St. Thomas

Friday Dec 3, Day 6

Today we woke up to a beautiful, warm day in St Thomas. We had no plans for today other than to wonder out and catch a taxi to the beach. We had been here 2yrs ago and had done an island tour and went to Sapphire beach that time, so we wanted to try out a new beach this time. I had done some research and felt pretty confident that we wanted to try out Emerald beach.

We got off the ship and walked a ways until we found the area where the taxis gather. Most taxis here aren’t like what you picture at home. They are open air vehicles that can seat many people at once.

The dispatcher was trying to organize mass crowds it seemed. I said we wanted Emerald beach and we were told which truck to get into. Our driver apparently didn’t want to go to this beach and tried to get those of us who got on his truck, off. Eventually it got worked out and he was told that’s where he is to go. A couple sitting in front of us had been here several times before and they too were headed to the same beach. He said it’s an excellent beach but that the taxi drivers try to get you to go to ones further out because they can get paid more. So I felt good knowing I chose a great beach. Another couple also jumped in the taxi and it turned out they knew who I was from cruise critic as they were part of our roll call (I didn’t recognize her but I knew her username once she told me). So it was nice to spend some time with someone familiar.

There was a nice hotel located at the beach we went to. They had an open area outside we walked through to get to it and as we walked past the hotel onto the sand, we all were really happy we chose this beach. Plenty of open space to spread out, not crowded at all, and the water was really calm.

The kids discovered right away that this was a good beach to find lots of different seashells. So they spent a lot of time walking around collecting shells. They also blew up the 2 tubes we brought along to float around in. The water was again really warm, felt great and it was oh so clear! Kevin went out deep to where he couldn’t stand and he said you could still see perfectly to the bottom. We saw several fish swimming around our feet, they were all around a good foot long.

We stayed till about 2:30 and figured we better head back as traffic can get backed up as everyone makes their way back to town. A lady had her taxi there and had room for a few more (it was just the cruise critic couple and us). There were already a ton of people in there and I had no clue how she was going to fit us in. The back of her truck was open where everyone else was sitting, but she had a double cab truck in the front and yup, that’s where she was going to stick the 8 of us (plus herself who was driving). Holy cow!! Thank goodness the kids are small. I had to chuckle, as we were driving, I saw a plaque in the front of her truck that said “total capacity 18 people”. HAHA There were 9 of us alone in the double cab and I bet another 12-15 in the back.

Even though St Thomas is part of the US Virgin Islands, they actually drive on the opposite side of the road. But their steering wheels are where ours are at, so it makes it interesting. This country probably resembles the closest to home out of all the places we will visit this trip. We saw a Pizza Hut, Wendys and around the corner from the dock we were told was a Walmart & Kmart! And the other interesting fact is since they are part of the USVI, they are also included in most cell phone coverages from the US. So I brought my phone with me and surprised a few close people with a call while basking in the warm 85 degree sun.
(I’ve heard it’s been yucky weather at home and I sure don’t miss that!)

Once we got dropped off, we decided to walk around some of the shops nearby before heading back to the ship. The kids each had a little spending money and all but Sarah decided to get a little something. After getting back on the ship, we went on deck to watch sailaway which was 5pm our time.

I’ve been really proud of the kids. Most of the times at dinner, they will order something that they never had before (and that quite honestly, is usually pretty exotic).

Especially Erik. He’s had many different types of fish this week and tonight, he ordered the asian duck (which was really good as I tried a bit of his). Sarah and I had wild mushroom & goat cheese pizza.

Tonight after dinner, there was an ice show (yes, there is an ice rink on board that seats a few hundred people). I didn’t realize they were handing out tickets the day we boarded so we hadn’t gotten any (they don’t cost anything but you need one to get in as they only hand out so many due to limited seating). We were told though we could line up and if there were open seats after the ticketed people sat, we could go in. While we were waiting, a stagehand came up and asked if one of the kids could be in it. See, 2yrs ago, during the same ice show, Hannah got asked to be in it so we knew what to expect. So this time Susan was the one picked. So since she was in it, we got escorted right inside to reserved seats right smack in the front row, woo-hoo!!! We all enjoyed the show and Susan was grinning from ear to ear when it came time for her to be taken out on the ice (she was sitting in a small sleigh).

So that pretty much was our day today.

There is a poolside party & buffet up on deck at 11pm that I am debating about checking out. No, NOT for the food as I’m still full from dinner but more for the photo op. I’m sure I’ll still be awake as I need to go send this update, so we’ll see.

Tomorrow we will be spending the day in St Kitts. Enjoy your Friday night everyone!

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