We pulled into Princess Cays at 9am. At 9:30 we went to Michaelangelo's dining room to get a tender ticket. We were tender # 6. We waited no more than 10 minutes before our number was called to go to the tenders on deck 4. Their system is a little flawed as they don't take or look at your ticket before boarding the tender. This means anyone can just cut in line. We had rented 2 clamshells for the day. These came in very handy during the massive downpour of rain we were hit with. When it wasn't raining I walked around the beach area a bit and we went swimming. When swimming I recommend wearing water shoes as there are a lot of rocks on the sea floor. The buffet on the island had salad, pasta, chicken, burgers and fruit. Pretty much the same as on the ship.
The ship arrived right on time at 10am. Once off the ship if you want to go anywhere off the pier you have to take a water taxi to the main beach & shopping area. The cost for an all day pass is $7. This means if you buy something you can bring it back to the ship and then go back to the beach. A one way fare, why would you only go one way?, is $5. Children under the age of 3 are free. We walked around the shopping area for a while. Dave bought a John Hardy bracelet at Art of Time and the girls bought some new charms at the Pandora store. The last time we were in St. Maarten Aaron, Allison & my Mum each bought Phillip Stein watches at Joe's Jewelers. My Mum also bought blue diamond earrings and a sapphire bracelet. I had also bought a white gold, black onyx & diamond bracelet at Venetian Jewellers. After we finished shopping everyone headed back to the ship except Felecia & I. We went to the beach. The water was very warm and the sun was shining bright. We paid $10 for 2 loungers and an umbrella.
We arrived in St. Thomas at 7am. I was still sleeping. We docked at Crown bay as Princess has a contract to dock their ships there. At Crown Bay there are a few jewellery stores and souvenir shops. I like the Havensite pier better as there are more stores and things to do at the pier. Felecia & I were the only ones in our group to get off the ship. After doing some research on CC and talking to some crew members I decided Emerald Beach was the place to go. We got off at 10:30 and walked 2 minutes to the taxis. We got an open air taxi and asked him to take us to Emerald Beach. It was only the 2 of us in the taxi and the ride cost $4 per person. All taxi fares are regulated in St. Thomas so you won't get ripped off. We were brought to the Best Western Emerald Beach Resort. It was a lot better than Magens Bay where there are always so many people. We paid $20 for 2 loungers under a palapa umbrella. Loungers alone are $7 each. The beach is big and the water was absolutely beautiful. There is a beach bar at the hotel if you want a drink or some food. When we were ready to go back to the ship there were a few taxis waiting outside the hotel. Fare again was $4.
The ship pulled alongside the pier just before 12:30. It was announced if you don't have an excursion booked they request you wait until 1pm to get off, as the gangway will be too busy. We all got off the ship around 1:30. We found some loungers at the beach and went in the water. There were some small rocks under the water that I nailed my feet on a couple times. OUCH! We snorkeled out as far as we were allowed and you can see where the sea floor was dredged to allow for the ships to pull in. The drop off is huge. Dave & I wanted to try some local food so we walked down to a bar on the beach called The Local Village. We had Conch Fritters, Jerk Chicken and some local beer. The bar also had free wifi and yes, I updated my facebook status.