We had signed up for the Trunk Bay beach and snorkel excursion, but it was canceled due to four foot waves that are not conducive to good snorkeling. We were not going to snorkel, but instead just relax on the beach. Instead Disney made room for us on the St John Island tour. It was a beautiful sunny day and the views on this tour were absolutely breathtaking! Instead of actually going to a beach we looked down from vantage points high above. We saw Caneel Bay, Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and other beaches, as well as a 15 minute stop at the ruins of a sugar mill. The excursion started and ended with a 45 minute ferry ride that was very beautiful in itself. A very good second choice. If I go back to St. John someday I hope to actually set foot on these gorgeous beaches!
We didn't buy the pricey Isla Verde beach excursion but instead just took a fifteen minute cab ride to the Marriott at Isla Verde. We walked through the lobby to the gorgeous public beach and enjoyed three hours here. We bought soft drinks in the hotel lobby shop and walked the beach and even relaxed in palm tree shaded hammocks . The surf here is very big. There were many surfers on this day. We enjoyed the gorgeous aqua colored water and even got our feet wet. But it was unsafe for swimming as the waves were huge and I'm certain there was a dangerous undertow.
Two words......Serenity Bay..... If you are all over 18 go there! Go early and get a hammock. Rent a floating mat. Walk the beach. Put a chair in the surf, and you will never want to leave. The water is absolutely crystal clear and a gorgeous pale aquamarine color.
Watch the pelicans catch and swallow fish. See the fish swim by as you wade in the warm water. You will wish you could stay forever. Your six hours will go by very fast. I was the first one off the ship and the last one back on. Ride the tram... It's a long walk.
One warning...the water slide on the island is not like the pool slides at all the Disney resorts. I enjoy them each and every one! I've also enjoyed the slides at the Disney water parks and loved the Aquaduck on the Fantasy, but not this! There are two openings when you climb to the top. I went down the one on the right and it was NOT fun! I was plunged into the ocean so fast I could not help but gulp up the salty sea water. I was choking and coughing and the little kid that came after me was crying his eyes out! I'm 62 and I knew just how he felt! I did not try that again even though the life guard said I should try the one on the left which was calmer. It was so fast it was like I was torpedoed into the briny sea. TERRIBLE! Despite this one Major flaw....Castaway Cay (pronounced key) is otherwise absolutely TERRIFIC !