In need of an island getaway? Try the Virgin Islands!
Cameron and I chose the beautiful island of St. Thomas for our honeymoon trip. I had Marriott points to burn, So I looked up tropical destinations where they have properties, then price checked flights.
We flew out of Tampa on a Monday, connected in Miami, and made our way to Charlotte Amalie. There, we rented a car from Hertz and were officially on vacation! *Be sure to tell your hotel if you’re celebrating a special occasion. We were greeted with champagne and chocolates!* We stayed at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. It was gorgeous! Infinity pool, swim up bar, restaurants on the beach, pretty much everything I was looking for. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sttfr-frenchmans-reef-and-morning-star-marriott-beach-resort/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2
Day 1 was short since we traveled but we had plenty of time to change, explore the property, and find a great happy hour at SandBar at Havana Blue! The bar is right on the beach, has 2-for-1 drink specials, and great appetizers (we ended up coming back several times).
We woke up early and drove to Coral World. I booked an excursion to swim with sealions and I can’t even tell you how much fun this was! Cameron and I were paired with one other couple and ‘the little guy’, a sea lion that weighed around 300 pounds. It was incredible that he could dive in the pool and barely make a splash. All of the sea lions were so full of personality and great to be around! This is definitely an excursion that I recommend. Go early or stay late so that you can see the rest of Coral World too! https://coralworldvi.com/activities/sea-lion-swim/
After our morning adventure, we decided to take the ferry over to St. John. It’s only $6 each way and runs every hour. We had heard that St. John was beautiful but WOW! We hopped on a bus to Trunk Bay and when we arrived, it didn’t even seem real. The water and beach are incredible and we ended up spending most of our day there. Cameron also rented a mask and snorkel on the beach because there is a fun Underwater Trail that you can follow. It tells you what you can possibly see and what you should be looking for. St. John is now on our bucket list as a place to come back and stay!
We didn’t have anything planned for Day 3 so when we got back to the resort, we asked the concierge if there was anything she recommended. When she showed us the New Horizon and Breakaway Charter, we were sold! *You have to have your passport for this excursion* https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147407-d2001002-Reviews-New_Horizons_Breakaway_Charters-East_End_St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html
Day 3 started with a 7:00 AM departure on the New Horizons charter that we booked… when our alarm went off in the morning, we weren’t sure what we had been thinking the day before. But this BVI tour was incredibly worth it! Our first stop was St. John to pick up a few others. The guides had muffins and fresh fruit ready and waiting for us. Once we had everyone on board, we made our way to The Baths at Virgin Gorda. The walk through can be a little sketchy, but the opening at the end is your prize! The water is crystal clear and the rock formations are beautiful. We had so much fun jumping off of rocks and enjoying the perfect island weather.
After The Baths, it was onto Diamond Reef for snorkeling and lunch at Marina Cay. The guides also continued to make sure that we were well fed in between with a great selection of snacks! And after lunch, it was open bar on the boat! They had perfect sippy cups to avoid spilling.
Once we were all settled back on the boat, it was time to head to Jost Van Dyke! Another incredibly beautiful place with the most perfect looking water and beach. On the island, we made our way to the Soggy Dollar Bar for drinks and relaxing.
When we got back to the hotel, the sun was going down. We grabbed drinks by the pool, played with birds that were brought out by the staff, and fell asleep in lounge chairs for a bit.
The next day, we didn’t have to wake up quite as early. I was so excited to go snorkeling with sea turtles at Turtle Cove! We booked a tour through The VI Cat – https://thevicat.com/. It leaves from the Marriott dock so we just had to walk down a few flights of stairs and were ready to go. You can also see Turtle Cove from the resort so it’s not a far trip. Again, the water was incredible and you could easily see clearly down 15 feet. The turtles will hang out on the bottom and when they need a breath of air every few minutes, they’ll swim up. Hover over where they are to wait. No need to go after them, they are not afraid of people so they’ll swim right by you for great photo ops.
On the way back in, the catamaran drops the sail, turns on music, and provides an open bar! When we got back, we had drinks on the beach and then got ready for drinks at the Rum Bar and dinner at Havana Blue.
We were finally ready to just have a nap-filled day by the pool. In the morning, we drove around the island and went to Magens Bay, which is known as the most beautiful beach on St. Thomas. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely beautiful! But Trunk Bay kind of ruined it for us. If I could go back in time, I would have visited Magens Bay first and then Trunk Bay, so try to go in that order if you visit.
We stayed for a little while and then it was time for pool day! Unfortunately for us, it was Good Friday and we did not realize that no alcohol is sold or served on the island on Good Friday! Imagine the look on our faces when the bartender turned down our orders. Apparently there was a sign at the check-in desk but neither of us had noticed on Monday. We still had our share of naps, food, and tanning, so it was a great day.
The next day, it was back to reality. We really loved our stay on St. Thomas and will happily go back!
All of the restaurants on property were great! Coco Joe’s was my favorite for breakfast since it’s right on the beach and the food was delicious! Aqua Terra was good for breakfast and dinner. Sunset Grill for lunches near the pool. Havana Blue for dinner. Sandbar for casual happy hour! And Rum Bar was our final night happy hour since we were dressed up.