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Charlotte Amalie
St. Thomas Cruise Port
Best Shopping Destination

  St. Thomas. At its capital and majestic harbour, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas is a major cruise ship port and the best shopping destination in the Caribbean, and for jewelry in particular, one of the best in the world.  

 

     
 

Cruise Port.

Pictured is the beautiful crescent-shaped St. Thomas Bay with the Havensight Cruise Piers in the foreground and downtown Charlotte Amalie in the background -- about a half hour 1.5 mile walk or $5 ($8/2) taxi (photo: Cape Air). Cruise ships anchoring in the harbour tender their passengers directly to downtown. A Crown Bay Cruise Pier taxi costs $5 ($8/2).
 
Charlotte Amalie.
Cradled by small green mountains, the pastel walls and red-tiled roofs of this tropical city spill down to the azure sea. Yes, this is ground zero for "shop 'til you drop,"
especially for jewelry. A famous shopping destination, Charlotte Amalie is one of  the busiest stops on the Eastern Caribbean cruise ship itinerary, sometimes with a number of cruise ships in port at one time. Rental cars are available at the cruise ship piers.
 
       
  When the cruise ships are in, a fleet of taxis springs into action and the streets will quickly be filled with shoppers. Literally dozens of jewelry shops line many blocks of stores in colonial Danish brick warehouses extending back from Waterfront Street on the port to Main Street via numerous alleys. And further back is Back Street (see map).  

Accommodations
Airport
Ferry Dock
Jewelers
Oasis of the Seas
Restaurants

Shore Excursions

     

Jewelers.
Jewelers include Majesty Jewelers with the perfectly cut Hearts on Fire diamond, Effy Jewelers with its Pave Rose brilliant white diamonds hand-set into rose gold and DiVersa diamond and gemstone changeable earrings, Bernard K Passman Gallery with its black coral jewelry, Little Switzerland with Tiffany and Co. pieces, fine Italian Roberto Coin gold jewelry and stunning Tahiti pearls by Yvel as well as Diamonds International with MarahLago Larimar.

 

Quaint Alleys

  Hidden patios and cafes and other great eateries as well as numerous shops are found in the exposed brick alleys. The best to shop in are Riise Alley, Palm Passage,  and Royal Dane Mall (photo: About).
The island's diverse history is seen in Dutch doors, Danish red-tile roofs, French ironwork and Spanish patios.
     
Yvel    

Tahitian Pearl Golden Brown Earrings

 

Tahitian pearls
dangle from the gleaming 18k
yellow gold
links of these
golden brown
earrings
--by Yvel

Exotic Fire for Her Eyes!

 
   

Yvel is a leading fashion pearl designer.

Pearls are at the heart of all Yvel jewelry, combined with 18k yellow, white or rose gold set with white or natural cognac diamonds, featuring a fresh and exotic look that appeals to all women, including their lustrous black Tahitian pearl and diamond earrings in 18k white gold.

In St. Thomas, Yvel is carried by Diamonds International (3 Drakes Passage) and Little Switzerland (5 Main Street, 9002 Havensight Shopping Center and 5091 Norre Gade).

 
  Destination Cruises to St. Thomas. While a minor cruise departure port, St. Thomas is the Caribbean's busiest destination port, receiving cruises originating from San Juan (see 'Adventure of the Seas' cruise) and other Caribbean island departure ports.

From the mainland US, departure ports for cruises to St. Thomas include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Galveston, Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore and New York. Even international departure cruises go to St. Thomas.

 
     

Oasis of the Seas Cruise to St. Thomas from Fort Lauderdale

World's Largest Cruise Ship

     
The world's largest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas uses its magnificent spaces to create seven unique interior experiences (photo: MSNBC). Its multi-deck, open-air atrium-promenades are mini "resort-like" destinations themselves.
 

Aqua Theater

  The spectacular Boardwalk  features an eight deck open-air atrium promenade that leads out to the stern to the amazing Aqua Theater, with its jaw-dropping Cirque-style shows.
     

Boardwalk

  Modeled on a retro seaside resort, Boardwalk has a handmade carousel and eateries such as a 50's burger joint and a seafood shack as well as child-friendly shops, such as Pets at Sea, its popular "build-a-pet" store.
 

Loft Suite

The splendid new loft suites are among 37 choices of cabins and suites, many suited for families.

New features include the wade-in Beach pool, the Japanese Izami restaurant and an enlarged version of the popular top-of-the-decks Windjammer Cafe.

Entertainment Place has the musical 'Hairspray,' an ice show, casino, comedy club, nightclub and a jazz club.

Oasis of the Seas

See info, rates and
dates available.

  The seven night  round trip Eastern Caribbean cruise departs from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) with stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau in the Bahamas.

See Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port.

 

Central Park

The overlooking balcony cabins are opened up to sunlight and sea breezes, and, at Central Park, to lavish landscaping with walls of climbing vines as well as chic metro cafes and upscale dining, such as old favorites Giovanni's Table and Chops Grille, and the new 150 Central Park.
 

150 Central Park

The centerpiece of dining among 24 choices on board, 150 Central Park is run by Miami restaurateur and award-wining chef Michael Swartz (see Michael's Genuine Food ...for People Who Love To Eat), with farm fresh fare, a seasonal tasting menu and two six-course dinners with wine pairings.
 

Royal Promenade, the star attraction of the previous Adventure of the Seas class of Royal Norwegian ships, appears with an updated classic opulence and includes giant arched skylights to see Central Park foliage above.

 

Children's H2O Zone

Family friendly Royal Norwegian has children's activities for all age groups, including 'Kids Avenue' interconnecting the Youth Zone, with the new 'Royal Babies and Tots' nursery (photo: OasisPhotosBlog).
  Shore Excursions.
The most popular shore excursion by far is simply shopping (and dining) in downtown Charlotte Amalie, reached by taxi or walking.
 

  Coral World Ocean Park has an Undersea Observatory, aquarium, touch pool with sea turtles and starfish, Sea Trek underwater helmet walk, semi-submersible boat tour, Sea Lion Encounter and more.

Sea Lion
Encounter

 

The Paradise Point SkyRide tram goes up to an observation deck, with a bar and restaurant, nature trail and tropical bird display. Tickets are available at the Havensight Shopping Mall.

Mountain Top offers scenic views from Drake's Seat, where Sir Francis Drake stood watch over his fleet, and its Great Banana Daiquiri.

Fascinating self-guided shore excursions are always available, including rental car trips up the mountains, around the island and to the beaches, day trips from the conveniently located ferry dock, offering access to St. John, the island that is a national park, as well as the British Virgin Islands. Jost Van Dyke, the barefoot island where main street is a beach in Great Harbour, the exquisite White Bay with the Soggy Dollar Bar (yes, they still so swim ashore) and the incomparable Bubbly Pool.

Cruise lines offer numerous shore excursions (59 by Royal Norwegian), including snorkeling, helmet dives, day sailing, dolphin and sea lion swims, hiking, golf, beachcombing, water sports and various sightseeing.

   

 

 

 

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Restaurants.
Downtown Charlotte Amalie has many interesting restaurants, including cafes with Spanish patios and convenient rum bars for fruit drinks, tucked down tropical alleys.
   
     

Bar in St. Thomas Alley

Or nestled in stone-walled passages, such as Cafe Amica on Riise Alley with its pan-seared Ahi Tuna and creative pastas like Homemade Cheese Ravioli Tossed in Pink Vodka Sauce (photo: DailyVI Blog).
 

Butterfly Sipping Drink

Even butterflies like rum fruit drinks, here sipping some off a finger at the Butterfly Farm in St. Martin (photo: Travel Pod).
     

Zarzuela de Pescado

  On Palm Passage, Cafe Amalie has excellent tapas, such as Gambas Santa Fe Café (large shrimp with crabmeat dipped in herb batter).
Authentic Spanish dishes include traditional Catalan Zarzuela de Pescado (snapper, shrimp and mussels in a tomato based stew) and Pepito de Lomo, a traditional pork loin bocadillo (sandwich) with steak fries (photo: Trip Advisor)
 

On the Waterfront

Big Kahuna Rum Shack, with its nice patio on Waterfront Street, is known for its fruit drinks, including the World Famous Love Juice, as well as dishes like Jerk Chicken Pizza.
     

   

 

 

 

Pave Rose Earrings

Exquisite Effy Quality!

 

Diamonds trim the petals of 14k rose gold flower (see info).
Pave
means the jewels are set so tightly to form a "pavement."

 
   

DiVersa®
Sterling Silver Diamond & Amethyst Interchangeable Earrings
(see info and price)

 

DiVersa® Earrings

Exquisite Effy Quality!

 
   
All of Effy Jewelers' fine collection of diamond, tanzanite, and gemstone jewelry is designed by founder Effy Hematian, an acclaimed jeweler for 30 years. He opened his first store in Aruba.

Effy's unique stylish jewelry is imported directly from mines and hand-set in their New York workshops at significant savings.

In St. Thomas, Effy Jewelers is at 13A Main Street, Charlotte Amalie.

 
     

MarahLago

Larimar & White
Topaz Marina Earrings
in Sterling Silver
by MarahLago, the first name in Larimar jewelry

 

Sparkle like the Caribbean Sea!

 
  Marah Lago tries to showcase the rare beauty of Larimar to infuse a sense of
uniqueness and rarity into each piece, and imbue each woman with a natural sense of style and elegance.

In St. Thomas, MarahLago is carried by Royal Caribbean Daswani  and Diamonds International (3 Drakes Passage).

     
 
The background song is "Paradise" by Quito Rymer.
Quito can be seen at his Quito's Gazebo at Cane Garden Bay in the BVI.
See this video at YouTube:  My Paradise: Trip to the Virgin Islands
       
  Waterfront Stroll. The waterfront connects the ferry dock to downtown Charlotte Amalie. An enjoyable stroll along Charlotte Amalie's waterfront takes in this huge and beautiful harbour. Magnificent yachts (some owned or chartered by celebrities) line the waterfront, moored "stern-to"  in the Mediterranean fashion. Immense, gleaming cruise ships fill the far side. An occasional seaplane comes in for a water landing on the busy ferry dock side.  

Charlotte Amalie Ferry Dock. St. Thomas also has ferry service from its downtown Charlotte Amalie dock near the airport (see ferry schedules). The ferries ($40/22 round trip/one way for adults, $28/17 for children 3-11 years old) go to St. John, the  West End (Soper's Hole) and Road Town on Tortola and "The Valley" on Virgin Gorda. In addition, the new Fast Ferry goes directly between Charlotte Amalie dock and Road Town. For late flights into St. Thomas, Dolphin Water Taxi offers after hours service (up to 11:30 PM) to Tortola's West End.


Charlotte Amalie Ferry Dock

Given its small size, assistance with luggage (despite offers) is generally not needed to walk the few steps to the ticket counters inside and adjoining departure areas for the ferries (photo: VI Port Authority). Next door to the right is a seaplane port for the adventuresome traveler, linking St. Croix and San Juan.  

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Red Hook Ferry Dock. At Red Hook on the BVI side of St. Thomas, ferry service is available to Jost Van Dyke and St. John (photo: Dreamstime).

 
       
 

Accommodations. Charlotte Amalie has a great variety of accommodations in all price ranges (see info and rates).

Best Western Plus Emerald Beach Resort

Near the airport is Best Western Plus Emerald Beach Resort (see rates-low price guarantee).
 

Villa Marbella Suites

Highly recommended is Villa Marbella Suites (see rates-low price guarantee).
 
   


 

 

  Airport. The Cyril E. King international airport (STT) (340-776-6282) (current weather conditions) has a 7000' runway for large jets, extending that of the old airport into the adjacent waters (see takeoff video). The airport is 3 miles (15 minutes) from Charlotte Amalie, easily reached by taxi, public bus or rental car.  
       
 

See St. Thomas Airport.

Taxis and Rental Cars. Taxi vans are plentiful with affordable set rates, especially when carrying more than one person. See Charlotte Amalie. Limos are also available. Rental cars are available at the airport.

   
 
 

San Juan Airport | San Juan Cruise Port | Old San Juan | Tortola Airport
St. Maarten Airport | St. Maarten Cruise Port | St. Barths Airport | Anguilla Airport
St. Thomas Airport | St. Thomas Cruise Port | St. John | Saba Airport
Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port | Atlanta Airport | Dallas/Ft Worth Airport

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