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

johnguze
Missed due to Plan "B" , Captain's hurricane avoidance course change - Very prudent. Stopped at Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel instead. Been to all 3 places 5 or 6 times did not get off. Enjoyed luxurious feel of an empty ship. Felt like a private yacht No lines, no waiting for elevators, 6 people instead of 60 in the pool. Quiet. It was GREAT until the day long drinking boisterous hoards returned in mid afternoon.. Returned to our cabin for a senior power nap and prep for dinner. Hey it's what "floats our boat" We enjoyed those precious times of "non crowding"
mxvet61
Great excursion options on St. Thomas. Beautiful island with easy shopping (even Wal Mart).
lauramccomas62
Buy your alcohol here! Great prices! Also go snorkeling! The fish and seat turtles are AWESOME!
ECandMC
Do the extreme zip-lining--fantastic views and staff.
Monado
Coki Point Beach was beautiful and the business'/taxi drivers were wonderful.
SherylTrent
Best snorkeling at Coki Beach.
gayletino
The water at the beaches were calm and smooth. You can take a raft out and just relax.
dhickman57
Great place to shop downtown. You won't get followed by people hounding you to shop.
moost
Rent a jeep or car from Budget and go off on your own. Magens Bay is great, but Sapphire Beach is just as pretty and empty. There is zero reason to walk and shop in St Thomas. The same things are repeated a dozen times each.
cuka1
Great scuba diving at Coki Beach!

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Comments


Lol...hilarious comments especially picturing how scared u all probably were....Island people are accustomed to driving the small winding roads so while it's scary for you we have it under control­čść. Coming from Barbados I can say that we Island people feel the same way when we are here in USA and the fast driving on the large highways. I've booked the St John's island tour and will admit that since I've been here in florida for a few years ....I'll be like WTH the whole tour but will remind myself that was me back in the day in B'dos. I can't wait...Escape...thanksgiving week!

- Sonia

The roads are scary and some of the drivers..long way down no guard rails..I do it anyways and not watch lol

- Anne

Ok it was you then lol

- Mima