Based on several recommendations, the first time we went to St Thomas we chose to take a tour with Godfrey Tours. To this date (seven years later) it is still one of the best Caribbean island tours we have ever done. For only $25 the tour included shopping, a tour of the island and your choice of a two hour beach stay at Magens Bay, Coki Point Beach or Coral World Ocean Park. It look like the prices have now gone up to $30 to include the coast of the beaches. This is still less then the $50 wanted by the ship for their excursions and in my opinion is worth every penny and then some.
Our tour started with us meeting Godfrey just outside our ship where we loaded into two open air tour buses and headed to downtown Charlotte Amalie for a little shopping. You can choose to shop up to three hours before the tour portion begins but we aren’t big shoppers so we went the one hour time frame and it was plenty for us. I should also note that while the distance between the ship and downtown is walkable it is still quite a hike and takes a bit of time. This is why it is included in the tour. You basically are getting your transportation to downtown included in the tour.
After your shopping the tour starts right from downtown and you are taken throughout the island where you can see Bluebeard’s, Castle, Blackbeard’s Castle and countless breathtaking views of neighboring islands, Magens Bay and the cruise ships docked below. The tour peaks out at the highest point in St Thomas at a place appropriately called Mountain Top. Even though this is nothing more than a big tourist trap, the views and banana daiquiris are well worth a visit. Here’s a picture of Magens Bay taken from the Mountain Top.
The tour portion of the excursion took about an hour and then we were given a choice of beaches to spend the remaining two hours before it was time to head back to the ship. We chose the beach near Coral World Ocean Park because it was the suppose to be the best for snorkeling. What we ended up with was a pretty crowded beach with tons of jelly fish and not much to look at snorkeling wise. To be fair we didn’t venture down close to the Ocean Park where some of the better snorkeling was suppose to be.
Also, don’t get me wrong, this was still a nice beach. We have just since been back to St Thomas and prefer Magens Bay which is considered by some to be one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Magens Bay is a great beach for families and those looking to just relax in the water. It has a flat sand bottom, great views and gradually slopes down to the deeper water. On our last trip I still took my snorkel gear there and saw a few fish, a sting ray and my first sea turtle (while snorkeling). Hears a picture of how Magens Bay looks from the Beach in the morning.
St Thomas is a beautiful island and you could easily have a blast on your own without booking an excursion but if you really want to learn about the island and get a great tour give Godfrey a shout. I’ve been recommending his tour to all of our friends for years and so far no one has been disappointed. Click here to visit Godfrey’s website for more information on his tours and to reserve your spot.