snorkel/dive shop on St. John

Old Sep 8th, 2005, 03:25 PM
  #1  
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snorkel/dive shop on St. John

This site has been so helpful in planning our first trip to St. John. I am so glad I found this site. My husband, myself and 26 yr. old daughter will be renting Villa Ventosa from Windspree the first week of January.(high season) It is located near Coral Bay, and we are very excited about visiting the island. We are renting a vehicle for the week. Also would like to take day trips to BVI for boat/snorkel trip. Can someone suggest the best place to rent snorkel equipment for the week. Also, has anyone stayed in Villa Ventosa before? Would love to hear your opinion on it. We are seasoned travelers(caribbean,hawaii,mexico, el salvador, guatamala, jamaica, aruba, st. maartin, st. thomas, martinque, caymens, etc) but never to St. John. We are looking forward to experiencing the island history, and traditions as well as the awesome beauty of the island. Any sharing of past experiences would be appreciated as far as what to miss or not be missed. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Keep up the postings, it really helps first timers like us.
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Old Sep 8th, 2005, 05:52 PM
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Cruz Bay Watersports has a branch in Cruz Bay at the "Lumberyard" and one at the Westin. They can also set you up with all kinds of boat trips. Very professional. I don't know about Villa Ventosa, but if you tell me where it is I can tell you about its location. We have a house on the east end/ Coral Bay side of the island which is the "quiet" side, but everyday, it seems more people are discovering our little peace of heaven. But no fear, there's plenty of heaven for everyone. Be sure to read the past discussions on St. John. Have a wonderful time. We like to go in January, too. It's less hot but still plenty warm enough. And watch that daughter, there's still plenty of pirates in those parts...
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Old Sep 8th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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there are two more/ one is in coral bay...Coral Bay Watersports 340-776-6850,the other is in Cruz Bay at Wharfside Village ( this is to the right as you get off the ferry)..Low Key Watersports. Low Key gives diving and snorkel lessons, very professional. not sure if Coral Bay WS offers same.glad to hear you're renting a car.this will give you a chance to see this beautiful island at your lesiure. there are many beaches to swim and relax on,great ruins scattered on island to see and explore. wonderfull restaurants and some fun bars. also enough shopping if desired.a day trip to the BVI's would be great, either a stop at the Baths or Jost is a terrific adventure !i see you've been to st. thomas..you'll find st. john to be much more laid back, without all the stateside venues ie: BJ"S,McDonalds,Burgerking,Staples etc. just a small town(although construction is rapidly going on)feel to the whole place.you'll find Coral Bay to be much "quieter" than Cruz Bay.some of my favorite beaches..Hawksnest,Gibney,Francis,Maho..restaurant s:Tage,Morgans Mango,Lemon Tree,Rumb Lines,Miss Lucys(she is an island institution),Banana Deck,also Vies Shack,very local, great conch fritters and a beautiful beach that she owns across the street!! have a great time!!
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Old Sep 9th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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Also Crabby's in Coral Bay to rent snorkel equipment. Definitely explore the East End towards Vie's and snorkel Haulover.

There are lots of casual dining places in Coral Bay such as Island Blues, Skinny Legs, Shipwreck Landing, and Sticky Fingers.

A review on Ventosa is here:

http://www.virgin-islands-on-line.co...07223213.shtml
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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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Thank you everyone for your replies. Will definitely check out the recommended places. Tuxedocat, I don't know the exact address of the villa, but it is about 400 ft. above Coral Bay. The rental company hasn't sent me all the final paperwork yet, so that is all I know about it. It does look like it has a very steep driveway though. No problem for us cause we have driven in Lake Tahoe so much and through Donner Pass, don't think a little driveway will be much of a problem. It was fun to see tourists trying to get through the steep, winding mountain roads in Lake Tahoe without 4 wheel drive. You could hear their tires screeching a mile away!!! Thanks again, this site is wonderful and very informative.
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 09:35 PM
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The roads/driveways on the Coral Bay side tend to be less paved and maintained, but if it is a villa rental, they have to be sure that tenants can get to it reasonably. Some of the driveways can be quite challenging, but if you rent 4 wheel drive you will be fine. Robert makes a great suggestion I completely forgot about... Crabby's! So convenient, it's right on the main road in Coral Bay. You can't miss it. As for BVI trips, I would suggest looking into New Horizons II which goes to 4 islands in one trip. You'll find info. on these BVI trips practically everywhere you go. Have a great time.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 05:58 PM
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We bought some snorkeling vests at Crabby's..the lady that runs it is so friendly and helpful.The snorkeling vests costs $50 each and well worth it if you like to go out in deep water and would like to take a break and if you need to clear your mask..you don't have to tread water and wear your legs out!
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Old Sep 13th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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Why not buy your snorkel gear and take it with you? I have a wider face and not every mask fits. Plus, it's nice to know that I'm the only one who's used my snorkel!

My husband and I are looking into a trip to the Virgin Islands (most likely St. John and maybe one of the BVIs) in January and are interested in finding lodging close enough to walk to good snorkelling. We're hoping to find something nice, doesn't have to be fancy, but not costing an arm and a leg. Any hope?
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Old Sep 13th, 2005, 08:05 PM
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HI Solo, you're more likely to get good answers to this by writing a separate question/posting.
In the meantime, check this site:

http://www.stjohnusvi.org/new_page_2.htm

Using this, you will have the advantage of working with Terry Witham, who is a great and delightful to work with.

For two of you, tpossible cottages via Terry are Honeymoon or Sea Spirit. Don't know about Honeymoon, but as of now, Sea Sprirt has some availablitly for January. This cottage gets fantastic reviews. You can also see it on a serach of www.carbbeanvilla.com
Either of these are easy and quick walking distance to good snorkeling beaches! If you post a question, others on this board will have excellent ideas. Good luck!
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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 12:36 AM
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Hey Solo, thanks for reply. I thought about buying snorkel gear before we go but don't want to lug it in my bag since I and my daughter always have a tendency to overpack anyway. My hubby always underpacks so I put stuff in his bag too! Think we will try Crabby's since we will be on that side of island. We have rented snorkel equipment before on other trips and it was just fine for us. I always use a floatation vest too. We just like to snorkel and then float around and have fun just being in the water. Nothing too strenuous, I'm in my 50's and starting to feel it a little, know what I mean? So I always use a vest. We still like to party though! Hope you find a villa in your budget, our first,second and third choices were already booked, so don't delay. We are renting a 4 wheel too. Wouldn't it be great to have a gigantic party down there with all the wonderful people that post here? Thanks and have a great time.
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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 08:27 PM
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Quizno: Make sure you put Miss Lucy's on your list, the owner is "Guy" pronounced 'ghee' and it is not to be missed. Miss Lucy is so beautifully located and for us, it embodies all the best on St. John... water, moonlight, great food, great company and good will.
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Thanks Tuxedocat, will definitely go to Miss Lucy's. I will tell Guy you sent us with regards. Have you ever used Katilady to stock your villa? Do you know if she is the only caterer/villa stocker on the island?
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 05:11 PM
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Quizno: I have never used Katilady and don't know of any other such service. We know the island well so we tend to just pick things up on the way to the house. But I have heard that people are generally very pleased with her service and really appreciate going into a stocked house. It's more relaxing than trying to figure out where to find things in a place you've never been to before.
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 09:44 PM
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Tuxedocat, thank you for replying..I have another question..our plane doesn't arrive in STT until 3pm. By the time we get the luggage, and a taxi to the ferry and then the ferry trip, it will be pushing 5pm I think. Does St. John car rental stay open that late?? We are renting a 4 wheel and wondering if we have to bust our butt to get there before they close! Any info would be helpful, or should I just rely on the villa rental agent to take care of it? Don't we have to check in to the car rental to sign papers, etc??
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 09:58 PM
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If you arrive on time, say around 3:00 p.m., it takes about 15-30 minutes to get your luggage. It usually comes right out as it's not a very big airport and there aren't tons of flights. Then there are taxis right outside the luggage area. I'm not sure when the Charlotte Amalie or Downtown ferry runs. It is about 10 minutes from the airport. I don't know if there is a 4 p.m. downtown ferry and the downtown ferry takes 45 minutes to get to St. John. The Redhook passenger ferry runs at least every hour, and is about 25 minutes from the airport dependent upon traffic. The Redhook ferry is only about 15-20 minutes long. Either way, it'll be tight. Bottom line is, if the rental company knows your schedule and knows when to expect you, they will make arrangements with you. They have this happening everyday of the week. So the answer is: make sure you let them know to expect you, confirm with them the day before you go.
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 11:37 PM
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Tuxedocat, thanks so much for replying again...I don't want to sound like a worry-wart..I just like to make sure everything runs smoothly..my hubby has left the entire planning and trip stuff up to me..just want to be prepared for the in case of's...We hit a donkey in the Sierra Madras Mt. years ago, it was at night and totaled the car..then we were put in a Mexican jail for hitting wildlife..guess the experience made an impact on me..lot more to that story but..thanks again for your help
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Old Sep 17th, 2005, 04:05 AM
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You are quite welcome. I am happy to answer any questions about St. John. It's my stress relief to think about my "happy place." Funny reference to your Mexican trip! It must have been one of those "years-from-now-we'll be-laughing-about-this" moments. By the way, St. John has a lot of wild donkeys, unmanaged herds of goats, loose cows, chickens and this rather large sow which roam freely and frequently on the roads. They won't jail you if you accidentally hit one, though.
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