5 hours in St. Thomas

Jul 22nd, 2007, 06:42 AM
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5 hours in St. Thomas

My husband and I will be arriving in St. Thomas on Thursday at 11:30 AM and will be taking the ferry to Virgin Gorda at 5:00 PM. Any suggestions on how we can spend the time in St. Thomas. Is there a safe place to leave our luggage? Thanx.
hits is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2007, 07:16 AM
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When my husband and I recently went to St. John, let's just say we arrived in St. Thomas several hours before our luggage did. During our wait in STT we took a taxi tour of the island. We talked to the man who seemed to be in charge of the taxi drivers there at the airport & he arranged for one of the drivers to take us on a 2-hour tour. It certainly wasn't a highlight of our trip, but it was a nice enough way to pass the time.
gechter is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Thanks gechter. Sounds like a good idea.
hits is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 03:12 AM
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The taxi guys by the ferry dock to the BVIs can store your luggage for you. You could also walk uptown and do some shopping and grab some lunch. The stores are in the historic district and worth seeing.

RonUSVI is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:37 AM
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Or, if you happen not to like shopping and don't feel like taking the taxi tour, perhaps take a taxi to the Ritz Carlton, have a pleasant lunch and perhaps hang out at their pool or beach for a few hours? I'm not absolutely sure that non-guests are permitted to do the pool part, but of course the lunch part would always be welcome. (At Caneel, e.g., lunch guests are welcome to use the beach also and to stroll the grounds, with some sort of day pass.)
poss is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:53 AM
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. Now we won't feel like the 1st day of our vacation is "wasted."
hits is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 05:19 AM
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hi hits, the ritz is an excellent suggestion. it puts you near the red hook ferry dock - which i assume you use to go to VG. if you are going from charlotte amalie the ritz is a long way (30-45mins drive)
two options in the red hook area would be secret harbour or wyndham's sugar bay. both have beach snorkleing and lunch available.
if you go from CA the marriot frenchman's reef is close to town.

advise packing bathing suit and perhaps a pareau (sp?) to use a towel in carryon so if checked luggage is delayed you don't have to sit there waiting the whole time in your plane clothes. and of course i always carry my snorkel mask in carryon for just that reason....
virginia is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 10:13 AM
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Not sure about the Ritz in St. Thomas but we go the Ritz in Grand Cayman pool and beach are totally private.

This is one of the reasons we stay there, as we are not overrun with cruise ship people.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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Thanks Virginia for the info. I'm a bit confused about the location of the dock. I will be taking Speedy's Ferry but their website doesn't specify where they are located. Are you familiar with them? Are they in Red Hook or Charlotte Amalie?
hits is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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In your post you mention that both the Wyndham and Secret Harbour have lunch and snorkeling. Is the beach accessible if we're not hotel guests? I contacted the Ritz and they do not allow lunch guests to use their facilities.
hits is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 05:11 PM
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http://www.vinow.com/general_usvi/interisland_ferry/ Her is another link to the ferry schedules. Looks like Speedy's leaves from CA and Inter Island boat Services from Red Hook.
brenandg is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 05:32 PM
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hi hits, according to: http://www.bvivacations.com/Ferry.html#Speedys
you will go from charlotte amalie.
not surprised the ritz told you no to the pool. however all beaches in the caribbean are public! as they allow you through the property for cocktails at the pool and for meals you can just as easily walk down to the beach. no wrist bands here. you would not get beach service and probably should not use their pool but i know many would just steal a quick dip.
secret harbour beach is open to all. as is their restaurant and bar.
sugar bay is ai. ask your taxi to drop you off as close to the beach as possible through the parking lots you will see on your left as soon as you go through their gate. (stopping not necessary - just drive through). walk towards the pool and through to the beach. you can buy cocktails at the pool bar. there is a burger stand and a sit down restaurant. both will take your money. i stayed at secret harbour when friends were married at sugar bay, so we spent some time there. no one ever asked us to leave the pool. however we were forbidden to use the hotel towel supply. lol.
all in all sh would be where i'd go but note that all 3 of these are on the east end - away from charlotte amalie.
if you go to sh someone at the front desk will call you a cab or ask the bartender. you might want to allow 75 -90 mins to get to ca, go get your bags and be on the pier.
and you might e speed'ys and ask where specifically they are in ca. or maybe all the taxi drivers just know...
hope you'll share a vg trip report when you come home.
virginia is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Hi Virginia: Your advice and wealth of information have been priceless, as I have never been to St. Thomas and know nothing about it. Logistically it seems it would make the most sense to go straight from the airport to Charlotte Amalie and have lunch at the Frenchman's Reef. We'd be spending most of the afternoon in taxis if we went from STT to the east end and then back to C.A. for the ferry. Don't you agree? Is Frenchman's Reef our best bet in C.A.?
hits is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 02:53 AM
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honestly yes. i love sh but you'd only get to be there for 3 hours and that's not much time to eat, swim and snorkel.
i have not been on marriotts beach so can't tell you about it other than that the rumor that the beach is man-made is incorrect. link to morning star beach info: http://www.threebestbeaches.com/cent...omas-usvi.html
ya know there is a beach just to the west of the airport too. it's called brewers bay beach. more of a locals beach. no snorkeling. link: http://www.threebestbeaches.com/cent...omas-usvi.html
more or less next door to brewers is lindbergh. again sandy bottom -no snorkeling,has services. link: http://www.threebestbeaches.com/cent...omas-usvi.html
i might opt for either of these over marriott. you can get food, drinks and use a bathroom on either. i guess i think of marriott as a bit to formal for hanging on the beach or maybe just that it's an american chain and i'm on vacation so i try to stay away from everything americanized.
virginia is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Hits, if you are going to Virgin Gorda you will be leaving from Charlotte Amalie. The ferry staff will keep your luggage for you. From the ferry dock, you can walk to the Charlotte Amalie shopping area, Hotel 1829, you can take the 99 steps up to Blackbeard's Castle. This would be a great way to spend the time and you won't have to worry about taxis and getting back in time. I really liked Charlotte Amalie, I thought it had a lot of character. There are some very nice shops as well and always a nice place to have a cool drink.
bosoco is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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I agree that you should stick around CA. By the time you land, get luggage, get to town, park your bags, you won't have so much time. Have a nice lunch, go shopping, buy a nice fake something or other at vendors' plaza, see a few historical sights. spend your beach time on Virgin Gorda, where the beaches are quite a bit better, in my opinion.
Jimmie is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Thanks so much to all of you. I can't imagine how the day would have ended up if I didn't get all this information beforehand. We've decided to spend the day in Charlotte Amalie as you've suggested and not rush things. Well, it's now 6:53 PM and the car to the airport is picking us up at 4:15 AM for a 7:30 flight. I think it's time I started packing!!!! Once again, thanks much.
hits is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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in case you check back while packing. have a wonderful time on VG. please favor us with a trip report if you decide to come home...
pack light.
virginia is offline  
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