We planned beach days for the days that we were in port. Can’t imagine going to beautiful islands without visiting the beaches! We’ve visited St. Maarten before but we didn’t get to go to the beaches on the French side so we took a taxi to Orient Beach. We rented some lounge chairs and enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery. My only complaint was these annoying knats were flaying all over us. I don’t know if that happenes often but you really could not enjoy lounging because of those annoying little bugs! We spent the majority of our time in the warm clear blue waters.
We only spent a few hours there as we wanted to go shopping. We headed to the Dutch side for that. The prices there were the best of all the islands, especially the alcohol and jewelry! My husband bought me a beautiful Blue Opal butterfly pendant. I fell in love with Blue Opal. Gorgeous! The jewelry prices are amazing in St. Maarten and probably the cheapest than St. Thomas and the Bahamas. I attended one of the seminars onboard and got great info about what to look for and where to shop if you are going to be being jewelry.
The next day we headed to St. Thomas. It was the first time we visited that island but I always heard my great grandmother talking about how beautiful it was. As a little girl she would travel to St. Thomas and one of her siblings was actually born there! St. Thomas is definitely one of the most beautifulest islands I’ve ever been to. The waters are the bluest I’ve ever seen. The beautiful mountains in the background just give it a serene setting. It was just breathtaking. We got to see it from the very top and it was a gorgeous! We did some research before our cruise and knew we wanted to go to Magens Bay Beach. We took a taxi and really enjoyed the views as we drove to the top to get to the other side of the island. We were able to see glimpses of the Bay as we drove and everyone was in awe at how gorgeous it looked. The sand was soft and powdery with seashells all over. The kids had a blast playing with the sand and going in the water. The beach was quite popular with many people lounging under the trees. We enjoyed a few hours and headed back to town to do the Skyride.
The Skyride is pricey but the view is amazing from the top! You get beautiful panoramic views. After the Skyride we did some shopping as we were on a mission to find my son a shark tooth that he wanted. Overall, it was a great little island with beautiful beaches and lovely scenery.
The next day was spent in Nassau, Bahamas we didn’t have any excursions planned. We took the time to shop for souvenirs. The weather was also partly cloudy so I am glad we didn’t pay for a visit to Atlantis as it is quite pricey and it would’ve been ruined with the rain that happened on and off all day. We went to the different shops on the main road. My hubby really wanted a Philip Stein watch but the one he wanted was not available anywhere! Next time we cruise we’re going to pick one up at St. Maarten. We loved the Del Sol store! We bought the kids some t-shirts and a pirate medallion for Christian. I love going to the market where all the booths with everyone’s crafts are. They have amazing stuff! Cute straw bags, toys made from coconuts, and paintings. We did a lot of walking around the town just going into shops that looked interesting. If we didn’t have the kids we would’ve been in Senor Frogs! It looked like everyone was having a blast in there!
Overall, we had a great time visiting the ports. If you plan on cruising in these areas I suggest to bring plenty of cash with you and extra luggage for any souvenirs. The taxis are per person so not a flat rate like we’re used to. It does add up! Can’t wait to go on my next cruise. The kids will be a little older and hopefully it’ll make the experience easier.