Magic Eastern 2/18 ...this and report

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by jillmom2, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. jillmom2

    jillmom2 Earning My Ears

    Feb 27, 2000
    This is my final installment of my trip reports but if anyone has any questions about any aspect of our trip please ask.

    We docked at St. Thomas and also has early immigration in the Walt Disney Theater. This actually went very smoothly. I think we went down about 7 or 7:15 a.m. as we had no particular excursion booked. As I said earlier in the reports. I did not book any Disney excursions. I did consider the Megan's Bay beach trip and based my decisions around the cost of that excursion.

    St. Maarten worked out well with renting the car but I did not have one booked for St. Thomas. We were really just winging it and were planning to take a taxi to Megan's bay.

    When we strolled off the ship and out the gate there was a man there helping organize a group taxi run, he had several taxi's lined up based on where people wanted to go. I told him we wanted to go to Megan's Bay and he directed us to a taxi driver named Jerry. (these vehicles were not really "taxi's" but rather large F-350 ford trucks with the truck bed modified to carry passengers in bench seating with canopy covered tops and actually pretty nice.

    Anyway about 12-15 people got on our taxi and Jerry assessed where everyone wanted to go. One family wanted an Island tour and one family wanted to go straight to Megan's Bay. We were just listening at this point. Jerry said $25.00 for an island tour and Megan's Bay was $16.00 (8.00 each way). I then told Jerry that I wanted to do both. So he said that he would drop the first family off at Megan's Bay and he would then take us on an Island tour for about 1 and 1/2 hours and then bring us back to Megan's Bay and drop us off and then he would pick us up at the designated time of the first family. The first family wanted to go to Megan's bay for about 3 hours. So we dropped them off and Jerry took us and the other family on the Island tour. We stopped at several look out points. One overlooked the harbor and the other Megan's Bay. He took us to Mountain Top whick I think is the highest point on the Island (also great Banana daquiri's) After a nice tour he took us back to Megan's bay and gave us 1 and 1/2 to -2 hours to swim and enjoy the beach. We left about 1:30p.m. Jerry only charged us the $25.00 for the Island tour and since he had to pick up the other family did not charge us for Megan's Bay but we did have to pay the $3.00 entry fee into the beach.

    On the way back to the ship the family that went to the Beach got dropped off downtown Charlotte Amalie and had to find their own way back to the ship later. We asked Jerry to drop us off at the Havensite mall shopping area so we could browse a bit and we would walk back to the ship. (Also the aerial tram that goes up to paradise point is right down the street so you could walk over and do this if you want as well. We did not do the tram)

    We walked through the shops for about an hour. picked up some t-shirts and other souveniers and strolled leisurely back to the ship. Again we only spent about $100.00 to go ashore, get and Island tour and spend some time at the beach. It was worth it and I would do it again. If I was going to go to St. John for the day I would probably book with disney just because of the chance of being delayed getting back. Otherwise all things are very do-able on your own. I liked St. Thomas overall better than St. Maarten but the beaches were nicer on St. Maarten. Megan's Bay was smaller than I was expecting with more coarse sand and shells. It reminded me of State parks in Michigan where we live. You have to pay to get in and they have covered shelters and picnic table areas. It is a very nice beach and gentle waves if any at all. My younger son liked it better than Orient Beach in St. Maarten because it was much more gentle. Orient beach was beautiful but constant wave action, which could be rough at times. It makes it fun but after a while you feel a little beat up.

    Castaway Cay on Friday was nice and this is the only place where I actually had booked a package in advance. I booked the getaway package which included all day snorkel equipment and rafts and a one hour bike rental for all four of us. Well I am the only one who snorkeled for more than 15 min. and the rafts were worth it. My husband and the boys used the bike rental. If you plan to get snorkle equipment and rafts you may as well get the getaway package because you basically get the bikes for free. Since no one snorkeled but me and that was the most expensive part of the rental, I would not do it again.

    I was a little disappointed in the snorkeling on Casatway Cay. Not very much to see and kind of drab underwater surroundings. Maybe it is better if you deep water snorkel or take one of the snorkel excursions, but I was not impressed. If, however, you have never snorkeled, it is a good place to practice and get used to the equipment. The most beautiful place I have snorkeled is on Molokini Crater off the coast of Maui. It is actually a protected marine preserve and looks like you are swimming in a tropical fish aquarium. So I guess it is hard to compete with that.

    After Castaway cay we went back to the ship and packed up and put our luggage out to be collected. The disembarkation process was very easy and organized. There were dock workers who met us in the luggage area and loaded up all of our bags and walked right with us through immigration and out to the curb to wait for the budget shuttle. We gave him a nice tip and the whole thing took about 15 minutes. We took budget shuttle to pick up our car and were headed to Orlando by 8:45 a.m. We spent the day in Orlando and drove back toward the airport that night and stayed at the Fairfield Inn which is about 1/2 mile north of the airport. I printed boarding passes for the airline at the hotel and we flew home about 11:30 Sunday morning and was at my house by 3p.m.

    All in all a fabulous trip. I would do most everything the same way again except I would not go to Universal. Any questions ...please ask away and I will try to be as helpful as possible.
  2. arica480

    arica480 Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2006
    Who was the assistant cruise director?
  3. Angie_Ohio

    Angie_Ohio Mouseketeer

    Feb 26, 2005
    Thanks for all the great info. I wanted to take my boys 7, 9 and 11 to a nice beach on our cruise. We love to Boogie Board. I was looking into Maagen's Bay because I had heard it was so beautiful. From your post it seems it may not be good for this. I may rethink that beach and try the one you went to.
  4. Dixielady908

    Dixielady908 Grandma's Little Princess

    Apr 20, 2003
    Thanks for sharing your trip report, and for the info regarding excursions, I'm not really sure if we wanted to book any or not. Going with a party of 13 and some of the party already has said that they are not booking anything, just going to go off and do their own thing. Which I suppose is not a bad idea. Glad you had a good trip and thanks for some of the suggestions.


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