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Questions about 10 day visit to St John & St Thomas

Questions about 10 day visit to St John & St Thomas

May 18th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Questions about 10 day visit to St John & St Thomas

My BH and myself are planning a July/Aug trip to St.John/St Thomas.I am trying to decide if we should stay part of our trip in St.John and part in St.Thomas.? We love Snorkeling and want to have access to food/restaurants. We have been to St.Croix USVI for 8 days and loved the snorkeling there. We are also wondering if we should rent a car/jeep on both islands or not? We love to explore and see as much on an island as we can.Is is possible to take ferry to Buck Island from either place? We were not able to make the trip to Buck Island from St.Croix due to our son being with us and not wanting to go(He held us back and he was 23 yrs. old at the time.) We have not decided on a place to stay on either island as we are willing to stay any where that is reasonably priced for the time. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance,
puppygirl806 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 03:54 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 196
We much prefer St. John over St. Thomas because we love hiking, beautiful beaches, fantastic snorkeling, and a less developed environment. If you like snorkeling, St. John would be a great place for you. We loved renting a villa in St. John...there are several web sites where you can check some out. We enjoyed the food in St. John as well, although it can be pricey. In my opinion, St. John would be a wonderful place to stay for the entire 10 days! Rent a car and explore the island. There is so much to do and see. I would definitely at least split your time rather than stay the entire time in St. Thomas. Have a great trip!
rockie is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for the info. My Husband wanted to stay in St Thomas and I think it would better in St John so that is why I posted the question. Thanks again.
puppygirl806 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 06:54 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
We prefer to spend our stay on St John, it is tranquil and beautiful. It is easy to take the ferry to St Thomas for a day trip so no need to stay there. You really do need a rental vehicle for St John, a 4wd might be needed depending on where you stay [some cottages have steep drives].

I would like to suggest Palm Cottage in Coral Bay. It is a beautiful, new cottage with a spectacular view of the harbor. It is self-contained, stand alone and has everything you would want from outdoor shower, to a bbq grill, beach chairs, coolers, and on and on.

We have stayed there twice; we were there for 8 days first time and 12 days second time.


I have some pictures, that I have been meaning to post, so will do that and link here.

I read through the guest book and all of the comments have been so positive on all aspects of their stay.

For the record - While I have no financial interest in the property, the owner's are personal friends. Barry & Diane are gracious hosts and great people.

Here are some pictures.


Be sure to tell them Deb from Colorado sent you!
DebitNM is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Why does your husband want to stay on St. Thomas?

We love St. John but some people prefer St. Thomas. We were booked to stay on St. John and we had a friend tell us not to worry - we could take the ferry to St. Thomas every day and then we would have a good time. HA! Arriving and departing through St. Thomas is plenty for us, but to each their own.
mrssparky is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 45
St Thomas is very busy and commercial. St John is cleaner, quieter and much more exclusive. I really really don't like St Thomas at all except to go shopping. Shopping is geared towards duty free... larger ticket items are worth your while otherwise why bother you can get it at home enjoy the beaches in St John.
ggfinds is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
if you decide to spend some/any nights on st. thomas you should look at secret harbour beach resort. it's maybe 10-15 mins from red hook where you would take the ferry back & forth between islands. a quiet oasis on busy island. all condo style rooms, excellent beach with good snorkeling. has good onsite restaurant.
you can daytrip from st. thomas to buck island, but this is not the same buck island one visits from st. croix. someone on fodors just stayed at the st. t marriott and did this trip. here's her report of her trip: http://www.fodors.com/community/cari...-holiday.cfm?3

on st.john you can stay at the fabuolous (has 7 beaches on the property) pricey caneel bay or less pricey westin or gallows point (tiny manmade beach & need water shoes to get in) or as mentioned one of the numerous villas.
virginia is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Thanks for the input so far. Mrssparky, my husband just thought he wanted to stay in St Thomas but I have convinced him differently.(LOL) Thanks to this forum and the responses I have received. We are still trying where to stay in St.John it will probably be a villa/cottage because of cost. I have been studying the accommodations but not sure if area makes a difference. We will spend mega time snorkeling from shores.Keep the replies coming they are most helpful.
puppygirl806 is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 07:36 PM
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If you want to stay on St. Thomas for snorkeling, stay at Secret Harbor. The walk-in snorkeling is fantastic in a small bay near Red Hook and the ferry to St. John.

Then on St. John, the best option is to rent a house and a jeep. The snorkel places on St. John are many. We have driven from Trunk Bay, Maho Bey, etc. with outstanding snorkeling. You won't need Buck island as there are so many wonderful places on St. John. IMO, Coral Bay is too remote to stay, but it depends what you are looking for.

There are many rental agencies on St John, just goole St. John rentals.
TPAYT is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
If you don't mind being right in Cruz Bay, have a look at Grande Bay Resort. It is a brand new condo complex just steps from town. There are many listed on VRBO, This is the unit we are staying in next time.


Gallows Point is also very nice but getting out of our price range. Give us an idea of your budget for accomodations and we can be more specific. For St John I mean.
brenandg is offline  
May 25th, 2010, 02:57 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 198
I spent a week on St John (definately rent a vehicle) with my BF and 10 days on St Thomas with 4 girlfriends...very different trips both great. As an Island I prefer St John we rented a house http://www.vrbo.com/158103 the owners were great, as was the price and the view but it is quite a steep drive. Walk in snorkeling is all over the Island and I would recommend a day trip on the Ferry to Jost Vandyke (not for snorkeling just fun). My only concern would be at that time of year on St John are most of the businesses open? Maybe someone else on here could answer that. There is a car ferry you can use to go visit St Thomas with your rental (just be sure to check with the rental agency some do not allow it) St Thomas is fun too larger and more congested but do consider Virginia's advice she has never steered me wrong.
tyedye33 is offline  
May 25th, 2010, 04:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Things will definirely still be open in July/August. On the other hand, lots of closings in Sept/October.
brenandg is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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We finally booked our vacation to stay on St.John the entire time. Now I have another question about What should we NOT miss seeing in St.John,St.Thomas and any surrounding islands??? We will be arriving July 29,2010.(hoping for NO hurricanes or tropical storms that time of year.)Thanks for any responses.
puppygirl806 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
try to take a guided tour of the Baths on virgin gorda. only rock/beach formation of it's kind on earth besides in the seychelles. you can go with no guide, but they know their way around inside the boulders and have interesting info to share.
virginia is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 04:49 AM
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Unless you're staying at Caneel or the Westin on St. John (small beach) you can stay directly on the beach in more places on St. Thomas. The busiest part of St. Thomas is downtown Charlotte Amalie & Havensight but in July & August it's not as busy with cruise ships & there is a reason St. Thomas is so busy - it's popular.

However, staying at any of the resorts or condos/villas removes you from any potential hustle-bustle. I'm quite sure you'll enjoy your stay on St. John.
Carrybean is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
I rented a slightly older vehicle earlier this year from a guy (I think his name was Peter)that saved me a lot of money. It was almost 50% less than the big companies. He advertised on Craigslist under cars/trucks. I don't remember if it was under Caribbean or Virgin Islands but it was a great Exterra that you could tell had been really well maintained. He was very nice and accommodating. If you need a phone number or email, I can search my records.
robinlynn is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 490
In answer to your question about Buck Island - no, you can't get there for a day trip from anywhere except St. Croix (it is only a couple of miles off of Croix, but Croix is 40 miles from St Thomas). Instead, you should plan day trips to the BVI from St John (especially the Baths on Virgin Gorda, the bars on Jost Van Dyke, and snorkelling at Norman Island). If you are divers, you are close to the Rhone - the best wreck dive in the world.
tejana is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 07:22 AM
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Robinlynn , I looked on Craigslist but am unable to find anything not for sale. Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks.

tejana, Thanks for the info we are now checking into Norman Island and Baths on Virgin Gorda
puppygirl806 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2010, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Actually, it is under car/trucks for sale. I just checked. He has some posting from last Sunday. Good luck and have a great vacation!
robinlynn is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2010, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
tejana, just an fyi: she can visit buck island from st. thomas. as i posted above it is a different buck island but also good for snorkeling.
virginia is offline  
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