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Old 07-13-2014, 09:48 AM   #1
1Winston
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St John on your own??

Hi all and thanks in advance for any insight. We are a family of 4 with young children that can not do the disney excursion to St John. We would still like to go so I am trying organize it on my own. It seems like it will be a very short beach day when you take into account the travel? Is this true? How have people done it in the past. It looks like the earliest Ferry I could get is the 9am since we can't get off the ship until 8am. We'd have to get the 3o'clock ferry back I would assume so by the time you cab it to trunk bay and back that would be a very short visit with lots of travel time?
Those who have done it how long did you get to stay at the beach?
Thank you
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #2
Silverfox97
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Originally Posted by 1Winston View Post
Hi all and thanks in advance for any insight. We are a family of 4 with young children that can not do the disney excursion to St John. We would still like to go so I am trying organize it on my own. It seems like it will be a very short beach day when you take into account the travel? Is this true? How have people done it in the past. It looks like the earliest Ferry I could get is the 9am since we can't get off the ship until 8am. We'd have to get the 3o'clock ferry back I would assume so by the time you cab it to trunk bay and back that would be a very short visit with lots of travel time? Those who have done it how long did you get to stay at the beach? Thank you
We did 9am ferry and returned on 2pm ferry; 3pm is cutting it too close with a 4pm departure.

Figure 15-20 min to get to Red Hook, then 20 min on ferry, then another 15 min to get Trunk. It took about 45 min give or take travel time. Lots of beach time - don't worry! DCL excursion only gives you 90 min of beach time. Their ferry is a 30-40 min ride plus taxi to beach so it takes longer to travel actually.

Be first off ship and remember ferries leave on the hour.

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Old 07-13-2014, 01:19 PM   #3
1Winston
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Thank you so much for all of your help! It is so much appreciated Which beach is better? Cinnamon or Trunk? Is one closer than the other?
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for all of your help! It is so much appreciated Which beach is better? Cinnamon or Trunk? Is one closer than the other?
They are next to each other, so about the same distance.

It depends on what u want. Trunk has a snorkel trail with underwater signs along the reef. It can be crowded, but it's nice. We are annual passholders to it lol Cinnamon is larger & also picturesque. There's a plane wreck you can see if you snorkel & it's close to shore. Both have bathrooms. Google pics and decide. Honestly, St John is so amazing that you can't go wrong with any beach.

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Old 07-13-2014, 06:40 PM   #5
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We did 9am ferry and returned on 2pm ferry; 3pm is cutting it too close with a 4pm departure.
Good advice not to cut it too close.

One time on the Magic, from our veranda we saw guests run to the St Thomas pier as our ship was sailing away.

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Old 07-13-2014, 08:09 PM   #6
Bettyscruise
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Thank you so much for all of your help! It is so much appreciated Which beach is better? Cinnamon or Trunk? Is one closer than the other?
Don't know when you're sailing, but cinnamon bay is closed Sept 1 to Nov. 2 2014.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:31 PM   #7
1Winston
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Is Magens Bay a good option? Are the St Johns beaches that much better?? It seems like it would be easiest to just do the beach in St. Thomas but I have heard so much about St John that I am not sure what to do. Thank you!
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:38 PM   #8
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Don't know when you're sailing, but cinnamon bay is closed Sept 1 to Nov. 2 2014.
Wow...good to know! Why is Cinnamon closed for two months? I see that the camp ground is closed, but does that mean the beach is also closed to swimmers/snorkelers?
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
Lisa Lisa
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Is Magens Bay a good option? Are the St Johns beaches that much better?? It seems like it would be easiest to just do the beach in St. Thomas but I have heard so much about St John that I am not sure what to do. Thank you!
You'll get different opinions on this, but here's my 2 cents. The big upside to St. John is that it has postcard beautiful beaches in a gorgeous, natural setting that tend to be less crowded than the popular beaches on St. Thomas. The downside is that they take more time and effort to reach. DCL excursions that go there often include a relatively short amount of time on the beach since there is more travel time involved. If you go on your own, you need to allow more time, have a plan, and make sure you stick to your schedule.

I've been to Magen's Bay twice. The first time was before our daughter was born. DH and I were with another sun-loving couple, and we walked all the way down to the crescent part of the beach. The beach is wider there, the sand is softer, and the water is an absolutely stunning shade of turquoise. We left the beach that day saying that it was the most beautiful beach we'd ever seen. Fast forward 12 years... We had DD with us and were with two other families with kids. We set up camp near the restrooms and restaurants, where there were picnic tables and trees for shade, but which also happens to be near the parking lot. The beach was somewhat narrow and got very crowded while we were there. There was a lot of activity since we were near the restaurant (which is also where you get beach chairs if you're not doing a ship excursion). In short, while we had an enjoyable day, it was not the perfect beach day that we remembered from our previous cruise.

So, long story short: If you want a nice beach day and want to minimize travel time/effort, Magen's Bay is a great option -- especially if you get away from all the hub bub near the restaurant. If you want to spend the day on a gorgeous beach that is less populated and in and unspoiled, natural setting and don't mind spending more time and effort to get there, I'd go with St. John. If you do choose Magen's Bay, don't bother with the DCL excursion. You can get there very easily via cab on your own, and the lounge chairs are packed like sardines in the area designated for the excursions guests.

ETA: I should have mentioned that we've been to St. John twice as well -- once on our own and once on a DCL excursion.
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Last edited by Lisa Lisa; 07-22-2014 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
Silverfox97
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Is Magens Bay a good option? Are the St Johns beaches that much better?? It seems like it would be easiest to just do the beach in St. Thomas but I have heard so much about St John that I am not sure what to do. Thank you!
You know we love St John BUT we did go to Magens Bay once. We were wishing we were at St John the entire time. The beach was crowded, that particular day the clientele was 'interesting,' and the water was rough. The facilities weren't as nice either. We have no desire to return. St John is worth is and really, it sounds worse on paper than it is to actually do.

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