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View Full Version : beaches in St. Thomas and st. Marten


kajohn
01-04-2003, 10:37 PM
My family will be on the eastern Magic in February. We do not want to do shore excursions, and would like to find beaches that we can get a taxi to on each island.

Any recommendations on nice beaches that have chairs to rent as well as food near by would be greatly appreciated. Since my kids are younger I would also like beaches where the surf isn't too crazy and I don't have to deal with nudity.

Any info from people who have done the beach thing on your own is greatly appreciated, including cost of taxis, chair rental, food etc

Also, if we do the beach thing on our own, do we need to bring beach towels from home with us, or can we take towels off the ship?

Thanks for everyone's help so far, the information I have gotten here is amazing!

fred ferdlap
01-05-2003, 07:13 AM
I also have little kids and would like to leave the ship for nice beaches.

Jobro2
01-05-2003, 07:52 AM
We went to Coki Beach when we cruised in June 2001. Our kids were 9 & 11 then, and loved it! It is beautiful and the water is like a big swimming pool..very calm! There are chairs, floats, snorkeling equipment all for rent..also there are floats for the younger kids to tie around their waists so if they are snorkeling and get tired they will not be "stuck"..my 9 year old, who is a ok swimmer, used one and loved it...she could float around and look at all the fish. And there are tons of beautiful fish to see! They gave us dog biscuits to feed them and they ate right out of the kids hands. There is also food available there, but we did not eat there...we arriverd early in the morning (by taxi, on our own, which was very easy) and left before lunch and returned to the ship to eat. We can't decide where to go when we cruise this June, we loved Coki and the kids still talk about it, but we may try Megan's Bay or Sapphire Beach..any suggestions..Oh,. no nudity at Coki!

NCRedding
01-05-2003, 08:40 AM
I second Coki Beach. It is also next to Coral World which is an aquarium, and has hot/cold showers, and food available. Your admission includes a wristband so you can go in and out as much as you like. Their bathrooms were much nicer than the ones at Coki--they needed cleaning the day we were there. We spent most of the day at Coki and Coral World, leaving about 2 to get back to the ship. Look for discount coupons on line or at the shopping area where you dock--they also had the coupon books in the gift shop at Coral World--which you can go into before you buy tickets. I think the taxis were 7 per person each way (we used an open air taxi to get there--an adventure--no seat belts, then we used an airconditioned van to get back). The chair rentals were $5 for a nice lounge chair. I took towels from the pool area on ship and brought them back. Coral World was about $23 for 1 adult and 1 child--without the coupon, cause I didn't know about it then. We had a burger and a chicken sandwich with chips at lunch--about $12?? The sea was great--very gentle waves, and gradual depth, so it was really good for children. There were people trying to sell you hair braiding, etc, but they were very low-keyed and polite--one no was enough. We did an excursion at St Martin, so I can't help with their beaches.

AnnMorin
01-05-2003, 09:14 AM
Just beautiful! Reminded me of Gilligan's island, nothing commercial at all! Calm warm water! St. Maarten, I don't know heard some people discussing pinial island (sp?) but you do need to watch out for nudity there.

4nana
01-05-2003, 11:53 AM
On St. T. ~ another vote for Coki Beach :)

As time was very limited on St. T., our group hired a tour guide w/van (via web) for the whole day. It worked out excellent! Our guide, Tony, told us the 3 best beaches are Megan's Bay, Sapphire, Coki, depending on what you are looking for. For our group (ages 1-66) he suggested Coki. It is a smaller beach, but we were not sorry! :cool:

At Coki you have Coral World, Parasailing, Jet sking, beach all within walking distance. The ladies and kiddos enjoyed Coral World, while the men went Parasailing next door. C/World is $18 adults, $9 children, $3 discount coupons on their site. Parasailing sailing was $60 each, the boat held 6.

We all met afterwards at Coki Bch. Weather in Dec. was about 85*, the water was very calm and sooo beautiful. Everyone had a wonderful time swimming, snorkeling and picnicing. We'd brought sheets from home to lay on, which worked out very well. Also, borrowed ship towels and returned them. Hint ~ don't forget a big plastic bag for all your wet gear. ;)

For food: We called room service the night before and asked if we could take a picnic lunch with us. I've read pros and cons that you can or can't, but they said sure! We ordered sandwiches of PNB & J, Turkey, Ham, (condiments seperate), cheese/fruit tray and those delicious CC cookies. We brought small soft coolers w/our own drinks.

On St. M. our group went to Dawn Bch. It was nice, but the water cooler, rougher and not near as clear or beautiful as Coki.

A couple of sites that may interest you...
http://www.virginisles.com/activities/beaches.html#stthomas
http://www.st-maarten-st-martin.com/beaches.html

goofyfamily41
01-05-2003, 12:12 PM
Good Thread - I would also be interested in hearing about any family beaches for the Eastern cruise.

:D :) :cool: :bounce:

RellingTwin
01-05-2003, 12:39 PM
St Martin...Dawn Beach, easy to get to by cab, chairs/umbrellers for rent (12.00 for the day for 2 chairs with umbrella) restrooms/small resturant right on the beach.I think we spent about 50.oo for everything (cab and chairs) for 2 adults 2 kids.

St Thomas...the effort to get to Trunk Bay was well worth it. Cab to Red Hook, Ferry to St John, then cab to Trunk Bay. Much easier then it sounds. Many cabs waiting to take you. The ONLY thing is to be sure to get the cab to get you to Red Hook for the 9am ferry. Snack Bar, chair rental, rest rooms/showers and the most beautiful beach!!!!We took the 2pm ferry back to Red Hook, and still had time to do some quick shopping before getting back on board. About 100. for transportation/entrace to Trunk Bay plus what we spent for snorkel equipment and chairs.

For both trips we took along beer/soda and sandwiches from the ship in a small cooler.

Have a great time!

>>^..^<<
01-05-2003, 01:33 PM
Hi there...

In Feb 2000 we did an shore excursion to sapphire beach.. it is a Hotel and we had a reserved area on the beach with chairs and a nice BBQ lunch.

The beach was beautiful but the waves coming in were a bit rough, they kind of pull you back with them - all the sand disappears under your feet - if you know what I mean.

My daughter was afraid so she just harrassed some crabs that were about by dumping buckets of sand and water on them

Hope this helps..

Hopelessly Hooked
01-05-2003, 01:35 PM
We had the best time renting a car in St. Martins and driving to a couple of beaches. We even parked in the city and went shopping for an hour or so (hated that). We were a little off-season so the car rental prices were $40 for a Tercel. We paid $90 for an SUV as we had 6 in our party. The rental agencies are affiliates and not directly under the control of Avis, Hertz etc. Car rental agencies are located at the cruise ship dock. They will even pick you up in a golf cart if you like.

You get a much better feel for the island driving around. You can also store non-essential stuff in the car. We found the folks in St. Martins to be friendly. One of the tourist slogans is “The Friendly Island.” The only person who approached while we were driving did so to give us directions. I guess we looked a little lost parked at a crossroads with the map out. There are very few roads on the island and no traffic lights, so it is easy to get around. All of the roads we saw had signs, which apparently didn’t used to be the case.

Traffic gets very slow around the French capital especially in the afternoon when school gets out. Also, the beach traffic around Mullet Beach is slow and reminds you of US beach traffic except on a smaller scale. We ate at a beach bar on the French side and the grilled fish and meat was incredible. I wonder if it is possible to get a bad meal on the French side.

Here are some sites I have found:
Interactive map of the island with views of the beaches:

http://www.stmaartenstmartin.com/panoramic/panoramic.php

Also, more than everything you would want to know about St. Martins.

http://www.jmbcommunications.com/sxm.html

Best wishes for a great trip.

pigelet
01-05-2003, 04:00 PM
I agree!! Driving around St. Martin is the way to go. There are soooo many nice beaches there. Mullet Bay is a great beach so Simpson Bay. Le Gallion is great for small kids. Sunset Beach Bar by the airport is a must for a quick drink as a plane lands over your head. If you go to the French Side, Leila's is a wonderful place for lunch. It is on the beach. If you really want to venture, go to Anguilla for the day. The beached there are the niceset I have EVER seen. I have been to a lot.
I found Trunks Bay to be beautiful but sooo crowded. That is where all the people from the cruises go to. It was nice after everyone left. We did not take Red Hook, we took the other ferry.
This year, we are going to try Cinnamon Beach or Bay in St. John. I hear it is just as nice as Trunks but not as crowded. Has anyone been there?

All_Ears
01-05-2003, 05:03 PM
Just back from the Eastern cruise 12/28 - And if you want to shop at St. Maarten (Front Street) take the water taxi $5. per person for the day. It takes you from the dock to 2 piers. As you're traveling from one to the second pier look at the shore and you'll see a strip of beach. With chairs and umbrellas. As you're almost finished shopping you can cut through the buildings and head to the beach. It was very nice the chairs were $5 each and they came with an umbrella for each 2 chairs. You also go a free drink with your chair rental, water, soda or beer - not a bad deal! The staff was great! The ran back and forth from their little deck and resturant. The were the set of Heinigan beer umbrellas (sorry about the spelling) The water was warm and clean, the food was great and very reasonable. Plus we were at ease as far as getting back to the ship it was just one taxi stop away! If you have any other questions please email me! The cruise itself is fantastic!!! can't wait to do it again!

happylady
01-05-2003, 05:33 PM
My DH and 11DS did SNUBA at Coki Beach on St. Thomas and it included a free entry to Coral World. It was nice to rinse off before returning to the ship. My 11DS LOVED Coral World due to the wild iguanas running around everywhere.

Transportation is very available, both ways. My 11DS also thought the ride to Coki was one of the highlights of the cruise. (I closed my eyes most of the way) :eek: On the drive to Coki, the driver stopped to allow us to take pictures at a beautiful outlook. A family picture from that stop turned out to be our favorite of the trip.

plutospup
01-05-2003, 07:53 PM
St. Maartan...Here's another vote for Dawn Beach. There might be nicer beaches on the island (but certainly nice), but for DD4 this was the ticket. Very convenient to the ship ($5 water taxi), chair/ umberella rentals, plenty of food available...and lots of shells for DD4 to collect!
St. Thomas...Magen's Bay was very nice. Calm water, and beach chairs and floats were available, as well as food.
Have a great time wherever you go!

mjbarnard
02-03-2003, 05:27 AM
4nana - I note you hired a tour with guide via the web. Can you tell me with whom/how you did this?

Best wishes

Samsma
02-03-2003, 08:51 AM
Also interested in this 4nana, how much was this?