Caribbean Stopover at St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands
The island itself is very lush with greenery everywhere.
At Coki Beach, my partner rented her snorkeling gear for $20 US (I brought my own). To my surprise, the rental attendant gave us each a hard biscuit to feed the fish while we were in the water. Once we got into the water, dozens of tropical fish immediately crowded around us.
I guess they knew the drill quite well. We ripped off small pieces of the biscuits and the fish went for it, even if the food was just inches away from our face masks.
The yellowtail snappers, sergeant majors and occasional parrotfish displayed no fear of us at all. At one point, my partner held out a larger piece of her biscuit and some of the fish darted in to nibble at it.
After about an hour in the warm water, it was time to say goodbye to our new aquatic friends. This experience at Coki Bay with the fish was one of the factors which eventually influenced my partner to become a certified scuba diver herself.
Another $15 US cab ride took us back to the cruise ship port where we spend the rest of the day browsing the many duty free shops located there. A similar snorkeling trip arranged through the cruise ship would have cost us double the amount we paid.
St. Thomas is definitely not an inexpensive island for either cruise ship passengers or resort tourists staying there but extra comfort and quality of the island are quite noticeable compared to many other Caribbean destinations.
From my readings, the other main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands which are St. John and St. Croix, are more laid back and less commercialized than St. Thomas. I would like to visit them in addition to another return trip to St. Thomas in the future for a multi day scuba diving trip.
For those thinking of going on a Caribbean cruise, I would definitely recommend one that has St. Thomas as one of its ports of call. It is one of the better islands on any Caribbean cruise itinerary.
About the Author:
Clint Leung, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Clint is owner of Free Spirit Gallery which specializes in exquisite authentic Eskimo Inuit and Northwest Native art including carvings, sculpture and prints at below retail prices. There are numerous information resource articles on Inuit and Native art with photos of authentic artwork as well as eCards at the website (http://www.FreeSpiritGallery.ca).