1 week until St. John...

Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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1 week until St. John...

Ok, so after reading all of these posts religiously since we booked our trip, the day is almost here! We can't wait.....We are staying at the Westin and hope it turns out to be the right choice. We're traveling with our 2 young children so at least they will have company. My question for today is...is it worth the extra money to take the Westin ferry from the airport or should we take the public ferry? I don't think we'll be making any day trips to ST. Thomas so the free roundtrips don't buy us anything. I was also wondering are the casual places like Island Blues and the Beach Bar decent for dinner? We live in Boston and when we're on vacation we just like to kick back. Sometimes drinks and a sunset are more important than the food
many thanks, you've all been soooo helpful!
bermudafan is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:04 AM
  #2  
 
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I would take the Westin Ferry. With 2 children, you will be glad you did. They take care of your luggage, meet you at their dock. Very nice service.
We loved island Blues and ate there a couple of times. Also don't forget to try Miss Lucy. The kids would love it there. Right on the water and plenty of animals to keep them busy.Also Uncle Joe's BBQ. Pastory Gardens just to name a few.

Have fun and you will love STJ. Don't rule out STT, on a overcast day you may just need a change of pace.
stella39 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:48 PM
  #3  
 
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Island Blues quickly became one of our favorite places to eat in the Coral Bay area. Another place to consider is Shipwreck Landing. I'd consider both easy to do with young children.
RobertoB is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:46 PM
  #4  
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thanks to both of you! I would be so clueless if it wasn't for this board! do you need a reservation for Island Blues? And where is Pastory Gardens...that's one I haven't heard much of.
bermudafan is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 07:33 PM
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You don't need reservations for Island Blues or Miss Lucy's or Shipwreck Landing. These places are in Coral Bay and things tend to be more laid back and not as overrun with tourists as the Cruz Bay side. You'll want to take the mid-island cut-through driving from the Westin... take a right out of the driveway (look on a map). It's a good short-cut. A couple of fun places in Cruz Bay which are good for kids is Morgan's Mango, Margarita's. Beach Bar has okay food but it's not as kidsy. You should inquire about baby-sitting at the Westin if you feel like a more grown-up dinner out. By the way, you will love the direct service ferry with the Westin. It's worth it especially for your first trip. You will love St.John. We loved Bermuda too, but you can go to St. John yearround for great weather.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 04:01 AM
  #6  
 
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You will not need reservations for Island Blues or Shipwreck Landing. Both are great. The kids can feed the cats at Shipwreck!
We love Island Blues, good, simple menu, not expensive and the atmosphere is so relaxing! Lots of locals (expats).
We did not have a postiive experience at Miss Lucy's, but we are in the minority!
Have fun!
mahobaygirl is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 06:32 AM
  #7  
 
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Pastory Gardens is a casual restaurant with mini-golf course about 10 minutes up the hill from Cruz Bay. Good in the evening with or without kids.
tpatricco is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:21 AM
  #8  
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great info...tuxedocat you know so much about St. John!! I've been reading so many of your posts, I feel like I know you! do you live in ST. John or are you just a professional ST. John vacationer?
bermudafan is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 01:13 PM
  #9  
 
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We had our first visit to St. John in January, 2002 and loved it so much we went back in July, 2002 for our 10th anniversary. Loved it so much we decided to buy a little place in Coral Bay where we are currently building a larger home. We spend a total of 6-8 weeks out of the year there. Right now it's a investment/vacation home. Someday, I'd like to retire there. But we've got plenty of work left to do until then. After 5 years, the place hasn't lost its magic.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 07:46 PM
  #10  
 
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Does the Westin Ferry depart from Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook? I mention this because, when you're heading East from St. Thomas to St. John, you'll encounter some waves. If you or your small children are prone to motion sickness, you might want to take the shorter ferry trip from Red Hook rather than the longer one from Charlotte Amalie. Going Eastbound, at least. You'll have no problems on the way back.

I love Miss Lucy's, but I think it's best to hit it at off-hours. The place has about thirty tables, but the kitchen gets a little overwhelmed when more than two are occupied simultaneously.
medhead is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 09:54 PM
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Definitely take the Westin ferry ... The cost otherwise will be more than just $$$ ... And, I would not--even on a cloudy day--head back over to St T ... You will find much to do right on St J and wish you were staying longer. Have fun ... It's my favorite place of all time ... St J, that is!
Caribgal is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 07:32 AM
  #12  
 
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Funny, medhead. I personally prefer the CA ferry because the car ride to Red Hook on the winding roads of STT made me almost carsick! I do much better on the ferry!
tpatricco is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 07:44 AM
  #13  
 
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Bermudafan: The Westin ferry is worth it, especially with 2 kids. One thing you should be aware of is that it doesn't run every hour. So if you land 2 hours before the departure time, you will wait around (which is what happened with us). The good news is that there is a restaurant at the dock so you can have a drink or a bite to eat while you wait for the ferry to leave. Now our trip was during the summer (low season) and in '03 so the ferry schedules might be totally different.
Have a great trip. I guarantee you will LOVE St. John's beaches.

caribtraveler is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 07:50 AM
  #14  
 
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Tpatricco makes a good point. There are a few different ways to drive across St. Thomas from the airport to Red Hook, and for some reason the commercial taxis always seem to take the higher road, which is pretty windy.
medhead is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 08:23 AM
  #15  
 
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Hello,

We went in August and did not wait 2 hours for the Westin Ferry. It was just the 2 of us and it was a 20 minute ferry ride from Red Hook.I doubt they would let you wait 2 hours with children. I would call them and ask your questions. I just felt so much better letting them take care of my luggage and getting to the ferry.. In fact they check you into your room right at the airport office. (Westin Office) Very nice service. If you took the CA ferry, you would have to a get a cab to the ferry, lug your luggage and 2 children, once you get to Cruz Bay another cab ride. The ferry ride from CA is 45 minutes. I don't see the savings in time or money. Hang back and let them handle the arrangements.

What ever you decide, you and your family are going to love STJ.
stella39 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Stella: You probably just landed at the right time. I'm in no way implying that the Westin chose to make us wait 2 hours. When we went, it had scheduled departure times. Our flight just happened to land right after a ferry that had just left, so we had to wait for the next scheduled departure.
The ferry may run more often during high seasons. I don't know. I just don't want Bermudafan to assume that the ferry will leave just because she and her family have arrived. I'd think the Westin ferry would still have scheduled departure times because of the free back and forth services to St. Thomas if offers to the resort's guests. How would a guest spending a day in St. Thomas know when to catch it for the way back if there's no firm schedule?
caribtraveler is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 10:41 AM
  #17  
 
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I would still go for the Westin ferry, especially for first timers. After finding your luggage at the carousel in the luggage area, you take it over to the Westin's lounge, a mere 50 feet away. You are better off waiting a little longer for the Westin ferry than trying to handle your own luggage and figure out where and what to catch. Even knowing where to go and taking our own car from the airport, it takes us 30 minutes to an hour to get to Red Hook (dependent on traffic), and then depending on when we get there, a wait for the ferry and then a 20 minute ferry and then driving to wherever. When we took the Westin ferry, it involved a 20 minute wait in their lounge at the airport, a 15 minute taxi ride (their arrangement too) and a 20 minute wait at the restaurant bar at the dock. You worry about the kids getting seasick? Kids are far more resilient than adults in that respect. The Westin ferry is a pretty decent size (not much smaller than the public Charlotte Amalie ferry, and if the waters are bad that day, the public ferries will be effected too. The Westin ferry will take you straight to the Westin's own dock where they'll greet you with a nice rum punch that you can sip while you're taken to your room by golf cart. They'll take care of your luggage, leaving your hands free to manage the kids.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 11:20 AM
  #18  
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"The Westin ferry will take you straight to the Westin's own dock where they'll greet you with a nice rum punch that you can sip while you're taken to your room by golf cart." Tuxedocat, you made our decision for us! A rum punch and a golf cart will be pure joy after flying for 3 hours with our 2 little girls! We're used to taking ferries back and forth to Martha's Vineyard so our girls should be fine if there's a chop. I can't believe we are going in 4 days! We're expecting snow in the Boston area today so St. John is going to be a fabulous escape! Again, I can't thank all of you kind strangers enough for the advice and great information. What did we do before the internet?? We don't leave until Thursday so I'll be here until then if anyone has any parting thoughts I promise a full trip report when we get back!
bermudafan is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 09:41 PM
  #19  
 
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Have a wonderful time! Just try to relax, and really enjoy every aspect of the resort and the island. Try Maho Bay for the girls. It's a very calm, soft sand beach which is beautiful. No long walk from the parking lot, jut park on the side of the road and the beach is right there. Gotta love that. We'll be thinking of you here in cold New England (Connecticut).
Tuxedocat is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 07:22 AM
  #20  
 
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topping for sharonb.
caribtraveler is offline  

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