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St. Thomas - Champagne cruise to St. John


mrmj

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Has anyone taken HAL's Champagne Catamaran Sail & Snorkel to St. John from St. Thomas? Is it worth it? What's the difference between this excursion and other excursions offered to St. Johns?

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Has anyone taken HAL's Champagne Catamaran Sail & Snorkel to St. John from St. Thomas? Is it worth it? What's the difference between this excursion and other excursions offered to St. Johns?

We have taken this excursion from HAL several times. It is a lot of fun. First of all, the sailing is great as you cross the Drake channel to st John. secondly, you are adjacent to Caneel Bay resort which has some of the best snorkeling you will find in the Caribbean. You are at Honeymoon beach so if someone with you does not snorkel or gets tired/bored, the beach is very nice. thirdly, on the return, they have food and drinks and you really get to know the others who are participating in this excursion with you - lots of fun.

 

We have stayed on St John at Caneel Bay resort many times, so we are very familiar with the island. Other excursions are just a bit mundane compared to this one as this is the essence of being on that island - swimming, beaching, snorkeling, and partying. If you are considering visiting St John later either for camping or staying at the resort, then I encourage you to look at the other excursions; otherwise, this is the ticket.

harry

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We took this excursion in Dec., off the Statendam, and were quite disappointed! They overloaded the catamaran, from the less than 20 that was advertised, to @ 40 people. The weather wasrainy and windy, and our inexperienced crew lost their anchor at the first snorkle site, where alot of other vessels were docked and snorkling. We then went to another bay, where those that were intent on snorkling tried to do so, but the water was so murky, and there was nothing interesting to see, so they were quickly back on board! The crew then opened the bar to get everyone in a better frame of mind, but several of the passengers were demanding a refund. The snack food was sparse to say the least, also. We expressed our disappointment to the shore excursion desk back on board, and suggested that they investigate that particular vendor, but we did not demand a refund, unlike many others. We would have contracted with an indepandent provider, except for the fact that our ship shortened its stay in St. Thomas (and in several other ports), and , therefore the timing was iffy. Hopefully, HAL has changed providers by now!

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my wife and I and another couple took this a couple of years ago. Unless it has drasticly improved, I would stay away. The "Brunch" that was offered was made up of canned dip and some chips. No sandwiches or anything. They ran out of drinks also. This was one of the worst excurisions we had ever been on. Then on the way back, all we heard was how hard the crew had worked and "don't forget to show your graditude" when we reach the dock. The sailing part was great. But I always thought that Brunch would mean a little more to eat than doritos and dip. I''ll bet they had at least 2 bags of them.

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Ahoy!

 

You might want to consider a private sail. I can highly recommend the following excursion for a champagne sail and snorkel excursion.

 

http://sailhighpockets.com/

 

I'd email Kathleen and let her know you'd like to stop in St. John. The boat is limited to six passengers and includes a 'gourmet' lunch, wine champagne & a wonderful rum punch. Recent pricing was $125 / pp. I don't know what HAL is charging for thier shorex.

 

You also might check out and do a research query on the Ports of Call board for St. Thomas to get some other ideas / opinions.

 

Have a Great Cruise!

 

Bon Voyage & Good Health!

Bob:)

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Thanks - wow - I didn't expect these comments considering the excursion is in HAL's medallion collection.

 

I was just trying to gauge whether it was worth the cost vs. doing St. John on our own.

 

Any other comments are still appreciated?

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There were no kids on board and it is advertised as a champagne sail....my opinion is no...the trek back on the bus got a little rowdy...having kids there might help the adults to be...well....more like adults!....but it's too bad because the snorkling and getting out on the water on a nice sized catamaran was just a great day...it was a highlight for us....lots of neat fish to look at and Honeymoon Bay is really nice....oh yes...I'd guess there were about 30 on board....

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