They’re Back! They’re Even Early! And I’m So Happy About It!

SeaDream 2anchored off Cruz Bay Sunday.
SeaDream 2 anchored off Cruz Bay Sunday.

Well folks, I’ve been saying for months that I think this season will be a great one here on St. John, and from what I saw in the harbor Sunday morning, I think I’m going to be right!

Cruz Bay welcomed its first cruise ship of the season Sunday… how exciting is that?!! (And when I say season, I mean the 2018-2019 tourist season which typically starts around November.) And you know what? It showed up earlier this year than in year’s past… what an fantastic sign!

Typically we see the smaller cruise ships anchor off of Cruz Bay beginning sometime in November. This year, we didn’t see our first cruise ship until February 11th, and we only had a handful of ships stop in Cruz Bay so far this year. Well the ship anchored off of Cruz Bay all day yesterday – the SeaDream 2 – is scheduled to visit at least two more times in November and five times in December. Such great news!

The SeaDream 2 is a small luxury ship that carries 110 passengers. Because St. John does not have a dock, it anchors offshore and ferries passengers to shore. On Sunday, it even brought bicycles ashore for its passengers which isn’t a common sight on the streets in Cruz Bay.

A close up of the ship Sunday afternoon.
A close up of the ship Sunday afternoon.
Two passengers from SeaDream 2 biked through town Sunday.
Two passengers from SeaDream 2 rode through town Sunday.

The way I see it is that SeaDream 2 believes in St. John much like you and I do. That’s why it’s bringing its guests back this year. That makes me so darn happy. 🙂

Like I mentioned several times last week, St. John looks absolutely amazing. And so much is open. It’s such a great time to visit us. But back to the cruise ships…

There are a few ways that you can check out which ships are hanging around the islands or are scheduled to visit us. You can look at the the USVI cruise ship schedule on vinow.com or you can check out Marine Traffic to see all of the boats that are in our area. Click here to read a story we wrote back in 2014 about how you can tell which ships are in our area. 

I took this screenshot from my Marine Traffic app Sunday afternoon.
I took this screenshot from my Marine Traffic app Sunday afternoon.

That’s all we have for you today, folks. Just more positive news from your favorite island. Have a great Monday everyone!

22 thoughts on “They’re Back! They’re Even Early! And I’m So Happy About It!”

    • We’ve visited enough times that we consider some of the folks on island as personal friends. I love to see them succeeding with their dream businesses.

      However, regular visitors like myself do not consider cruise ships to be a positive development. Frankly, 110 visitors for a few hours is enough to ruin a day at the beach or in town if you’ve selected the wrong day for such activity. The added revenue the island sees is quickly lost if folks decide to find another island destination where there is no danger of being overrun by loud obnoxious cruise ship partiers.

      I know mine is an unpopular opinion for island residents who rely on tourists for income. Just keep in mind that the short-lived cash infusion from a cruise ship can have long term implications.

      Just my opinion for what it’s worth.

      • 110 people is totally insignificant and the economy, especially right now, needs every one of them. I’d bet you wouldn’t notice them if you hadn’t been told. In high season there are a whole lot more people coming over from cruise ships in St Thomas for day activities.

      • Dave, the cruise ship visitors aren’t a new development. They have been visiting from St. Thomas for tens of years. You just need to check the ship schedules to plan your beach day. If you plan on going to Trunk Bay, go early or after 2:00 p.m.

    • No, not all locals want cruise ships. And not everyone on St John is so excited about the return of large numbers of tourists. But you won’t hear those voices on blogs like this one, supported by ads from the tourism industry.

  1. Love them or hate them they are much needed for our economy to grow. So many from Cruise Ships visit Stj and then return to stay on Stj.
    I love the cruise people. They are the ones getting the word out we are ready for visitors. They are our flip flops on the ground. Welcome back Cruise Ship Visitors!!!

  2. Dave:
    The cruise ships were plenty in 1991, with my first visit. We booked a snorkel trip to Hawksnest aboard the Leylon Sneed. We’ve been returning, directly or on a ship, since. Tourism is what makes this clock tick…hard to stop progress when so many benefit.

  3. Well said, Cynthia. I was first on St. John as a port of call aboard the S.S. Norway in 1991. I have been on many cruises and many islands. I fell in love with beautiful St. John and the friendly, welcoming people. From then on, all my vacations were on St. John. I still tell people they should go there.

  4. I agree with the non-negative comments about cruise ship visitors to STJ. Been coming to STJ for 13 years now. We actually find them to be amusing!!! Especially at Trunk. They show up there around 10:30 am, rent their snorkel gear and do the underwater trail, and by noon at the latest, a whistle blows and they are herded back into taxis with a cattle prod. What a way to see beautiful St. John!!!! We just shake our heads.

    • I myself and 6 others found st john while on a cruise and stopping in st Thomas .Not wanting to fight the crowds shopping we opted on our own to go to st john and trunk bay.We were so impressed that we have been back 3 times to rent villas for weeks at a time and putting much of our hard earned money in their economy.We also skip trunk and focus on the more secluded beaches.It does seem quite funny that we were some of them first time visitors that saw a small part of st john on that trip.But if not for that we would never have found this special place so I think it is great and hopefully that make the same connection and return for longer visits.I didn’t realize that we were that amusing back then and remember not everybody has the means to rent villas or live on st john. so be thankful that they come as it is a national park after all.
      Mike c

      • Well said Mike c. Perhaps amusing was a poor choice of words. But as a long time visitor, sometimes twice a year, it’s what came to mind. We did not find anyone coming off of a cruise ship from STT to be obnoxious or obtrusive. All in all, nice considerate visitors. In my mind, welcome to all!!!

    • I wonder how many of those “amusing” people have donated to the hurricane relief efforts in St John? Probably quite a few. Do you know or care how condescending you sound?

  5. “The way I see it is that SeaDream 2 believes in St. John much like you and I do. That’s why it’s bringing its guests back this year.“

    At what that cruise likely costs, SeaDream’s willingness to return to STJ is indeed a good sign.

    We took a very small cruise in Alaska and the operator (via a survey) and the crew asked us tons of questions about our shore experiences.

  6. My husband and I found St John through a cruiseship. We sold everything we had five years ago and bought a business on island. Best decision ever. We love St John and we love the cruise ship traveler. Do they help my business? You bet ya !! They help many others also and i just wanna see us all succeed. Book a boat, buy a cocktail, take a taxi, rent some snorkel gear, I see and welcome visitors the same if they staying for a day from a boat or two weeks at a villa. I see no difference. I’m just happy you are here Welcome cruise ship traveler. Welcome!!!

  7. Thank you for this lovely update. There are so many of us whose days are brightened by these updates. We love St. John and are continuing to pray for success, strength and Blessings for the residents and visitors!

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