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Home > Member Reviews > CruisingMommyT's Port Reviews of St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maarten

CruisingMommyT's Port Reviews of St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maarten
Carnival Valor cruise in July 2014
Member Name: CruisingMommyT
Cruise Date: July 2014
Embarkation: San Juan
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: CruisingMommyT's Carnival Valor Review
St. Thomas
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

In St. Thomas, you have to walk to the Charlotte Amalie or take a cab. We did neither. The town where the port is located is not very pretty. However, we did take a cab to Coki Beach and it was AMAZING! There is an area for the cabs after you walk out of the terminal and a dispatcher helps get people into different open air cabs. The price to take a cab there is very reasonable and the lady there at Coki Beach will call for a cab to come back, or you can get an empty cab for a return ride. There is no charge for Coki Beach, unless you decide to go to the aquarium, which we didn't. The beach was empty upon our arrival and is just beautiful. The view is lovely, the water is clear and the water is very calm. It is a great spot to snorkel, especially at either end of the beach. You will see lots of fish probably. This is a good beach for families, if you have small kids, too. We rented nothing here, but you can rent chairs, buy drinks, rent snorkel gear, etc. There are restrooms that are very clean and showers to rinse off the sand. I highly recommend this beach!

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

The port area is very industrial. There is a place for people to line up for cabs and the prices are posted. We saw a beach from the port, and decided to walk to it...crazy, I know! Several drivers tried to give us a ride but eventually they let us be. The walk is pretty along the water, but gets a bit dirty into the town. There is an interesting historical area you will walk by. We walked out to Carlisle Bay when we saw a sign for it. There are several little resorts where you can pay to rent things. We walked pretty far down the bay toward the hotels, got stuck in some rain, so we hung out under the green roofed gazebo for several minutes. Once it cleared up, we enjoyed the soft pinkish sand on Brown's Beach, a public beach and snorkeled with lots of sea turtles. Excursions come to this specific area to swim and snorkel with sea turtles. We just swam out several yards from the beach and snorkeled with them. Our walk back was nicer than the walk there and we saw a lot of cruise ship passengers in the town.

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St. Lucia
Catamaran Day Sail Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

If you get an excursion anywhere, do it here. The taxi drivers charge a LOT of money to get you where you want to go. Plus, I heard that the roads are very rough to traverse, with some people feeling sick on them. In addition, the drives can be pretty long. We booked this the morning of the excursion. The catamaran met us inside of the port area. It's open air, and can get hot, so have plenty of sunscreen. The views from the boat are beautiful. They do have restrooms if needed. They provide free drinks throughout the time, in addition to sandwiches and bananas (after the swimming time. The people who run the excursion were very friendly. One lady will take pictures of you and your significant other if you'd like. This is a great way to see the bays (they will take you into Marigot Bay). In addition, we had excellent views of the Pitons and got lots of nice photos. This boat took us to Anse Cochon for swimming. It is NOT advertised as a snorkeling tour, but if you have the gear, take it with you because the snorkeling was very good. I loved it! The water is a bit deep where they help you off the boat (one woman was given a life jacket since she's not a good swimmer). However, I saw all kinds of cool things as I snorkeled. My only regret is we could have probably spent a little more time here. The ride back was a little hot, but was really nice. People danced around, drank rum punch and seemed in a very festive mood. The walk to the ship was very short. I would definitely recommend this trip.

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St. Kitts
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

St. Kitts seems to have it all. It's beautiful. The people are very nice. They have expansive views. There's not a lot of squalor. I saw none. We got a taxi for $4 per person (we went with a group in a van from the port area) to South Friar's Bay Beach. There is volcanic sand there and the beach is narrow where you will find Ship Wreck resort. However, the views are amazing! The water is somewhat rough here and you cannot walk in some of the water due to sea urchins. My husband really liked the snorkeling here, though. I did snorkel, but had some problems with my mask due to the slightly rough waters. If you walk all the way down the beach, which we did, you will notice that the water gets calmer, and the sand becomes lighter. The sand in the water down here is very soft. The snorkeling is not as good, but my husband saw a couple of small sharks, which was cool. They have a nice shopping area, but we noticed that store clerks follow you very closely. We found free internet access, which was a plus, since we needed to check in with family.

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St. Maarten
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We got a taxi at the taxi stand to Cul-de-Sac, then took the ferry over to Pinel Island. We probably could have been just as happy doing something else, but it was a pretty cool experience. Pinel Island is beautiful and has great views from every angle. There are a couple of topless sunbathers, but most of the clientele here was made up of Dutch, French, or locals, so nobody seemed to even notice. The sand is very soft and the water is calm and clear. It's perfect for kids. The snorkeling is so-so, but we didn't go on the snorkel trail, so it may be better there. If you walk across the hill over the island, you will be met with stunning views of a rough water beach. Strong swimmers do snorkel there, but I would caution you, though, because it's quite rough. It would be a nice location to enjoy a picnic lunch. There is some shade under a few trees on the calm side, but get there early in order to get it. We did. I was worried about getting a taxi back, but there was one waiting upon our return from the island (ferry costs $10 per person and is payable in cash). The shopping area was nice here, too, but prices were a bit higher since they use the Euro around the island.

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