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View Full Version : The Magical Vacation - 5/30 Wednesday - St. Thomas - LONG & DETAILED


akasleepingbeauty
06-08-2001, 04:42 PM
Our Happy Group:

Me, 36, compulsive planner, hoping all goes perfect
DH, 44, good sport, in need of a good vacation
Teen DD, 15, excited but in a cool way
Youngest DD, 13 months, oblivious to goings-on, just her generally happy self

My parents and sister (25) were traveling in our group as well. This is the first time we have all traveled as a group and it went surprisingly well!!

I will warn you now - these daily reports are going to be long - really really really long. So, if you don't like detailed reports go ahead and hit that back button now!!

I wrote this information as much for me as for all of you. I want to remember as much of it as possible - hence the ad nauseum detail.

Read, skim, or skip completely - whatever works for you!! I will post these by days and then add some general overviews on certain subjects. Please ask questions if you have them!!

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5/30 Wednesday St. Thomas

Well, we were prepared for early room service today. Today they called at 6:30 and we had food by 6:35. Once again, probably just as well as we had a busy day ahead of us. Teen DD was none too happy about the early awakening but we reminded her that maybe she should have thought about that last night when she was out so late. We’re so mean, I know.

Since youngest DD was coming with us on this trip, we a bit more to get organized this morning. Fortunately, we were making the trip on our own so there was no actual time we HAD to be anywhere. So, we got all our beach gear together including snorkel gear, beach towels (we borrowed some from the pool area and returned them afterwards), snacks, etc. etc. We all had a load to carry but it wasn’t too bad.

I debated back and forth for months before the cruise over what we should do in St. Thomas. I loved the idea of seeing St. John but felt it would be too hard of a trip with a baby. I just figured we’d go to Megan’s Bay or Sapphire Beach and have a beach day. I also considered doing Coral World although I knew the baby would not really “get” it. While having a chat with some of my fellow cruisers on line about 2 weeks before the cruise, we discussed St. John. Through the course of this discussion, Kathy (kirkone) convinced me that I could indeed manage this trip. I was so excited and discussed with the rest of our traveling group and everyone was happy with the plan. So, I got as much info as I could on going to St. John and felt prepared for the journey ahead.

I had wanted to leave the ship by 8:00 but I was pretty happy with the actual time of 8:20. We got an open-air cab for the 7 of us but of course they wanted to wait for some more passengers. We almost got off and went to another cab, as I had been very specific saying I wanted a cab leaving RIGHT AWAY. Unfortunately, the cab drivers are all on island time and pretty much just ignored me. We got the final passengers and headed off for the Red Hook ferry. I wanted this ferry as opposed to the Charlotte Amalie since the Red Hook was a shorter ferry ride (after teen DD’s motion sickness the day before I thought it was best to have a shorter rather than longer ferry ride). Since the cab did not leave until 8:30 I was afraid we would not make the 9:00 ferry at which point our schedule would be severely thrown off. The fare was $8 for adults and $3 for the baby although I did hear of many kids going for free.

After a fairly long and bumpy ride (especially with the baby in my arms), we arrived at the dock for the ferry about 8:50. We got our tickets ($3 for adults and $1 for kids) and boarded the ferry where we found quite a few of our DIS friends already on board. It is just so nice to see people you know everywhere you turn!!

The ferry left about 9:05 and it was a fairly rough ride. Teen DD informed me should would not have wanted to go on any longer of a ferry ride. It was about 15 minutes and we arrived at St. John. We sat on the upper deck in benches on the way to St. John and even in the morning it was quite hot. My DH had younger DD in the backpack carrier and she was very happy there during the ride.

Once on shore at St. John, we found another open air taxi for the trip to Trunk Bay. Once again, had to wait a few minutes for more passengers but then we were on our way. Our driver was not too friendly and did not make any stops for pictures or point any sites out. We did arrive quickly though and beat out several other groups who did stop. Our driver said he would meet us back at the same spot at 1:30 so we could make the 2:00 ferry. The fare was $3 for adults and he did not charge us for the baby.

We were now at the entrance to Trunk Bay. Since this is a US national park, there is an entrance fee. It was $4 for adults and $1 for kids up to 16 (although the baby was free – can’t remember at what age they begin charging for kids). There are showers, bathrooms, a small snack bar with a few tables and a gift shop/rental shack.

We went straight to the beach and found a great shady spot near the beach. We were very happy with this spot as it provided a nice shelter during our stay especially for the baby. Since the shade is provided by some low-hanging trees there is debris (tree limbs, leaves) and some ants. We did not have problems with the ants and the trees actually gave us a place to hang our stuff out of the sand so it worked out well.

Trunk Bay is absolutely postcard beautiful. The water is calm and clear and the most glorious blue-green. The sand is white and soft and fun to play in. Altogether a paradise! DH and teen DD did some snorkeling while I played with DD in the sand. Later DH and I did some snorkeling together. I was much more impressed with this snorkeling than with the snorkeling we had done the day before. There is a snorkeling trail and you do see a lot of different fish and coral. It is still not as good as the snorkeling in Hawaii but it was definitely fun! My mother went snorkeling for the first time and really really enjoyed it.

There was a spot down the beach where most of the excursioners were grouped together. Unfortunately for them, they only got to stay for about an hour before having to go back to the ship. It was much less crowded in the water when they left but I did feel bad seeing them have to pack up so soon.

DD ate fruit and played in the sand some more and then took a nap in my arms for about an hour. Teen DD lay down on the beach under the trees and slept for about 2 hours – the lack of sleep was really getting to her. We had a quick rain gust, which passed quickly, and the sun was right back out. I think this is fairly typical for the islands so if you get caught in the rain give it a few minutes and hopefully it will blow over.

We were all beginning to get tired and more rain was coming our way so we decided to start packing this up around 12:45. We got some food at the snack bar (slow service, good food, high prices) and watched a bride and groom having their pictures taken on the beach (not in the rain thankfully!). We then showered and rinsed off and prepared to get our taxi ride back to the ferry.

We never did see our previous driver so we got in another cab and once again waited for additional passengers. We made it in plenty of time for the two o’clock ferry and decided to sit on the lower deck in the shade on the way back. As we arrived back at St. Thomas, it was obvious that it had been raining more substantially here. I guess we were just lucky that we did not get hit worse in Trunk Bay.

We got another cab back to the ship and were back on board about 3:00. We spent $96 round trip, including admission to Trunk Bay, for 2 adults, 1 teen and an infant. Not bad considering the excursion was $69/adult. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip and hope to have the chance to return to St. John again some time.

Since the ship leaves St. Thomas at 4:45, we did not have enough time to go back to St. Thomas for any shopping so we just went back to our room and cleaned up. The shower felt so good and we just took it easy in the room for a while.

All of us took a quick nap and woke up refreshed and ready for the evening. We only had about 45 minutes before dinner so we quickly got made up and dressed etc. We had dinner in Lumiere’s again tonight – our chance to eat from the “regular” menu since our previous visit was the Master Chef Series on formal night.

For appetizers tonight, I had the deep-fried Camembert with a marinara sauce (a very soft and yummy cheese and a good sauce on the side) and the escargot with diced mushrooms and garlic butter (to die for – soooo good!!). I had the herb-crusted sea bass with sautéed spinach and champagne sauce for an entrée and it was just as good as I had heard on the boards. For dessert, I had crème brulee – always a favorite of mine and it was delicious!! Others in our group had the mixed garden salad tossed with red wine vinaigrette and topped with goat cheese croutons for an appetizer, the cheese ravioli and garlic-roasted beef tenderloin for entrees, and the grand marnier soufflé for dessert. Once again, everyone was very happy with his or her food.

As a favor for our teen DD, we had asked our server if we could arrange to get two Palo chocolate soufflé for dessert (I wanted another one too!). She took care of it and teen DD and I both ooh and aahed through the whole thing – just too good!!

Tonight was the Who Wants to be a Mouseketeer show so once again my parents waited in line. DH and I took DD back to the room and did the pajamas/sippy cup/pacifier routine once again and dropped her off at Flounder’s. Tonight’s towel animal was a too cute scorpion on the couch – so well done and very clever. We took several pictures so as to remember just how adorable it was!!

We were back to the theatre in time to find good seats. My parents and sister sat in row T in the first 3 seats off the aisle (#30, 31, and 32). DH, teen DD, and I sat in front of them in row S. I suggested we move more toward the center since the rows were quite empty (BIG MISTAKE WHICH I WILL NEVER LIVE DOWN!!!). So, we moved to the center of the rows where we had a great view. The theater ended up filling pretty well as it got closer to show time. This was a fun show and I thought the questions up to the $400 level were MUCH easier than I expected. Once you hit the “upper” level questions though the questions were harder. We got to see a member of our extended DIS family get in the hot seat and win $400. Another family won $250.

So, the third or fourth time when they select a seat, wouldn’t you know it turns out to be the seat my mother HAD BEEN sitting in before I made us move. Boy, did I feel like a heel. She definitely would have won something as the questions were pretty easy but there was nothing we could do to change our seats at that point. I doubt I’ll ever forgive myself for suggesting we move. Just one of those things I guess but geez……

Several others went on to win some money but no one won more than $400. It was a fun game and I wish they played it more than once. It was a great family experience as many of the kids knew just as much if not more than the adults!! Maybe next time we’ll get to play.

After the show, DH and I were pretty tired. It had been a long day in the sun and sand so we decided to go to bed early. We picked up DD early from Flounder’s and headed off to sleep. DD came in about 1:00 and was quiet as usual.

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Links to other days' trip reports

Day 1: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45110

Day 2: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45111

Day 3: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45112

Day 4: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45114

Day 5: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45116

Day 6: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45117

Day 8: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45121

Day 9: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45122

Day 10: http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45123

lookingforward
06-08-2001, 08:57 PM
I am enjoying your trip reports soooo much. Thank you for taking the time to post them. It sounds like you had a blast.

akasleepingbeauty
07-04-2001, 11:33 AM
bumping for Goofy D

alayna
07-05-2001, 10:36 AM
Thanx so much 4 the info!!! Wow!!! that sounds like a lot of fun!!! :) okay, you mentioned "who wants to be a mouseketteer".... that sounds cool but were they dis ?'s??? were going on the july/20 and we are excited but...we are not big on disney to the point that we know all this info on it. so..what are the questions about? pleeez tell..thanx again!!!

~*Alayna*~ tgyounger@rcn.com

akasleepingbeauty
07-05-2001, 10:08 PM
Alayna,

Jacquelyn11, who was also on our cruise, posted a wonderful write-up on the questions. I bumped it to page 1 on the regular cruise board so you can find it.

It is a fun game and I thought MOST of the questions were pretty easy. Once you pass the $400 mark though, the questions get MUCH harder.

Good luck and happy cruising!!

kirkone
07-06-2001, 01:20 PM
Rhonda,
I'm so glad to see you did decide to do the St. John trip with the lovely little girl. It sounds like you had a great day and made a lot of memories with your family.

I'm sorry we never got to meet on board the ship. We missed the Dis meet on deck 10 but did run into others as the cruise went on. Searching for everyone made the trip that much more of an adventure.

I've enjoyed reading your trip reports. I'm glad you had such a good trip with your family and I know you were a lot of help to them. Hopefully, we'll get to chat again and exchange more fun times from our May Magical Cruise.
Cathy :p

akasleepingbeauty
07-06-2001, 06:08 PM
Hi Cathy!

I too am sorry we didn't meet up on the cruise. I was hoping to meet everyone from our group but somehow missed you and Shawn. Maybe next time - lol!

Due to your encouragement, we did in fact take the plunge to St. John. I am SO glad you talked me into it during our chat as I would hate to have missed that beautiful island. Thanks again for your inspiring words!!

I'll look for you in chat another time and maybe we'll catch up. I just saw that you posted your trip report and I can't wait to read it!!