Ahoy, cruise lovers! St. Thomas isn't just another port on the Caribbean map; it's a mesmerizing blend of turquoise waters, colonial heritage, and tropical wonders.
From its early days as a bustling colonial port to its current status as one of the most coveted cruise destinations, St. Thomas has consistently enticed explorers from all corners of the world.
But what really sets St. Thomas apart? In this guide, we're about to embark on a voyage to uncover the 55 best things to do in St Thomas cruise port. So, grab one of our free cruise planners and anchor's aweigh... let's set sail on this Caribbean adventure!
History of St Thomas Cruise Port
If the sun-kissed beaches are the face of St. Thomas, its rich history forms the soul. Delving deep into the annals of time, St. Thomas stands as a testament to a blend of civilizations, cultures, and epoch-making events that have shaped the Caribbean.
The Early Days and European Colonization
The indigenous Arawak and Carib tribes were the original settlers, cherishing the island’s bounty long before the European sails dotted the horizon. In the early 17th century, the Danish recognized St. Thomas's potential as a strategic port, establishing a settlement in 1666.
This gave birth to Charlotte Amalie, named in honor of the Danish queen and currently the capital of the US Virgin Islands. Over time, this bustling port town played a central role in trade, especially during the pirate era, witnessing tales of swashbuckling adventures and treasures.
The Era of Trade and Piracy
With its natural deep-water harbor, St. Thomas became a pivotal trading and refueling spot for ships sailing the Caribbean waters. But with commerce came piracy. Blackbeard and Bluebeard, two of the most infamous pirates of their time, are said to have used the island as their base. Legends of their escapades still echo in the winding alleys and historic forts.
Cultural Melting Pot
St. Thomas is not just about pirates and colonial powers. African, European, and indigenous influences melded over centuries, giving rise to a vibrant cultural tapestry. The legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, emancipation, and the island's eventual sale to the United States in 1917, have all left indelible imprints on its identity.
Amidst the natural beauty, man-made wonders stand tall. Fort Christian, the oldest standing structure in the US Virgin Islands, has overseen the island's evolution since the late 1600s. Then there's Blackbeard’s Castle, a watchtower that's as much about panoramic views as it is about history.
In essence, St. Thomas isn't just an island getaway; it's a walk through time. With every cobblestone, every ancient wall, and every local story, you're transported to an era where the New World was still unfolding. As we journey through the best activities and experiences this island offers, remember: the past isn't behind us here. In St. Thomas, history is very much alive and part of the present.
Popular Itineraries & Cruise Lines
St. Thomas’s natural allure and multifaceted history are undeniably magnetic, but how does one embark on this Caribbean odyssey? Let's set the compass and chart the waters leading to this tropical paradise.
Major Cruise Lines Anchoring in St. Thomas
A testament to its popularity, the St. Thomas port witnesses some of the biggest and most luxurious cruise ships in the world. Leading the fleet are giants like:
- Royal Caribbean: Known for its expansive ships and diverse entertainment options, a stop in St. Thomas is often a highlight of their Caribbean voyages.
- Carnival Cruise Line: A staple in Caribbean cruising, Carnival promises fun-filled adventures with St. Thomas as a key port of call.
- Norwegian Cruise Line: Offering a freestyle cruising experience, Norwegian lets travelers soak up the sun and culture of St. Thomas at their own pace.
- Disney Cruise Line: Combining the magic of Disney with the beauty of the Caribbean, their ships offer family-friendly escapades with St. Thomas in the spotlight.
Typical Itineraries Incorporating St. Thomas
Most Eastern Caribbean itineraries feature St. Thomas, given its strategic location. Typically, a 7-day cruise might include stops in neighboring islands such as St. Maarten, the Bahamas, or Puerto Rico. But the unique blend of relaxation and adventure in St. Thomas often makes it a passenger favorite.
Themed Cruises and Special Events
Certain cruise lines take the experience up a notch with themed voyages. Imagine joining a culinary cruise that docks in St. Thomas, allowing you to taste authentic Caribbean flavors. Or perhaps a historical voyage, diving deep into the island's rich past.
And let’s not forget the special events: St. Thomas’s Carnival in April and the annual Paradise Jam Basketball Tournament in November often coincide with specialized cruise schedules, offering travelers a deeper dive into the island’s culture.
Port Facilities and Amenities
Upon docking, cruisers are welcomed at the Havensight Pier or the Crown Bay Center, both equipped with numerous amenities. From duty-free shops, local craft markets, eateries serving delectable Caribbean bites, to easy transportation options – these ports ensure that your St. Thomas experience starts the moment you step off the ship.
Peaceful Excursions in St. Thomas
The symphony of the waves, the caress of the cool Caribbean breeze, and the warm embrace of the sun - if relaxation had a destination, it would be St. Thomas. While adventure has its place, sometimes the soul craves tranquility. Here are the top peaceful excursions that epitomize the serene side of this island paradise.
St. Thomas is rimmed with beaches that look straight out of a postcard.
- Magens Bay: Often topping the list of the world's most beautiful beaches, Magens Bay offers a mile-long stretch of white sand and calm waters, perfect for a day of lounging and gentle sea swims.
- Coki Beach: A smaller, cozy nook where the crystal-clear waters beckon for a lazy snorkeling session.
- Lindquist Beach: This less crowded beach is a quiet retreat for those looking to read a book or take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline.
Local Spa Experiences
- The Ritz-Carlton Spa: Luxuriate in treatments that blend modern techniques with traditional island elements.
- Elysian Beach Resort's Spa: Nestled against a backdrop of palm trees and ocean views, this spa provides a holistic Caribbean relaxation experience.
Nothing says relaxation like dining by the sea, letting the flavors of the island dance on your palate.
- Agave: Located in Lindbergh Bay, this offers Caribbean cuisine with a modern twist, all while overlooking the ocean.
- Sunset Grille: As the name suggests, dine here during sunset for an unforgettable panoramic view paired with delectable seafood.
Scenic Drives & Overlooks
- Mountain Top: At 1,500 feet above sea level, this vantage point offers breathtaking views of Magens Bay and the surrounding islands. A leisurely drive here is a journey through lush greenery, culminating in a panorama that's bound to be the highlight of your trip.
- Skyride to Paradise Point: A tranquil cable car ride that offers sweeping views of the harbor and downtown Charlotte Amalie.
End your day with an intimate sunset cruise.
- Catamaran Cruises: Board a spacious catamaran, sip on a tropical cocktail, and let the hues of the setting sun captivate your soul.
- Schooner Sunset Sail: For a touch of old-world charm, hop onto a schooner and let the gentle waves and winds guide you through the fiery Caribbean sunset.
The magic of St. Thomas lies in its versatility. While adventurers find their thrill, seekers of peace discover a haven. These tranquil excursions, whether on land or water, serve as gentle reminders of the simple joys of life. So, take a deep breath, let the worries melt away, and immerse yourself in the serene embrace of St. Thomas.
Thrill-Seeking Activities in St. Thomas
For those with an insatiable hunger for adrenaline, St. Thomas is a treasure trove of exhilarating experiences. While the island is a sanctuary of peace for many, it simultaneously offers a playground for the daring. From the depths of its azure waters to the canopy of its lush forests, here's a dive into the most thrilling pursuits St. Thomas has to offer.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
The underwater world of St. Thomas is as vibrant as its culture.
- Coki Point: Known for its teeming marine life, snorkelers here can mingle with colorful fishes, playful turtles, and intricate corals.
- St. Thomas Diving Club: For those willing to go deeper, this club offers scuba diving adventures to shipwrecks, coral reefs, and underwater caves.
Zip-lining through lush green forests
- Tree Limin’ Extreme Zipline Park: Feel the rush as you zip across eight adrenaline-pumping lines, each offering panoramic views of the island, from Magens Bay to the British Virgin Islands.
Surfing & Paddleboarding
Harness the power of the waves.
- Hull Bay: Known for its consistent waves, it's a surfer’s paradise.
- SUP St. Thomas: For a different kind of board sport, stand-up paddleboarding offers both thrill and balance, perfect for navigating the serene bays and coves.
Deep Sea Fishing
The rich Caribbean waters promise a catch to remember.
- Double Header Sportfishing: Get aboard and chase after the marlins, tunas, and mahi-mahi. Whether you're an expert angler or a newbie, the thrill of the catch remains unmatched.
Off-road ATV Adventures
Discover St. Thomas’s rugged terrains.
- ATV Island Tour: Maneuver through the island's trails, beaches, and mountain paths, giving you a blend of excitement and sightseeing.
To truly feel the heartbeat of St. Thomas, one must sometimes venture off the beaten path or dive into its deeper waters. Each thrilling experience is not just about the adrenaline rush, but also about connecting with the island's diverse landscapes and vibrant ecosystems.
Historical & Cultural Attractions in St. Thomas
St. Thomas isn't just about the breathtaking beauty of nature; it's also a living, breathing tapestry of rich history and vibrant culture. Stepping away from the beaches and into the heart of the island, one finds tales of bygone eras, resonating rhythms, and a palette of colors and flavors that narrate the story of St. Thomas.
Historic Forts & Castles
Guardians of history, these structures have tales to tell.
- Fort Christian: A symbol of Danish colonial heritage, this fort stands as the oldest structure in the US Virgin Islands.
- Blackbeard’s Castle: Legends say the infamous pirate once used this as a lookout. Now, it offers panoramic views and a dip into the pirate lore.
Museums & Galleries
Chronicles of St. Thomas come alive in these spaces.
- Amber Museum: Discover the intriguing world of amber, its origins, and its significance to the Caribbean.
- St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum: Dive into the intricate past of the island, from its indigenous inhabitants to modern times.
Traditional Music & Dance
The soul of St. Thomas is best felt through its rhythms.
- Island Vibes Summer Concert: Celebrate the best of Caribbean music, from reggae to calypso, in this annual event.
- Moko Jumbie Dance Performances: Witness the mesmerizing stilt dances, a cultural staple that's a blend of African and Caribbean traditions.
Taste the island's history and culture.
- Downtown Food Tour in Charlotte Amalie: A guided journey through the historic district, sampling local delicacies and learning about the island’s culinary influences.
- Rum Tasting Tours: Understand the significance of rum in Caribbean culture while sipping on various blends and flavors.
Local Art & Craft Markets
Authentic St. Thomas captured in tangible memories.
- Market Square: Once a bustling slave market, it's now a hub for local produce and handcrafted goods.
- Tillett Gardens: A community of artists and craftsmen, where one can purchase unique island-inspired artworks, jewelry, and textiles.
St. Thomas is a symphony of stories, where each alley, dish, tune, and artifact narrates a chapter of its multifaceted journey. Immersing oneself in these historical and cultural attractions offers a deeper understanding of the island.
You'll come to realize that the true magic of St. Thomas lies not just in its natural wonders, but also in its ability to transport visitors through time, letting them experience centuries of tradition, resilience, and evolution in just a single visit.
Unique Shopping Experiences in St. Thomas
St. Thomas is not just a feast for the eyes and soul but also a shopper’s paradise. From high-end boutiques to bustling local markets, there’s a shopping experience waiting around every corner.
Whether you’re in search of a keepsake to remember your trip or the perfect gift, St. Thomas offers a rich tapestry of retail experiences that cater to every taste and budget.
St. Thomas boasts one of the Caribbean’s largest duty-free allowances.
- Main Street, Charlotte Amalie: Here, shoppers can find luxury brands at duty-free prices, including jewelry, watches, electronics, and designer apparel.
- Havensight Mall: Adjacent to the cruise port, it's packed with over 100 stores offering a mix of international brands and local gems.
Local Crafts & Souvenirs
Take home a piece of St. Thomas.
- Vendors Plaza: A bustling market where local artisans display their crafts. Look for hand-carved wooden figurines, vibrant fabric creations, and handmade jewelry.
- Drake’s Passage: This shopping alley is perfect for picking up island-inspired souvenirs, from rums to tropical prints.
Jewelry & Gemstones
The island is renowned for its exquisite jewelry offerings.
- Cardow Jewelers: Established in 1954, it's one of the most trusted names in island jewelry, known for its unique designs and authentic gemstones.
- Rajah's Jewelers: A place to find beautiful Caribbean hook bracelets, a beloved symbol of love and commitment in island culture.
Island Apparel & Fashion
Dress the Caribbean way!
- Tropical Tease: This store captures the island vibes in its colorful beachwear, casual outfits, and tropical-themed accessories.
- Native Arts & Crafts Cooperative: Hand-embroidered dresses, batik prints, and woven hats – this co-op offers authentic island attire.
Specialty Stores & Niche Products
Find unique products that make St. Thomas special.
- Bottles Reimagined: A store that transforms discarded bottles into decorative items, from lanterns to vases, reflecting the island's sustainability efforts.
- St. Thomas Spice Company: Sample and shop for authentic Caribbean seasonings, from fiery jerk rubs to aromatic vanilla blends.
St. Thomas is a shopper’s dream. Beyond the allure of savings from duty-free purchases, the true charm lies in the local markets, the hands that craft souvenirs with stories, the boutique stores that offer a blend of the island’s past and present, and the warmth of the vendors that make each purchase an experience in itself.
Natural Attractions & Ecotourism in St. Thomas Cruise Port
St. Thomas, with its undulating landscapes, azure waters, and verdant forests, is a testament to nature's artistry. Beyond its recreational allure, the island is an ecological marvel waiting to be explored.
For those yearning to tread lightly and dive deeper into the natural beauty of St. Thomas, here's a guide to the island's most enchanting eco-friendly attractions.
Nature Reserves & Protected Areas
Sanctuaries that preserve the island's ecological wonders.
- Mangrove Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary & Marine Reserve: Kayak through a maze of mangrove forests, home to juvenile fish, pelicans, and even the occasional stingray.
- Casselberry Hill Nature Reserve: Wander through trails dotted with native flora, while catching glimpses of colorful birds and breathtaking vistas.
Botanical Gardens & Green Escapes
Flourishing hubs of flora and a testament to the island's biodiversity.
- Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden: A lush paradise showcasing a myriad of tropical plants, soothing waterfalls, and butterfly-filled gardens.
- St. Peter Mountain Greathouse & Botanical Gardens: Explore nature trails, exotic bird aviaries, and orchid-laden pathways while enjoying panoramic island views.
Eco-Friendly Water Adventures
Marine encounters with a focus on conservation.
- Coral World Ocean Park: A blend of entertainment and education, visitors can swim with sea lions, pet starfish, and understand the importance of marine conservation.
- Sea Turtle Conservancy Tours: Snorkel alongside these gentle creatures, while learning about ongoing efforts to protect and conserve them in their natural habitat.
Hiking & Nature Walk
Walking the path less traveled.
- St. Thomas Heritage Trail: A journey through time and nature, connecting historic sites with natural wonders.
- Peace Hill Trail: Leading to the ruins of a windmill, this hike offers splendid sea views and opportunities to spot migratory birds.
In St Thomas cruise port, ecotourism isn't just a buzzword but a way of life. The island offers a delicate blend of beauty and sustainability, encouraging visitors to not just witness its marvels but also understand the intricate web of life that sustains it.
Whether you're diving into crystal clear waters or trailing through emerald forests, each experience is a gentle reminder of our role as stewards of this magnificent Earth.
Nightlife & Entertainment in St. Thomas
As twilight blankets St Thomas cruise port, the island transforms, revealing a vibrant nightlife scene pulsating with rhythms, lights, and infectious energy. Whether you're in the mood to dance the night away, indulge in a tranquil evening, or immerse yourself in local performances, St. Thomas offers a myriad of nocturnal delights to match every vibe.
Beach Bars & Oceanfront Lounges
Sip and sway with the waves.
- Iggies Beach Bar: A beloved hotspot, it's famous for its live bands, delectable seafood, and beachside bonfires.
- Secret Harbour Beach Resort's Sunset Grille: Perfect for those looking to savor a cocktail, toe-tapping music, and a front-row seat to mesmerizing sunsets.
Live Music & Local Performances
A symphony of island beats and rhythms.
- Frenchtown's Island Time Pub: Delight in live reggae, jazz, or calypso as you enjoy the ambiance of this charming neighborhood.
- Red Hook's Tap & Still: A laid-back venue that often features local bands, turning ordinary nights into toe-tapping affairs.
Dance Clubs & Discotheques
Unleash your inner dance enthusiast.
- Starz Nightclub: This upscale club offers a mix of international and local beats, ensuring a dance floor that's always enlivened.
- Pirates Treasure Shipwreck Museum & Rum Bar: By day a museum, by night it turns into a pulsating venue with DJs spinning Caribbean and top-chart hits.
Cultural Shows & Festive Nights
Experience St. Thomas's heart and soul.
- Caribbean Dinner Show at Marriott's Frenchman's Reef: Feast on island delicacies while being serenaded by folk songs, dances, and tales of yesteryears.
- Full Moon Parties at Hull Bay: An island tradition, these parties are a magical blend of fire dancers, steel drums, and the silvery glow of the moon.
Intimate Bars & Wine Tasting
For those seeking a quieter, soulful evening.
- E's Garden Teahouse and Things: A quaint spot offering a diverse range of teas, wines, and poetry readings.
- The Cellar, East End: Dive deep into the world of wines, tasting curated selections from around the globe in an intimate setting.
Nightlife in St. Thomas is a vibrant tapestry of experiences, reflecting the island's multifaceted spirit. Whether you're drawn to the magnetic pull of dance floors, the soul-stirring chords of local musicians, or the calm embrace of moonlit shores, St. Thomas ensures that every night is a story waiting to be woven.
Tips & Tricks for Cruisers in St. Thomas Cruise Port
A cruise stop in St. Thomas promises an unforgettable experience whether you are new to cruising or experience on the seas. But to ensure your visit is as smooth and enjoyable as possible, arm yourself with some insider knowledge. From navigating the port area to maximizing your time on the island, here's a handy guide to ensure cruisers have the best of times in St. Thomas.
Port & Docking Info
Getting to know the lay of the land.
- Havensight/WICO Dock: Located close to Charlotte Amalie, this is the primary dock for large cruise ships, with shops and amenities right at the port.
- Crown Bay Dock: A bit farther from the downtown area but has its own shopping complex and is less crowded.
Moving around with ease.
- Open-Air Safari Taxis: These are a popular way to explore the island. Agree on a fare before you start your journey.
- Renting Vehicles: Remember, locals drive on the left. If you're confident, renting a scooter or car can be a fun way to explore independently.
Maximizing your short visit.
- Island Time: While the laid-back vibe is part of St. Thomas’s charm, be aware of your cruise ship's departure time. It waits for no one!
- Prioritize Activities: Given limited time, decide beforehand what’s a must-see for you. Perhaps it’s a beach visit, shopping, or a specific attraction.
Local Etiquette & Interaction
Making friends and leaving a good impression.
- Friendly Greetings: A simple "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon" goes a long way in initiating interactions.
- Bargaining: While it's common in some marketplaces, always do it respectfully, remembering that it's someone's livelihood.
Money & Shopping
- US Dollars: St. Thomas uses the US dollar, making transactions easy for American visitors.
- Duty-Free Allowance: Keep in mind your allowance to avoid any issues when returning to your cruise or to the US. It's typically higher in St. Thomas compared to other Caribbean destinations.
Safety & Health
Stay safe and enjoy without worries.
- Stay Hydrated: Caribbean sun is strong, especially for those not used to it. Drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
- Awareness: Like any tourist destination, be aware of your surroundings. Leave valuables on the ship and be cautious about isolated areas.
Connectivity & Communication
Staying in touch.
- Cellular Service: As a US territory, most US-based cell services work here without additional roaming charges.
- WiFi Hotspots: Many restaurants and cafes offer free WiFi. Check with your cruise line if they have partnerships with local establishments for connectivity deals.
Embarking on a cruise journey that anchors in St Thomas cruise port is akin to opening a treasure chest of Caribbean wonders. However, as with any treasure, it's best enjoyed when you're equipped with the right map and tools.
These cruise tips are your compass, ensuring that your cruise stopover in St Thomas isn’t just a fleeting visit, but a collection of cherished moments. Sail on, explorer, for the island awaits with its sun-kissed embrace!
Setting Sail with Memories of St. Thomas
As our journey through the wondrous realms of St. Thomas comes to a close, it's essential to take a moment to reflect on the tapestry of experiences the island offers. St. Thomas isn't just a destination; it's a feeling, a vibrant dance of history, nature, culture, and adventure, all set against the backdrop of cerulean waters and golden sands.
From the moment your ship docks, you're welcomed into a world where every corner whispers tales of pirates, every wave carries the laughter of locals, every market stall displays centuries of tradition, and every sunset promises another day of enchantment. It's the juxtaposition of tranquil beaches and bustling bazaars, of historic forts and hip nightclubs, of coral reefs teeming with life and mountainous terrains waiting to be trekked.
And for cruisers, this island presents a unique opportunity. In just a day or two, you're given a snapshot of the Caribbean soul. The key is to dive in headfirst, whether that means sampling local delicacies, bargaining for handcrafted souvenirs, taking the plunge into mysterious blue depths, or simply sitting back and watching the world go by with a cocktail in hand.
But beyond the activities and excursions, what truly makes St Thomas cruise port a gem in the Caribbean crown is its people. Warm, welcoming, and infused with an infectious zest for life, they turn every interaction into a memory, every experience into a story.
As you head back to your cruise ship, the silhouette of St. Thomas receding in the distance, it won't be just with souvenirs or photographs, but with a heart full of moments – the melodic twang of a steel drum, the cool touch of ocean waves, the spicy kick of local cuisine, the thrill of underwater encounters, and the tranquility of golden sunsets.
St. Thomas is more than just a port of call; it's a call to the heart, beckoning travelers with its myriad charms. And while the cruise may set sail to new horizons, the spirit of St. Thomas remains anchored in the soul, a gentle reminder of the magic that awaits every time we dare to explore beyond the horizon.
Until next time, St Thomas cruise port. Keep shining, keep dancing, keep enchanting. For every traveler will carry a piece of you with them, a beacon calling them back to your shores.
FAQs on St. Thomas Cruise Port
For many cruisers, St Thomas cruise port is a dream destination filled with excitement and wonder. Still, along with the anticipation come many questions. This comprehensive FAQ aims to address common queries and ensure visitors have a seamless experience at the St Thomas cruise port.
Q1: Which cruise lines dock at St. Thomas?
A: Most major cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America, and Disney Cruise Line, make regular stops at St. Thomas.
Q2: How far is the cruise port from downtown Charlotte Amalie?
A: Havensight/WICO Dock, the primary cruise ship port, is approximately a mile away from downtown Charlotte Amalie. It's a short taxi ride or a 20-30 minute walk. The Crown Bay Dock is about 2.5 miles from the downtown area.
Q3: Can I walk from the cruise ship to the main attractions?
A: While many shops and restaurants are within walking distance from the Havensight/WICO Dock, some main attractions, like Magens Bay or Coral World Ocean Park, require transportation.
Q4: Are US dollars accepted on the island?
A: Yes, St. Thomas is a US territory, and the US dollar is the official currency. Most establishments accept credit cards, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller vendors or taxis.
Q5: What's the best way to get around the island?
A: Taxis, especially open-air safari taxis, are popular. You can also rent scooters, cars, or bicycles if you're comfortable navigating the local roads.
Q6: What should I not miss during my visit?
A: While it depends on your interests, top recommendations often include Magens Bay, Blackbeard’s Castle, the Skyride to Paradise Point, Coral World Ocean Park, and a stroll through downtown Charlotte Amalie for shopping and historical sites.
Q7: Is it safe for tourists in St. Thomas?
A: St. Thomas is generally safe for tourists, especially in popular and busy areas. As with any destination, it's advisable to stay aware of your surroundings, avoid isolated areas, and not display obvious signs of wealth.
Q8: Is there a departure tax when leaving St. Thomas?
A: No, there isn't a departure tax for visitors leaving St. Thomas by sea or air.
Q9: Do I need a passport to visit St. Thomas on a cruise?
A: If you are a US citizen and your cruise begins and ends in the US (closed-loop cruise), you don't need a passport for St. Thomas. However, it's recommended to have a passport in case of emergencies. For non-US citizens, passport requirements may vary.
Q10: Are there beaches close to the cruise port?
A: Yes, there are several. The closest is the Morning Star Beach, just south of the Havensight/WICO Dock. Magens Bay, one of the world's most renowned beaches, is a short taxi ride away.
Q11: Can I rent snorkel or dive gear nearby?
A: Absolutely! There are several dive shops and beachside vendors offering rental equipment. Popular spots like Coki Beach also have snorkel rental right on the beach.
Q12: What's the local language?
A: English is the official language of St. Thomas, given its status as a US territory.
Q13: What kind of electrical outlets does St. Thomas use?
A: St. Thomas uses the same electrical outlets as the US - 120V with standard North American two or three-prong plugs.
Q14: Is there a local specialty I should try while I'm there?
A: Definitely taste the local Cruzan rum, available in many flavors. For food, try the conch fritters, johnnycakes, or callaloo. For a refreshing drink, the island's bush teas or fruit punches are a must.
Q15: Are there any cultural norms or etiquettes I should be aware of?
A: Locals appreciate polite greetings, so a "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon" can go a long way. Also, while beach attire is suitable for the beach, it's respectful to cover up when you're in town or visiting other public places.
Q16: Is the water safe to drink in St. Thomas?
A: Yes, tap water in St. Thomas is generally safe to drink as it's treated and purified. However, many visitors prefer to drink bottled water, especially if they have sensitive stomachs.
Q17: Are there any vaccination requirements for visiting St. Thomas?
A: No, there aren't any specific vaccination requirements for travelers to St. Thomas. However, it's always advisable to be up-to-date with routine vaccines before traveling anywhere.
Q18: Can I use my cell phone in St. Thomas?
A: St. Thomas, being a US territory, means that many US-based cellular services work without additional roaming charges. However, always check with your service provider about specific coverage and potential fees.
Q19: Is tipping customary in St. Thomas?
A: Yes, tipping is customary and similar to the US. Restaurants, taxis, and tour guides generally expect a tip ranging from 10-20% based on the quality of service.
Q20: What's the weather like? When's the best time to visit?
A: St. Thomas enjoys tropical weather year-round, with average temperatures between 77°F and 83°F. The peak tourist season is from December to April. The off-peak season, between May and November, might see occasional rainfall and is also the hurricane season, though major storms are relatively rare.
Q21: Are there any local festivals or events I should be aware of?
A: Carnival in St. Thomas, typically held in April, is a major event full of parades, music, and celebrations. There are also many smaller festivals and events throughout the year celebrating local culture and traditions.
Q22: Do I need travel insurance to visit St. Thomas?
A: While not mandatory, it's highly recommended to have travel insurance when cruising or traveling internationally. It provides a safety net in case of unexpected health issues, trip cancellations, or other unforeseen events.
Q23: Can I get around speaking only English?
A: Absolutely! English is the primary language of St. Thomas. While you might hear locals speaking in their dialect or other languages, communication for tourists is predominantly in English.
Q24: Are there ATMs available?
A: Yes, ATMs are widely available in St. Thomas, especially in and around Charlotte Amalie and popular tourist areas. Most dispense US dollars.
Q25: What's the time zone of St. Thomas?
A: St. Thomas is in the Atlantic Standard Time (AST) zone, which is usually one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).