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BWVDee
01-24-2004, 01:32 PM
We are a party of 2 middle aged adults and the only things off the ship that we are interested in doing is relaxing on the beautiful beaches and doing some local shopping. Do we have to book a land excursion to go to a beach or can we just grab a cab from the dock and go to a beach? Also which beaches would you recommend and how far are they from the dock? Neither of us is really interested in snorkeling. Thanks!

disneykins
01-24-2004, 02:47 PM
We took a taxi to Magens Bay in St. Thomas in December. About 20 minutes each way, $6 per person each way and $3 each to get into the park. This is way cheaper than the shore excursion. The beach is beautiful and if you go down about 200 yards to the left from the taxis, there is lots of shade and smaller crowds. Its a national park, so there are no jet skis, hair braiders, or vendors of any kind. There is a bar near where the taxi drops you off. Very peaceful.
St. Maarten was another story. Great Bay (which you can see from the ship) is quite busy with people trying to make a buck. Seems crowded but we did walk down the beach away from the ship and it got quieter. You can taxi from the ship to downtown and the shops are along Front street which backs onto the beach.
We walked it, and it took about 20 minutes.
You could do the taxi to Red Hook, ferry to Cruz Bay (on St. John) and taxi to Trunk Bay. We did this last time and it took about an hour each way. Its cheaper to do it yourself but you have to make sure you make your ferry connection on the way back so you're not late. Its a beautiful, quiet national park also.
Castaway Cay--Head straight for Serenity Bay and walk about half way down the beach. Find 2 lounge chairs, order 2 conk coolers and relax. Have a conk cooler for me.

BWVDee
01-24-2004, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the info, that is just what I was looking for. I have a few more questions, I hope you don't mind. Do the beaches at the National Parks rent out chairs? I do not know if I am understanding this correctly but the beach on St Maartan you can just walk to once you get off the ship? Also I have read of people getting a packed lunch from the ship for their day at the beach, did you do this and would it be a good idea? Thanks again!

dianthus
01-24-2004, 07:17 PM
I agree, Maegen's is beautiful, no loungers though- there are picnic tables there, or you can sit on the towels you bring. They rent kayaks there if you like that. It is very peaceful. Sapphire Beach is a bit further out, but they rent loungers, have a cafe. I think DCL has an excursion there.

Last time we were at Maegans, we went over until noon, went back to the ship, ate lunch & went back to town to shop. You could bring a lunch from the ship with you if you wanted to stay there, but there is a concession stand there if you don't.

On St. Martin, Orient Beach is beautiful. DCL does a nice excursion there with loungers & lunch on the family side of the beach. It's a bit more expensive than renting a car, or taxi, but it's easy... The french side of St. Martin is clothing optional. You see some topless on the family side, but not too bad- very euro..
You want to stay away from Club Orient, which is completely nude. The DCL excursion does not take you on that side of the beach. Dawn beach is nice too, not as nice as Orient, but a 10 min. taxi ride. I've never been to Great Bay Beach, as we like the French side- much prettier.

St. John is beautiful- National Park as well. The DCL excursion is a herd like atmosphere. Going on your own is better, but as the Disneykins said, you need to watch the return ferry to insure you get back to the ship on time. You don't want to miss the ship!



~ Linda :boat:

NCRedding
01-24-2004, 07:26 PM
I thought that Coki Beach on St Thomas was beautiful--$7 taxi ride, and $5 to rent a lounger. We combined our trip with a trip to Coral World, which had nicer bathrooms and fresh water showers. Very easy to do own your own.

CindyBeth
01-24-2004, 10:43 PM
We also did Coki Beach with Coral World. It was a highlight of our trip! Very uncrowded. There are 1 - 2 resturants, people will come around to serve you. There was one hair braider and no jet skis allowed! So it was very quiet and peaceful! And the snorkling was great!!! Lots of fish! My whole family loved it!

cadburysmom
01-25-2004, 10:06 AM
We went to Megan's Bay on our cruise earlier this month and it was absolutely gorgeous. The taxi ride over there is great as you get a wonderful bird's eye view of the ships in port as you drive over the mountain. And yes, they do have lounge chairs for rent there. They are located near the restaurant where the french fries happen to be excellent!:)

Hope this helps and have a great cruise!:wave2:

dianthus
01-25-2004, 11:36 AM
Cadsburysmom~ I'm so glad to hear they have loungers at Maegen's now! That was the only thing missing to make the place perfect! We were there 2 years ago & we're looking forward to going back in April! We'll have to try the fries too!

~ Linda :boat: