More info on St. Thomas and St. John please

Oct 1st, 2002, 03:10 PM
  #1  
Ellen
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More info on St. Thomas and St. John please

I hope to travel to St. Thomas and/or St. John in december. I know nothing. Someone else suggested the Marriot/Frenchman's Reef but does it matter where on the property we stay. We have a 19 and 21 year old to satisfy as well(they need some night life) but they also want good beaches and snorkeling. Can we travel from one island to the other just for the day or is it too difficult andtime consuming? I welcome advice.
 
Oct 1st, 2002, 04:05 PM
  #2  
lou
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Ferry runs all day from St. Thomas to St. John and back. If I recall it was a 20 minute ferry ride. Lots of lovely lagoons on St. John's. Hawksnest, Trunk, Cinnamin Bays. St. Thomas has Magen's Bay. From St. John's there are many day trips to the British Virgin Islands. Your children would love a trip to Virgin Gorda where you climb down to The Baths. I didn't stay on St. Thomas but on St. John's at the Westin and except for one day we visited a different bay/lagoon or island each day. It was easy and a great trip.
 
Oct 1st, 2002, 05:55 PM
  #3  
Julie
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St. Thomas and St. John have a very different feel from one another even though they're similar in topography. St. Thomas feels more like a city, with all the good and bad that accompanies that designation--traffic congestion, honking horns, crime, lots of people, lots of shopping/restaurants/hotels and lots of nightlife. Nonetheless, St. Thomas also has beautiful green mountains and white sand beaches. Magen's Bay is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

St. John is like a very small and somewhat sleepy town. The island has only one stop-light. Most is undeveloped national park land. St. John is breathtakingly beautiful. Lots of opportunities for hiking and many, many gorgeous beaches. There are many fewer people, only two major resorts and little or no shopping/nightlife. However, despite all this, St. John does have a decent selection of good quality restaurants.

As the previous poster suggested, you can easily make day trips by ferry between the two islands. If you can say a little more about the kind of hotel or resort you're looking for, I'm sure there are folks here who could provide some good suggestions (unless you're already set on staying at Frenchman's Reef).

 
Oct 1st, 2002, 06:40 PM
  #4  
NOLight
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Julie has clearly never been to St John. There are NO traffic signals on St John.
Also St Thomas is not like a "city". It's a busy island, cruise ship destination etc. Both islands are beautiful and are worth visiting!
 
Oct 1st, 2002, 06:41 PM
  #5  
Gabby
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Ellen-
Have you checked out Amazing Villas?(www.amazing-villas.com) These are the condos on the grounds of the Renaissance Grand Beach Hotel on the East End of St. Thomas. Condo gave us more room than a regular hotel room and you are close to Red Hook for nightlife. Duffy's Love Shack is the popular place but there are several other places at the American Yacht Club as well. Found these condos to be really reasonably priced, especially for high season. Don't know what Frenchman's Reef's rate are then, or if that is an issue for you. Great snorkeling was just around the corner at Coki point. Whatever you decide enjoy, we did.
 
Oct 1st, 2002, 09:01 PM
  #6  
Ellen
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Thank you for your response to my questions. I am not stuck on Frenchman's Reef if someone has another suggestion. I checked amazingvillas.com and it looks good on-line. Anyone else out there know anything about them or any other place they would suggest. I think St Thomas and St. John sound like the best places in the Caribbean for us this winter.
 
Oct 1st, 2002, 09:48 PM
  #7  
GM
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Ellen, St. John is gorgeous and great for snorkeling / dive trails in places Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and altho it is a good full day if you're staying in St. Thomas, it's worth the day's trip and definitely wouldn't say it's time consuming if you go early in the morning and come back by 5pm.

We LOVE Frenchman's Reef (but in particular, Morningstar; however, we are childfree and like the privacy of the Morningstar villa property compared to the Hotel, altho the Hotel is great). This year, we decided on the Renaissance, mainly cause my hubby wanted to be closer to going on dives and snorkeling in the BVI and St. John. That was a good property and was conducive to families, even with kids in your kids' ages. But, it IS farther away from Charlotte Amalie, where all the fun for their age group is located. The USVI Marriott properties (Frenchman's and Renaissance) are offering 'Sand Dollar Promos' thru the end of December this year that helps with food / the bar tab with good rates for rooms also. Check out Marriott's website for further details.

Frenchman's Reef has a shuttle boat that goes from the cliffs of the property to a 10 minute ride to Charlotte Amalie, just have to find out the schedule for this.

I HIGHLY recommend going to the BVI for snorkeling, another full day trip that starts like 8 a.m. Our charter went to the 'Indians' - 4 toothlike formations that stand 50' abouve the water with grottos and caves below. Norman island is great for snorkeling with water temps at 80 degrees per the yacht(not for dives) and there were gold doubloons found there in the caves a few years ago. And then the typical trip to the Virgin Gorda Baths; gorgeous spot, lots of walking to get to them with narrow paths/trails, but beautiful beaches.

I hope the above helps.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 05:18 AM
  #8  
Julie
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NOlight is technically correct--several years back St. John government purchased a traffic light to put in at the Cruz Bay corner where the Texaco station is, but ended up taking it down not long thereafter (I don't believe they ever actually turned it on) due to protests by the residents. Now it's just a very messy intersection that *should* have a stop-light.

St. Thomas has a population of about 50,000. Judge for yourself whether or not you would call that a city.

We stayed at a villa on St. John and had a wonderful time. It's a great option if you don't mind giving up the service that goes along with choosing a big resort. There are many options for villa rentals on both islands. We used www.caribbeanvilla.com on STJ, although I don't think they handle STT rentals. For more info there is very good USVI-specific bulletin board at www.usvi-on-line.com. Secret Harbor resort (St. Thomas) generally gets good reviews on that board and it's a little less expensive than Frenchman's Reef.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #9  
Ronnie
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Julie, you are digging a hole deeper than you were already in. Granted, they, the VI Govenment, did plan a traffic light in Cruz Bay. There was much opposition to it. The closest thing they got to a stop light was a crew starting to install it on the corner by Nature's Nook in the Creek. It never was erected. Wherever you are getting your info, it is incorrect.

Other than that, your info seems OK!
Ronnie
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 06:00 AM
  #10  
xyz
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the night life is on East End not in Charlotte Amalie so the Ren or other places there would be fine. Ferry from Red Hook is only 15 minutes to St. John and runs until midnight. Also shorter ferry ride to BVIslands. Charlotte Amalie is a city and has a city atmosphere but there is a whole island to explore.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 07:06 AM
  #11  
Ellen
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Traveling to St. Thomas and St. John - Thank you so much for all the information. It has been really helpful. If anyone else wants to add more, I'm happy to read it all.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:01 AM
  #12  
karen
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I recommend skipping crime-ridden St. Thomas and going to virtually crime-free St. John. St.John has not had a single murder this year. But St. Thomas and St. Croix have had 33, and in only 10 of those was there an arrest. Also many armed robberies of tourists.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:18 AM
  #13  
Janice
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I would also skip staying in St. Thoms. St John is gorgeous. I also would recommend renting a villa. You can always take the ferry into St. Thomas. It's not a long ride at all.

I wouldn't say St. John is "sleepy". The town of Cruz Bay has a lovely shopping area "Mongoose Junction", lots of restaurants and some happy hours.

We just think the "beauty" and beaches on St. John are unmatched. We also loved the privacy of having your own villa w/pool and all the amenities.

St. John doesn't have the hussle and bussle of St. Thomas. Just another opinion.

Jan
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:38 AM
  #14  
John
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I agree with Jan. I lived on St. John for about 2 years. I'm now 25 and definitly think your children would probably prefer St. John over St. Thomas. Renting a villa is the way to go. Also, there is usually plenty of nightlife in St. John. Try Woodys, Duffys, Beach Bar (all lots of fun and usually pretty busy during tourist season. You'll see a lot of locals too. Mainly recent college grads who have come down to live for a while. Make sure to take a trip over to The BVI's, the baths are incredible. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I probably can answer them. Ohh.. , recomended restuarants are Lime Inn, Morgans Mango and Cafe Wahoo.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:42 AM
  #15  
lou
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be prepared for being a taxi driver for the kids if you do chose to stay in a villa. and there's no maid service either.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 10:02 AM
  #16  
Mike
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There will be a lot more choices for nightlife for your teens on St. Thomas. They will also find a much larger number of other visitors their own age on St. Thomas. If you stay at one of the larger resorts, you will probably also find that they will be able to pretty much occupy themselves without the need for you to constantly be involved.



 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 10:27 AM
  #17  
art
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I stayed at Amazing Villas in August for 12 days(we booked for 7 and didn't want to leave so we added on.)
Had a great time, and the place is really nice. We had maid service mid week and found that was sufficient.
You can have daily maid service if you want it. The place is better than it looks online which is often not the case. All I can say is I can't wait to get some time off so we can go back.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 09:05 AM
  #18  
John
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Honestly, I would rather be in St. John if your kids are going to be out on the town. The bars/nightclubs are much safer and it's much easier/safer to get a cab home in St. John. Also some of the hangouts in Red Hook St. Thomas are becoming a little shady-locals with drugs etc.. John T.
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 09:36 AM
  #19  
Ellen
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Thanks for the advice. Although my kids like to be on their own they are still fairly young and I'm concerned. In fact, my son is only 19. Is that old enough in USVI to get into places or does he need to be 21? Anyone know? They don't need to drink, they just want to be able to find others their age to hang with.
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 10:23 AM
  #20  
Mary
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Ellen,
The drinking age in the USVI is 18.
Mary
 

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