Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Honeymoon Day 2 - St. Thomas

After sleeping like a rock the first night, we awoke to find ourselves docked in St. Thomas.

We booked an excursion through Godfrey Tours, after doing a bunch of research on Cruise Critic forums. We picked the option which had some shopping in the morning, then an island tour, finished off with a few hours at the beach. 
We disembarked and gathered under a structure where a bunch of the shore excursions meet. Our guide, Godfrey, came and met us a few minutes later. We boarded an open air bus/taxi and headed toward the shopping area in downtown Charlotte Amalie. We walked around the jewelry stores which were on every corner, and there was a random downpour for a few minutes. We’d talked a little bit about buying some jewelry on St. Thomas, because they have really good deals, but weren’t sure. Well, we both ended up with pieces we were really happy with, at Diamonds International. I got beautiful diamond stud earrings and A. got a great deal on a watch he loves. I was worried about carrying the purchases around the rest of the day, so we were really pleased to find out that the Carnival shopping expert makes regular stops at Diamonds International throughout the day to pick up purchases and you can pick them up at his desk later in the evening. Of course after we agreed to that I spent the rest of the day worrying that it was a scam, but worry not, we had a call on our cabin phone later that afternoon and were able to go pick up our purchases that night.

On to the island tour...we reboarded the open air vehicle and started up the mountains. This was my first experience with island roads and let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t doing the driving. There were maniacs everywhere! We stopped every once in a while at scenic overlooks for pictures. 

Eventually we made it to Mountain Top , which is really just a huge souvenir store and balcony with an incredible view. From their balcony you can see tons of other islands, and Magen’s Bay Beach, where we’d be spending some time later in the afternoon. They also have a huge bar in the back of the store where they make world famous banana daiquiris – I know it sounds gross but they were absolutely delicious! I’d go back for more.

After our stop at Mountaintop we continued on our way and stopped at Drake’s seat – a bench where Sir Francis Drake supposedly sat. 

Finally we got to pick between Magens Bay Beach or Coki Beach. We picked Magens Bay Beach. Again, this was my first time in the Caribbean, so I couldn’t wait to get my feet into the crystal blue water. I was amazed how clear/blue the water is.  

After a few hours at the beach we got picked up by the bus and headed back to the cruise terminal. There is a small shopping area near the cruise terminal where we stopped to get a few souvenirs and then got in line to get back on the ship. While we were in line a steel drum band from a local high school was set up under the structure where we’d met our tour guide earlier in the day. Right as we were walking by they started playing Danza Kuduro, which if you read my first post about my love of that song, this just further led me to believe we’d made an excellent choice in picking this cruise as our honeymoon.

Our next day was a day at sea, and we didn’t do much that was noteworthy. We used this day to finally unwind a little bit since it had been such a whirlwind since (and before!!!) the wedding. I’ll be honest...I think that port intensive cruises are the way to go for me. We definitely did not take full advantage of everything the ship had to offer, somewhat because we were incredibly drained from all of the wedding week activities, and partly due to feeling a bit like a sardine at times. My next post will be on our day in Barbados and the Chef's Table dinner later that night.

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