We’ve been home for 4 days already, and I’m still having a hard time getting my head where it needs to be. Seems I’m still on Caribbean time, and I have a feeling I will be for a while. We had such a good time that I’m already planning our next one! Of course I have to win another trip before that can happen but I’m working on it.
I’m going to do a review of the cruise itself but since it was the largest part of our vacation I will save that for the last post. For now, I’ll be sharing our adventures on each island. They didn’t really turn out as we had planned but that’s ok, we had fun, which is the important thing. I still find it kind of hard to believe we visited four different countries while we were away.
St Thomas was our first port. While we were pulling in both Chelsea and I were in awe that first, it was no longer ocean for as far as the eye could see, second, how pretty the water was, and mostly just how beautiful it was over all. I think we took fifty or so pictures just pulling into port.
If you remember from my previous posts we had planned to visit Coral World for this stop. So when we finally got off the boat we hopped a bus to get downtown to browse before we made our way further in. Downtown was pretty, although crammed with people which I suppose is to be expected. On one side there were stores, on the other there was the ocean. Can’t ask for better shopping scenery! We skipped the main shopping places in lieu of the flea market type stalls. We had a very tiny budget so had to be very careful what we purchased. That day we each bought an inexpensive sundress, and something for the boys back home.
As we decided to explore a little more we found ourselves a street or two into the downtown area and were all of a sudden surrounded by jewellery stores. We’d attended a seminar on the boat in regards to shopping on the islands, so we had some coupons for free stuff that we figured we would cash in at that point. If you find yourself in the same situation, don’t bother. While the items you get are sort of cute little tokens, they are similar to something you would get from a 25 cent candy machine, but that’s how they get people in the doors, and then they really do expect you to buy something. There had to have been a couple hundred jewellery stores just along that street and while the prices were really amazing, they still weren’t in our range.
After exploring for a bit we had to start figuring out how to get to Coral World. We approached a police officer for directions, as we figured it would be the safest way to find out. We had asked several people before then and couldn’t figure out why no one understood that we wanted a regular ol’ bus. Not a charter, tour, taxi, etc. As it turns out they do have a city bus but it’s the same type of vehicle they use for tours. Coral World was at the very opposite end of the island, but by taking the bus it only cost us $2/each to get there.
We had to walk a little bit but for the price neither of us were complaining. When we got there, the admission price was a bit more than we expected. It turned out well though because there was a beautiful beach right next door. Having looked at photos before we left I knew it was there, just hadn’t expected to use it. So we ended up spending a good portion of our day laid out on Coki beach. It was packed, but still so relaxing to lay out on the white sand beaches and swim in the clear water. By the time we were ready to leave we were both mush from the heat and relaxation, great way to spend an afternoon if you ask me.
We still had about 4 hours to spend on St Thomas so we decided to take the bus back as well. The ride back was considerably longer but for a total of $4 we got to see the entire island. We talked with locals who told us where we needed to get off, pointed out landmarks, and interesting little tidbits. We basically had our own little tour, in the same type of open vehicle, saw more than most since the bus traversed the entire island, and paid a fraction of the amount. It was a little nerve wracking since we had to watch our own time table, but that was ok because it was an experience I won’t soon forget. I also hope that it showed Chelsea that if you’re willing to travel off the beaten path it just might be worth the extra trouble. If you’re looking for more info on how to get around St Thomas, this link has good information.
Of the three islands we visited, St Thomas seemed to be the least commercialized. Considering the amount of jewellery stores that might sound odd, but even those stores were mostly ma and pop type fronts. We both loved the easy atmosphere, beautiful murals along the roads, and the beach was the prettiest we saw on our trip. One day I’ll go back and be able to spend a little more time there.
Here are just a few of my favorite pics from St Thomas…