Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Cruise Port

Charlotte Amalie

Region:

St. Thomas

Getting Around:

Taxis, minibuses and open sided "safaris" will be available at the port to take you to Emanciaption Square in downtown Charlotte Amalie. Cost should be $4-6 per person. During busy times of the day it can take 45-90 minutes to get back to the ship, so give your self plenty of time. Taxis are also available for trips beyond the downtown and can even be hired as basic guides for a couple hours. Rates are set by the government and based on the destination not time. You may ask the driver for a rate sheet, but expect rates to be $6 to $18 one way to most destinations. Many taxis can carry up to 12 people and you may experience them stopping to pick up more passengers. Buses are another option for getting around. Safaris run hourly and cost $1. The last bus returns to town about 10 pm. The safaris can be flagged down when you see them by flapping your hand and you can find buzzers on them to get off at your destination.

History:

The Virgin Islands lured more foreign nations than any other territory. The flags of six countries have flown over the Islands. Settlements date to 1500 BC, and people lived here 1,000 years before. The First European settlement on St. Thomas consisted of four taverns. Now known as Charlotte Amalie, today it is a haven for shoppers, but was once a pirate sanctuary. Legitimate trade gained popularity in the 1700s when it was declared a free port, making it the trading center of the West Indies. The 1800s brought great change. The indentured population gained freedom in 1843, just as the shipping trade transitioned from sailing to steam engine vessels. Ships traveled faster, increasing sea trade between Europe and the Americas. During the First World War United States forces feared St. Thomas perfect port area might provide a dangerous base for German forces. The United States bought the Virgin Islands for $25 million in gold. Prosperity showered the island. In 1950s, St. Thomas became a tourist mecca and enjoys this status today. More than 1.7 million cruise ship guests visited here last year to enjoy the duty-free shops, historic attractions, pristine beaches and friendly locals.

Food:

Eat a fresh coconut, there is an old man who comes to the tent market in Charlotte Amalie every day with a pickup truck full of coconuts and a machete and sells them for 2 or 3 dollars, you drink the milk and give it back and he gives it another crack so you can eat the "meat".

Shopping:

St Thomas is known for great deals on jewelry, precious gem stones, watches, electronics, clothes and accessories plus US citizens can buy tax free, duty free goods up to $1600. There are over 400 shops along the Main Street area in Charlotte Amalie and some 50 more in Havensight Mall. St. Thomas also features excellent buys on luxury items like perfume, leather, imported linens, china and crystal. Stores are typically open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.


Top 10 Tips from Cruiseline.com

lauramccomas62
Buy your alcohol here! Great prices! Also go snorkeling! The fish and seat turtles are AWESOME!
gayletino
The water at the beaches were calm and smooth. You can take a raft out and just relax.
dirtondog
We booked an independent tour thru Godfrey Tours (online). This worked out seamlessly. Our first stop was the Gift Shop on top of the "mountain" (famous for it's Banana daiquiri's). This is by far the best place to purchase ALL your souvenirs. The selection was amazing, as were the prices! Also via the island tour we scoped out Magen's Bay, Coki Beach, and Sapphire Beach. Coki Beach was a total "no way" for us...tiny beach with zillions of people and local "salesman" hounding you from the moment we opened the van door! Sapphire was a bit more relaxed & laid-back but Magen's Bay definitely took the cake. Beautiful setting and large enough to escape the crowd if you were willing to walk a ways down the beach.
lilbts
St. Thomas is a very beautiful place to visit and have been many times. I have been to mast of the beaches and to most of their attractions. My favorite thing to do though is go to Magen's Bay beach. It is probably the most beautiful place you will see. I honestly would love to live on St. Thomas.
diannegleeson
Excursion to St John via ferry and open air taxi was very enjoyable. Tour guide, Brian, on the ferry could be a stand up comedian. Gave us lots of history and information on the islands and was most entertaining in the process. St John is a beautiful island that is 2/3 National Park.
jaydub80
St. Thomas is one of my favorite ports. It is so picturesque and there are so many things to do here. We have been three times as stops on cruises. The first time we did a half day at Magens Bay beach and then walked around town shopping and had lunch. The second time, we just went to Magens Bay and last month we did a catamaran to St. John snorkeling at Honeymoon Beach. All were awesome and I look forward to a return visit!
CaribbeanCrazed
Go to the SMOKING ROOSTER for lunch. Avoid the crappy food and rip off pricing at SeƱor Frogs! A tourist trap. BBQ at the Rooster place is OUT OF THIS WORLD and the drinks were phenomenal. Great family place to eat!
Lesfed
My favorite port. Beautiful. We took a cab to Magen Bay Beach for the day and loved it. Don't book the tours. There are many cabs at $8 each way. You can rent chairs for cheap. We loved it.
First13Barbell
This was the least pushiest island for sales! You can shop and not be bombarded by taxi drivers and sales people.
schnettmate
1 word. Beautiful. Go to Magen's Bay beach.

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Comments


Is there any coral reefs/ turtles swimming distance from Sapphire Beach?

2 months ago - jemlau

I really want to do the beach bar hopping excursion when I cruise in April, but there are no reviews which makes me a bit skeptical. Any thoughts? Has anyone ever done it? Thanks!

2 months ago - Jeana

Sorry I'm not on this trip, if I was I'd be with you. I did this trip last January awesome did I tell you it was totally awesomeness

2 months ago - suedanreading