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Been there twice, both times a day stop from a cruise ship. Next time, I'm going for a week to dive with Blue Island Divers. Stop by the shop in Crown Point Marina and say hello to Aitch and the boys. Great dive operator!
Get on the ferry at Red Hook and hop across to St. John and see what some of the worlds prettiest beaches look like. That is my favorite island and I can't wait to visit again. Lots of unspoiled island there, just across from St. Thomas a short ferry ride away.
For the cheapest beers in St. Thomas, try the Crews Inn, above the Wendys Resturant right outside Haversite Mall and the cruise ship pier. $1 Bud all day, $2 for Blackbeards Ale from St. Croix and pour your own rum and cokes. Not much to look at, but a fun group of kids and lots of cold beer.
My son was a dive instructor on St. T for 2 years. I have dived there a lot myself.
The best dive shop on the island is Blue Island Divers on Crown Bay Marina. Ask for Aitch (owner and tell him Dante sent you). Tell them you are a new diver and they will lead to some very easy beginner wreck dives and really nice reef dives.
Stay away from Underwater Safaris, Admiralty and St T Dive club. They tend to be cattle boats or don't respect tidal ebbs and flows.
As far as bars and resturants are concerned go to the East End (Red Hook area). Wander around and you will definately find some good places. Whale of a Tale is very good for sea food. Poor Mans (aka The Warehouse) located upstairs from the Chinese place; cheap pour your own drinks.
For Friday/Saturday night live music, go to "The Off Shore Bar" located at Havensight Mall by the Cruise ships. Don't go during the day or any other night.
For a nice dinner find either "Room with a View" or "The Old Stone Farm House (a little pricey). You could also try Bolongo Bay for a Thursday night hang out which includes night time volley ball (games are always available to jump in on, if you're interested).
Also try to get the St. John for at least a day (for the beaches, Cinnamon or Trunk) or evening (for the bars, Woodies or Duffy's Love Shack).
Enjoy the Ride
Life is what happens to you, while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
no matter who you dive with(i have nothing but good things to say about St Thomas dive club) Make sure they take you to Baracuda point off Buck Island, I dove there in december and it was one of the greatest dives in my life, If you don't know about baracuda they are not elusive like other preditors like sharks they are rather social. you will find that they will wait under the boat for you and tha they will swim with you. I was staring at one about a 4 footer and he came towards me and looked into my mask from around 6 feet and then decided that he wanted to swim between myself and the discover scuba student that was with me. Don't miss that dive. I saw a reef shark the same day and it was nothing compared to the interaction with the great baracuda.
Following up on the recommendation for Chris Sawyer - Matt how do you get hold of him. Do you have an e-mail, webpage or phone number?
Also, would love any other opinions about good folks to dive with in Saint Thomas. From what has been posted so far it seems that Blue Island Divers are good to dive with. Any bad experiences with them or other very good experiences with others?