Cruising into St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands was a breeze. We recently visited the cruise pier in Frederiksted, St. Croix on a recent Celebrity Cruise. This is on the island’s west shore. We docked right at the port and walked off the ship to grab a cab. On Caribbean cruises, we prefer not to plan much of our days ahead of time by planning excursions. I tend to do a bit of research to figure a few things that we can do and then let the day plan itself as it unfolds. I knew that a bunch of the beaches on St. Croix were closed due to the previous hurricane that had hit the island, so I wanted to make sure I knew what my options were.
Trip Tip: St. Croix’s currency is US dollar, however, many places will also accept credit cards. There is no sales tax which is great for shopping.
Cabs were easy to find. Upon arrival there are desks set up to buy round-trip tickets to a variety of locations in St. Croix. We decided based on the weather that a beach day was in order. It was a $6 per person cab ride to the beach. We had a group of 6 people that headed to the beach on this first port day of our cruise. They put us on a small shuttle bus with a bunch of other cruisers. We got our return tickets for the trip back to the ship. Last shuttle back for us was at 4:00 p.m. and all-aboard was at 4:30 p.m.
I had done some research and that research seemed to point to Sandcastle on the Beach. I wish I had done a little more research because I would have known to pre-book our chairs. The pricing at time of sailing was $10 per person (current pricing as of October 2018). Luckily, when we arrived they still had a few seats left on the pool deck only. Now, I will say, that due to Hurricane Maria the pool deck was not really a deck, but instead a giant construction zone. When you don’t pre-book, you take what you can get. We just didn’t feel like taking another cab to another beach another 20 minutes away. The $10 day pass includes a welcome Rum Punch or bottle of water. Of course, anyone that knows me, knows I opted for the Rum Punch. Who needs water on vacation? Staying hydrated is overrated.
We got to meet one of the owners as soon as we arrived. Chris who took great care of us. Chris, along with his partner Ted took over this boutique hotel and beach club in January 2017. He made us feel welcomed from the minute we arrived. I was shocked to find out after about 1/2 hour of being there that he was one of the owners.
When lounge chairs opened up on the beach he moved the 6 of us to great seats on the beach. The bar and food prices were very reasonable. We had a few drinks and lunch. I had a burger and fries. The beach itself was a bit rocky, again, Thanks Maria, so bring water shoes. The water was warm and clear. I suspect that over the next few months as renovations continue the pool will be an amazing addition.
The beach club has bathrooms, a shower, a bar, food and loungers. It has sun, sand and amazing service. What more can you ask for? While the cruise line had a beach excursion for over $125 per person, I feel for the approximately $46 per person we spent we had an awesome day. You know what I say, less money on excursions means more money for more vacations.
A little bit of planning and some advice can go along way to help you plan a great cruise day. If you happen to be in St. Croix for for longer than a day, check out Chris and Sandcastle on the Beach. The service is top notch and you will have facilities you can count on.