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6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

New York, USA
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6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

We will be on the Emerald Princess when she docks in St. Thomas on 04/23/13. It looks like the following ships and passenger counts will be there too:

Norwegian Gem: 2394

Explorer of the Seas: 3114

Carnival Dream: 3646

Emerald Princess: 3080

Oasis of the Seas: 5400

Disney Fantasy: 4000

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Total: 21,634 passengers

Should we just stay on the ship that day?

How crowded is this going to be?

Should I even bother trying to find a beach?

Thanks for any input.

North Pole, New York
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1. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

Not a big deal, we've stayed at the Sapphire condo resort when there were 20k cruisers in port, got a little crowded but never got crazy there like the other beaches and you could have an enjoyable day there. Secret Harbor is another good choice.

The ultimate way to get away from the horde is to book a daysail like New Horizon, Yacht Nightwind, or any of the others that are recommended here. The 2 mentioned sail out of Sapphire Marina, we took the New Horizon last week with 3 other couples and had a great day. Excellent Italian buffet and drinks (nooners and painkillers), and a snorkel stop at Honeymoon Beach on St John and on St James. They sail at 10AM and return at 4PM. Again there are several to choose from.

St. Thomas
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2. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

Happens this way week after week, so transportation/tour operations are set up to move people around fairly effectively. One thing to note is that the Oasis of the Seas is usually the last ship to arrive, so that most other ships have released their passengers before their over 5,000 passengers hit the ground.

Rocky Dock

Water Island

New York, USA
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3. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

Thanks for the quick posts. I looked at some of the day sails and they seem like a good option. Sapphire looks good too. I was just afraid that it would be a total zoo.

Hampton Roads, VA
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4. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

Good day for the vendors who have been struggling. Make a stop downtown before you go back, they are in a bartering mood on busy days!

North Pole, New York
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5. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

Sapphire and Secret Harbor are the best beach choices in my opinion, even on the busiest days believe it or not. Sapphire is our choice for the island views and the beach, and for the snorkeling for most folks. Note that we too are just visitors like you, we've spent a few weeks on St Thomas usually after time in the BVI and we're not experts but do enjoy tye East End where the nicest beaches are.

SH is a nice calm beach to relax on. Sapphire has drink/food options and Sapphire has a restaurant on the beach. Both have a dive center for chair and snorkel rentals. You'll find pictures of both in threads in the St Thomas forum on cruisecritic.com. Lindquist (Smith Bay) which lies between Coki and Sapphire is the quietest because it's not developed but there are chair rentals there now.

Check the different daysails on vinow.com and select daysails under the St Thomas tab. Others can be found by Googling.

To get to the beaches or the marinas just hop the first taxi going that way. Tou can stop downtown for shopping on the return or at Paradise Point for refreshments and a nice view. That's where the Skyride tram goes. You can also shop near the tram in Havensight if you want to avoid Charlotte Amalie but not the same experience.

The tent vendors will barter with you all day and you can get another $ off when you're heading back to the last ship leaving. But they do this everyday remember.

Edited: 27 January 2013, 18:52
North Pole, New York
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6. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

Correction on the restaurant on Sapphire, that should read Secret Harbor, sorry. Sapphire has a beach grill that serves a good mahi mahi sandwich and burger $14 & $11 respectively), and the dive center has $3 & $4 beer and rum punches. The actual restaurant is closed there and there is a small one up the hill behind the marina.

Secret Harbor does have a real restaurant/beach bar.

Washington DC...
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for St. Thomas
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7. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

I hope these folks are spending money in the islands! If you don't want to deal with traffic around the island, you could go to a beach close by -- Emerald Beach is 10 minutes away, pretty, and there's food/bar. The water is calm. And you would spend more time on the beach than in a car.

St. Thomas
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8. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

You could head to a beautiful beach like Brewers Bay and it is unlikely that you would see a dozen or two other cruise ship passengers even on a 6 ship day.

St Thomas, VI
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9. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

Just keep in mind there are limited amenities at Brewers.

North Pole, New York
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10. Re: 6 Gigantic Cruise Ships in Port on the Same Day

I would probably avoid Lindbergh Bay (aka Emerald Beach) on a heavy ship day, and even Sapphire or SH could even be crowded aa you can't be sure where everyone is going. I would suggest this is a good port to consider a daysail that can accommodate your time in port like New Horizons. That would be our choice if we were on a cruise with that many ppl on the island. That was our choice on one of the heaviest ship days 2 weeks ago...

Edited: 30 January 2013, 10:44