Since the National Park is about 60% of St John 's 28 sq. mi. it will depend what you want to see and do that day. You can easily visit many of the North Shore beautiful beaches by safari truck/taxi - you can walk [hike!] to Solomon and Caneel bay beaches from the ferry dock in Cruz Bay - a rrental car from STT can be taken on the car barge or you may have good luck renting one for the day on St John [no S ] depending on availability.
There are a few people ferries a day that leave from Charlotte Amalie to STJ -- but many more are leaving Red Hook hourly and the same on return - most are Cruz Bay to Red Hook.
If you are staying on STT picking a day that there are few or no cruise ships scheduled will make STJ a lot less crowded.
You definitely want to go over!
You can taxi to many north shore beaches. Cinnamon and truck have food, etc. You can walk around and shop in Cruz Bay or Mongoose Junction and have dinner and head back. If you rent a car you have total freedom to explore the island. There are many car rental places right in Cruz Bay walkable from the ferry. That's what I would do. If you have a small cooler, I'd pack it up with drinks and maybe sandwiches from one of the deli's in Cruz Bay (do a forum search) gather up my beach bag and hit the road for a day exploring, stopping at beaches along the way. Along north shore road there is one beach after another and spectacular views! Have fun!
Taxi for a day trip, enough to see on North Shore. Longer stay definitely get a car for exploring the east end and other less known beaches.
If you're coming in for just one day on a cruise ship, take a look at the tours offered by the ship. The cost is often not much more than what it costs you to go independently, plus you have the assurance that if for any reason you're held up on the return, the ship won't sail without you!
Agree with STTres. If you are not on a cruise, be mindful that if you take the car barge, it stops running about 5 hrs before the passenger ferry, so you won't get as much time on STJ. Many people enjoy spending all day at the beach or whatever and then enjoy a nice dinner in town with shopping afterwards during the evening.
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