Last week, while traveling on the Disney Fantasy, one of our ports of call was St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands. After our endless winter here in New England, I was simply looking for relaxing excursions on the beach. So, when I saw the family beach break excursion to Magens Bay Beach St. Thomas, I knew that would be a great option for us.
Magens Bay Beach is regularly rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so I was eager to see it on our vacation. Once we arrived at the beach, I realized we had chosen correctly. Magens Bay Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve visited, and it was a relaxing and fun day – a great excursion during our cruise.
Note that this beautiful beach is called Magens Bay – not Magen Bay or Meagan Bay. I kept getting that wrong when booking our excursion. It’s also not a possessive.
A Day at Magens Bay Beach St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
We booked our excursion through Disney Cruise Line, and met on the ship before departing. This is standard for any of the Disney Cruise Line excursions that we’ve taken. After meeting on the ship, we were led out to buses that were to take us to Magens Bay. While we stayed on St. Thomas, other guests went on excursions to St John.
Once we boarded the vehicles, it took about 30 minutes to get to Magens Bay from the port, and we passed by two scenic vistas where we were able to take photos of the island.
If you do the excursion and get the chance, definitely take some pictures from these spots. During one of the stops, I could see all of the other ships in port.
Since the St. Thomas is part of the US Virgin Islands, all prices are in US currency, and my AT&T cell service worked perfectly (with no roaming fees). It was nice to be able to reconnect with the world after several days at sea. Of course, you won’t want to spend too much time on your phone while you are at this beautiful beach, but it’s a good opportunity to catch up with news from home.
Once we arrived at Magens Bay, we were guided to a dedicated set of beach chairs as part of our excursion. It is a public beach however, and the general public can access Magens Bay for a nominal fee (see below for information about visiting Magens Bay beach individually).
We generally recommend booking excursions through the cruise line so you are guaranteed not to miss the ship on the way home, but this beach is also open to those arriving by taxi or rental car.
Our dedicated spot was right next to the bar and food stand. Beach waitresses also provide service to the beach area if you’d prefer. If you are visiting, bring cash if possible – there is a $15 minimum for credit card charges.
The beach itself at Magens Bay is absolutely beautiful. The water is warm and calm, and the beach feels safe. American Red Cross Certified Lifeguards are on duty throughout the almost one-mile span of beach. There are also clean shower/restroom facilities available. We wore our bathing suits with cover ups off the ship, but it’s nice to be able to change at the end of the excursion.
Kayaks, snorkel equipment, and other water sports gear is available for rent – there was a long but quick-moving line to get them. We chose not to rent anything though, spending much of our 3-hour excursion enjoying the beach.
Magens Bay is located over 68 acres, with about a mile of white sand beach. If you are there for a while, you may consider exploring. We were only there for a short while so we stayed exclusively at the beach chairs provided for us and in the water.
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Magens Bay Beach
How Much Is Admission to Magens Bay Beach?
Currently, the entrance fee for guests (non-locals) is $5 for anyone 13 and over, and free for those under 12. Parking is an additional $2 per vehicle. Discounts are offered for active military personnel and seniors.
If you purchase an excursion through your cruise line, expect to pay more, as it will also include transportation from your ship and a guide. It’s open from 8am to 5pm daily. As mentioned above, for peace of mind, I like booking my excursions directly through the cruise line, but you will definitely pay more.
What is Available for Rent at Magens Bay Beach?
Lounge chairs, paddle boats, kayaks, and sunfish are available for rental at the beach concession hut. If you are planning a party or event there, you can also rent a covered “shed” which includes tables and chairs. Those are $100 and need to be reserved in advance. Picnic tables are also available.
How Can You Get to Magens Bay?
Taxis are available at Magens Bay and can take you to and from the beach and the cruise port. If booking an excursion, you’ll have transportation both ways. If you are not taking an official excursion, you’ll want to absolutely make sure that you are back on the ship at the all aboard time.
What Concessions and Amenities are Offered at Magens Bay?
At Magens Bay, you’ll find a snack bar, shop, and beach bar, picnic tables as well as three sets of changing areas/restroom facilities. There’s also an arboretum, 1 1/2 mile nature trail, and a coconut grove.
For a short visit on a cruise ship excursion, you’ll probably want to spend most of your time on the beautiful beach. However, if you are visiting for a longer time, definitely take advantage of some of these other activities.
If St. Thomas and the US Virgin Islands is in your upcoming travel plans, I’d definitely recommend a visit to Magens Bay St. Thomas. To learn more, visit their website.
Written in 2014, updated in 2018