I'M BA-A-CK from Paradise aka St. John

Old Apr 1st, 2010, 10:40 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'M BA-A-CK from Paradise aka St. John

It's been a long time since I've posted but I wanted to let folks know about my latest trips to STJ last September and just last half of March. September was terrific weatherwise which is always dicey that time of year. It was a bit disappointing in the way of snorkeling as the coral seemed still sparse from the bleaching. There were not many businesses open so we missed all the favorites like Miss Lucy and Vie's. Rhumblines continues to be outstanding on both trips. Lime Inn was also fabulous on food if wanting on scenery. In September, we hiked the Reef Bay area to the amazing ruins of Great Reef Bay and ParForce Plantations, and of course the waterfall of the Arawak carvings which are the adopted symbols for STJ. The views and experience were breathtaking and exhilerating. Reef Bay was the one spot we had exceptional snorkeling with plentiful fish, lobster and nurseshark sightings. The turtle curse is indeed broken as we saw several turtles as well. (I thought I was cursed after failing to see a turtle for many years) During the March trip, more turtles and seemingly better snorkeling in just about every spot, with coral looking much better than the year before. Some spots seem to be suffering from over exposure, even Little Lameshur had many visitors but mediocre snorkeling. The great surprise was Vie's beach at Hansen Bay. The nearby reef is more robust than in the past few years and there are conch, stingrays and turtles commonly seen now. Brown Bay is still wild and spectacular along its rocky side. We saw tarpon, a eagle ray and turtles. Waterlemon Cay was a huge disappointment. The forest of staghorn coral is all but gone. There is still numerous starfish though, and a healthy population of parrotfish busy working on the reef. The good news for tourists is that the economy has made STJ more affordable than ever. The villa rental market is increasingly competitive and you can really score a great rental for less these days. If you have any questions, I'm happy to respond.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2010, 11:00 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hi, Tux! I'm so happy to see back posting on the forum again. Interesting to hear about the changing snorkeling conditions. When you headed back?
ejcrowe is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2010, 11:05 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 422
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So sorry to hear about Waterlemon Cay! I just suggested it to someone else. It was so beautiful just a couple of years ago.
Jimmie is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2010, 01:36 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,373
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Where do you stay?
Kristen1206 is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2010, 02:17 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 104
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I guess I'm in the minority but I just got back from St. John. I didn't "love" it. I am not sure what it was. Cruz Bay is not the most enjoyable towns, although there are some very good restaurants (e.g. Waterfront Bistro, Asolare). There are some funky places to hang out in Coral Bay (e.g. Island Blues). The vistas are gorgeous. But I just felt that beyond that there was not much else going on. I stayed at Caneel so I have no complaints about my lodging. I think the weather may have put a real damper on things because it rained for 3 days that I was there. To each her own I guess.
jecrow is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2010, 06:57 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great to read a St John trip report! I am sad as we are not going this may for the first time in 4 years . We will be back for Thanksgiving for 10 nights. Little things really do change quickly there. The roundabout is pretty much done, new restaurants etc. We went to Vie's last time. Pretty beach and the chairs don't hurt either. Snorkelers saw a little seahorse there.
brenandg is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 10:04 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry you didn't have a great time there, jecrow. From your post, I can see STJ may not be the most scintillating place. However, the low-key, not-much-going-on is probably why we love it. We are snorkeling fanatics so we really can't seem to get enough of STJ and the Virgin Islands generally. There never seems to be enough time for all the snorkeling or kayaking or hiking to all the spots we want to hit. We love the different places to eat out at and we enjoy cooking in too so we're always pretty busy and I think that makes STJ perfect for us. IMO,no place has to be perfect for everyone. ejcrowe, thanks! I'm hoping to get back for a quick visit in late May, but who knows. With this crazy economy, it'll probably not happen again until September. Kristen1206: we have a little cottage in the Coral Bay area which we have never rented out. If things don't improve though, we'll have to think about doing that. BTW, a great place to look for rental possibilities is VRBO or one of the many other local rental websites and then ask for opinions/experiences on forums like this one. brenandg: At least Miss Lucy and Vie's will be open again in November. The roundabout may be close to done but it's still causing traffic jams! It didn't help that some contractors stupidly parked on the road and blocked off a whole lane. We were lucky we only went into Cruz Bay a few times. We love Vie's, although, I have to admit it was relatively crowded this time around (@15 people). We met some terrific people from Maine who rented a house for a whole month. Can you imagine? A whole month! I have a house and I can't imagine the luxury of being able to stay for a whole month. Someday...
Tuxedocat is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2010, 02:27 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,568
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great update on your fav island, Tuxedocat. I was there last June and loved it even more than on previous trips. do understand when folks say there's not a whole lot going on, but that is why i enjoy it.
CaliNurse is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2010, 08:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just got back last night from a week in St. John. We rented a villa above Fish Bay and got a great deal. It was a GREAT vacation. We had friends staying at the Westin and we all snorkled and hit different beaches each day. The only problem was that my 2 kids (11 & 14) and their two kids, (same ages) all came down with severe ear pain. It started about half way through the week and got worse and worse. None of our kids have ever had swimmers ear. I'm taking mine to the doctor this afternoon, and am assuming they have ear infections. Have you heard of this before? My friend who stayed at the Westin said she heard other people complaining of the same symptoms, including adults. Are any of the beaches known for poor water quality and bacteria? Just thought I'd ask since you've been there many times.
The trip itself was fabulous and we'd do it again in a heartbeat. I saw several turtles and they were my first ever. We've snorkeled in Hawaii, Costa Rica, St. Thomas and St. John and never saw this many fish. We loved the view in our villa and got a great last minute deal (VRBO).
krom is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2010, 04:59 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Krom - just wondering where you stayed? the specific name, if you know it? we are looking to book for july, family of 4 with two teens. would love a firm recommendation for a nice place, lovely view, A/C and a small pool would be nice. Also - I had the same ear problem in croatia a few years ago. Spent 2 weeks there swimming every day and by the end of the time there I had a terrific earache! It was horrible (kids were fine..) found out that it was an outer ear infection from the waters there. Took lots of drops , antibiotics, etc and next time we go anywhere water related will bring drops and swimmers ear medicine to be sure! good luck - curious what the doctor says .
tlangenbach is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2010, 06:23 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
tlangenbach,

We stayed at a villa called Sundancer. If you go to vrbo.com and enter number 71531 you can see it, and there is also a website at www.sundancer.com. The views were spectacular, and there was a small pool and hot tub (not super hot though). It's quite a drive to get there--about 3 miles from Cruz bay and lots of twisty turns, but great scenery. Someone from Cimmeron property management met us at the ferry dock and we followed her there. She gave us the tour and the keys. The 2 main bedrooms have an air conditioner, but the rest of the house is not air conditioned. There is a 3rd bedroom upstairs in a loft with a huge balcony and sliding door, so with all the windows open there was usually a nice breeze. My son slept up there. It might be a lot hotter in the summer--not sure how much. If you don't mind driving a bit to get to Cruz Bay or the northside beaches it's a great place to stay. We'd go back.
Regarding the kids' ears, my daughter has a regular ear infection and my son and the other family's 2 kids all have swimmer's ear. They still have ear pain, but supposedly it takes a while for the drops to work? Good luck with your trip and thanks for the reply. We'll be taking drops with us for prevention next time!
krom is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2010, 06:48 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am disappointed to hearthat even around Caneel/St.John the snorkeling is just about had it. We are going to Peter Island resort and while we are avid snorkelers we did not expect good snorkeling like caneel but hoped for average around Jost Van Dyke, etc, but I suppose it will really disappoint. we are going for relation but were hoping for 2 good snorkel outings in the week of R&R but it sure does not seem that is in the cards.
StanKase is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2010, 02:26 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just go BA-A-CK too, from a fantastic full moon week at Ajax Peak above Coral Bay. Never stayed at that end of the island before and it was great! View over the east end and out to the eastern BVI from one deck and North over Leinster Bay and Tortola from the back side. We also found it to be a much shorter drive to the beaches because we didn't have to drive through town. Yet going into Cruz Bay for dinner was easy. Went to the full moon party at Miss Lucy's-just OK. Too many people, wait staff harried. We still love Lucy's but will stay with the more relaxed atmosphere at lunch. Speaking of lunch-had fabulous grouper tacos at The Tourist Trap out near Salt Pond Bay. You have to go there to appreciate the scene.
Hidden Reef Eco Tours offers a fantastic kayak and snorkling excursion just beyond Hurricane Hole-calm waters, lots of coral and sponges and great guide, Matthew. We'll do it all again.
LaSalle61 is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2010, 09:38 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hmmh, not sure what's up with the ear infections. We snorkeled all over the island and none of us had a problem. The only places I can think of where water quality may be an issue is anywhere where there is a significant amount of boat anchorage or traffic, e.g. the Westin beach. StanKase: we had a great time at Brown Bay which is still remote enough to discourage the average tourist. As I mentioned, even Waterlemon has suffered from the effects of weather, human and boat traffic. Little Lameshur was disappointing this time too, but Vie's was a pleasant surprise. I guess the snorkel spots have their cycles.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
plumGal
Caribbean Islands
5
Sep 8th, 2011 06:10 PM
wliwl
Caribbean Islands
11
May 18th, 2011 05:56 PM
jenniemojo
Caribbean Islands
11
Dec 14th, 2007 06:32 PM
point
Caribbean Islands
6
Sep 30th, 2003 05:57 PM
Robert
Caribbean Islands
4
Jan 11th, 2003 03:56 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -