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The first European settlement on ST. Thomas consisted of four taverns. Now known as Charlotte Amalie, today it is a haven for shoppers, but was once a pirate sanctuary. Legitimate trade gained popularity in the1700s when it was declared a free port, making it the trading center of the West Indies.
The 1800s brought great change. The indentured population gained freedom in 1843, just as the shipping trade transitioned from sailing to steam engine vessels. Ships traveled faster, increasing sea trade between Europe and the Americas. During the First World War United States Forces feared St. Thomas' perfect port area might provide a dangerous base for German forces. The United States bought the Virgin Islands for $25 million in gold. Prosperity showered the Island. In 1950s St. Thomas became a tourist Mecca and enjoys this status today . More than 1.7 million cruise shop guests visited here last year to enjoy the duty-free shops, historic attractions, pristine beaches and friendly locals.
St. Thomas is just 40 miles east of Puerto Rico. Its northern coast borders the Atlantic, while the beaches on the Southern coast skirt the Caribbean Sea. It has an area of 32 square miles, and a population of about 56,000.
English is the official language of the United States Virgin Islands.
The U.S. dollar is the official currency. Travelers checks and credit cards are also widely accepted.
St. Thomas is the bargain-shopping bazaar of the Caribbean. There are over 400 shops along the Main Street area in Charlotte Amalie and some 50 more in Havensight Mall. You'll find excellent buys on luxury items such as fine jewelry, watches, perfume, leather, imported linens, china and crystal. Cameras, electronic goods and designer clothing.
A wonderful cruise ship destination port, the US Virgin Islands are America's paradise offering an easy-going blend of island ways and American practicality. St. Thomas capital of the island group, offers every imaginable sport; snorkeling, golfing, hiking and sailing. Just a few miles away lies St. John and The Virgin Islands National Park. Stunning mountain scenery, crystalline waters and white sand beaches with palms swaying in the breeze-the US Virgin Islands are truly a slice of paradise.
This is the world famous
place to get banana daiquiri
|It is called Mountain Top||
Docking in St. Thomas
is sort of plain...
The cruise critic group?
gathers for our tour.
|Waiting for the tour bus....||
Nice view of the rear
of the ship...
|Ahhh...the bus arrives.||
First stop for us
anyway, down town
for some shopping
Both sides of the street,
shop after shop.
I think Kathy ended
up buying that orange
and black dress.
|A Salvation Army Store?||Cute doggie but it's stuffed||Nice motorcycle|
|The wine selection wasn't
all that great.
|Oh Boy! A bar.
|We rest our feet and have
|Shopping is done, now
we wait for our bus
to come back for us.
|Kathy and Judy - You
guys look bored.
|The bus is back!|
|Beautiful countryside views.||We arrive at Mountain Top, home of the world famous Banana Daiquiri|
|There is no shortage of shopping though.||Breath taking views.|
|This sign describes the history of the Banana Daiquiri.|
|Waiting for Banana Daiquiris|
|Karen and Judy are all wet!|
|Karen and Connie at the beach.|
|Christine found this bar
on a prior trip...it's a bar in a parking lot.
|It looks like everyone is getting
happier by the minute.
|Yep...much happier||Karen saying goodbye
to her cousin
|The bus ride back to the cruise ship was memorable.|