It’s a satisfying thing to say I’ve been to the Caribbean. I’ve spent a good part of my adulthood intrigued by island life, mostly inspired by the idea of getting it away from it all. Quitting my full-time desk job was a step in the right direction, but life in Minnesota is a far cry from the friendly sunshine and warm faces that greet you on the shores of St. Thomas.
It took all of ten minutes for me to begin breathing a little deeper and walking a little slower between the waves of tourist madness. When we stepped ashore, my mother and I boarded an open-air taxi with about twelve other people en route to the beach at Magen’s Bay, which has been the highlight of our voyage with Princess Cruises so far. The drive was no different than the wild, back-road taxi rides I’ve taken in New York or Rome, all of which can be quick to cause more motion-sickness than the constant sway of the Regal Princess, but the views across the island were well worth it.
The beach started to fill up about noon, but arriving at ten o’clock in the morning we found a perfect little corner to post up with only two or three people nearby. Magen’s Bay Beach was gorgeously peaceful with water too warm to be real, and Mom and I spent every minute of our two-hour break letting the sand fill our shoes and the sun fill our souls. I left more relaxed than I would have after a massage at a world-class spa.
The purpose of this entire trip, of course, is to live as much Pirates of the Caribbean as I can, so our tour continued with a walk-and-talk history lesson at Blackbeard’s Castle. With a 500-year-old lookout post and a center-stage statue of the man himself (Blackbeard stood 6’4” and 280 pounds, according to our informative tour guide), I was easily transported into the world of Elizabeth Swann and fictional pirate Jack Sparrow, which was all I wanted on our day-long excursion in St. Thomas. The Pirates movies are truly one of my favorite ways to escape reality—so much so that I find myself passing off every story of piracy that I hear to be fantasy. I forget that these crazies took their pillaging and plundering quite seriously, and are a major part of history on the high seas.
It was by far my favorite shore excursion we've experienced through Princess. I'm not surprised it's one of the most popular selections on this eastern Caribbean route.
Have you been to St. Thomas or find piracy completely fascinating? Have a favorite beach on the island? Leave a comment below—I love hearing travel tales!
Thanks a million to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post!