St Thomas is one of my favorite caribbean islands. Our first visit to St Thomas was on our honeymoon in 1994. It was the third and final port of call on our 7 day Carnival cruise. The bay was pretty and was filled with expensive yachts, and a few cruise ships. First we went into town-Charlotte Amalie (Amalie is pronounced Ah-mall-yah). St Thomas is the mall of the caribbean! If you want to buy something like watches, cameras, electronics, jewelry, etc you are most likely to find the best price here. We wandered aroung the town, and visited some of the shops. I bought a Seiko watch for $70. It was a gold-toned rectangular bodied watch with a blue face, and a leather band. I have never seen another one exactly like it. Not sure if it was a great deal or not, but I liked the watch, and had it for years until it was misplaced. I believe it was left at my brother’s house, or my inlaws, but I haven’t seen it for a few years. It may still show up. If you are going to be in St Thomas, do some research ahead of time into the types of things they sell there. Then do some research before you go into the prices of things you might be interested in buying. So if you are interested in buy a new Sony camcorder, find the model or models that you are interested in buying. Find the best prices locally or online. Then when you get to St Thomas, shop the store to find the best prices. You CAN negotiate with the sellers there. The worst they can say is no.
After we finished shopping, we headed back to the ship to meet up with some of our table-mates. We hired a van, and told the driver we wanted to go to Magens Bay to do some snorkelling. The driver told us that there wasn’t good snorkelling in Magens Bay and that Sapphire Beach was where the good snorkeling was at. We didn’t know whether to trust him, but we decided to give it a chance. He told us that if we didn’t like it, we didn’t have to pay him. So he took us to Sapphire Beach. On the drive there, he told us he we Sharky The Fun Driver. He passed us a newpaper clipping where previous passengers had written in to praise Sharky. He very obviously proud of the clipping and had it laminated. Sharky was great, and played a tape of reggae covers of 70 pop tunes. It was great, and I wish I had a copy of it. Sharky drove like a wildman, cutting red lights by going through parking lights. He pretty much stayed in the center of the narrow roads. We had a blast. He dropped us off at Sapphire beach which seemed to be half way around the island, and we gave him a time to be back to pick us up. We were a little nervous that we might be scammed or held hostage to pay so high amount to get back to the ship. But we were at a nice hotel area, so we figured we could always find another van. We stayed at the beach, and tanned and snorkled around checking out the fish. We would occasionally wander up and get some drinks at the hotel. My wife accutally cam face to face with a big sea turtle while swimming. It startled her as much as she startled it. Sapphire Beach was wonderful! At the appointed time, Sharkey The Fun Driver showed, and took us back to the ship. We paid him the discussed amount, and we all tipped him big time. I looked for Sharkey The Fun Driver on our next visit to St Thomas acouple years later, but never saw him. There are a lot of drivers there. St Thomas is a beatiful island, and a lot of fun!