Ports of Call

St. Thomas

U.S. Virgin Islands

We love St. Thomas.  The folks on this island are friendly and welcoming, and St. Thomas has some of the most beautiful views and beaches I’ve ever seen.  We consider St. Thomas a paradise, and Roger claims he’s working his way south to live in St. Thomas at least six months out of every year. 

St. Thomas is renowned for her duty-free shopping, so lots of folks visit St. Thomas just to pick up a large ticket item duty-free.  On one of our trips, one of the couples we dined with each evening had taken that cruise simply to purchase a diamond and emerald tennis bracelet as an anniversary present for the wife.  At $10,000, the wife and the bracelet were sparkling at dinner after our stop in St. Thomas.  We just suggest that you check the prices back home of items you’re considering purchasing in St. Thomas to make certain you’re getting a good deal on the island.  You can purchase jewelry, electronics, liquor and more.  If you want to restock your liquor cabinet, visit the liquor store early in the day to make your purchases, and the liquor store will gladly deliver your purchase to the ship on your behalf. 

On one of our cruises, I had won over $600 in a game of Bingo before the evening’s show (YEAH!), and St. Thomas was our next shop, so we decided to pick up a piece of jewelry in St. Thomas with my winnings.  I’d always admired the black coral pieces designed by Bernard K. Passman, but I knew my winnings wouldn’t pay for one of his works, so we inquired in Diamonds International where we could purchase a nice black coral piece at our price.  The clerk took us to the door of the store, giving us directions to a store she recommended, and when she realized we weren’t understanding, she led us straight to the story in a fast walk.  Such service!  And, I purchased a nice black coral necklace that day that I love. 

The shopping is definitely the feature for lots of visitors to the island, but the beaches are equally magnificent on this island surrounded by crystal clear blue water.  Lots of tour operators pick up guests from the cruise ship in their open-air trucks, offering transportation for the day.  You can choose a certain number of hours to shop in town, then meet at a specified location to be picked up for the next leg of your tour, which is a tour of the island, and the last stop is a beach, where you can stay a few more hours or you can just snap a few pictures, then reboard the truck for your ride home. 

The ride is an experience on it’s own, as these drivers swiftly drive on these narrow, winding, hilly roads, and you find yourself praying for good brakes!  For years, the pinnacle of the island tour was a stop at Mountaintop View, with a deck high above sea level, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the island.  The feature of this stop was the world famous banana daiquiris.  Roger doesn’t drink “foo foo” drinks, as he calls drinks like these, anywhere else, but he loves these banana daiquiris.  Unfortunately, the Mountaintop View was destroyed by fire in May, 2009, so the tours now ending at a garden until Mountaintop View is rebuilt this year … but the banana daiquiries are still available at the new destination. 

The beaches are fabulous with so many to choose from.  We’ve visited Coki Beach, Sapphire Beach, and Magen’s Bay Beach, and we caught the Red Hook ferry over to St. John, British Virgin Islands, for a day visit to Trunk Bay Beach, where there’s a great snorkeling trail to follow.  One of our favorite days was spent with friends at the private beach of Secret Harbour resort … a fabulous day in St. Thomas with friends, with an added stop on our drive home at a roadside open-air bar, Duffy’s Love Shack.  I love it! 

Last year after many visits to St. Thomas, we wanted to new experience, so we booked a day at sea with Captain Bobby aboard his yacht, the Rumbaba.  This was a more expensive day in St. Thomas, as the yacht will accommodate only six additional guests in addition to Captain Bobby and his first mate, but the exclusivity was wonderful.  We sailed out until we found a good spot to relax, where we snorkeled, swam, and floated on noodles all day.  The day was all-inclusive, and Captain Bobby had asked for our favorite drinks and our lunch entree choice from mahi mahi, ahi tuna steak, filet of beef, or chicken breast.  Lunch ended up being a fabulous gourmet meal served open air on the yacht.  We recommend this excursion! 

Hope you love St. Thomas as much as we did, and if you’ve discovered a fabulous excursion or experience there, please let us know right here!

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