A Mom’s Testimony of the perfect Mother’s Day surprise…. (Father’s Day is coming up!)
The idea of chartering a motor yacht with a four and nine year old may not seem like the perfect vacation at first - but it is an IDEAL way to get away and relax this summer! We just returned from a charter in St. Thomas and the five days we were there were just – BLISS.
We flew into Charlotte Amalie, about a 20 -minute flight from Puerto Rico. Just flying from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas is spectacular – a great way to view the islands from the sky!
Once we got the kids settled in their cabins, we immediately changed and took a walk around downtown St. Thomas, before we left the dock to anchor out. The cruise ships were in town, so the shops and cafes were overflowing with tourists and families. Free samples of Bushwackers were being handed out to the adults (a dangerous popular frozen concoction of the islands) and the number of souvenir shops mesmerized the kids. We continued to walk to the historic 99 Steps – and took those up to Blackbeard’s Castle, which from here offers a 360-degree view of Charlotte Amalie and its harbour, and a wonderful rum tasting experience. The kids were particularly interested in the 14 foot bronze sculpture of the pirate Blackbeard. You can also take the Skyride (Gondola) up to Paradise Point, with views of Charlotte Amalie 700 ft above. Be tempted with some more delicious frozen drinks while the kids check out the Pirate’s Chest and some other unique shops.
The next day we set to take the tender out to explore some of the many beaches the Virgin Islands has to offer. Loaded with snorkelling gear and bags for a beach picnic, we headed over to Buck Island, Turtle Cove and Shipwreck Cove. The kids were forever trying to seek out turtles (keeping them well occupied) while we sat on the bow of the boat enjoying the breeze. One of the crew members is a certified DIVE Instructor so they gave our 9 year old her first dive lesson – she was ecstatic! The water here is crystal blue – so clear that even from the boat you can see the little “Dories” swimming around the larger “Rainbow fish” (as my 4 year old son called them).
Following our snorkelling/scuba expedition, we headed over to Magens’ Bay which is a smooth white sand beach surrounded by pastel colored chairs, umbrellas, paddleboards and kayaks. We had a great lunch here Magen’s Point Bar and Grill and the kids enjoyed seeing some of the many Tarpon swimming around.
Cinnamon Bay was our next stop – as the boat headed toward St John’s the following day. We wanted to take the kids on a nice hike to view the crystal blue water from the hills in St. John. We took a shuttle up to the top of the Cinnamon Bay trail and hiked down into this secluded little spot – surrounded by green islands and small cabins for those that want to camp overnight. There was one little shack here that sold hot dogs, and the kids were happy to just sit in the water and play while my husband and I enjoyed the kayaks. Later in the day we met up with some friends at The Beach Club, a great venue right on the beach.
Each day, our kids were smiling, entertained by the beauty surrounding us, and well and fast asleep by 8pm. We had adult time watching the sunsets and sharing cocktails with friends. We would have ventured into the British Virgin Islands had time allowed, Tortola being a beautiful untouched peace of nature with endless white sandy beaches and abundant green mountains. We will have to go again soon – perhaps allowing 7-10 days anchored out so we can see more secret spots the luxuriant Caribbean has to offer.
I would highly recommend this trip for anyone – the flight is not too far, the motor yachts are affordable, and the all inclusive catamarans packages are excellent value. Each yacht comes with great crew who are happy to share their secret spots and hidden gems of the Caribbean with you and your loved ones!