How to Spend One day in St Thomas

We recently took a cruis aboard the Carnival Fascination cruise ship through the gorgeous southern Caribbean. We left from San Juan, Puerto Rico and our first stop was St. Thomas. St. Thomas is one of the three islands to make up the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with St. Croix and St. John. The U.S. Virgin Islnds are known for the beaches, shopping,  and snorkeling.Charlotte Amalie is the largest city and the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islnds. While St. Thomas may be small in size, there is plenty for you to do if you only have one day in St. Thomas.

St. Thomas has 2 cruise ports, Havensight and Crown Bay. Being on a Carnival Cruise ship, we docked at Havensight. Havensight is a 5-10 minute taxi ride to Charlotte Amalie. This was one of the prettiest harbors we saw on our cruise. Once you walk off the cruise ship you’re surrounded by gorgeous blue water and green hills. The island has many regular taxis from compact size to large vans, as well as open-air, covered trucks called “safaris” with bench seats. St. Thomas is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean, especially during the winter. Here is what to do in St. Thomas for one day.

Plenty to see on the gorgeous island of St thomas, but if arrive on a cruise ship and you are only here for one day, heres what you should do on St Thomas in one day!
Pin me

How to Spend One Day in St. Thomas

Ride the Tram to Paradise Point

One of the best ways to see St. Thomas from above, Paradise Point, is located within walking distance of the cruise ship. The gondola ride takes you up 700 feet above the town, which takes about 7 minutes to get to the top. The sky-ride has 6 cabins that can each hold 12 people each. From here you have a gorgeous view of the clear blue water, the lush green trees, and the white homes along the hills. Paradise Point allows you great views of the harbor, Water Island, and even Puerto Rico. You can truly sit here and enjoy the scenery all day if you’d like. With gorgeous views of the ocean and the island, it’s definitely a must-do while on St. Thomas during a cruise.

one day in st thomas

Once you purchase a ticket ($21 for adults) for the tram, the ticket is valid all day, so you can ride the tram again if you’d like. There is a restaurant, bar, and shops at the top, so it’s a nice place to relax and enjoy the views. Included in your ticket price, is a taster of the Bushwackers Bailey, which is their singature drink. We didn’t stay long as we had other places to see. But if you are staying the nigh in St. Thomas, I can imagine this would be the perfect place to watch the sunset.

one day in st thomas cruise
one day in st thomas cruise
one day on st thomas

We went to Paradise Point directly after the cruise ship docked and it was the perfect time. We didn’t have to wait in line at all, and had plenty of space at the top to not feel cramped. I’m sure when there are more boats in port, Paradise Point can get very busy, as it’s so close to the harbor. If you want to avoid as many people as possible, the sooner you go, the better.

**You can also take the taxi to the top and bypass the sky-ride, if you want to save some money

Search for cheap cruises

Enjoy the Beaches

The beaches on St. Thomas are just gorgeous! Magens Bay is the most talked about beach on St. Thomas. It is a one mile stretch of gorgeous sand. This is the only beach on St. Thomas that has an entry fee. Magens Bay has an entrace fee of $5/person. It is $8/person each way for the taxi ride. Magens Bay is best for relaxing. A bar and restaurant are available at the beach. Because this is the most known beach on the island, it can get very busy. 

st thomas magens bay
Brief stop at Magens bay before heading to Coki Beach

Many first time visitors will want to visit Magens Bay. We originally planned to go to Magens Bay, as we heard this was the best beach to see on the island. Once we got off the cruise ship and talked to a taxi drive, he convinced us that Coki beach would be better. We all piled into an open air, safari truck as he took us on an unexpected tour through the island to Coki Beach.  The taxi to Coki beach is $9/person each day, but there was no entrance fee at the beach.  Once at Coki Beach, chairs are available for rent for $5/each and umbrellas for $10.

st thomas coki beach
Coki Beach

Coki Beach is the place to go if you want to swim with fish. If you’re interested in snorkeling, check out this tour at Coki Beach. Even close to the shore, we were able to see fish in the water. Coki Beach is on the northeastern shore, close to Coral World Ocean Park. There are lots of vendors on the beach, including water sports rentals, beach bars, craft vendors and more. There are multiple dive shops right about Coki Beach. The water is just crystal clear and very clam. This is the beach to go to if you want to do any water sports. Although I’m sure Magens Bay is gorgeous too, but we really had a fabuous time at Coki Beach and would to go back!

one day on st thomas cruise
st thomas coki beach

Island hop to Trunk Bay, St. John

If the beaches at St. Thomas don’t excite you, you can catch a ferry over to St. John. We would have done this if we had some more time, but it’s an all-day event and sive we were only in St. Thomas for one day we wanted to explore St. Thomas. Trunk Bay is consistently voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so I can only imagine the beauty. Trunk Bay is part of the National Park and has an entrance fee of $5/person.

There are two passenger ferries: one in Charlotte Amalie and one in Red Hood. Red Hood is the only one that will take cars across as wel.. The ferry from Charlotte Amalie will take a little longer, but there may be more traffic getting from the cruise port to Red Hood, so it may end up being the same time. The ferry from Charlotte Amalie to St. Johns is $13/one way and takes 45 minutes. It’s a 5 minute taxi ride to the ferry from the cruise ship. From Red Hood to St. John it’s $7/one way and only takes 20 minutes, however its a 17 minute taxi ride to the ferry dock which will cost about $10/person. There are more ferries that leave out of Red Hood, so you will have more options. Once you arrive at Cruz Bay, there are taxis to take you to Trubk Bay (15 minute ride) for $6/person. I’d recommend heading straight to St Johns right when you get off the cruise ship, so you can spend as much time as possible on Trunk Bay, and then spend the remainer on St. Thomas before boarding the cruise ship.

Check out this tour to Trunk Bay or the ferry schedule to plan your trip by is licensed under
Trunk Bay by kkanouse is licensed under CC by 2.0

Go Shopping

The U.S. Virgin Islands are known for the great duty-free shopping. Alochol, jewelry, gemstones, and watches are among the popular items here. Many shops line the streets of Havensight, where the cruise ships dock. The busy town of Charlotte Amalie has tons of duty-free shops if you are looking for some things to take home. The currency in the U.S. Virgin Islands is the US Dollar, so no need to exchange money. If shopping is your thing, St. Thomas will be a great stop for you.

We only had one day in St. Thomas, but it’s a beautiful island and defnitely deserves its own vacation, not just a day stop on a cruise. We will definitely be back to spend more time on St. Thomas.

What to pack for St. Thomas

Have you visited St. Thomas? What would you recommend to do in one day in St. Thomas? Let us know in the comments! 

one day on st thomas coki beach
st thomas cruise
cruise one day on st thomas
st thomas beaches
one day in st thomas




  1. I typically skip St. Thomas and head over to St. John but on my last trip there, I actually explored a lot of the island and loved it! I did a private boating trip for part of the day and then discovered all the hype everyone always raves about. Looks like you did, too. 😉

  2. Thank you for sharing so much great information, and we hope to see you again in St. Thomas! Coki Beach is definitely a nice alternative to Magens Bay, if the latter is really busy or you want to avoid an entrance fee. I also recommend Secret Harbor, which is on a quiet, protected bay with a resort if you want to visit a restaurant or beach bar. Sapphire Beach is another option and a favorite of locals. The VINow website has a good overview of all the beaches in St. Thomas at, and you can also book a private beach excursion or beach hopping tour at CaribbaConnect via There is an excellent blog there with more tips on things to do in St. Thomas.

    There used to be a company offering fitness runs and walks on St. Thomas, but unfortunately it’s not offering them now. But there are some great eco tours available, including hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling in places like Bird Island and the St. Thomas Mangrove Lagoon. Some of these are only 1.5 to 3 hours, so they are perfect for a one-day visit.

    1. Thank you for the tips ! We will return to St Thomas some day and spend more than 8 hours on there, and when we do, we will be sure to check out everything we possibly can !

  3. I admit I had never heard of this island before reading your blog so it’s always great to find out somewhere new to visit – especially where there are gorgeous beaches to be seen 🙂 We did a cruise around the caribbean and although they are fantastic for quick-stops and seeing new places, sometimes you just want more don’t you … we found this out with Jamaica and returned to renew our wedding vows in Negril this year so it appears that we love some of the same places 🙂

  4. Great info! Thanks. We are also doing a cruise on Carnival Fascination next month and your post has been super helpful. Do you know if it is possible to walk/hike up Flag Hill/Panorama point? Cheers.

  5. We’re headed on our first cruise in .august. I know there will be people wanting to take us to different beaches…..but how can we know they’ll return to get us to the ship on time?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.