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Secret Harbor or Lindqvist Beach?


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Hi all! I’m looking at beaches for our Spring break cruise, and we will be arriving late (11:30) on a day with 4 ships in port. We have 2 small kids and would like shade availability. We had previously settled on Secret Harbor based on the very helpful info here about being able to reserve umbrellas ahead of time. But in realizing we have 4 ships in port (I previously through the there were 2), I am a little concerned about crowds.

 

I recently came across some great reviews of Lindqvist Beach, and it appears crowding is not as much of an issue there. It also appears there may be natural shade. We will likely eat lunch on the ship before heading out, so the only other concern would be drinks (and I can carry some bottled water off the ship for the kids).

 

My questions:

 

1) As between these 2 options, which would you choose with kids and a late arrival on a day with 4 ships in port?

 

2) If we choose Lindqvist, is there a place at the mall I could grab a bottle of wine or 6 pack of cold beer to bring with us since there isn’t a bar/restaurant there?

 

3) Are there other better options I’m not considering?

 

Thanks for any input and particularly for those of you who consistently share your knowledge-it is greatly appreciated! 

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We much prefer Lindqvist over Secret Harbour.  It is simply beautiful.  There is plenty of natural shade and nice bathrooms. 

 

I'm not sure about the closest grocery store.  We usually ask the cab driver to make a stop along the way for us to pick up some goodies.  Remember to pack a small cooler-- adult drinks get warm quickly in the Caribbean. 🙂

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Sometimes at Lindqvist there is a guy with a floating bar. I don't have a sense of his schedule. Perhaps someone else can chime in. Otherwise, see if your driver can let you run in at Moe's in Red Hook.  It is a small market but you can get what you need.

 

Traveling with kids you are probably already carrying a lot of stuff. However, we have started using this beach tent from LLBean.

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/86182?page=sunbuster-folding-shelter&csp=a&feat=beach tent-search_page.recsbottom

Maybe you can find online something similar but smaller. With the midday sun, the trees won't be throwing much shade.

 

How small are your kids? Secret Harbor has very calm water whereas Lindqvist is more open to getting some chop.

 

See if you can find out what time the other boats will be pulling out. The crowds may start to thin by midafternoon. Find your date here https://www.*****/cruise/ship-schedule/

 

 

edited to add:  Shoot! the address was somehow forbidden.  Google VI Now Cruise Ship schedule

 

Edited by MNgardens
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6 hours ago, MNgardens said:

Sometimes at Lindqvist there is a guy with a floating bar. I don't have a sense of his schedule. Perhaps someone else can chime in. Otherwise, see if your driver can let you run in at Moe's in Red Hook.  It is a small market but you can get what you need.

 

Traveling with kids you are probably already carrying a lot of stuff. However, we have started using this beach tent from LLBean.

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/86182?page=sunbuster-folding-shelter&csp=a&feat=beach tent-search_page.recsbottom

Maybe you can find online something similar but smaller. With the midday sun, the trees won't be throwing much shade.

 

How small are your kids? Secret Harbor has very calm water whereas Lindqvist is more open to getting some chop.

 

See if you can find out what time the other boats will be pulling out. The crowds may start to thin by midafternoon. Find your date here https://www.*****/cruise/ship-schedule/

 

 

edited to add:  Shoot! the address was somehow forbidden.  Google VI Now Cruise Ship schedule

 

 

 

Thanks for the input! Our kids are 4 and 6. They’re strong swimmers, but we definitely wouldn’t let them swim water that’s not calm. They usually are quite happy at the edge of the water playing in the sand!

 

Unfortunately, the day we are there one ship leaves at 5, but the other two don’t leave until 10PM, so I suspect most passengers will overlap with our late and brief port stop. While the ship leaves at 7, we will likely want to be back by 5 to clean up for dinner at 6, so realistically we have about 3-4 hours of beach time (which should be plenty with the kids). 

 

Any thoughts based on this additional info appreciated!

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I am waffling back and forth on what to  suggest.

On one hand, if you can get a prearranged rental at Secret Harbor, that would be your safest bet. Here is the price list: https://www.aadivers.com/watersports  Chairs, food and bar, gentle water, etc

 

On my other hand,  you could wait to make your decision based on conditions. For wave forecasts I use windy dot com and then click on the sidebar for wave height. You can zoom in pretty close to an area.

 

My mutant third hand has another option but might be a little spendier - go Coki Beach. You could visit Coral World right next door. Their geo dome looking building has a fully windowed underwater level so the kids could see what kinds of fish and coral are right there. They would probably also enjoy the lorikeet aviary and seeing the sea turtles and young sharks. Then, you could hit Coki Beach for a couple of hours and get an ice cream at the beach shops.Coki can get crowded but it is a nice beach. https://coralworldvi.com/

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Yes, a toughie!

 

Indeed, SH will be very crowded, but all the popular beaches mentioned will be when you arrive. And it is unfortunate that two other ships are in port later than you and you cannot count on the others heading out by 3...

With that info, and your desire to enjoy a nice beach with relatively few - or the least fellow cruise mates, I would certainly avoid Coki. Just too small a bay with a very busy vibe that day. And yes you can prearrange lounges and umbrellas at SH, but think “sardines”.

 

I didn’t see a requirement for lounges in your post, did I miss that? If not, in my mind that leaves you two options -

One being beautiful Lindqvist, which will see many other day visitors, some with the same goal as you, and another bunch taking the “‘Secret’ Sands” ship excursion there. But you may be able to grab a shaded spot away from the main huddle there. worth a try IMHO...

 

The other, not nearly as nice but nice enough with lots of boats to see and a much less crowded option is Cowpet Bay, home of the Elysian Resort. I believe the beach bar/restaurant is still in the process of reopening and the Caribbean Fish Market is the only restaurant. So not sure about restroom availability other than the obvious. So this would be a recommendation for someone really wanting to avoid crowds on a big ship day.

 

Hull Bay is another great option with a beach bar, but it takes a bit more work to get a taxi there, and the beach is not nearly as nice as Lindqvist, or our favorite, Sapphire.


So I end with Lindqvist as the most practical choice (and arguably the most gorgeous STT beach), or almost equally gorgeous Sapphire where you can probably enjoy a spot away from the main crowd with live music but a less lively vibe and gorgeous water colors and island views...

 

Good luck!

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blue_water:

What do you think of going the other direction and going to Emerald? I don't have a sense of how busy it can get.

 

gatordad - I don't know your port date for looking it up. Are the ships that are in port late the honking big ones or the more luxury lines which have smaller boats? Do the passenger profiles skew older and sedate or younger and family heavy?

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6 hours ago, MNgardens said:

blue_water:

What do you think of going the other direction and going to Emerald? I don't have a sense of how busy it can get.

 

gatordad - I don't know your port date for looking it up. Are the ships that are in port late the honking big ones or the more luxury lines which have smaller boats? Do the passenger profiles skew older and sedate or younger and family heavy?

 

Thank you both for the help! As far as Emerald goes, the only time we have been to St. Thomas before we docked in Crown Bay and went to Emerald. We enjoyed it very much! But since it’s the only place we have been in St. Thomas and we are docking at Havensight this time, we would like to explore a different beach.

 

Great question on the other ships and whether they skew older-hadn’t really considered that and yes it seems to me they do (though to be fair it is spring break so I’d expect even these ships to have more families than typical).

 

The port schedule is:

 

MSC Seaside: 7:00-5:00

 

Caribbean Princess: 8:00-10:00

 

Sky Princess: 8:00-10:00

 

Carnival Breeze (our ship): 11:30-7:00

 

We don’t mind a lively beach but don’t love the “sardines” concept so I think I’ll cross SH off the list. That’s the reason I haven’t considered Magen’s either. Loungers are not a requirement, but some sort of shade availability is (whether it’s a tree or an umbrella). So based on the recommendations here I think I’m left choosing between Lindqvist and Sapphire. Any others that come to mind? Between the 2, based on the totality of the circumstances, what do the experts think? 

 

Thanks again for for your willingness to share-I genuinely appreciate it!

 

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2 hours ago, Gatordad815 said:

Between the 2, based on the totality of the circumstances, what do the experts think? 

 

No expert here, just a lover of beaches but not crowds and my vote is Lindqvist for the natural shade, fewer crowds with the limited amenities, and the sheer beauty (with restrooms)!

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Thanks for the tips! I think my wife would prefer less crowded so we are going to try Lindqvist!

 

Now does anyone know where I can get that bottle of wine or 6 pack of beer when I get off the ship? I’m assuming there will be spots near the taxis at Havensight, right?

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Gourmet Gallery was great but closed. Surely there must be a market at Havensight that someone can point you to?!

Otherwise if your taxi goes through Red Hook, Moe’s Market is a great place to grab wine, beer and a lunch.

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There isn't a grocery at Havensight but the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy sells beers, sodas, and snacks. So does Caribana.

 

Moe's is supposed to open another store at Yacht Haven Grande, but who knows when?

 

There is a Subway sandwich shop across from Havensight if you want sandwiches. They have daily sandwiche combo specials for $5.50.

 

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23 hours ago, blue_water said:

we would plan to taxi to Lindqvist on our own

 

Can I ask, is there a specific spot to get a taxi on our own? The only other time we were in St. Thomas, we took the safari taxi to Emerald Beach from Crown Bay because that’s all we saw at the port. My strong preference with the kids would be a vehicle with doors and maybe even a seatbelt! That, plus the ability to stop, would be a big plus! But all we saw last time were the safari taxis. If I can figure out where to look for a regular taxi, I’d definitely do that instead. 

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There isn't a standard taxi vehicle on St Thomas, though the majority of taxi vehicles at the port are the open air vehicles because they're easier to clean after beach trips. The vans usually have upholstered seats that stay wet so you need to assure the driver that you won't wet the seats.

 

You can request a van from any of the taxi dispatchers and they can try to get one for you, but they're not always available.

 

You can reserve private van transportation. Email cocobrown1967@yahoo.com. There are others who have vans but I remember this one because I toured with him years ago.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/2/2020 at 6:32 AM, Ms411 said:

There isn't a standard taxi vehicle on St Thomas, though the majority of taxi vehicles at the port are the open air vehicles because they're easier to clean after beach trips. The vans usually have upholstered seats that stay wet so you need to assure the driver that you won't wet the seats.

 Ms411- at the port getting off the ship most of the taxis will be the big open air taxis? We are a party of 6 wanting to go to Sapphire Beach for the day. Will we be waiting around until they fill the taxi completely (they look bigger then holding 6 from photos) of should a party of 6 be good to go? Is it a taxi line like many carib ports? $11 per person each way is what I'm reading for a fare to Sapphire? Then $9/lounger and $20 ( 😮 ) per umbrella (hoping for some natural shade to be available)

Thanks for any info! 16 days until we will be there!! 🐵

Trish

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If you get off the ship after most of the other passengers have disembarked, you may get a taxi that will take just your group, but more than likely you'll have to wait for the vehicle to fill up. It shouldn't take too long because Sapphire is a popular beach. All other info you posted is probably correct. Things are always subject to change but usually not too much.

 

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On 2/15/2020 at 5:25 PM, udamom said:

 Ms411- at the port getting off the ship most of the taxis will be the big open air taxis? We are a party of 6 wanting to go to Sapphire Beach for the day. Will we be waiting around until they fill the taxi completely (they look bigger then holding 6 from photos) of should a party of 6 be good to go? Is it a taxi line like many carib ports? $11 per person each way is what I'm reading for a fare to Sapphire? Then $9/lounger and $20 ( 😮 ) per umbrella (hoping for some natural shade to be available)

Thanks for any info! 16 days until we will be there!! 🐵

Trish

We booked a Sapphire snorkel excursion through Carnival for our trip in May, at $50 pp ($100 for the two of us).  If your figures are right it looks like our cost privately would have been $82 (transportation, lounger, and umbrella).  They also are providing a drink voucher and snorkeling equipment (although we will bring our own masks and snorkels), plus a scenic stop.  I don't know how much drinks cost, but even if $4 per person the $10 price difference doesn't seem that bad - and a deal if we didn't have our own equipment.

 

Hope you have a great time 🙂 

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