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Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010

This is a view of Magen's Bay. In about an hour, we would actually be on that beach, hanging out. We've seen Magen's Bay on travel shows as one of the best ten beaches in the world.

Our guide said that no development can occur around Magen's Bay because that was a stipulation when the land was donated. So it remains unspoiled and peaceful.

We were standing on quite a cliff. No guard rails here.

The brown blob in the middle of this picture is a big iguana sitting in a tree.

Wow, this picture makes we want to go back again.

Here is the Ruby Princess!

Lou zoomed in as much as he could. He has an 8X optical zoom, plus some digital zoom.

We did spend some time on this cruise looking at new digital cameras. We came close to buying a Nikon P90 in St Thomas at a great price... but they were sold out. Later when we found it in Aruba, the price was much higher.

That is not our ship. We can't remember which ship it was, but Lou thinks that it was a Royal Caribbean ship.

Here we are at Magen's Bay beach. We got here around 10:00AM. When the tour started, it seemed like going to the beach so early in the morning wasn't such a great idea, but then the sun started beating down on us and we were glad to be there.

When we arrived, the beach was virtually empty. It was heavenly.

The water was amazingly clear and calm. Very gentle waves. But there was a minor undertow pulling us perpendicular to the shore, and that made it hard to stay near our pile of "stuff."

There was a bar and a restaurant, where we got a drink and some French fries.

There was also a pretty nice bathroom, although the showers were salt water.

There was a lot of shade and picnic tables.

Now we are at Bluebeard's Castle. We were given a guided tour of their rum production facility where they add fruity flavor to the rum. Lou liked the Pineapple Rum, but it was too sweet to buy a bottle.

After that, we were on our own to see some old homes and make our way back to town.

The tour description had not made it clear that we would be on our own, but it was fun. We were given a pretty good map.

Here is the actual castle. You could walk up, but the iron spiral staircase was daunting. On the first day of the cruise, Karen twisted her knee and it hurt to go downstairs (but not upstairs). So we did not even try this tower.

This was a nice looking pool but no one was swimming. I think we were more interested in finishing the tour so we could have lunch and go shopping.

Gosh, if Karen did not have some serious shopping to do, we could have stayed up here all day. There was a snack bar and a pool and amazing views.

There are pirate statues all over Bluebeard's Castle.

We have no idea which old house this was.

It was amazing how much cooler it was when we walked into the house. All the windows were open, and a cooling breeze swept through the rooms.

To the left, you can see part of one of the docents who were in each house, ready to answer questions.

Have we mentioned that it was HOT? The candles were melting.

This is a cistern. Rainwater is collected here for household use.

The docent told us that these were the original colors.

This museum reminded us of Jurassic Park.

We thought that all amber was, well, amber-colored. But it can be a variety of colors. This green amber is green because of volcanic ash.


Talk about a Jurassic Park moment! This chunk of amber had a dino print in it.


Lou got pretty good pictures. The room was very dark. One chunk of amber he did not get a picture of had a spider in it. Creepy.

The ships are silver, and the sea is made of amber.

Lou admired this chess set.


Excursion :
Ultimate Island Experience

Everything you would want to experience in St. Thomas is packaged into one complete outing--spectacular down-island vistas, time at the beach, duty-free shopping, and historic locations.

Board your open-air transportation for a scenic ride along Skyline Drive offering breathtaking panoramas of Charlotte Amalie harbor, the Caribbean Sea, British Virgin Islands and Magens Bay--rated one of the top ten beaches in the world by National Geographic magazine. Enjoy a photo stop at Drake's Seat before continuing down to the white sand and crystalline waters of Magens Bay for approximately two hours of swimming and relaxation. Experience the world-famous Blackbeard's Castle and the Kongens (King's) Quarter, sometimes called "The Williamsburg of the Caribbean." Learn about the island's legacy of pirates, slavery, and life as you visit National Landmark Properties dating back to the late 1600s. Pass the famous 99 Steps and visit the Caribbean World Amber Museum. Your tour concludes on Main Street to indulge in the recommended downtown shopping.

Your tour includes transportation from/to the ship and concludes on Main Street for recommended shopping. Return to ship is via scenic harbor cruise at your leisure. Please consult your port & shopping map provided onboard for downtown boat dock location. Tour duration is approximately 4 to 6 hours depending upon your personal touring and shopping time. If you choose to use the swimming pools at Blackbeard's Hill, wear a swimsuit and bring a towel. Changing facilities are available.


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