Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Cruise PortTweet
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.
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.
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".
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
Read more tips on Cruise Port