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A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

new jersey
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A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

Hi there,

I would appreciate if anyone can provide us with feedback for our first trip to St Sthomas with two young kids (2 and 4 year old).

We decided to rent a condo for a 8 day 7 night stay on Saphire Beach Resort and Marina Building C. We picked this place because when we did research said it was easy access to ships, marina, beach, restuaraunts. My youngest son has food allergies such as milk, eggs and nuts, so I needed flexibility to make food for him in a condo vs. resort. I was told that there was nearby grocery store on same road as the Saphire Beach resort, route 38?

We will try to rent a car---so many negative reviews on Budget at airport so maybe we should try Avis with a midsize car (we would like a decent one that has air conditioner)

My kids love the beach so that is why we picked a condo on the beach so they can go out and just play with sand and water. However, I would like to take excursions.

Is it practical to take one day trip to Magen beach (I heard the waters are extremely calm so its probably good for my kids since they are so young and can't swim yet). I assume that same one day would be too much to visit another beach. Is Magen beach only a 15 minutes drive?

People said to visit the beaches when cruise ships aren't in? IS there a website that lists when there are cruise ships in doc (instead of having to manually go to each cruise ship website to find out? For example, going to Carnival and trying to figure out when they come in?).

So one day visit another beach (Magen and maybe another one in same day?)

One day just drive around St. Thomas -- visit mountain top and point paradise, drakes point..etc.

One day go to St. John via car barge -- should we just pick one beach area like Cinnamon bay. Is most of beaches in the National Park?

One day do a snorkel trip -- now here is my dilemma..I'd love to snorkel out on boat but have concerns with safety and sea sickness with my kids..they are probably too young to snorkel but I thought husband and I can take turns watching them while one of us snorkels. Is there a recommended tour to places like BVI that's family friendly for kids?

My hopes is that we go mornings to places and then by around 4 pm drive home so that my son can take naps in car...assume we should pack lunches as there probably aren't fast foods like mcdonalds, etc (not that we always eat there but just to be quick with food sometimes)..

and I think the rest just play by ear -- relax, etc..my thought is after we come back from day excursions have a simple dinner and kids can play in pool or beach sand in early evening ( I was told SApphire beach resort has plenty lighting at night ). Hopefully the pool isn't too cold..not sure if it is heated or necessary to be heated.

Also..some posts says that Saphire beach can be busy when cruise ship docks? I assume cruise ships dock at Charlie Amalie but people take cab, etc to go to sapphire beach (cruise ships don't dock at Red Hook or Magen;s bay do they?). WE definitely would prefer to go to beaches, etc when its less busy..

Also, I'm not sure why but the Fodor travel book keeps saying that car theft is a big probable and that its better to leave windows open in cars than to have broken glass (make it sound like the theifs would actually break windows). Is that true? I thought if we have windows open then theifs can come in and drive away the whole car...

Thanks anyone for any suggestions!

St Thomas, VI
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1. Re: A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

You can find the ship schedule on VINOW.com.

You should definitely take the kids to Coral World. They would like Coki Beach, also. Secret Harbor Resort has a special swimming program for kids called, Tiny Bubbles, I think. There's also good snorkeling there. Check their dive shop's website, Aqua Action.

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2. Re: A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

Here is the cruise ship schedule …cruisett.com/schedule/…January_2014 just pick your month and year and it will show you who's in port for each day. I too will be at Sapphire beach resort in building C but I have to wait until February 8th.

Edited: 12 November 2013, 12:06
St Thomas
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3. Re: A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

This schedule is a little easier to read. Just scroll down to the cruise ship photo for the link:


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4. Re: A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

I agree with Coral World. My kids have been twice and loved it. The last time we were there the snorkeling at adjoining Coki Beach was out of this world! Visited St Thomas last December and are returning this December staying in Building B at Sapphire. You will love it!

A rental car is the way to go. We left the resort most mornings about 9 or 10 o'clock We returned to the resort mid afternoon for some beach time. Headed to Red Hook each night for dinner. Back at resort about 8 or 9 pm. Read about theft and broken car windows. No problems there.

Enjoy your trip! 25 day countdown for us!

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5. Re: A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

Reserve your car NOW! Just don't get it from Hertz as they do not allow their cars to go to St John.

If you want the kids to spend some evening time outside, do it at the pool and not on the beach. We are always off the beach by 4:00 because that's when the sand fleas start coming out. Their bites can make you miserable for the remainder of your trip (and then some)! Make sure to shake out your beach towels outside. Rinse off as much sand as you can from yourselves and your stuff before you go into your condo. Put your beach stuff, including your towels, on your balcony to keep the sand fleas in your condo to a minimum.

As far as car thiefs - We never leave anything in the car. We do roll up the windows in case of a brief shower, but we don't lock the doors. We have never had a problem.

Oh, BTW, there's McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway, etc on St Thomas. For your day trip to St John, do plan ahead and pack a cooler with lunch, snacks and drinks. There are plenty of restaurants in Cruz Bay, but no fast food places.

6. Re: A family with 2 young kids suggestions for Dec 2013 trip?

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