St Thomas has two cruise ports. Celebrity usually docks at Havensight port however we docked at Crown Bay port the day we arrived. Gambit and I decided not to book any cruise shore excursions and to play our luck with catching taxis around to different beaches.
When we docked, we walked off the ship to an area which had people selling tours, taxis and other types of transportation. We were blessed with a beautiful day where it wasn’t too sunny but it was warm. We hopped onto an open-air taxi to our first beach stop: Coki Beach
Taxi cost from Crown Bay port to Coki Beach: $10 pp
We arrived at Coki Beach (or Coki Point – I can’t seem to find the difference) around 9am and were firstly greeted by a man selling us rentals for beach chairs and a beach umbrella, and a lady offering to sell us drinks. We declined both for a couple of reasons – a) we were only staying for an hour or so, b) we didn’t have a lot of cash on hand so had to choose wisely on what to spend it on – so I couldn’t tell you how much anything was.
Coki Beach is gorgeous. The water is crystal clear, the sand is soft, and the waves are gentle.
The beach itself is small and I guess if it isn’t too busy it would be a great place to hang out. When we arrived, there were appox 10 of us there in total. It felt like it was more like a beach for the local people than a tourist spot. I think if you wanted to pick up some local weed, this could be a good place to try because while we sun bathed, a big waft of reefer drifted our way.
From my visit, I saw there was an ice-cream place (yes, count on me to notice that as my first thing), a place to hire chairs and umbrellas, a bar, a rentals place (for snorkeling gear), and a place to get food. I read there was a toilet somewhere but I didn’t go. But I did see a big lizard walking along the beach though.
Taxi cost from Coki Beach to Sapphire Beach: $5 pp
We left Coki Beach after an hour and headed to Sapphire Beach, a late edition to the list of beaches to go visit for the day. On the first taxi to Coki Beach another cruise traveler said they were going to Sapphire Beach so we decided to go visit it as well.
Sapphire Beach was larger than Coki. We arrived around 10:30am and visited the area of the beach where the Sapphire Beach Condo Resort backed onto.
The water was not as clear as Coki, the sand was not as soft either but it was a lovely beach. We could hire beach umbrellas, beach chairs, snorkel gear, and possibly jet skis. Unlike Coki And Magens, no one approached us to rent or buy anything. There were toilets and a bar – I suppose it being close to a condo resort, it was more organized/”developed” than Coki.
Magens Bay Beach
Taxi cost from Sapphire Beach to Magens Bay Beach: $10 pp
Entry fee to beach: $5 pp (this seems to increase each time I look it up, so if you are going anytime soon, check here first: http://www.magensbayauthority.com/rates.html).
Ahhh… Magens Bay. I first read about Magens Bay in Gambit’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” book which is grandpa gave him years ago.
National Geographic Magazine also named Magen Bay as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world because of its heart shape and white sandy beach.
Well… the “best” of anything is always subjective. I am not sure how this beach made it in the top 10 for the world. I mean, I’ve only probably been to 50-75 in my life so far and Magens Bay was lovely but I wouldn’t have rated it one of the top 10. It would be up in the top 10 beaches I’ve been to with a lot of rules though. It is a self-staining beach which funds itself from the entry fee, parking fees, concessions from restaurants and bars.
We arrived around 11:30am and I guess because it was one of the world’s top 10 “best” beaches, it was busy. We could rent chairs, umbrellas, water equipment, kayaks, paddleboats, and a waitress for the bar, dressed in a tiny bikini, walked along the beach collecting drink orders.
Magens Bay was pretty and it was probably the same size as Sapphire. I found that the water was a lot cooler than the other two beaches, and I noticed the sand was a bit more dirty.
The taxi from Magens Bay to Crown Bay was $10 pp.
St Thomas Beach Hopping Summary:
We visited three beaches and started out with $84 and ended up with $2 change (fee breakdown: $70 taxi, $2 tip, $10 entry).
I’d say that if you wanted a reasonably sized beach with all the facilities, and you like to tick off “the world’s best” things, go to Magens Bay.
If you want a reasonably sized beach that isn’t super busy, with reasonable number of amenities and a restroom that won’t be too scary, go to Sapphire Beach.
If you want a quieter, smaller (with an almost “private” feel) beach with limited amenities, go to Coki Beach.