Going to St. John - Trunk Bay on your own?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by caribbeandreaming, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

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    I'm starting a new thread about this so hopefully more people will see it :)

    We were going to do the St. John island tour, but after some helpful advice from other Dis'ers, have decided to cancel that since it's not something I feel our 8 year old DS would enjoy. We would just like to go to Trunk Bay for a few hours instead, and hopefully leave some time to do the aerial tram on St. Thomas before getting back on the ship.

    Has anyone gone to Trunk Bay on your own? The only Disney excursion available is the one that includes snorkeling. This may still be an option for us (it's not sold out), but my DS had a scary experience snorkeling last year and is now afraid. If the cost is not much different, we may just do the Disney one and not snorkel. I'm thinking it may be a lot cheaper to try to get their on our own though. Does anyone know the approximate cost and relative ease of getting there and back?

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. lucyem

    lucyem DIS Veteran

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    I have seen this question asked numerous times as far as going to trunk bay on your own. Some people do it but it takes a lot of steps and time. Taxi/ferry/taxi kind of thing. We are in the same boat in a way. We have one child who will not snorkle. We decided to just pay for the trunk bay excursion rather then spend the day paranoid about getting back to the ship on time.
     
  4. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

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    Thanks - I always forget about the search function. I'll go do that right now ;)
     
  5. ThumpersWorld

    ThumpersWorld Mouseketeer DVC Gold

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    We were just in St. John. Not on a cruise ship but we were staying in St. Thomas. What you can do is take a ferry from Charlotte Amalie to St. John. When you get to St. John you can take a taxi to Trunk Bay. It's very easy. Trunk Bay is really nice and has bathrooms, changing rooms, etc...and when you leave there are taxis waiting. We have a 7 DS and a 5 DS and they just love being there on the beach for a few hours and that is enough before we are onto the next thing. Another good option if you don't want to take the ferry to St. John is take a taxi on St. Thomas to Megan's Bay. That is another beautiful beach and the water is even calmer.
     
  6. Silverfox97

    Silverfox97 PLATINUM Castaway Club

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    Magen's Bay does not compare to Trunk Bay IMO. Not even close. Beach rockier, water not as clear (the water was rougher, but perhaps the tide was coming in), it was busy, and the facilities we not nearly as nice.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  7. Green Tea

    Green Tea <font color=green>I don't do hatchets<br><font col

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    We did it on our own and wished we had just gone on the ship excursion. The big issue for us was none of the transports took cards. I didn't take enough cash because I just typically use a card when traveling. It was easy to do though I had the fear in my mind about not getting back to the port in time.

    The taxi from the ferry back to port was hot and long. Driver insisted on taking another group to a hotel first. I think he also completed a drug transaction along the way.

    I wish I had just done the "one stop shopping" and booked the excursion. Sometimes on your own is better. St. John was not.
     
  8. MDennis28

    MDennis28 Mouseketeer

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    So, Trunk Bay is the best beach? Also want to make sure of one that is not a clothing optional beach. Just 2 of us for our 35th anniversary. Any and all suggestions welcome. Thank You!
     
  9. chasingthedream

    chasingthedream Mouseketeer

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    We went this past July to Trunk Bay. I had done a lot of reading (outside of DIS) that convinced me that Trunk Bay was where I wanted to be for our day in St. Thomas/St. John.

    First let me say I found it to be absolutely the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. That is not an exaggeration. We are doing another eastern in 2014, mainly to go back to Trunk Bay. The weather was not perfect the day we were there. It was hazy, and breezy, but still truly wonderful.

    There are some negatives I read on these boards that are absolutely true! #1 it is a long trip. Taxi to ferry, ferry to taxi, taxi to beach. This is unavoidable. I have only been on 2 Disney cruises, and I found the time it took our family to navigate this much less frustrating than meeting in the theatre with hundreds of other cruisers for Disney sponsored excursions and waiting precious minutes/hours to be given a sticker and be herded around. #2 You do need cash. I was thankful to read this ahead of time and bring all the cash we needed for those fares, plus tips.

    We were there on the fourth of July and downtown St. John was a flurry of activity. This meant that our taxi driver had to drop us blocks from the ferry terminal on our way back. The walk was long but fun because of the parade and all the vendors. Even though this was not something we had anticipated, we still made it back in more than enough time to catch the ship.

    I got a little freaked out with all of the warnings not to take a non-Disney sponsored excursion because you will get left and stranded. Just give yourself plenty of time to catch a ferry or two and you should have no problems.
     
  10. melwill530

    melwill530 Earning My Ears

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    There is a teller machine in Cruz Bay where the ferry comes in to town and it is just a few blocks up the street from the ferry dock. St. John also has a bus that is really cheap about a buck or two to go around the whole island and the bus stop is just a block from the ferry dock. Just ask the people on town. Most of the shopping is just a block or two from the ferry. St. John is a really easy island to get around on.
     
  11. threedisprincesses

    threedisprincesses Mouseketeer

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    I'm so glad I found this thread.
    We are a family of 5 (DD 10, 8 & 4) who love adventure. We are on the 7 day fantasy May 4th, due to be in St. Thomas on the 8th.

    A very close friend who visits St. Thomas 2ce a year told us to go to Meghan's Bay. I am worried that after an hour or so at MB my family will be bored. We are all water people and enjoy snorkeling. From everything I have read, St. Thomas isn't really a good place to snorkel...I asked about going to Sapphire Beach & she said do not go there as it will be extreemly crowded with tours.

    This all lead me to start looking into taking the ferry over to St. John and walking up the trail to Honeymoon Beach. My friend has done this trip several times and agreed that it would be something we could do. However, when she heard we needed to be back to the ship to disemabark at 3:30, she changed her mind. She said trying to get over to St. John & make sure we got back in time would be very stressful.

    Has anyone ever done Honeymoon Beach (St. John) on their own? If so, would you recomend trying this, or is it just too short ot a time frame?
    Would Trunk Bay be a better trip?

    Didn't mean to try to hijack tread! Thought this may add to the conversation! :flower3:

    Any recomendations would be greatly appreciated! TIA
     
  12. MDennis28

    MDennis28 Mouseketeer

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    I want to know too! Thanks.
     
  13. Silverfox97

    Silverfox97 PLATINUM Castaway Club

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    I wholeheartedly agree.

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  14. Slappy32

    Slappy32 Mouseketeer

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    We did it. Had an awesome time and we will be doing it again this year. Here are some ideas for you.

    1. We were concerned about having enough time on a short port day, so we made sure we were the first off the boat at 7:30 in the morning.

    2. I arranged transportation ahead of time. I contacted Alvin at Islander Taxi on St. Thomas and he was waiting for us when we disembarked on St. Thomas. He also arranged transportation on St. John for us coming and going. Thanks to Alvin, we were able to make the 8 am ferry to St. John which gave us an extra hour on St. John and put us on Trunk Bay beach before anyone else was there.

    3. We left earlier than we had planned and our driver on St. John phoned Islander taxi and they were waiting to take us back to the ship .

    4. We had a group of twenty going but for different reasons we ended up with 12 actually making the trip and it was no problem.

    5. Have all of your cash together so one person can buy all of the ferry tickets to save time. You pay the taxi on the return trip, not each way if you arrange transportation ahead of time.

    6. The cost for an adult was around $40 per person for both taxis and the ferry and about $10 cheaper for kids under 11.

    We had such a great experience last year that many people in our DIS group are joining us this year. I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Islander Taxi
    http://www.islandertaxiservice.com
    Tell Alvin you want the same arrangement as Paul White on the September 12th, 2012 Fantasy St. Thomas port day.
     
  15. Silverfox97

    Silverfox97 PLATINUM Castaway Club

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    Yay! We just used Alvin/Islander Taxi at St Thomas on March 12th on the Fantasy. Did the 'Shores & Stores' tour. I didn't know he could arrange all that too!!! I hope I can get a group together from the DIS by next March because THIS is how I'd like to do St John!!!

    Thanks!!!

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  16. threedisprincesses

    threedisprincesses Mouseketeer

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  17. pillow

    pillow DIS Veteran

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    I have a better idea . . . rent a house on St. John for a week! I'm dying to go, and I know that just a few hours won't be enough for me (we opted for Magens Bay on our last cruise cause it was close). A week in St. John is on my bucket list . . . :)

    Jodie
     
  18. Slappy32

    Slappy32 Mouseketeer

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  19. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

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    Wow - thanks everyone for all the great suggestions!!

    A few random things - I've been reading that Magen's Bay can get really crowded. It looks like a beautiful beach but one I wouldn't want to share with thousands of others. Now that cruisecal is a paid subscription for any port dates other than today, I can't figure out how many ships will be there with us. So this is why I'm leaning towards Trunk Bay :)

    My thoughts exactly! We did Atlantis Aquaventure on our Dream cruise last year, and we wasted so much time standing in line and then sitting in the WD Theatre. The amount of time in port is short anyways, and I don't want to spend any of it waiting around. Now that I have one cruise under my belt, I feel more comfortable doing non-DCL excursions.

    THANK YOU so much for this!!!! I'm going to contact them right away to get this set up. I was wondering if it would be possible to make the 8 a.m. ferry and it sounds like it won't be a problem for Islander to get us there by that time :cool1:
     
  20. Slappy32

    Slappy32 Mouseketeer

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    Please keep in mind that our driver made a heroic effort to get us there and we arrived with minutes to spare. Try for the 8 am ferry but don't be upset you miss it. You will still have a great time and plenty of time at Trunk Bay if you have to take the 9 am ferry. If you run into traffic or construction on the way to Cruz Bay, you may miss the 8 am. We were a bit disorganized getting off the ship. Ran back to get towels, waited on the no shows, etc., so if you can get off in a quick and organized manner and arrange transportation ahead of time, you will greatly increase your odds of making the 8 am.
     
  21. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

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    Ok, thanks for keeping my expectations in check. I'll just hope we make it by 8, and it not, it won't be the end of the world. Either way, I expect we'll get there long before the Disney excursion anyways :) Thanks again for the helpful information!
     

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