Jamaica Vs. US Virgin Islands

Oct 18th, 2002, 10:44 AM
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Jamaica Vs. US Virgin Islands

Has anyone been to both Jamaica and the US Virgin Islands?

I am trying to plan my elopement with by fiancee and am considering the Virgin Islands.

We went to Jamaica before and didn't like the culture/crime at all - we basically confined ourselves to the resort because we felt uncomfortable.

I am just starting research and was wondering if anyone could make comparisons, contrasts or illustrate similarities between Jamaica and the Virgin Islands (as well as give suggestions on where to go, what to do, where to stay, etc.)


Oct 18th, 2002, 11:08 AM
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Give this issue a rest Sunny - and go find some damn work to do! If you are genuinely interested in getting answers to your questions, go do your own research and make your own mind!
Oct 18th, 2002, 11:44 AM
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We have visited Jamaica and the 3 major USVI. We were not personally exposed to any crime, but St. John has by far the best reputation for safety, among these 4 choices.

The big difference is that Jamaicans are constantly "in your face," trying to sell you stuff, and sometimes becoming nasty when you decline. We experienced none of this in the USVI.

Even though we saw no crime in the VI, we've seen the statistics and some of the newspaper articles, and it's clearly a problem. I'm not sure that it's more or less safe than Jamaica, just a different atmosphere.
Oct 19th, 2002, 12:02 PM
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Though I have yet to visit USVI, I am planning a trip to St John and have visited other caribben islands, including Jamaica (Grand Cayman, Aruba). I think what you experienced in Jamaica is unique to Jamaica. We usually stay at high end chain hotels but our travel agent insisted we stay some place all inclusive in Jamaica because of the crime and limited acceptable options for dining out. We stayed at a great resort (san souci grand lido) and had a wonderful time, but only left the resort once. I can't imagine you'd have this problem in USVIs. From what I've read the islanders are very friendly.
Oct 20th, 2002, 08:20 AM
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Considering everything overall, I'd say the USVI.

1. If you're a U.S. citizen, it'll be no problem with all the paperwork, etc. for your elopement.

2. For the most part, especially in St. John, the beaches are no way in the same league as Jamaica; it's just gorgeous in St. John, but St. Thomas has pretty beaches also.

3. I'd recommend our fav. St. Thomas hotel - Frenchman's Reef, but especially Morning Star resort (also a part of the Reef location). MStar is right ON the beach, and they are 2/3 storey villas, compared to the hotel rooms. It'll be great for the honeymoon; relaxing yet if you want to get into Charlotte Amalie, you can get a shuttle boat from Frenchman's Reef to the town which takes about 20 minutes on the water. It's a fun ride, but of course if you're dressed up for dinner, taxi is better.

3. Duty free shopping is great in town, but I encourage you to visit the smaller jewelery shops on Raadets Gade (a street) who offer better prices, will bargain will with you and some of the gold and other gemstones are very unique compared to what is usually seen in the U.S.

Congratulations and all the best.
Oct 20th, 2002, 11:10 AM
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I totally agree with GM. St. John is positively wonderful. So much to do. The beaches are gorgeous. The town of Cruz Bay has great restaurants, shopping and if you want to rent a boat for the day and go to the BVI's or just rent a "dinghy" and explore on your own, it is so much fun. Lots to do.

Renting a jeep was great, so much of the island to explore and all the villas were amazing.

A villa was our choice of stay and will now always go that route. Loved it!

Oct 20th, 2002, 05:13 PM
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Here's a trip report about one of those amazing St. John villas:

Oct 21st, 2002, 05:54 AM
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That trip report your promoting was written by a goofus who didn't even know that the sun will cast shade on different sides of a tree depending on what time of day it is.
I stayed at in the very same place and had none of the problems they had.
Mahogany Tree Villa is not what I'd suggest for a honeymoon and it's not a true "villa". The units are apartments in a large house, but they are clean and well kept and very well appointed.
The gentleman who wrote this is a nut.
Oct 21st, 2002, 08:42 AM
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Actually I read the same trip report and found it well written and very informative. Thanks for the link.
Oct 21st, 2002, 11:01 AM
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I have been to Jamaica 6 times, and have never experienced any crime! I have never stayed at an all inclusive. I am a travel agent and have done alot of traveling in the Caribbean. I think that how you treat people is the way you will be treated. Yes, they will ask you to buy things, but if you can politely say no, or say you have no money, they will usually be on their way. The key is to be nice to others! I love Jamaica because there are lots of side trips to take, besides the beatiful beaches. I have traveled mostly with other girl friends, we have walked the beach in Negril at 11pm and never had any problems. Everywhere has crime, most people should look at their own city neighborhoods before they condem another country. I think using common sense is best. I know there are areas in my own city (Indianapolis) that I would not go to. All of the people that have been told to go only with an all inclusives are spending way more money than they have to, and they are missing the local people and culture. Alot of times you can find a local person that can help you with almost anything! I have been to St. Thomas only for the day off a cruise ship. It was nice. I have sold St. Thomas alot. In my area we sell Jamaica pakcages more than St. Thomas. Both have nice beaches and good snorkeling. We were approached to buy things there also, so no different than Jamaica. I would like to know what made you so uncomfortable in Jamaica. I have always found the people so friendly! But as you have seen on some of your responses, if you have been told to not leave a resort, they are trying to get you to buy the all inclusive plan (more money!). Good luck!
Oct 22nd, 2002, 11:29 AM
Saint John
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That St. John Mahogany Tree Villa trip report is amazing. Imagine being told that you can only turn on the air conditioning at night and you can only have one shower a day! No mention of those details on their website, and by the time you've found out the real deal you've already pre-paid!
Oct 23rd, 2002, 08:27 AM
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Gagme did you actually read the article? And have you actually ever been to the beach. It doesn't have anything to do with STINK. In case you haven't heard this ... the ocean is full of SALT. It's good to wash it off. The biggest gripe with the article was that you had to take a GI shower because they did not have adequate water for the facility they were making money off of renting.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 09:18 AM
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For those unfamiliar with St. John and other ecological conscious islands it is not uncommon to hear the request about showering, flushing and generally saving water especially when it has been an unusually dry season. As for running an a/c or ceiling fans during the day when no one is around that too is a waste. Of course run everything full force and maybe the owners will have to up the rate with no problem.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 10:10 AM
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When I first started traveling in the islands 30 years ago, none of the small resorts had air conditioning - the cost of electricity was very high. And water was indeed collected in cisterns. Most places had dual cistern setups, with one painted black to absorb heat. That was the hot water for showering, and the instructions were essentially what has been called a 'GI' shower here.
I can't count the number of bathrooms that had little poems taped above the commode reminding users to limit flushing because of the wasted water:
"On our island in the sun,
We don't flush for Number One"

"If it's yellow, let it mellow,
If it's brown, flush it down."

are two that come to mind.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 04:37 PM
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I have stayed at places that charge a lot less than the 225-290 per night charged by Mahogany Tree Villa in high season, but I've never been anywhere in the Caribbean that restricted A/C or water use, and I've been to some real cheap places. If they warned you about this in advance, then maybe it wouldn't be such a blatant RIP OFF. Those St. John "villa" websites are notorious for misrepresenting things such as distance to beach, failing to mention about A/C, etc etc.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 04:42 PM
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I have taken 3 showers a day almost every day of my adult life (late 40's).
I shower in the morning, after I work out on the way home from work, and would never go to bed without showering just before.
I would refuse to vacation somewhere which restricted my showering.
And beach vacations mandate extra showers because of the sweat (from the sun/heat/activity) and saltwater/sand on the skin.
No matter how beautiful or captivating, I could never be married to someone who didn't share the same view on this.
Fortunately my wife feels exactly the same.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 04:56 PM
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People are actually willing to pay over $200 a night and put up with restrictions on showering and using the a/c?? That's the funniest I've ever heard! I can only imagine the look on the faces of the people who realize they just got burned big time!
Oct 23rd, 2002, 09:48 PM
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As I've always maintained, and I'll repeat it once again: Go to HAWAII!!!
Oct 24th, 2002, 04:35 AM
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would love to know which villas are a rip off or misrepresent. have stayed at several and they've lived up to their website all their promises and more. i've found that most villas don't even need air conditioning and if you choose wisely you take advantage of the cooling tradewinds. usvi-on-line has many villa reviews. since sunny wants a resort guess this is all wasted anyway
Oct 25th, 2002, 10:31 AM
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My husband and I got married in the Virgin Islands three years ago and it I can't imagine a more beautiful place. The ceremony was on the beach at Megan's Bay in St. Thomas. We used a wedding coordinator from the island and we were very pleased with the amount of thought they put into our wedding. Everything was perfect. I don't remember the name of the company but if your interested I'm sure I could dig it up. We took 30 people along with us and the setting was absolutely beautiful. My parents have been to the USVI every March for 12 years and started taking us along 4 years ago and we have never had any problems with the locals. I too have read about the crime in their local paper, but we wouldn't have known it. I can't say enough great things about St. Thomas.

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