One of our favorite ports! Having been here many times in the past, we always take a cab to Orient Beach and spend the day at Coco Beach at The Esmeralda Resort. The chairs are farther apart and the food is authentic French and delicious. The masseuse is my wife's favorite, anywhere! Unfortunately she was fully booked on this cruise
Our beach boy "Yo" kept our drinks refreshed all day. Although technically at the opposite end of the beach from the nude side, there are always a few topless ladies and a smattering of men who missed the "this is not the nude side of the beach" memo. Prices are higher than we experience at home as expected. What they heck - this is a French island, high prices and beach nudity make the experience all the more authentic - get over it and enjoy your day, as we always do, at this beautiful corner of the Caribbean!
On the way back to the ship we took a quick cruise thru town to buy liquor (3 ltr Jack,Daniel's -$80 and not available in the 3 ltr size in US)and tea towels, then took the water taxi back to the ship. One of the advantages of living within driving distance of the port is the fact that we don't have to check liquor on a plane, thus I am always on the lookout for rare bottles when cruising.
Despite 4 ships in port, including our mega ship, the port handled the crowds surprisingly well. No taxi line, room to walk downtown, etc. The island also was much cleaner than on our previous trips. There was a lot of construction underway in the port area and all-in-all a greater appearance of prosperity versus prior years.
Originally we booked the Champagne Catamaran cruise to St. John's. We took this excursion in another cruise line in march and had a blast! Unfortunately I pulled a muscle in my leg and decided to cancel and book the trip to Trunk Bay instead.
Beach Break Rating:
Ferry picked us up at the pier for an uneventful trip to St. John. Trunk Bay, as in past experiences, was post card perfect! Bright sun, warm, clear water and sugary fine sand. After 2 1/2 hrs, we returned to the ferry and St. Thomas.
We only had time to shop at the port upon our return. IMHO, the shops at Havensight are just as good as the ones downtown (selection and price wise) and a heck of a lot more convenient.
I found a rare bottle of bourbon (Blanton's Green Label Single Barrel Private Reserve - $70). We then re-boarded and enjoyed lunch on the ship.
If you've never visited Trunk Bay, I highly recommend it. Always take the ship sponsored tour to ensure the ship won't sail without you, plus you are picked up and dropped off at the pier. Likewise, the catamaran trip to St. John is a blast ( leg injury not withstanding).