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Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

Cleveland
Level Contributor
20 posts
Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

Arriving on a cruise ship and would like to plan a trip to St. Johns to snorkel. I was there 20 years ago and it was the most beutiful place. The excusions from the ship just don't give enoiugh time to snorkel.

Seems the fastest and most economical way would be taxi to Red Hook - Ferry then taxi to a beach. Is there a better way?

Also what would be a recommended beach. I (dad) am going with my two daugheters 17 & 16.

Thanks!

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Cruz Bay
Level Contributor
7,016 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

You already answered your own question. Taxi to RH, ferry, taxi to beach.

St John has changed much in 20 years!!! My first time was 1991 when a girlfriend & I took a cruise. We both fell in love with St John immediately and have been going back ever since. We eventually invited our husbands and kids to join us (but not always! LOL)

My two favorite beaches are Hawksnest (closest to Cruz Bay, except Caneel property) and Francis. Francis is pretty far and you would need to make arrangements for the taxi driver to come back to get you. Easy to get a taxi at Hawksnest.

Parker, CO
Level Contributor
803 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

That's exactly what we do when we are on a cruise.

We go to Cinnamon Bay because it's less crowded when cruise ships are in port, has plenty of taxi's going to and from, and has facilities, like bathrooms and showers.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4,252 posts
57 reviews
3. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

Taxi to RH BUT when you get to Cruz Bay....walk the 3-4 blocks to the VIsitor Center at the Virgin Island National Park and get directions to hike into the park... it's free and within a mile you can be snorkeling at some awesome beaches. The hike is easy and we carried snorkel bags and towel bag with refreshments. We were pretty much all alone for the whole day. IT WAS GREAT! Donna

Cleveland
Level Contributor
20 posts
4. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

Love your suggestions. Sounds like a plan. Thanks

United States
Level Contributor
490 posts
5. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

Is the snorkel or beach most important? The reason I ask is that Salomon Beach is beautiful but does not have the best of snorkeling on StJ. It is good but not StJ snorkeling at it's greatest. Below is a suggestion I posted for someone else asking a similar question. Their main desire was the beach.

Since you are beach people here is my suggestion. You will need sunscreen, sunglasses, walking shoes such as tennis shoes or good walking sandals, towels to sit on and a fabric cooler for lunch and drinks. Walk from the ferry dock and turn left at the main street just past Joes BBQ (first place you can turn left) two blocks you will pass a soccer field on your left and Mongoose Junction shopping plaza on your right. If you don't have lunch cross the street to Mongoose Junction and find the Deli Grotto to pick up lunch. If you don't need lunch turn left on the first street past the soccer field and head toward the water until you are behind the National Park Service Headquarters and headed for the boat ramp. You will find the trailhead of the Lind Point trail just before you find the boat ramp. Follow the trail to Saloman Beach. It is a mile or less. The terrain is easily negotiated. Watch for the spur that will take you downhill to Saloman. Your jaw will drop when you reach the beach. You can make the trip a little easier by catching a taxi to Caneel Bay Resort and walking to Honeymoon beach. It is still a bit of a walk. From there you can either snorkel/swim around the point to Saloman or taking the trail spur over the point to Saloman Beach. I guarantee you will love it and it is THE beach you will not be able to forget from you cruise.

Also, before you catch a taxi to Red Hook, check the Charlotte Amalie (downtown) ferry schedule to see if it will fit your schedule either going to or returning from Cruz Bay. It is a much shorter taxi ride but the schedule is limited and some of it's runs are suspended.

Have a great time on StJ and let us know what you did and how it worked out for you.

Edited: 01 March 2011, 08:52
Parker, CO
Level Contributor
803 posts
25 reviews
6. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

I think Cinnamon is the best beach for cruise ship people who don't want the crowds of Trunk.

It has facilities - bathroom, showers, snack shack, and decent snorkeling. The taxi's are also plentiful so no risk of not being able to leave when you want to.

Cleveland
Level Contributor
20 posts
7. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

Snorkeling is the most important. Is there somewhere hikeable (is that a word?) ~ 1mile or should we just take a taxi? Preference would be to hike, but if snorkeling is way better at say Cinamon bay we would just take the taxi.

United States
Level Contributor
490 posts
8. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

I suggest you visit www.seestjohn.com for more specific information on all of the beaches.

Trunk, Cinnamon, Maho, Hawksnest will all give you a taste of StJ, but if you want to try something a little different consider Denis beach.

Depart the ferry and catch a taxi to the Peace Hill parking lot. Find the trail that leads down to Denis on the right near the trailhead heading up to Peace Hill. The trail is narrow, winding, relatively short but can be slippery when wet. Keep what you carry light as you have to carry it back up. The beach is usually nearly all yours, there is Perkins Cay to snorkel around. Plan the entry and exit for your snorkel as there are boulders on the left and shallow rocks on your right. We like to spend all day here. Once on the beach, stay on the sand and do not wander above the vegetation line except when on the trail. The land above the vegetation line is private property. You will have to arrange for a taxi to pick you up when you want to leave or get your taxi drivers cell number on the drive there or just chance it and catch a taxi that is headed back to town as Trunk is only one bay East so there is traffic headed back to town from there.

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
2,141 posts
44 reviews
9. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

The snorkel between Salomon and Honeymoon is one of our favorites on St. John. I'd be worried that they'd hike there, though, and the wind would be up and it wouldn't be so great.... On a calm day, it's a beautiful snorkel!

Do the taxis go as far as Francis? The right side of Francis, all the way out to Mary's Point is another nice snorkel.

Cleveland
Level Contributor
20 posts
10. Re: Need help with St. John Trip plan from Cruise ship

Well we ended up taking the taxi to Cinnamon Bay. It wasn't a calm day so the snorkeling wasn't to good, but we had a great time. The beach was beautiful.

Thx for the suggestions.