One of the reasons I love the United States is that there are so many different places you can visit without actually leaving the country. Can you believe that 40% of Americans have never left the country, or even own a passport? As much as I recommend investing in that pretty little book that gives you countless of opportunities, there are many places you can travel to without needing a passport. As a United States citizen you can take a short flight from Miami, to visit one of the prettiest Caribbean islands know as St. Thomas.
This was my second time to visiting St. Thomas. Both times I visited through a cruise-ship. This time, however was different than the last time. Unfortunately, St. Thomas fell victim to hurricanes Irma and Maria this past year. Many Caribbean islands suffered from the hurricanes last year and a lot of US cities as well, including Houston and Miami. Fortunately for me, I was traveling when the hurricane hit Miami however, I think it’s the guilt I had that we barely had any damage but hurricane relief has made a huge impact on me.
When I visited St. Thomas my first question was “how is everyone doing after the storm and what can we do to help?” Fortunately for them a lot of tourism boards and cruise lines have helped them by cleaning up their beaches and the cities however there are still some issues. For example, the phone lines and internet lines are still down as are some homes.
St. Thomas has countless beautiful beaches on the island. We definitely had a hard time choosing which beaches we should check out. When you’re on a cruise you have a lot of information coming at you from the employees, trying to sell you different excursions. One thing I’ve learned, is to ask several employees if they’re getting off on the island and if they are, where do they go. Usually, they’ve been to the ports several times so they are the best guides. After speaking with several crew members, they told us that Magen’s Bay was the 2nd best beach on the island. Emerald Beach is actually the best, but it was still badly damaged by the hurricane and has not been restored yet.
We set off to spend the day in Magen’s Bay, where we found the cutest bar and food restaurant. From the cruise port, we took a taxi that cost $6 to get to Magen’s Bay and back. Magen’s Bay is run by the government, which means they provide lifeguards. This also meant that it costs $5 per person to get in. That payment also gives you access to the bar on the premises and the restaurant as well. We were able to spend as much time as we’d like on the beach being that our ship didn’t leave until 7:30 p.m. It really was a perfect day in paradise.
After our perfect day on the beach, we wanted to stay near the port since my biggest fear was our ship leaving us after we had had such a great day. We were starving! Thank goodness there was the most delicious BBQ restaurant in the port. After having cruise food for the past few days, BBQ food was a good change. After our delicious meal it was time to get back on the ship and head to our next port Antigua!!!