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Caribbean Stopover at St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands
by Clint Leung

One of the most popular ports of call for Caribbean cruise ships is St. Thomas, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. On the three Caribbean cruises that I took so far, two of them included a stopover in St. Thomas.

On both occasions, there was a consensus among other passengers we met that St. Thomas was one of the nicer islands visited.

Although the driving in St. Thomas is on the left hand side, it is still U.S. territory so this Caribbean island features many other conveniences of being American soil.

These included easy telephone connections for calls back to the mainland, the use of U.S. currency and English as the main language.

St. Thomas is also one of the cleanest of Caribbean islands and the locals do not aggressively hustle the tourists like they do on other islands. Many passengers stated that St. Thomas is a place they would like to come back to in the future.

During my first visit to St. Thomas, I took the Atlantis submarine excursion which took tourists down to see an actual ocean reef. It was a bit pricey but that was expected.

Seeing an ocean reef with the marine life up close for the first time during this submarine ride actually influenced me to take up scuba diving. During my second trip to the island, we decided that we would spend some time snorkeling in the local waters since at that time, my partner wasn't a certified scuba diver yet.

My advance research suggested that Coki Bay on the northeast side of St. Thomas was a nice place to snorkel. When our cruise ship docked at Charlotte Amalie, the capital city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, we hailed one of the many taxi cabs at the port.

It was a $15 US fare to Coki Beach where Coki Bay is located. It took only about 15 minutes to get there. The scenery along the way was magnificent as we went up a hill and saw our cruise ship in the distant harbor below.

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