Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Islands: part 2

After a day at sea, our next stop was St. Thomas. I had been excited about this port for a while because I was told it was the best place to get jewelry. What they didn't tell me was how gorgeous the island was going to be.

Before shopping we wanted to go to a beach. We took a "cab" which is really a bus with no doors to Coki beach. Though St. Thomas is American, they drive on the left side of the street - strange. They also drive really fast, even on the winding narrow turns along the mountainous island. It was a great way to see a lot of the island without paying for a guide, plus we got a roller coaster ride out of it!

In some ways, the beach itself was a typical beach, littered and overpriced food. The water however was nothing typical. You didn't really even need snorkel gear, you could see the fish right below you. This picture was not taken in a pool, the water was really that clear.

We didn't get to enjoy the fragrance of an exotic island as you might think instead we smelled reefer. As you could imagine, they were pretty out in the open about it.

After the beach we went shopping! There are just rows and rows of shops with fine jewelry. It was insane. Most of them were approved vendors by the cruise line. This meant they'd guarantee anything you bought. The fun part was haggling the price down. With everything being duty and tax free we got a great deal on my sapphire necklace. I had taken a jewelry seminar on the ship beforehand to make sure I knew what I was doing. Apparently the darker the stone, the better quality. My blue sapphire is almost black, so hopefully it'll appraise at a decent price. I don't have a great picture of it, but I wore it for the 2nd formal night on the ship. Man does it pop!

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