The Best Kept Secret in St. Thomas
By: Nicole Couch
August 15, 2017
Nothing beats having your expectations completely blown out of the water, especially while on vacation! This past October my family and I were completely “wowed” by the service and value offered through Disney Cruise Line on the “Secret Sands Beach Getaway” excursion in St. Thomas.
We were booked on the Disney Fantasy on a 7 Night Eastern Caribbean cruise, and had done extensive research to select our excursions. Our checklist for St. Thomas included turquoise water, white sands, and shopping! Whatever we chose also had to be relaxing since the previous day had included a strenuous itinerary. We checked out information on Magen’s Bay since it is extremely popular, but it was a five hour excursion and we wanted enough time to hit the duty-free shopping and not be rushed to get back for dinner. I came across “Secret Sands Beach Getaway” and wasn’t overly impressed with the description, but it had a beach, guaranteed us a beach chair, and it was only two and a half hours so we would have the second half of the day to ourselves. It was also very reasonably priced at $46 per adult and $30 per child as far as excursions are concerned. Sign me up!
Fast forward to October and we headed off the ship to our day in paradise! We boarded an open air bus with about twenty other guests and had fantastic views along the thirty minute drive to our destination… so I saw later in my pictures. I don’t handle the windy roads, narrow lanes, and steep cliffs that many tropical destinations have, so I faced the inside of the bus and snapped pictures over my shoulder. We arrived at Secret Sands at Smith Bay Beach Park and Eco Reserve (formerly known as Lindquist Beach) and were ready for some sun and relaxation, but first had to get some information from our guide, Saleem.
He showed us where the newly built (and incredibly clean) bathrooms were located and then brought us over to a little grove of palm trees near the water. He told us that there are enough beach chairs for everyone, don’t swim past the buoy, and here was where the unexpected surprise came in that completely blew our minds!
He told us that he had snorkel gear for children and adults, sand toys, pool noodles, floats, and flippers for everyone to use. He also had coolers filled with water, soda, and beer and said he would be making “adult mixed drinks” for anyone that wanted. At this point I’m looking around at all my fellow guests and I can tell we are all thinking the same thing: “OK Saleem, how much?” It was ALL INCLUDED!!! His only request was that if we felt this experience exceeded our expectations, to consider leaving him a tip to show our appreciation.
We snorkeled with fish, had some drinks, explored the most beautiful beach I had ever stepped foot on, had some more drinks, and before we knew it Saleem was giving us the 10 Minute Warning (which he told us in “Island Time” really meant 20 minutes). We all gathered our things, said good-bye to Saleem, took a drink to go, and boarded the bus. The group made one more stop at a scenic overlook where we were able to snag some great photos overlooking St. Thomas including a great view of the Fantasy and a man with a Donkey wearing sunglasses (I don’t joke about animals wearing protective eyewear; check the pictures). Then we headed back to the dock where we were let off.
I could not have asked for a better day in St. Thomas, and have been recommending this excursion to anyone and everyone that will listen! We had an amazing day in paradise and did so much more than just check items off our St. Thomas list! I’m so glad that I took a chance on a relaxing beach trip that turned out to be an amazing day my family and I will never forget!