My turn for a St John report!

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May 16th, 2006, 05:44 PM
  #1
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My turn for a St John report!

After reading about St John on here since last July when we chose it for our honeymoon, I finally got to experience that wonderful island. We were there May 1-13 and it was everything we had hoped for....it was truly paradise.

The beaches are magnificent. There's not only that soft white sand, nice shady trees and warm, clear turquoise water but also the lush mountains surrounding you- wow! They were the most beautiful I've ever seen.

We were thrilled with the villa. We rented Southern Cross above Chocolate Hole. The location was convenient yet private. It was very spacious with lovely decor, tons of sliding doors and windows, and all the amenities we needed. The bedroom was huge and I loved the bathroom- all stone and tile. My favorite was the pool- great sun until late afternoon and very private.

We brought a lot of food with us and I definitely would not bother doing so next time. Yes things are more expensive there but the selection was fine. We would have preferred to have just skipped the hassle of lugging food. After all, it's vacation!
We went to both Dolphin (just once) and Starfish (several times). We had breakfast every morning, and most lunches, at the villa. For dinners, we went out for about half of them.

The restaurants we went to were Lime Inn, Asolare, the Balcony, Morgan's Mango, Panini Beach and ZoZo's. The food was great at all of them except the Balcony. There we just had several appetizers- the mussels and the lobster crepes were good but the calamari (breading too heavy) and the crab cakes (too much filler- can't compare to Maryland!) were just ok. We were at Panini for lunch so we just had a salad and a sandwich but both were good. We loved the fun casual atmosphere (and the drinks) at Morgan's. Our entrees at Lime Inn- filet for him and tuna for me- were both excellent. Asolare was lovely and the food was unique in both presentation and flavors. ZoZo's food was very good (both appetizers and entrees) and we loved sitting up on the deck to watch the sunset.

The only beaches we visited were Trunk (twice), Cinnamon and Hawksnest. The snorkeling at Hawksnest was pretty good. It was a bit cloudy at Trunk but still fun. Yes the cruise ship visitors swarmed in but they weren't there long and they provided interesting people watching! And the burgers and fries at Trunk's snack bar were great! And the strawberry daiquaris were surprisingly good.

One of our favorite days was when we rented a boat from Nauti Nymph (at the Westin) and spent the whole day circling the island. It was so cool to see it all from the water. We moored at several different locations and just enjoyed the incredible beauty. It was an expensive splurge but one we were glad we did.

We had a car for our whole stay which we rented from Conrad Sutton. I had read some posts on here about them being rude but that was not our experience. At first she seemed a bit reserved but after we engaged her a bit and asked some questions, she was very friendly. Several times we parked in their lot when we came into Cruz Bay and that was very convenient. The roads were certainly adventurous! I was glad my husband was driving. I was also glad that we chose a villa close to town. Though we did enjoy the drive out to Coral Bay one morning.

I found plenty of stores for shopping! Both Mongoose Junction and Wharf Village had some nice shops. For myself I got a larimar Caribbean hook bracelet and larimar earrings, some fun cotton capris and tank, a hat, and a woven fabric purse. For our new house (we're moving in a few weeks) we got a pottery vase and bowl, a nice book of the beaches, a Christmas ornament, several matted photos and beautiful salad servers with mother of pearl inlay in the handles. We also got gifts for Mother's day plus several other gifts for various people. But the best thing I got was a crocodile from 'Sea Leathers', a purse store at Mongoose. My daughter is very jealous

There honestly was nothing we would complain about. We had one evening and one day of rain and it was actually nice to spend a relaxing day inside. We didn't even have any problems with bugs at all. I never even used the bug spray. I also didn't use my hairdryer one time! All in all, it was a perfect honeymoon in a perfect location.

Thank you all for all of the information, tips, and trip reports. It was so helpful and really fun to see all the places I had read about. I can't wait to go back!

crest332 is offline  
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May 16th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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crest322...so glad you had such a nice time on st. john..perfect place to honeymoon.it seems like you explored a bit and got to enjoy alot this island offers!! trust me, you'll be back..we 1st went 10 yrs ago and continue to return each year/if possible we try to do more.we were there in early april..and we already booked for the next trip. thanks for the report !!
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May 16th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Thanks crest for a great report. I've been reading a lot St. John trip reports lately and it is getting me really pumped for my upcoming trip in 32 days. Your comments about bringing food interested me. We are debating whether we should bring food with us or not, and we are leaning towards the "not" at this point. As you, we will probably eat breakfast and lunch in and dinners out and it seems like we could probably buy what we will need there. We'll see. Thanks again.

-Bill
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May 16th, 2006, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for your trip report! I loved hearing about your shopping adventures. I think I may not bring too much food, after reading your post. Lugging it all doesn't seem like that much fun. I made my husband lug 8 water bottles (24 oz.) for our Disneyland trip. He was slightly annoyed rolling the baggage of water bottles through the airport. Anyway, thanks, again for the great info!
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May 17th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for a great report. I agree with you regarding being careful about overloading on food. When we go, we tend to stay in alot for meals but even then I pack only frozen cuts of extra nice meats or spices that may be difficult to locate. I wouldn't bother packing essentials like things for breakfast or lunch. Food is more expensive, but it's okay for a short period of time. Bill: definitely don't pack food unless there's something special like my husband's favorite roast duck which is hard to find. Jackie: Oh, your poor DH. They've got water in Disneyland.
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May 17th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Crest, thanks for the report, and congratulations on your marriage! We were there at the same time, and probably walked past you at some point in Cruz Bay. I agree on the Sea Leathers find, what a cool store! I'm a diver and love the marine environment, so I should be more conservation-minded, but I love owning something as unique as a wallet made from sting ray leather!

I got a little bit ravaged by bugs (mostly on the legs -- I think the mosquitos and other bugs ate dinner at the same time as me, when my legs were unmoving and vulnerable under the table at the open air restaurants). But bugs love my blood, so my experience is not necessarily representative.

Your villa sounds awesome; will have to explore that private option if we go back. Glad you had a great time!
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May 21st, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Bill-
I second the recommendation of not bringing food or at least just a minimal amount. My original desire was to bring a cooler with nice steaks, fish, shrimp etc because it sounded from some of the posts that the selection was poor. But because we spent the night before we left at a hotel at the airport, we couldn't take frozen foods with us. Honestly though we thought the selection at Starfish was fine. We bought steaks, shrimp, scallops and salmon and all were fine. They also had a nice selection of prepared foods like pasta salad.

We ended up bringing breakfast food, pasta, canned tuna, coffee and tea, spices, condiments, dish soap, and a few other items. Some of the things, like spices and dishwasher detergent, were already there from previous renters. Next time I wouldn't bother with a whole other bag just to save a few dollars.

Surprisingly, I didn't find dinners out to be any more expensive than nice restaurants here.

Have a wonderful time!

Raymond- Thanks! We definitely loved having the private villa. The hard part was choosing which one! I don't recall exactly but it seems as if we rented the villa for 2 wks for about the same cost as 1 week at Caneel would have been.

I already have a stingray purse and wallet and was tempted by the parrot fish because that is something I had never seen before. But I couldn't resist the crocodile purse. Plus I was less troubled by the thought of croc skin rather than parrot fish.

Yeah, I remember seeing you in Cruz Bay
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May 21st, 2006, 07:48 AM
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Thanks crest and tux for your food feedback. We're gonna travel light and buy it there in...26 days! \/

-Bill
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