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Help me plan a USVI trip (St. John/St.Croix)

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Hi!

We're planning to go to the USVI in December and can't decide between St. John and St. Croix. We're a family of three: Our 2.5 yrs old daughter (she'll be 2.5 in December), my wife and I.

We've never done beach vacations, but done a lot of traveling to historic places instead (before the kid came). However, our daughter loves in the ocean and the beach, so we figured we'd take a vacation to the Caribbean in December.

A few things I was hoping for:

- Apartment on the beach/oceanfront (we had a similar apartment in Maui and loved it). A kitchen would be a plus. I thinking VRBO should have a plethora of such apartments.
- A swimming pool on the complex sometimes help if the water is cold or the baby just wants to swim (as opposed to play in the sand/ocean)
- Relatively inexpensive. We can go $250 per night max (that would be my upper limit).
- I would prefer not to have madly crowded beaches where you can barely walk. People on the beach is nice (especially people with kids - since kids make friends easily with each other and love to play). Beaches with nice sand (not just rocks)
- Beautiful beaches with lovely views: I'm a photographer (amateur, but I like to think I'll go pro someday when I have nothing else to do :) ) and love taking good pictures.
- Shallow snorkeling water: Not sure how to describe this. The only time I went snorkeling was in Maui and the depth of the water, underwater view of the hull of the catamaran that took us out - both just freaked me out. So if I could just wade in a bit and swim around, that would be ideal.
- Decent food - variety especially since we're vegetarians.
- Safe: This goes without saying :)
- Good medical facilities. I'm not expecting something like UCSF which is close to us, but something that will assure us decent care in case of emergencies.

Sorry, if these are a lot of things to ask for. I just listed things that came to my mind, hoping more information is better for you to make a recommendation!

St Croix vs. St. John: One of the reasons I picked St. Croix is because there are direct flights. We live in San Francisco and getting to St. John will end up being a production (here to Miami, change planes, to St. Thomas, mostly have to stay there overnight, take a boat). The kid gets cranky and we generally prefer to keep it simple with her.

Other thoughts/suggestions/ideas would be highly appreciated!

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