After a fun-filled morning in St. John, we made the most of our extra time to visit a unique attraction for such a tropical climate – Magic Ice in St. Thomas. It was a short taxi ride from Crown Bay to downtown Charlotte Amalie. We were able to easily find a whole group of taxis as we walked out of the small area of port shops. It was $4 per person for the ride. Magic Ice was centrally located amongst some shops across from the waterfront. Magic Ice was the perfect name for this destination as we stepped foot into a magical world of ice in the middle of the Caribbean!
Magic Ice was a Scandinavia-inspired attraction that truly was a winter wonderland! We paid the admission fee of $22 per person once we arrived, and we were given warm clothing to wear over our shorts and t-shirts. Parkas, gloves, and leg warmers were definitely necessary accessories in this sub-zero climate! The lady who worked there pulled open a huge, heavy door to reveal the entrance to an icy and frigid environment. We saw beautiful sculptures made out of snow and ice. Different colored flashing lights and the glow of candlelight both reflected off the ice, which helped to create the magical atmosphere.
Sixteen award-winning artists from all over the world created ice sculptures for Magic Ice. The permanent ice exhibition displays the history and culture of the Caribbean. Many of the sculptures pertained to pirates, shipwrecks, and lighthouses. There were many animal sculptures of creatures that you would find in a tropical Caribbean climate, like underwater beings.
Some of the ice sculptures were even interactive. We got to sit on an ice throne:
Yes, you could see your breath in this chilly place!
You could walk inside ice houses that were lit up by the glow of candles:
We posed for photos in this ice cage:
And we even got to go down an ice slide (video coming soon!). Not only did we get to marvel at the intricacy of the carved ice sculptures, but we got to have some fun interacting with the ice as well.
When we were finished looking at everything, we were invited to try a shot of rum at the ice bar! The ice bar was designed to look like a shipwreck and was located in the center of the exhibit. We were able to choose a flavor of Cruzan rum that was locally produced on the island. I chose banana and Justin chose mango. When we had our shot of ice cold rum, we were able to keep the shot glasses as a souvenir.
We had a fantastic time exploring the artistry carved in ice at Magic Ice! Here are a few tips:
- Plan this excursion on your own, outside of the cruise ship. I looked it up and to visit Magic Ice as a Princess Cruises Excursion through the ship, it was $49 a person! For us, it was $22 for admission, plus $8 in transportation ($4 there and back via taxi). For the both of us, we saved nearly $40 just by traveling there on our own. It was easy to get there by taxi, you could have as much or little time as you want to explore downtown Charlotte Amalie afterwards, and St. Thomas isn’t really a port where you have to be concerned with missing the ship. Just give yourself enough time to get back as there might be some rush hour traffic in Charlotte Amalie later in the day.
- Consider going in the afternoon, after all of the cruise ship excursion groups are gone. In the middle of the day, with at least three ships in port, we were the only ones there! This gave us a chance to privately explore as long as we wanted to. There was a couple that was leaving when we arrived, and a family arriving when we were leaving, but otherwise, we didn’t really see anyone else. I’m sure that the popularity of this attraction will increase as time goes on (it was still fairly new when we went), but it would be best if you avoided the times when tours were there.
21 Dronningens Gade
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Hours: Monday-Sunday 10:00-5:00pm,
Open until 8:00pm on Friday
After the ice bar, we walked around the shops in the downtown area until it was time to head back to the ship.
By the pier, there were so many iguanas getting some sunshine (and attention from everyone!) on the rocks. Many iguanas took food from people and they didn’t seem to be afraid of us at all! I’m sure they are very used to all of the tourists being around.
After a very eventful day in the USVI, we had a laid back evening on board the Emerald Princess. Since we didn’t eat very much all day, we went for an early dinner in the Michaelangelo dining room around 5:30pm. It was strange for us because the sun was still out at dinner time! Tonight for dinner, we had a vegetarian sushi appetizer, a fresh green salad, and a bean in tomato sauce dish as a main course. We also had apple cider sorbet with mixed berries for dessert. Everything was super delicious!
We ventured outside to the Promenade Deck, but couldn’t do a full lap of the deck as a section was fenced off. We weren’t sure if they fenced off at night or only when it got to be too windy out there. There wasn’t too much going on tonight on board – the show in the theater wasn’t appealing to us, and it was Country/Western night in Club Fusion – totally not our thing!
At the Explorer’s Lounge, we sat in the audience for the Liar’s Club game show. Basically, there were three members of the crew and a word comes up as the main topic. All three crew members have a story describing their version of the definition of the word, and only one of them was telling the truth. We had to guess who was telling the truth. Justin and I didn’t “officially” play as a team (people could sign up at the front to play and the winning team won a prize – a bottle of champagne), but we had a lot of fun playing along! It was actually quite funny and really entertaining!
Justin also bought me these really cute earrings in the gift shop:
We had a really awesome day in St. Thomas! The ship continued to sail on route to Dominica, the nature island, where we would arrive in the morning. As we sailed through the ocean, the motion of the ship gently rocked us to sleep.