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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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Pls comment on St. John trip plans

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We're a family with teens 16 & 13 who like to snorkel (off-beach preferred). We've snorkeled in Oahu, Big Island, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Isla Mujeres, Akumal/Tulum, Bermuda and are looking for a good mix of off-beach snorkel sites, some hiking (if it's not too hot) and perhaps island hopping for variety.

We chose St. John for variety of off-beach snorkel sites and hiking trails and will rent a villa/condo so we can self-cater. Would appreciate your travel tips & comments as I firm up vacation plans & activities.

1. We'd like to visit BVI to snorkel and check out their beaches. I hear Virgin Gorda is a must see (for Baths & snorkeling). How realistic is it to expect to visit 2 or 3 other islands while based in St John? Should we limit ourselves to lodging in Cruz Bay area for easiest access to ferries or is most of the south & west side of island lodging fairly accessible?

2. Is there some sort of day trip boat charter that would take us to various islands (other than St. John) for snorkeling? If so, can others share their experience with costs, tour operator, places to go? For instance, Buck Island and/or St. Croix for the day?

3. Doing a self-guided snorkeling trail in the USVI's sounds fun, but does it stand up to expectations? Is it worth it to do to the underwater trails in Buck Island, Cane Bay or Trunk Bay or is the coral pretty much bleached? Most of the snorkeling reviews & recommendations are from 2008 or even a decade earlier so I wonder if anyone with more recent experience can comment.

Thanks in advance for your travel tips!

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