Our side trip to visit my aunt in St. Thomas continues. Rita works as a ship agent between the US Virgin Islands and the cruise ships and she arranged with her work for us to join one of the cruise trip land excursions. We took a catamaran over to Buck Island for a bit of snorkeling. We saw tons of turtles, sting rays, and tropical fish. The rays are my favorite! They look like they are flying through the water and their underside are silky smooth!
The catamaran also stopped at Honeymoon Bay on Water island where we enjoyed the beach, water, and free pain killer drinks.
Dinner was at a Dominican Republic restaurant where I enjoyed a fish filet cooked in coconut milk. Yum!
During the high season, St. Thomas will host up to 20 cruise ships a week. This morning, Rita surprised us with a tour of the cruise ships at port that day. We were excited to board Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas as day guests and enjoy all of the cruise ship amenities. We ate at the buffet and swam in the pools. The Oasis has a beautiful central courtyard called Central Park which has plant and tree lined paths with little cafes. So cute!
As we left the Oasis, Rita told us we were also allowed to board the Carnival Sunshine, so off we went! Mom and Rita rode the waterslides while I soaked up some sun and caught up on some reading while watching the final minutes of the USA vs. Belgium soccer game. 1-2. Oh well, now that USA is out I’ll root for Germany!
This was such a neat day. We got to talk with many of the employees and see some of the behind the scenes workings of the cruise ships. Mom thought it was very surreal to be on a cruise, but not really.
Another cruise ship excursion we had the opportunity to join in on was a tour of Blackbeard’s Castle, the stone tower overlooking Charlotte Amalie harbor. Our guide gave a very energetic tale of Blackbeard’s life as he terrorized the Caribbean with his many pistols and burning beard. He also had a gruesome demise after a battle with the British Royal Navy. Yarrr!
We did a bit of shopping at Charlotte Amalie’s old warehouse district. Once used to store things for trade, they have been converted into neat shops. Lunch was at one of our favorite restaurants: Gladys’. This restaurant is known for their local Caribbean cuisine. I enjoyed jerk chicken with sweet potato, plantains, and rice. This was so good!
In the afternoon, we went to the villa. Rita’s good friend is the grounds keeper at a villa on St. Thomas’ Skyline drive. When the owners or any vacation renters are not using the villa, we get to enjoy the beautiful infinity pool. It has a view of Charlotte Amalie and Megan’s Bay.
The last day. We packed the suitcase and headed off for one more beach. Coki beach is just a few minutes from Rita’s and is one of the best free beaches. No rocks, calm water, and the fish swim circles around you. We enjoyed some local patties, chicken and beef in a deep fried puff pastry. I had the best smoothie. The fruit was so sweet and fresh it tasted like candy.
As the afternoon came we had to leave paradise. I hate leaving family. I always cry. I hope it won’t be so long until we visit again.
Flight Miles (back to the continent): 1108