You don’t need to worry about having enough fun, safe activties while in port in St. Thomas. St. Thomas has been welcoming cruise ship passengers to Charlotte Amalie for a long time, and I think we have it down pretty darn well. If I were visiting St. Thomas for the day, here is what we locals and experienced visitors would recommend:
Go Sailing! Booking a day sail charter from the east end of St. Thomas (Red Hook area) provides gorgeous scenery and consistently excellent sailing grounds. The water is largely protected by islands and cays of all sizes, so there are any number of excellent places to sail and then stop and snorkel, swim, and relax in the beauty of our Virgin Islands. As one of the top places in the Caribbean (and the world!) to sail, spending your day in St. Thomas to take a sailing excursion to St. John should be a first choice activity for adventurous visitors.
Go to the beach! If beachcombing is your cup of tea, look no further than St. Thomas, St. John, and Water Island. For St. Thomas, our favorite beaches are Magen’s Bay and Lindquist. Magen’s Bay, on the picturesque north side, offers restrooms, (half salt) showers, and concessions that include drinks and delicious pizza. Lindquist is smaller and offers showers/restroom facilities, but no concessions. Lindquist is a prefered beach for snorkeling, as is Sapphire Beach, which does offer a beachside bistro and equipment rentals.
Go shopping! There are too many great jewelry shops in Charlotte Amalie to begin to list them all. Many display their top watch or jewelry brands, for example, so if you know what you are looking for, those can help. Most of the jewelry stores are located in Havensite, right by the cruise ships and Main St., which is walkable from the ships. Don’t be too shy to make an offer that is below the listed price, as many shops are willing to bargain. Other great duty-free items include electronics, camera equipment, and local rum.
If you are looking for a cool “St. Thomas” t-shirt, look no further than (locally owned) Caribbean Surf in Havensite. There, you can find tees and rashguards with Virgin Islands surf flavor. Their Red Hook location is across the street from Sail with Liberty, and we proudly shop there, ourselves. Find them at Caribbean Surf Co.