With a big day planned for our St. Thomas port, we got up early to enjoy our special extended room service dining for Concierge class guests on our Celebrity Eclipse cruise. My husband had a veggie omelet, my son had a ham and cheese omelet with a side of sausage, and I had oatmeal. We also enjoyed some fresh pineapple, fresh squeezed orange juice and grapefruit juice, and of course, coffee. We packed our bags and headed down to deck two to depart the ship. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and bring your beach towels that they leave for you in your stateroom. It’s always nice to not have to bring beach towels with you and they are replenished after you use them.
Once outside we were able to find the taxi dispatcher easily to get on a taxi heading to Red Hook Ferry Terminal. We ended up in a taxi with a lovely couple from Oklahoma, Jack and Jana, who had decided to try their luck at going over to St. John as well. Cab fare per person from Havensight cruise terminal to Red Hook was $10 per person. As you enter the ferry terminal, immediately turn left and there is the ticket counter where you can buy your tickets. A round trip ticket costs $12 per person. Make sure you don’t lose your return ticket as you’ll need it to get back on the ferry to St. Thomas. Take a seat and wait for them to announce the ferry to St. John, but keep in mind other ferries are also operational. You may or may not hear anyone and so far, I’ve never heard an announcement. We got in line when we saw others doing the same and we then walked right on the ferry after they took our tickets. The ferry ride over is all of twenty minutes and then you’re at St. John.
From there, you walk just a short distance to another taxi dispatcher and we were able to get on a safari cab along with Jack and Jana and a few other people. Price per person to Trunk Bay from Cruz Bay is $6 and to Cinnamon Bay is $7. Our driver, Raphael Wesselhoft, was kind enough to stop at a few scenic points along the way to let people out to take pictures and also gave us information about the island. He is definitely someone I would look up if I wanted a tour of the island. The rates for tours on St. John are determined by the government and so it is the same regardless of whichever driver you choose. Trunk Bay is a popular destination for cruise ship passengers and admission is only $4 per person. Trunk Bay is great for snorkeling and a fun day at the beach.
We opted for the less popular and more secluded Cinnamon Bay and although not considered an ideal snorkeling destination, we were fine with that as we wanted to enjoy the beach and the water. It is a little rocky and the waves were rough that day, but we weren’t disappointed as it was quiet and the water was clear and warm. The weather made it feel somewhat chilly for the first hour or two that we were there and that was completely misleading. I ended up with sunburn as a result because I felt cold, but the sun’s rays were still furiously beating down on me.
When we were ready to head back, we were able to get a safari cab back to town and we asked to get dropped off at Mongoose Junction. This is a shopping area located nearby to the ferry terminal with unique and interesting shops. I couldn’t wait to get to Caravan Gallery a boutique with one of a kind jewelry and gifts from around the world. I especially like the handcrafted jewelry, Buddhist items, petroglyph jewelry and keepsakes, and more. Plus they have an adorable cat that likes lying around on a chair and occasionally noticing customers. Right next door is the Tap Room, a small bar/restaurant with a small bar menu, drink menu, and free wifi. Stop in, have a drink, and check your email. Our server, Liz, was busting her butt between making drinks, taking food and drink orders, and running around the restaurant. I suggest you plan to stay a little while and not rush and take advantage of the 80’s and 90’s trivia game cards that are on your table.
We walked only a few minutes back to Cruz Bay ferry terminal and waited for the next ferry back to St. Thomas. They leave every hour on the hour during the day and since we were early, we had to sit and wait a while before they started boarding. The ferries can get full so I suggest walking all the way to the back of the terminal near the gate as they will board from the closed gate and collect your ticket there. Have your ticket out and ready to go because they weren’t extremely patient with having to remind people that they needed to show their tickets. Another 20 minute ride back to St. Thomas, a short walk through the cruise terminal, and we were back on board. If this is your first visit to St. Thomas, make sure you note which cruise terminal your ship is located in. We were at Havensight, but there is also Crown Bay, which is some distance from Havensight. You wouldn’t want to figure that out if you were running late back to the ship. Both terminals have stores where you can pick up that last minute souvenir, jewelry, alcohol, or just about anything else.
Since we knew we would be attending the Senior Officers’ Cocktail Party in the Sky Lounge on deck 14 at 7:45 pm, we showered and dressed so we could look nice as the dress code was “smart casual.” With sunburn on my shoulders, I opted for a long sundress and was eternally grateful that I had packed it. We were ready about 15 minutes early so we decided to pay a visit to the Martini Bar. I was intrigued during my first visit to the Martini Bar by the martini flight and so I ordered that. Ady, our bartender, was like a magician with the all of the glasses, shaker tins, and his acrobatic moves. My husband ordered the 20 Year Martini, an interesting drink with ginger foam and that drink was incredibly tasty. Here is how it is described: Our signature martini artfully created by Liquid Chef, Junior Merino, in celebration of our 20-year anniversary. Grey Goose La Poire, rose essence, fresh lime, fresh sage, passion-ginger foam, and a splash of Brut champagne.
- Classic martini: Grey Goose vodka, dash Noilly Prat Original French Dry Vermouth, cocktail olive
- Raspberry Lemonade Martini: Bacardi Limon flavored rum, Chambord, sweet and sour, fresh raspberry puree
- Appletini: Grey Goose Vodka, apple liqueur, Cointreau, and green apple slice garnish
- Peartini: Grey Goose La Poire Flavored Vodka, Disarrono original liqueur, simple syrup, lemon juice
- Fresca Martini: Three Olives Vodka, fresh watermelon juice, mint, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup
- Sunset Martini: Grey Goose Le Citron Flavored Vodka, Bacardi Coconut flavored rum, pineapple juice, grenadine, orange slice
After our drinks we went up to the cocktail party and enjoyed some live music, the introduction of the Senior Officers to us by Lisa, the cruise director, and the canapés and drinks. I had a cosmopolitan while my husband enjoyed an appletini (or two!). We also had the pleasure of speaking with a few of the servers including Iana from St. Petersburg, Russia as well as Belinda. All of the servers really go out of their way to accommodate your every need, but Iana and Belinda were especially kind and attentive. After our cocktail party, we went down to deck four and the Moonlight Sonata dining room where we met up with our son for dinner. To our surprise, Kevis, our server in Bistro on Five, was also our waiter for dinner. We had a delicious appetizer sized portion of eggplant parmesan while our son enjoyed his favorite, the Baked French Onion soup, but also the Oysters Rockefeller. I also had the Radicchio-Fennel-Apple Salad with white balsamic dressing while my husband had the Wedge Salad minus the bacon. For an entrée, my son had the Cajun Blackened Ribeye Steak and we both opted for the Indian vegetarian entrée that included Vegetable Palak.
After dinner, we walked around the ship to see what was going on and throughout the ship, there were many things to choose from as always. You could go to the show in the Eclipse Theater, you could listen to one of many musical performances, you could play bingo or spend money in the casino or the shops, or you could wait until 10:30 pm for real fun. The Newlywed, Not-So-Newlywed Game Show hosted by Lisa, the cruise director, was in the Eclipse Theater that night. There was even a couple who had gotten married that day at 2:30 pm, but arrived too late to be in the show. Lisa made them the judges instead, which was nice. There is always a variation of this type of show on cruise ships and yet, they are always fun to watch. On Royal Caribbean, it’s called “The Love and Marriage” show. They’ll take people married different lengths of time from newlyweds to those married around 10 years, 20 years, and more. I always love the older couples, those married like 40, 50, 60 years or more as their answers are the most entertaining. Definitely pop in and watch the show if you can or tune in the recorded show on your stateroom television.
The sun zapped my strength and I was ready to call it a night in anticipation of a great day in port in Philipsburg, St. Maarten for day five of our cruise. More to report from the Celebrity Eclipse!