St. Thomas—Sun, Sand, and Shopping


If you’ve been to St. Thomas you might easily have left with the impression that this U.S. Virgin Island’s whole raison d’être is shopping.  Whole streets are dedicated to the marketing of reasonably priced jewelry, gems, and even digital cameras.  Indeed, an outdoor mini mall forms a veritable gauntlet of shops the cruiser must traverse to get between their ship and the taxis that await them.

Liquor is a better buy elsewhere in the Caribbean, so don’t wait until this stop to replenish your bar.  Don’t get me wrong—you’ll still save over U.S. mainland prices, but you can do better elsewhere throughout the Caribbean if you compare prices carefully.  If on the other hand your wife is looking for tanzanite, or you’re thinking about forking over for that new Nikon P7000 or a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, you’ll find prices that easily rival the best internet deals out of New York City and elsewhere.  The P7000 could be had for $399, and a 5D (body only) was priced at $2299.

But cheap prices aren’t the only wonders this island has to offer. For eight bucks, take an open-air taxi across the mountainous center portion of the island to Magens Bay Beach, which was featured on National Geographic Magazine’s list of the world’s ten most beautiful beaches.  Have another four dollars ready for admission to the beach area.  The sand is a stark white; the waters a soft aqua running to intense blue.  Photography tip:  Check out my earlier blog on photographing snow.  Those same tips will come in handy here because of the intense, reflective white sand.

The taxi trip back will give you some really great overviews of the port, so preset your camera so as to boost your shutter speed for taking photographs on the fly from your moving taxi.

Back in port, check out the multimillion-dollar yachts and sailing ships. As the sun settles in the west and the sky reddens, watch for the cumulous clouds above to take on a pinkish hue.  Notice how those same clouds cast their reddened reflections onto the waters below.

This voyage is rapidly coming to a close. We dock in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow and fly back to El Paso the day after that.  I will attempt on Friday to get out my review of the Crown Grill, but failing that you can expect to see that blog entry not later than Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, enjoy the views that St. Thomas has to offer:


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2 Comments

Filed under Photography, travel

2 responses to “St. Thomas—Sun, Sand, and Shopping

  1. Adell

    I’ve been to St. Thomas several times but haven’t made it to Magens Bay yet . . . will absolutely go there on my next visit. As for shopping, I usually pick up a couple of bottles at the liquor store, things that you can’t get in the United States (such as Cherry Marnier).

  2. Pingback: Thomas — The Saint of Shopping | R. Doug Wicker — Author