My arrival back to Red Hook ferry terminal in St. Thomas was after a quick 20-minute ferry ride from St. John. Waiting for me in his bright red safari cab was none other than Campbell Rey, my driver for my time in St. Thomas and now for my ride to the airport. The Cyril E. King airport is only about a 25-40 minute ride, depending on the traffic in St. Thomas, which as we know can be never ending. What I love about the open air safari cabs is that you can take great pictures while you are on the road and I certainly took as many as I could. The weather was great, the sky was as blue as can be, and although the water was beckoning me, on we went to the airport.
The ride on the way to the airport had us going through Charlotte Amalie and near Havensight cruise port. In port on Monday, December 19, 2011 were two large cruise ships: Carnival Cruise Line‘s Carnival Victory and Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas. With over 6,600 passengers total on both ships, it was rather quite on the streets of Charlotte Amalie so perhaps the cruise passengers had already embarked on their shore excursions outside of the city. There was just this one lone person walking on the sidewalk with the ships in the background.
Remember I mentioned why I liked taking the safari cab? Besides the fact that Campbell Rey is a super careful driver and I felt completely safe in his capable hands, I love having an opportunity to continue to take pictures even when in a car. As we were driving down toward Havensight, I took this picture out the back of the cab and the Carnival Victory seems rather large and ominous through the tiny rear window.
Before we knew it, we had arrived at the airport. Campbell pulled up to the front of the airport and helped me with my bags. The ticket counters are located here on the outside of the airport instead of on the inside as what you might normally be used to. As I was flying Seabourn Airlines, a small Caribbean airline that services Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Airlines, check in went a little differently. All bags, including checked and carry on, gets weighed. Then they ask you how much you weigh. I thought the ticket attendant was joking so I naturally said, “Shut up,” and then realized it wasn’t a joke. Since it is a small plane, they need to know exactly how much everything weighs.
After I checked in, I had some time to explore the small airport before the heading to the gate. There was a small store where you could purchase drinks and snacks, but the best part was you could also get your hair done, too. Yes, they had a chair and a sink where they would wash and style your hair. Pretty cool! There was also a small cafe called Papaya Cove where you could get a drink, a hamburger, coffee, or a Johnny Cake. I chatted with the employees inside, one of whom was wearing a Yankees baseball hat. I felt it was my duty to inform him of why he could never show up to Boston wearing that hat and why someone wearing a Red Sox hat wouldn’t show up in New York. At least he now knows! This picture is of the baggage claim area in St. Thomas when you arrive since I didn’t have a chance to show it when I arrived. With only a few carousels, it’s easy to grab your bags and go.
Finally the time came to board our flight. This small 17-seat plane would take us on the short flight from St. Thomas to St. Croix. We had to deposit all of our belongings in a Rubbermaid bin before boarding the flight and I do mean everything. I panicked because this meant parting with my camera and my iPhone and I couldn’t think straight. Instead of grabbing my iPhone to take pictures, I instead grabbed my iPad, which I couldn’t even use on the flight. Crazy me! The pictures would have been amazing and I am so disappointed I couldn’t think straight at the last moment. If you haven’t flown on a small plane, be prepared to become religious on your flight as you will think the end is near at every turn. The flight was smooth and short at something like a total of 20-minutes of flight time. You can take a choppy ferry over in 90-minutes so this is a pleasant alternative. I spent more time in the airport than I did on the flight! Another adventure wrapped up and now onto St. Croix for more adventures!