Recommendations: Best Things To Do in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands?

The eighth and final port of call for our holiday cruise, St. Thomas, is an easy destination for US Residents; no passport required, extensive duty free-shopping, and great beaches.

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Any suggestions for great things to do in St. Thomas? Add a comment below and help promote family harmony
Photo Credit: Topher Vasallo | Flickr

No, the tragic death of a teenage cruise ship passenger in July 2010, has not caused us to change our travel plans. Sadly, the 14-year old girl was hit by a bullet from gang-related cross-fire. While publicity the incident has tarnished the reputation of the USVI, there is an excellent chance that we will be spending time in the area where the freak accident occurred.

There is little reason to avoid St. Thomas as a destination due to an isolated incident. Travelers avoiding Aruba following the Natalie Holloway disappearance immediately springs to mind.

The antithesis of some of the less well-known or frequently visited ports on the itinerary, the streets of Charlotte Amalie frequently become a beehive of activity for bargain-seeking cruise ship passengers. Hopefully some of the more worldly readers of these posts will contribute some suggestions as comments.

While having done plenty of shopping on past trips, the most memorable excursion while visiting St. Thomas actually involved catching the ferry to St. John and spending the day at Trunk Bay, an underwater National Park. One unique feature of Trunk Bay is an underwater trail that located off the eastern point of the island. It offers some great underwater vistas for beginning snorkelers.

This time, because the USVI fall on the last day before our return, we will be planning a relatively unstructured day. My bet is that we wind up at Coki Beach. Coki beach is beautiful, calm beach, but at one end, near the rock, the snorkeling is fantastic – it’s a lot like swimming in a large aquarium.

The high concentration of fish is partially due to the practice of breaking off bits of dog biscuit to feed the fish. You probably have not seen such boiling concentrations of fish outside of a bad movie with Pirhana in the title…

Now, if I can just keep them preoccupied with the fish at Coki Beach long enough to avoid any substantial financial damage from the shops of St. Thomas. That might prove tricky – one of the downsides of having a wife and two daughters who are savvy travelers.

As always, we are open to any better suggestions, so feel free to add them as comments.

Family background – I like adventure and my wife likes the beach and shopping. Our two daughters are 13 and 20 years old respectively. A personal, yet admittedly unrealistic, goal is to partake of activities that would avoid interaction with teenage or twenty-something boys…

With that in mind, please let us know what you think are the best activities for our day in port.

Here are the resources I am using to research the best experiences for our day in port for St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands:

Of course, the ports are only one facet of a cruise experience – below is some information on the ship and itinerary:

Celebrity Cruises
Cruiseline: Website
Ship: Celebrity Millennium
Itinerary: 10 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise San Juan, Puerto Rico | St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles | Castries, Saint Lucia | Bridgetown, Barbados | Saint George’s, Grenada | Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago | Roseau, Dominica | St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Videos: YouTube Page
Social Media: Facebook Page

Full disclosure: I am not being compensated in any way by Celebrity Cruises, its parent Royal Caribbean or any other party associated with the planning or experience of this trip. It is a 100% personally funded family holiday.

About Robert Cole

Robert Cole is the founder of RockCheetah, a hotel marketing strategy and travel technology consulting practice. He also authors the Views from a Corner Suite Blog and publishes the Travel Quote of the Day. Robert speaks regularly at major travel industry conferences, authors articles for leading travel industry publications, advises travel-related startups and the equity investment community. He is an evangelist for the global travel industry.