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bermudafan Mar 9th, 2007 08:27 AM

Big Beard or Mile Mark to Buck Island??
we're in the early planning stages for our May trip to St. Croix for the 1st time. any thoughts on which is the better way to go? we have a sailboat and have been on catamarans before (which we love), but, have heard that the glass bottom power boat gets you out to Buck Island a lot faster. any thoughts??

ccrosner Mar 10th, 2007 02:29 AM

Hey Bermudafan...
Happy to get this post started for you.
We have been to Buck Island at least three times and have used Diva (a small sailboat out of Green Cay), Big Beard and Tesoro. We have never used the "glass bottom" powerboat.

We prefer Tesoro out of Green Cay. Mostly I like it because Green Cay is closer to Buck and Tesoro does the snorkeling part first and then the gorgeous beach stop (which I find is a more relaxing way to do it). They are very friendly and the catamaran is beautiful.

We have friends who used a smaller option through Caribbean Sea Adventures this year and had the boat to themselves. Captain was J.P. They raved about their day.

The glass bottom boat, from what I hear, is really a glass window. It's designed for families with children too young to snorkel. They can sit and peer at fish while the rest of family snorkels.

Hope that helps.

Can you remind me where you are staying?

bermudafan Mar 10th, 2007 03:45 AM

thanks so much ccrosner! you are such a wealth of information on St. Croix! I think I have planned our entire trip around your recommendations!!

We are staying at your favorite, The Buccaneer. Diane and Vicki have been soooo helpful I can't wait to finally get there and meet them!

So is Green Cay close to The Buc? We are leaning toward a catamaran because our girls will love it. I'm hoping since the water is shallow around Buck Island my 4 year old can get in on the action as well. Are there any neat restaurants near Green Cay where we could stop afterwards? We're only going to do the 1/2 day trip.

thanks again!

CaribbeanSoul Mar 10th, 2007 08:55 AM

This is a very comprehensive STX/Buc trip report I found to be EXCELLENT to get you even more excited about your STX trip. Green Cay is a mere 5 minutes from the Buc and there is a marina bar & grill (Deep End?) located at Green Cay. Also there are a couple of higher end options. Enjoy one of the Caribbean's best kept secrets!

bermudafan Mar 11th, 2007 05:41 AM

thanks Caribbeansoul! That guy should be writing for travel magazines! His details are incredible.

I can't seem to find any information on Tesoro. Does anyone know if they have a website?

counting the days.....

HowardC Mar 11th, 2007 01:50 PM

The Deep End is at the Tamarind Reef resort which is on the left of Green Cay Marina as you face the water. The Galleon is also at the Marina but don't know if they are open for lunch

ccrosner Mar 11th, 2007 05:30 PM

You can arrange the Tesoro catamaran through the Buccaneer's concierge staff. I usually send them an email before we get there ([email protected]) asking them to arrange restaurants and things like tours. Or you can do it when you get there since you're not going at a busy time. You can tell Maria, the head concierge, that Carol Rosner sent you :)

Green Cay is about 5 minutes from the Buccaneer. I wouldn't bother doing lunch there. you can always get a box lunch to take with you from the Buccaneer.

I'm jealous :)

bermudafan Mar 12th, 2007 08:42 AM

thanks carol! I will certainly tell Maria that you sent me! I have really been overwhelmed by the sincere kindness I've encountered so far with everyone at The Buccaneer (and that's only been on the phone and thru email) I can see why it's such a special place for you & your family!

We have our choice between the luxury ocean view up on the ridge or the deluxe oceanfront (not to be confused with the lovely doubloons which would be $1000 more for the week) Do you have any knowledge which room is nicer? I'm assuming we'll enjoy being closer to the beach and pool, but, if the others are larger or more updated that may be worth the walk down the hill.

My other question to you, since you're my expert, is: have you ever been to some of the more casual places like Cheeseburgers in Paradise, Off the Wall or Harbormaster? We actually go out to a lot of "fancy" restaurants here in Boston and when we're in the Caribbean we like to go more casual. Duggan's Reef is on our list as well as Rumrunners and the brew pub. Just wondering your thoughts on the others.

many thanks!! sorry your trip is behind year will be here before you know it! :)

ccrosner Mar 12th, 2007 01:50 PM

I'm sorry that I'm not remembering the ages of your kids. I personally think the luxury rooms on the ridge are the best--nicely decorated and updated with a lovely patio overlooking the Caribbean up high. But if you have younger children, you might prefer to have a room near the pool and beach (the oceanfront rooms). They are right at the waters' edge and you could come and go all day from your room. They are a bit dark for my taste...but it's all lovely. If you do go for the oceanfront rooms, I would ask for one between the Mermaid and Grotto beaches for convenience sake.

As for the more casual restaurants...we have been to Cheeseburgers (long time ago) and didn't go back because we got eaten alive and the menu was very limited. But we know others who go and like it a lot. Might be a good stop for your first night as it's quite close to the Buccaneer. Never been to the other spots. Cultured Pelican might be an option as well (less pricey) but we haven't been there in many years.

Duggans Reef is quite good but is still as pricey as Kendricks or Bacchus (or close). More casual but not cheaper. I would try the Brew Pub as I've heard good things about that but we've never gone.

Glad your dealings with the Buccaneer have been friendly and seamless. It's not perfect but it is friendly and welcoming and we feel at east from the moment we arrive..

bermudafan Mar 13th, 2007 04:47 AM

thanks again Carol. I am so torn on which room to choose! Our girls are 4 and 7 so being near the pool & beach is always a plus. But is the walk down to the pool very far? It doesn't seem to be from the ariel photos. I would rather have an updated room with a great patio than a dark outdated one. I agree with you, from the pictures I've seen of the oceanfront rooms, the dark ceilings do seem a little gloomy to me. I'm not usually this picky but we're going with my mother to celebrate our birthdays so I really want this trip to be great for everyone.

With regards to the restaurants, it's not that we are looking or inexpensive places to go. We just like open air restaurants with a local laid back feel. For some reason, I don't enjoy rack of lamb and duck when I'm on a beach vacation. I'd rather have local fish and a painkiller every night!! :)

HowardC Mar 13th, 2007 06:03 AM

Re Restaurants---Went to Duggans reef in Nov and again in Feb. Had the whiskey lobster the first time and the Cruzan rum lobster the second. Only okay. Think I like my lobster unadulterated. The service was slow and it is very noisy. Not on my list to go again soon. Salud is excellent. Sort of in a warehouse area but don't let that disuade you. Very eclectic decor and the duck is excellent. Another new place is Elizabeths which is also excellent. It is in the Palms resort--Formerly Comorant. Another excellent place is South Shore Cafe which is worth a try. Diane is an excellent chef. Went to The Cultured Pelican for Sunday brunch. Great view and very good food. $2 Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and Rum Punches. The evening menu is primarily Italian

ccrosner Mar 13th, 2007 01:27 PM

O.k. Bermudafan...I get your dilemma! I think I would go with the ridge rooms. We stay in the Family Cottages and, to be honest, rarely go back to our rooms at all once we're down at the beach/pool. They supply towels there and all the stuff you might need. I carry one small beach bag for books and suntan lotion. We just go back and forth from the beach to the pool. Eat lunch down there. And you just call the shuttle to pick you up at the end of the day to take you back "home". If you are travelling with your mother, she might enjoy being closer to the Great House as well.
But you do see lots of families in the oceanfront rooms....
And I hear you on the restaurant front. Kendricks would still fit your outdoor/fish bill (more dressy but quite unique). Cultured Pelican (HowardC correct me if I'm wrong) is open air at poolside. Salud and Bacchus are still worth going to since they serve great fish and have great atmospheres.

bermudafan Mar 14th, 2007 12:57 PM

Carol, we are so on the same page. I think we'd prefer the ridge rooms. Thanks for helping me with my decision. We'll spend enough time on the beach/pool, it will be a nice change to have the view higher up from our room. Thanks so much for your first-hand knowledge and suggestions. Can't wait to give you our full report when we get back. I'm sure we're going to love it!

ccrosner Mar 15th, 2007 03:44 AM

Sounds like you have it all set, Bermudafan. I'm sure we'll "talk" more before you go!

repete Mar 19th, 2007 09:39 PM

Our trip with Big Beard was very nice. Because it was a small group, they asked us all if we should do the beach or snorkel first. We voted for snorkeling. Or was a bit of a sail from C-sted, but it passed quickly and we had a nice sea turtle sighting on the way out.

bermudafan Mar 20th, 2007 04:56 AM

thanks to everyone! I can't wait to get to Buck Island!

cruzan19 Mar 23rd, 2007 10:09 AM

Go with Lewellen: Hes an old time Calypso King from the islands, and charters a big catamaran to buck island. He sings his old songs for you, and you avoid the tourist herd parade that Big beard and Mile mark get swamped with. Call the East End Yacht Club for his info..or he might even be listed in phone book. You'll be happy you avoided an overcrowded boat.

repete Mar 23rd, 2007 11:44 AM

Not always overcrowded, we had all of nine on ours ...

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