I will be arriving in st thomas on monday august 28 on board the carnival destiny. what is the best public beach to go to in the morning and then wife wants to shop in the afternoon
"Best" is certainly a personal decision. However, I think you'd be remiss if you didn't go visit Magans Bay. It's known as a world-class beach, and has all the amenities you'll want. Spend a few bucks and rent a chair/lounger, set up a tab with the beach server and enjoy some cold beverages, have lunch at the snack shop (pizza and grilled chicken sandwiches are great). Taxis will be waiting to take you back to Charlotte Amalie or Havensight to do the afternoon shopping. Not much snorkeling there, and it will be crowded, but we've never found that to be any interference at all with a great day.
By the way, our first time on St. Thomas was on a cruise. Our day consisted of: Open safari island tour, shopping in Charlotte Amalie, then finished with our Magans Bay trip. Magans was clearing out by 2pm and we had lots of room. Taxi back to the ship is direct and easy. Still remember this first time like it was yesterday!!!
Good Luck - Have Fun!
Wrong ! I would not go to Magens - just too crowded with the rest of the cruise ship(s) in port that day. Instead go for a great day on the beach at Secret Harbor, then head back to Havensight for shopping before re-bording the ship.
Do you really find Magens that crowded if you get away from the 20 yard radius around the main pavillion? What if one was to venture all the way to the far left?
I have never felt that Magens was "too crowded" as long as I moved myself away from where the ship people congregate, which seems to be in one small area. Magens is such a wide beach.
I agree with Bluwater. Go to Magen's and go all the way to the right or left and the crowd will thin out nicely. Seems like it's less crowded to the right than the left for some reason and there are great picture taking opportunities there as well.
Do you mean left when facing the water or left when in the water and facing the sand? I'm trying to figure out which way you mean is least crowded. Either way, yes, both far ends are rarely crowded when I have visited. I have a fondness for the last seagrape tree to the right (right when facing the water and standing on the sand). I like that I can pull my car right up behind it and I like that I can get shade from it.
Also, Magens is close to Charlotte Amalie, making that shopping trip much easier and quicker for Mrs. Finkel....which translates to more time on the beach before the shopping trip.
I must disagree with you, IP...From the cruise ship, the end of August, Magens will be a lovely venue. It is easy to get to, many of the taxi drivers will do a shopping/beach combo. Have fun!
I'm with most of the others who've responded. I think Magens earned its reputation as one of the best beaches in the world!
Concur - Magens is a beautiful beach, no snorkeling, easy to get to and back from the ship....
Having said that: My adivce is count the number of ships in port when you arrive...
Two or less go for it - three or more - find a second choice
a picture says it all - here is 3 in port maybe 4:
I think Magens Bay gets a bad rap when ships are in. The picture is looking in one direction. I wonder what it looks like in the other direction. Also there is a term, I don't know what it is, but when taking pictures because it is two dimensional , things looks more crowded that it really is. Saying that I have seen beaches in NYC that you had to be careful where you stepped for fear of stepping on someone, not so at Magens ........EVER. I have never bumped into anyone while walking or swimmong at Magens Bay.
I, too, thought that about the picture. It seems to have been taken from an area not far from the pavillion and facing the short end of the beach. The longer stretch is in the other direction and is the less popular end because it is far from the entrance. I can't imagine the entrie stretch being that crowded. I have seen the pavillion area that crowded before. But, it is easy to get away from that madness.
It depends on what you enjoy at the beach.
I would never go to a beach that has more than 8 or 10 other people.
Some urban beach users never know the joy of an uncrowded beach.
That picture says it all.
I have seen Magens with far fewer than the picture, but it is always too crowded for me.
But, if you are willing to get on a cruise ship with hundreds, even thousands of other people?
Then a crowded beach is no problem.
Been out of town for a couple days...
The picture was taken about 50 yards left of the picnic area. No doctoring. The left side of the beach is less crowded, but it was still crowded. Here again that is my perspective. It is not as crowded as the Jersey shore or VA Beach on Labor day, but it is very crowded as cruise ship go up.
Great beach for the kids and mom and dad for sun and drinks....
But it is crowded. We would go down about an hour before the beach closed and it was beautiful.
I wil dig through my pics - I am sure I took one from the other direction also.
At the beach, please PM me the name of a beach that never has more than 8 to 10 people. It is nice that you know of these places, but that doesn't help this poster or anyone viewing this thread if you don't share it.
I know of beaches like that on STT, but this poster will not be able to get there, especially while visiting off of a ship, arriving by taxi and needing access to the shopping area after the beach.
I'm sure this visitor would appreciate an uncrowded beach as much as you do, but that isn't realistic here, is it?
Thankfully, the original poster was very specific in his requirements and we responded appropriately. If you can come up with a beach that will have less than 8 or 10 people at any given time AND will serve this visitor's needs as outlined, then please let me know and I will share that information privately with the poster.
Otherwise, your post isn't relevant to the topic and I don't think it was nice to insult this poster. Enjoy your solitude.
But Tom: What month was the picture taken? The number of people on Magens the end of August is NOT the same as in January.
Not trying to be a flamer or pick a fight but you know the old saying "Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder". I have seen the commercials with the couple holding hands on a "deserted" beach and can envision someone seeing it and thinking..............I like that, that is what I want. Unfortunately, that is the fantasy part. Then they get to the Islands and reality hits. My friend has taken me in his boat for my friends and I to have a more private party at one of the many Cays in the area, no I won't say where. Remeber when you are on a beach with 8-10 people, someone is wishing that YOU were not there so they can have the beach to themselves.
I have been going to Magens Bay almost 60 years and I have seen the numbers of beach goers expand. I think Coki Point has the most beautiful water but I don't hang around the snorklers when I go there, unless I have a visitor that wants to try to snorkle.
I love Magens Bay because I can swim lenghtwise in it's calm water, people watch and walk and find friends the lenght of the beach and oh yeah, to party. I think it is great for the wee ones and the parents to teach and have fun with the wee ones.
One last thing, Iam most happy to see all the visitors that come and enjoy the beauty of Magens Bay, wheter they come on ships or planes.
There will be three ships in that day:
Carnival Destiny - 3360 passengers
Carnival Legend - 2124 passengers
Explorer of the Seas - 3114 passengers
Total passengers on STT and STJ on Aug 28 - 8598
Maybe this will be a villa by the pool day 🙂
The numbers are the passenger capacity. The ships are rarely full this time of year.
The picture was taken the first week of April 2005. And I definitely concur that Magens should be less crowded at the end of August. However as Bluwater pointed out there are only 3 ships in, but BIG ONES.
Magens in many magazines is rated one of the top 10 beaches, I would disagree with that statement, but it is absolutely beautiful. If it is Steve's (orginial poster) first visit to STT, it would probably be a good choice. It will allow he and his wife to get some beach time and easily get back to town for a shopping spree.
For those of us that have been to the VI Megens would not be my choice. So then the question would be what is your choice. I would say: (staying on STT and not taking the ferry over to STJ)
1) Linquist (SP?), but I hear the road is now blocked.
2) Forget the name, but go to Sapphire and walk around the point to the left
3) Cowpet over by Elysian
4) Cabrita Point (the local beach by the Ritz) or the beach in front of the Ritz
5) Sapphire (which can be crowded also)
Steve in his original email asked a very important question: what is the best public beach? It is important to note that all beaches are public. Some you cannot get to by land because of private property, but the beaches are public.
Please do not preceive me as a Cruise Ship hater. They are the best way to do your first run to the Caribbean. (in fact my daughter works in the industry). The VI and the people of the VI have so much to offer. Downtown CA and Megens tend to cater to those that are on island for 8 hours and truly does not give a vistor a true snapshot of the island.
If Megans is the choice for Steve and his wife - I would recommend that he take VI Lover's advice. Get your shopping done in the morning. Catch a cab to Megans after lunch or early afternoon. By 2:30 the crowds begin to dwindle quickly and cab back directly to the ship.
My advice to those who are experiencing the islands for the first time is to get off the boat packed for the day. Fight your way through the overly agressive taxi drivers - Then look for a taxi driver with a smile on his/her face. Walk up and ask them to show you their island. Like most people they are very proud of their home. Get the taxi for the day and do the island. You will see beaches, experience food, and meet people you would not by staying with the Cruise ship groups aka - blue towel people.
Do people from ships have the ability to leave the ship with coolers of food and drinks for the day? I have never cruised, so I have no idea. But, since I am reading recommendations for remote beaches and/or beaches without food and beverage facilities, I am curious about it. If not, I suppose a passenger could just bring a soft-sided cooler and fill it at a convenience store.
Also, something I just realized.....Magens may be more crowded now with the closing of the food and beverage facilities at Sapphire beach. Are the ships still doing Sapphire excursions or have they cancelled that since there is no food and beverage there? If they've cancelled Sapphire, will that increase the visitors to Magens and Coki?
Coki - now THERE's a crowded beach for ya! For many, many years that was my hands-down favorite beach - something about the clarity of the water there....but that was before Coral World and all that came with it.
Now I still enjoy spending the day on Coki, but I go for the "funkiness" of this beach - the local food, the music and the resulting head-bopping, finger snapping of people as they bounce/stroll on the sand to the rhythm, the courtesy "fortune telling" by the rastas (pretty impressive, I might add I've seen people's jaws drop at the accuracy of the clairvoyance), the people watching, the various sections: snorkel section, laze in the chair section, ghanja downdraft section, closest to the music section - the general social factor on this beach is amazing.
This is a lovely thread - everyone recommending different beaches for different reasons - which emphasizes the fact that there are an abundance of diverse beaches on STT, each with it's own appeal.
Who knows if Mr Finkel will ever return to read this. Even f he doesn't, I think we've all confirmed what we already knew - so many beaches - something for everyone - everyday!