What to Do on Your St. Thomas Cruise Stop

Don’t waste any time getting to the heart of it all in St. Thomas. Here’s where to go when you have only a day or less.

While you're visiting St. Thomas, take advantage of the snorkeling at neighboring St. John:
What to Do on Your St. Thomas Cruise Stop | St. Thomas USVI Cruise Port | St. Thomas Layover Ideas | U.S. Virgin Islands | 2 Hours

2 Hours

Eat Sushi in St. Thomas: "Do you want raw or cooked?" This question isn't one I often hear at sushi joints, but it's what the server at Beni Iguana's Sushi Bar on St. Thomas tosses out when I ask for a roll recommendation. Order It Raw: The place has been open for 21 years, but its clientele plays it safe. When my friend and I answer in unison, "Raw," the chef glances up. We start talking. He asks how much we want to spend and how adventurous we feel. My friend, the CEO, says, "About $100 and very." Sushi Parade: Pinks, oranges and whites trot over the Plexiglas divide as the chef watches us eat. He doesn't speak much English, but when we smile, he beams. The crowning moment: smoked eel between two bricks of scrambled egg, drizzled in eel sauce. Wash It Down with a glass of Turley Dogtown Zinfandel at Grande Cru, about an eight-minute walk from Beni's. Get There: Beni's is in the Havensight Mall, steps from the Havensight Dock.Photo By Zach Stovall
What to Do on Your St. Thomas Cruise Stop | St. Thomas USVI Cruise Port | St. Thomas Layover Ideas | U.S. Virgin Islands | 5 Hours

5 Hours

Dive St. John: A peek at a USVI map of scuba-diving sites may sell you on the ferry hop from St. Thomas to St. John. About two-thirds national park, St. John has countless pockets of purple sea fans, massive brain-coral globes the color of uncooked pasta, and iridescent-orange vase sponges. Have Your Own Gear?: I did, so I asked the open-air truck-taxi driver to deposit me at Great Lameshur Bay. Waterlemon Cay is good too; it has the nicer beach, but Lameshur attracts greater marine life.**** Need to Rent Gear?: Stop by Low Key Watersports, a few doors to the right of the dock. Look for the red-and-white flag. Get There: Passenger ferries to St. John leave from two St. Thomas locations: Charlotte Amalie, and almost hourly from Red Hook, a short taxi ride away.Photo By Zach Stovall
What to Do on Your St. Thomas Cruise Stop | St. Thomas USVI Cruise Port | St. Thomas Layover Ideas | U.S. Virgin Islands | Full Day

Full Day

Ferry to the BVI: Jost Van Dyke is a spit of land largely defined by what it lacks: no stoplights, no chain stores, no hustle. They still don't have reliable round-the-clock power. The Simple Life: Where the white-sand beach ends, the open-air bars begin. Spots like Soggy Dollar and Foxy's might on occasion be the hangouts of the impossibly hip, but they're not where celebs and their posses with noses pressed to smartphones normally go. Instead, these are where strangers actually talk to each other. Drink Order: God help you if you don't drink rum: The cocktail staple here is the painkiller, a blend of pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream, nutmeg, and light and dark rums. The Soggy Dollar Bar serves five variations, including vanilla and mango. Get There: The MV When shuttles between Tortola and Jost four times daily, three on Sunday. The last daily departure is at 5 p.m. Miss the boat? Call Bunn's Sea Taxi. Did You Know? St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie is the U.S.’s largest historical town. To stop German expansion in World War II, the U.S. paid $25 million for the Virgin Islands. USVI is the only U.S. territory bordered by the Caribbean and Atlantic. The largest baobab tree in the Caribbean stands on St. Croix.Photo By Zach Stovall