Reader Essential Experience of the Week

The Peace and Beauty of the Caribbean
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Posted by Lynette Schurdevin
September 13, 2011

For more than 20 years I dreamed of sitting on a beach in the Caribbean.  Finally, I booked an Eastern Caribbean cruise along with four of my friends, and sailed away aboard Ruby Princess to make my dream come true! 

Lynette with a pirate at Blackbeard's Castle

After boarding the ship in Fort Lauderdale and settling in, we rushed to the back deck to watch as we pulled away from port.  As this was the first cruise for my friend Libby, the sailaway was one of many Princess Cruises “firsts” she would enjoy on our trip. 

We all enjoyed so many experiences on this vacation – including snorkeling at Princess Cays as well as day on St Maarten where we even went parasailing!  

But for me the highlight was St. Thomas, because here I could finally live my Caribbean dream. 

We started the day with an island tour where we enjoyed amazing views from Skyline Drive, looking back at Charlotte Amalie harbor and the Caribbean Sea.  Truly breathtaking vistas!

At Blackbeard’s Castle we learned about the island’s legacy of piracy, and got to see the world’s largest collection of life-sized pirates made from copper and bronze. 

These life-like pirates even included Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.   The watchtower here was supposedly used by Blackbeard himself, but who knows for sure….

The complex also features many other interesting historic homes and buildings, many dating back to the 1600s.  I was also fascinated by the Caribbean World Amber Museum, which chronicles the creation of amber – and supposedly has the largest collection in the world.  The beautiful Amber Waterfall captured my attention – it’s basically a two-story wall of 12,000 amber pieces from all over the world.

Lynette's "true relaxation" at Magens Bay

But then it was time to head to my most anticipated spot — Magens Bay.  I’d been waiting so long to relax on its white sand and look out over the crystal blue waters. When we arrived at the beach, I could not believe I was really here! I simply stood in awe at this beautiful view and let it take my breath away.  I could certainly see why so many people have called this one of the world’s best beaches.

Here we all settled in for the ultimate leisure.  There’s really nothing like a lounge chair on the sand, a cool drink and a gorgeous view!

To remember the moment, I had my good friend Libby take a picture of me showing true relaxation at the beach.  This photo has now become my computer screen saver and continues to remind me of peace and beauty that our world has to offer.

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