures_2004@yahoo.com. Phone 340-774-8674; cell 340-690-6515. Maybe he can throw in some pirate props like eye patches, swords, etc.


There's also a new pirate store in town (just opened last week) along the waterfront next door to Down Island Traders. I don't know the name of it, but you can't miss it if you're on the Waterfront.


Some people here are also part of that GPS thing where they hide things, and you have to find it with your GPS thing (obviously, I've forgotten what it's called, but there's a Website!) Oh! Geocaching! If they're into that, you might want to talk it up as their pirate adventure.

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