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Old 26-10-2009, 22:31   #1
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Marinas in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Bahamas

Can anyone tell me where my husband and I can find marinas to visit while we're in the Caribbean in January? We're stopping in Cococay Bahamas on Jan 4th, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas on Jan 6th, & Philipsburg St. Maartin on Jan. 7th. We're seriously considering the leap into the cruising lifestyle & want to meet and spend some time with folks that are living our dream so we can pick their brains and see what we can learn.

I've looked online but I'm having trouble finding anything...maybe I'm not looking in the right places though.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old 27-10-2009, 02:19   #2
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Coco Cay (Little Stirrup) is Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas. There are no marinas, and no owner/live-aboard cruisers.

Marinas in Charlotte Amalie USVI
Noonsite: Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas)

Marinas in Philipsburg (Sint Maarten)
Noonsite: Philipsburg
Marinas in Simpson Bay
Noonsite: Simpson Bay

Marinas in St Martin
Noonsite: Marigot Bay

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 27-10-2009, 02:57   #3
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St Martin is encapsulated by marinas. indeed one wag notice that it really jus was one big marina with mud joining the fingers.....

Of course he was wrong! The marinas are joined together by restaurants....

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Old 27-10-2009, 05:10   #4
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In St Thomas I always liked Crown Bay.

Crown Bay Marina
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Old 27-10-2009, 06:15   #5
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Sounds like you'll be traveling on a cruise ship. If so, you might be docking right next to Crown Bay Marina. Some lines dock there, and others dock at Havensight, in Charlotte Amalie harbor. If you end up in Havensight, you can walk to Yacht Haven Grande and ogle the mega-yachts.

The trouble with walking the docks in a marina, however, is that most (not all) of the "real" cruisers will be anchored out somewhere else. Marinas are expensive, and most cruisers are trying to keep costs low. We stayed in Crown Bay and in American Yacht Harbour (on the far eastern end of St Thomas) a few times, but it was just a day or so for provisioning or picking up crew.

Same thing for St. Maarten/St. Martin. Most cruisers will be anchored in Simpson Lagoon, Simpson Bay, or Marigot Bay.You'll be docked in Philipsburg, at the other end of the island. No marinas there, other than Bobbie's fuel dock and boatyard.
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Old 27-10-2009, 09:26   #6
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Yes, traveling on a cruise ship.

We took our first and only cruise so far, two years ago and visitied the Caribbean for the first time. We were hooked on the location and felt the "draw" to come back and look closer, away from the tourists. This time, we are planning more educational "research" if you will. My husband stumbled upon a "Latitudes & Attitudes" magazine while visiting his father in the hospital in Florida about a year ago. He read from cover to cover and then went and bought the most recent issue. Realizing that people actually live-aboard and cruise as whim was a revelation to him and he coldn't wait to get home to lay out his plans to me. We've been researching the possibility now, nearly 24/7. We have always been considered "crazy" by our family in friends in that we dream big and work hard to realize those dreams. We've done it before, we'll do it again by golly!

Thanks for the info. The Noonsite website looks like an essential. Thanks for steering me in that direction Gord. I sincerely appreciate that.

I suspected what you confirmed Hud, and that is the fact that we probably won't get to meet many "real" cruisers at the marina's except maybe if we hang out in a bar, which we have no problem with. :-) Do any of you have any tips for us as far as that goes? Where should we look or how would one recognize a "real" cruiser if they saw one? Stupid question, I know. Would it be appropriate to simply ask people if they're anchored somewhere and proceed to offer to buy lunch & beverages and pick their brains?
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Old 27-10-2009, 09:44   #7
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On St. Thomas Crown Bay and Red Hook are about the only places you may possibly find cruisers but they are only in for very short stops. As HUD indicated most stay well away from these money intense locations but occasionally we go in for guest pick ups or to resupply/ pick up shipments and such.

Under these conditions you will probably not find many with the time to get into much of a talk unless your around one of the watering holes after sundown. Not something really easy if your on a big cruise ship.

If you do go into Crown Bay it is simpler because it is a short walk over to the Marina. Red Hook would be a 45 min to an hour taxi trip to reach from either Crown Bay or Charlotte Amalie. BTW, while the immediate area around the Cruise terminal is OK most of the time for walks, in the evening you would probably be much better off Not going along the docks outside the Marina. That is particularly true for the area between the Marina and the Ferry docks at night.
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Old 27-10-2009, 09:54   #8
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Well, that's a bummer. I guess you're saying the only way to find out if I want to sell everything I have and live aboard a boat is to sell everything I have and live aboard a boat. That's very discouraging. Thank you though.
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Old 27-10-2009, 09:58   #9
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Unfortunately, cruise ships come into dock and you have only from about 08AM to 5PM to visit/tour onshore. And it works out that you might be able to meet some at the local bars/taverns but unfortunately most cruisers are also cheap so only show up at "happy hours" which is after you have to be back onboard the cruise ship.
- - You might just find some in Charlotte Amalie if you take the Jitney downtown and hang around the seawall across the street from the T-Shirt outdoor market next to the USCG station. Most of us tie up our dinghies there when going on shore. Introduce yourself and offer a free lunch at the "relatively cheap" little place straight back across the T-Shirt Market and through the little park - and you will get takers. Like I said we are "cheap" and a free lunch is too good to pass up.
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Old 27-10-2009, 10:19   #10
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Its easy to differentiate between a cruiser and a tourist. The cruiser is the one with the tan and the knapsack. Crownpoint Marina is off my list, because I when I went to the fuel dock and bought $100 of fuel, they wanted another $20 to drop off a guest--pure greed.
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Old 27-10-2009, 10:22   #11
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We will be in Captain Oliver's Marina in Oyster Pond, St. Maarten this Winter as we have bought a new condo at the Resort across the inlet. We have spent alot of time in Simpson Bay Lagoon over the past years. As said above most cruisers on the island are either in Marigot Bay on the French side or in the Lagoon. You won't be able to meet many cruisers during your short stay. There are some bars frequented by cruisers for special boaters activities but you won't be there at the right time.
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Old 27-10-2009, 10:27   #12
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You might try going to one of the Seven Seas Cruising Association meetings (The Seven Seas Cruising Association - IX - home ). Lots of cruisers will be there to share their experiences.
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Old 27-10-2009, 10:48   #13
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Wow, that's rude. We've never been treated that way when in for pickups or provisioning. Did you ask for the manager and let him know what you thought of something like that?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Its easy to differentiate between a cruiser and a tourist. The cruiser is the one with the tan and the knapsack. Crownpoint Marina is off my list, because I when I went to the fuel dock and bought $100 of fuel, they wanted another $20 to drop off a guest--pure greed.
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Old 27-10-2009, 11:00   #14
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There is was bar and grill on SXM on the road near the airport (@ Mike's Marina - I think?) which caters to cruisers. Any taxi driver can take you there. They will all be on their notebook computers with headset & boom mics talking to family back "home" on skype. Been there done that . Offer to by a beer and a sandwich and you will have Lots of friends! Like Don said tanned and a knapsack of some sort and will be wearing NO jewelery, no lump in a pocket for a wallet and prolly little ragged looking so as to not stand out.

This wasn't the question but if you think you are really serious and want a taste of the cruising life cancel the cruise ship (which has nothing to do with living the cruising life or life in general) and charter with a cruiser running an independent operation in the VI. A wonderfull place to visit - darned expensive to live. Is where our boat is.
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Old 27-10-2009, 11:06   #15
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Well, that's a bummer. I guess you're saying the only way to find out if I want to sell everything I have and live aboard a boat is to sell everything I have and live aboard a boat. That's very discouraging. Thank you though.
No, but you won't find out on a cruise ship.

Better to do bare boat charters and better yet to sign on as crew with someone needing crew for a leg or two.

The Lats & Atts mag your husband read sponsors various cruises one of which might be a good place for you to begin.
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