When I went to bed the night before, we were in San Juan. When I woke up, we were in St. Thomas. I felt that I haven’t even traveled any distance. Yet, alas! Here were were, in a whole new place. It’s surreal. We were eating breakfast at the same spot we ate at the night before. However, the view from out the window was much different.
St. Thomas was more mountainous than I pictured it to be. The island was gorgeous. From the window, I could see down at Crown Bay, with all the sailboats swaying in the wind. These sailboats and yachts simply dotted the coast line, while our cruise ship cast a shadow on any boat that came close.
We wanted to have a beach day, but we weren’t sure where to go. We departed the ship and headed into town, following the heard of fellow cruisers through Charlotte Amaile. We asked a man who seemed to be a local, where we should go. He suggested Magens Bay Beach and pointed us in the direction of where we would find a cab driver. In my research, I read about Magen’s Bay. It is said to be one of the top 10 beaches in the world. At the time, I thought that the cab ride was a little pricey at $8 per person each way. But it was well worth it. The taxi was an open air bus that would bring us whirling around the winding roads up to the mountain top and down as it dropped off other passengers. Maybe we just got lucky, but our taxi ride served as an open air tour of the island.
The first stop on our ‘tour’ was Blackbeard’s Castle. Reading about Blackbeard’s Castle online, it sounded like it would be a short walk from the cruise port. Based on the length of the taxi ride and the steep road we drove up to get there, it did not seem like it would be a short ride at all. It felt oh so Caribbean to see a real castle that was supposedly taken over by Blackbeard himself to use as a watch tower. It was cool seeing a pirates castle even if it was far away.
The ride turned into a whirlwind adventure as we made it up the mountaintop. Even though we never stopped to take it in, the view from the mountaintop was incredible. I stuck my hands out of the open window to try to get photos as we went by. I ended up with blurry photos but still had both of my hands in tact.
When we finally arrived at the beach, I paid my $4 to enter and found myself staring at the entrance ticket. The beach looked beautiful in the picture. When I glanced up after a few seconds, I realized that the beautiful view from the photo was right in front of me. I got out of the taxi and entered the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. The water was a shade of blue that was indescribable. Magen’s Bay is the type of place screen savors are made from. My feet sunk into the white sand as I walked to dip my toes in the water.
I’ve never had a more relaxing day. The water was calm and the beach was peaceful. What added to this ideal location was that there were barely any people at the beach. There were maybe fifteen other people besides us at the beach. I found this strange, considering how beautiful the beach was. It’s one of those places that I’ve had trouble writing about. I want everyone to know about this beach. Yet at the same time, if I ever go back I hope that Magen’s Bay retains the same seclusion as I remember.
The water was so clear that we decided to put on snorkel masks and try out some shore snorkeling. Unfortunately, we only saw sand. There did not seem to be a single fish out there. Regardless of the lack of fish, it was still nice to swim around. We swam with the snorkel gear on for awhile. Even though I saw no fish, I enjoyed being able to swim under water for so long with having to come up for a breath of air.
When we finally came up for air, we decided it was time for some sunbathing. But why sunbath on the beach when there are rocks to climb? We jumped rocks on the shoreline until we found ourselves at the foot of the largest one on the beach. It had to be climbed. With just a few calculated foot placements, we were situated on top of the rock. Here we had the perfect vantage point of the beach. As we sat here, I took in the view. I didn’t think it was possible for a beach to be this beautiful. Or for that matter, I never thought that I would be at a beach this beautiful. It was a day beyond words. It was a view that felt as if it were from a dream. If it weren’t for the pictures, I would have said that I just dreamed up the moment. Yet, here it is. Pictures that do not do the view justice for a view that I can not put into words.
A dark cloud started overshadowing our perfect day and rain began to fall on us. If it weren’t for the rain, I don’t think I ever would have left. I would’ve stayed there for ever while my cruise ship sailed off without me. Yet the rain intensified and it was time for us to leave this slice of paradise. We dried ourselves in the cover of a palm tree before heading to find a cab. My friends ended up being sat in the back of the taxi bus, while I was riding up from with the taxi driver. At first I was a little uncomfortable by this. I was pleased though once the ride started. He answered all my questions I had about St. Thomas and even gave me a brief history of the island, explaining why they drive on the left side of the road. Once we got nearer to the cruise port, he pointed to the hillside and said “That’s where I live”. I couldn’t imagine waking up every morning with a few of the bay from above. It must be quite the treat to live in such a beautiful place.
After taking a dip in the hot tub and changing to dry clothes, the rain had subsided. We had a short while left in Charlotte Amaile and decided to take a look around the town. As we walked around, we realized that there wasn’t much to this port town. It seemed that it was simply created with tourists in mind. There were the same expensive jewelry stores and fast food places that we have at home. There wasn’t much to see. I was happy that I spent the majority of the day on the other side of the island, far away from this tourist trap town. The town wasn’t all the bad. We were treated to some free rum samples before heading back to the cruise ship.
At 5 p.m, we went to the highest deck to watch the ship set sail. I was in awe watching as the ship past by tiny islands and into the vast open sea.
Details: 7 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise with Carnival Cruise!