Wednesday, November 20, 2013

St. Thomas // Second Port on Oasis of the Seas

After a lovely day at sea filled with pool time, shows and various other things, we were ready for another port.

St. Thomas - View from the Ship

We stopped in St. Thomas on our honeymoon but it is a beautiful island. On that cruise, we rented a jeep and drove all over the island giving ourselves a tour of Magen's Bay, Drake's Seat, the mountaintop lookout and other spots. We didn't feel like we needed to do that again. What I was interested in was St. John. It's another island in the US Virgin Islands and it happens to be a ferry ride away from St. Thomas. You can do this trip on your own. It involves a taxi to the ferry dock, the ferry over, a taxi to the beach on St. John's (and back) the ferry home and a taxi back to the ship. While not impossible, we decided that for $34.00 a person, we'd let Royal Caribbean figure out all the logistics.

Oasis does not dock in the same spot as all other ships due to its size. They have built some shops right at the port but it's nothing like all the jewelry and souvenir shops at the other dock we had visited. No matter. Instead, we hung out in the blazing sun waiting for our tour to gather and begin.

We boarded a 2 story ferry for the 25 minute ride to St. John. That 25 minutes turned into 45 minutes due to some pretty rough seas. High waves, lots of rocking. Not for the easily motion-affected. But, we survived and eventually landed at St. John.

On our way to the beach, the taxi driver asked if we wanted to stop at 3 lookouts to take pictures. Yes, we did!

I researched all of the beautiful beaches of St. John and settled on Trunk Bay as our stop for the day. Because St. John is a national park, the beaches are a lot less commercialized than on other islands. You could rent chairs and snorkel gear here and there was one stand serving food and drinks but that was it. Oh, there were bathrooms too. But you also had to pay to get in to contribute to the upkeep of the beach/park.

We had a burger and fries, grabbed a couple cans of Carib and headed towards the sand. Doesn't get much better than views like this.....

There is a snorkel trail here as well but we opted for the relaxation route. The water was warm, the sun was hot. Life was good. It came to an end all too soon and because I had a specific souvenir in mind to purchase, we grabbed a taxi and headed back to the ferry dock.

Just a short walk up the road was Mongoose Junction. There were several shops here and I knew this is where I would find my St. John's hook bracelet. You can spend thousands of dollars on diamonds and all sorts of other precious gemstones in all of these ports but I wanted something I would wear on a regular basis that didn't break the bank.


I got mine from the Caravan Gallery. There are other places you can purchase them but I noticed the bartender at the brewery had one on and I asked her about it. She said the ones from Caravan are all handcrafted so they're all unique and they age really well. Sold!

Oh, a brewery? Did you honestly think we wouldn't find a brewery in the Virgin Islands if there was one to be had? If so, I guess you don't know me AT ALL!

But if you do happen to make it to St. John, please please please grab a pint at the St. John's Brewers in Mongoose Junction. The tap room is upstairs.

In addition to beer, they also brew their own root beer, which is what this is.....with a shot of vanilla rum. It tasted like a rootbeer float. John had a pint of the Island Summer Ale which was very refreshing on this hot Caribbean day. We had just enough time before boarding the ferry to split a Coffee Stout. Holy cats. This was, hands down, one of the best coffee stouts I have ever had in my life. Roasty and chocolatey and I didn't even care that it was 90 degrees outside. They do have some distribution in the states but not much, unfortunately. The bartender was friendly and there was only one other patron in there at that time (Tuesday afternoon). We are so glad we stopped.

The return ride on the ferry was much smoother and we made friends with a couple Canadians over some rum punch. Cruisers are generally happy, chatty people, which is nice. You can always bond over the fact that you are on vacation.

The day in St. John was nothing short of amazing. It's somewhere I would gladly return to and spend a week, which is my scale of whether or not the island is worth it. If you have the opportunity to go there, 

This guy was in our room that night at turn down

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