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Feb 25th, 2006, 06:26 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,220
Alas, all the rooms are attached to each other in one way or another (some both side to side and top to bottom). Scott Beach cottages share a wall, I believe. Also, there's not great privacy since they're right on the beach and folks may stroll across the front on their walks to and from, and one is never completely private on the patio. I've never especially liked Scott for that reason, i.e. would feel as if I needed to keep the drapes closed when we were in the altogether (which we often are in the Caribbean!) We much prefer the rooms at Little Caneel and Cottage Point. But, clearly, these are specific personal preferences, and many many folks prefer other accommodations. Since you'll be going there not in high season, I suspect you'll be able to explore the property and have your choice of room placement. And you'll love the exploring! It's all really very beautiful-- walking from place to place on those extensive grounds.
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Feb 25th, 2006, 07:22 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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It's true, the Scott Beach rooms (rooms 67-86) share either one or two walls with another room. And one would need to keep the drapes closed with either of the sets of beachfront rooms. For what it's worth, I think there was a lot more space between the patio and the beach for the Scott Beach rooms, compared to the Caneel Beach rooms, where, as I said, the sand comes right up to your steps. So there'd still be people walking right by your back door at Scott Beach, but not as many. A few people may even wander by if you're at the Cottage Point rooms - there's no beach there, but there are some nice benches where one can sit and enjoy a great view.

As attached to tranquility and privacy as I am, I honestly didn't find the crowds to be a huge problem at Caneel Bay. We did have to keep our drapes closed when sleeping, but most of the people didn't start arriving on the beach until at least 11 AM or so, and we were long gone. On the other hand, we were down at the end of the beach that's farthest from the dock. Things could get much busier over by the dock, with the dining room over there, ferries arriving, people testing out their new windsurfing rigs, etc.
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Feb 25th, 2006, 08:51 AM
  #23
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Dianebridles,

thank you so much for the info on the towns in st thomas, as well as cruz bay in st john. the caneel ferry sounds nice, that they bring your bags to your room. i was also pleased to read in your post that the rooms have been refurbished and there is a new chef. that is realy good to know. i very much prefer updated rooms. i will be sure to post a long, detailed description of my trip. i hope to book it by next weekend (waiting for a house to close escrow so i can afford it!). i hope that i am able to get a good room and flight choice, since i want to go around memorial day (my 30th is on may 25th, but i am a teacher and that is the last day of school), or the first week in june would be my next choice.

hi poss,
i will definitely look into Little Caneel and Cottage Point. i wish caneel bay resort's website had virtual tours of all their rooms, and their respective beaches. however, your descriptions have greatly helped me! if it wasn't for this message board, i would be seriously clueless!

hi medhead,

i am glad to hear that caneel bay did not pose a problem for you with the "crowds." i will try and book away from the dock area (that makes sense that people will be leaving and coming often, hence there will be some crowds). i really feel like it will be a good fit for me. i am going to re-read all of these posts and take notes so i can look at all of it summarized in front of me. you are all an incredible help!!!

on another note, i did a search for flight to st john/st thomas for info. can anyone tell me which airline is the most convenient/less stops/cheapest airfare from phoenix, az? i think i may have to fly america west in order to get to miami or dallas, right? stopover in san juan? two different airline carriers may be the cheapest bet/less stops. when i was looking at turks and caicos, i noticed that i would have to spend the night in miami on the way there. would that be the case for this st john trip? am i looking at a 12 hour flight day?

thanks so much!
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Feb 25th, 2006, 10:05 AM
  #24
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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great advice on this thread; also chiming in on a few things that we've enjoyed:

I would also promote rental car, if even for a day to drive around island - more if you want.

One day trip we have done several times from St J and St T is hiring a boat and captain for a day (there are many available, your resort can arrange or you can - we have used 4 times now NautiNymph - while their website is www.st-thomas.com/nautinymph they have boats on St J's or will come and get you - either way, if you go with them or someone else, here is what we have done.

leave early am (say 8ish) and go 'island hopping' for a day - to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, which I did personally enjoy - we have done that two ways; one having the captain anchor off the beach and we swam in (we have 3 exc swimmers and one reluctant and marginal swimmer who swam in using vest and paddle board) - another time we docked at marina, lunched, walked thru shops and then made our way over by land to the Baths. Then out to Indians for snorkeling (which is fabulous) and again, he was very close to Indians which the comfortable swimmers/snorkelers love and our reluctant swimmer swam very close around boat a bit to see a few things while captain kept a keen eye on her and she spent rest of time enjoying sun and learning a lot about the area from our captain while enjoying cheese and crackers (pack some goodies) on board.

To Norman Island, Willie T's, the adventurous snorkelers went into some caves at Norman Island to explore while 2 of us hung on boat and enjoyed views. Docked at different times at JostvanDyke or Tortolla and lunched, also on side w/ newer "foxy's" they take you on a nice leisurely hike to a 'hidden gem' of a tiny inlet to take a dip in (very shallow) where the waves come crashing in and it's as if you are in your own whirlpool....and some general nice boating in and around the islands as he told us the history behind all of them, (past ownership, trading, etc) and a nice cruise around St J's to see it from that side of things. Day ususally ends around 5-6. A lovely way to get a feel for the entire area. You will need your passport if you do this going between USVI and BVI's but captains takes care of all that entry/exit stuff. You also have option of packing goodies and even your lunch for picnic on board, but we enjoy docking and eating elsewhere. Capt has fresh water shower rinse on board which is nice. Basically they will do what you want and have great suggestions.

You can run boats yourself, but if you are not adept at that and dont' want to read charts while cruisin' this is a great option for a special day outing, for us anyway, no matter which island we stay on.

I wouldn't bother going off St J's for any meals, no need. too many exc restaurants to choose from for lunch or dinner.

You may also enjoy trying "snuba" where you walk on ocean floor wearing a 'helmet' that is open on the bottom and breathing tube to top - very comfortable feeling and our reluctant swimmer enjoyed this as she will definitely never scuba - nice way to get a feel for actually 'walking on ocean floor' - we've only done the one in St T but someone recently told me this is attention this is available on St J.
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Feb 25th, 2006, 10:07 AM
  #25
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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great advice on this thread; also chiming in on a few things that we've enjoyed:

I would also promote rental car, if even for a day to drive around island - more if you want.

One day trip we have done several times from St J and St T is hiring a boat and captain for a day (there are many available, your resort can arrange or you can - we have used 4 times now NautiNymph - while their website is www.st-thomas.com/nautinymph they have boats on St J's or will come and get you - either way, if you go with them or someone else, here is what we have done.

leave early am (say 8ish) and go 'island hopping' for a day - to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, which I did personally enjoy - we have done that two ways; one having the captain anchor off the beach and we swam in (we have 3 exc swimmers and one reluctant and marginal swimmer who swam in using vest and paddle board) - another time we docked at marina, lunched, walked thru shops and then made our way over by land to the Baths. Then out to Indians for snorkeling (which is fabulous) and again, he was very close to Indians which the comfortable swimmers/snorkelers love and our reluctant swimmer swam very close around boat a bit to see a few things while captain kept a keen eye on her and she spent rest of time enjoying sun and learning a lot about the area from our captain while enjoying cheese and crackers (pack some goodies) on board.

To Norman Island, Willie T's, the adventurous snorkelers went into some caves at Norman Island to explore while 2 of us hung on boat and enjoyed views. Docked at different times at JostvanDyke or Tortolla and lunched, also on side w/ newer "foxy's" they take you on a nice leisurely hike to a 'hidden gem' of a tiny inlet to take a dip in (very shallow) where the waves come crashing in and it's as if you are in your own whirlpool....and some general nice boating in and around the islands as he told us the history behind all of them, (past ownership, trading, etc) and a nice cruise around St J's to see it from that side of things.

Day ususally ends around 5-6. A lovely way to get a feel for the entire area. You will need your passport if you do this going between USVI and BVI's but captains takes care of all that entry/exit stuff. You also have option of packing goodies and even your lunch for picnic on board, but we enjoy docking and eating elsewhere. Capt has fresh water shower rinse on board which is nice. Basically they will do what you want and have great suggestions.

You can run boats yourself, but if you are not adept at that and dont' want to read charts while cruisin' this is a great option for a special day outing, for us anyway, no matter which island we stay on.

I wouldn't bother going off St J's for any meals, no need. too many exc restaurants to choose from for lunch or dinner.

You may also enjoy trying "snuba" where you walk on ocean floor wearing a 'helmet' that is open on the bottom and breathing tube to top - very comfortable feeling and our reluctant swimmer enjoyed this as she will definitely never scuba - nice way to get a feel for actually 'walking on ocean floor' - we've only done the one in St T but someone recently told me this is also available on St J.

you can also ferry to St T if the shopping is something you want to do - we have done it when staying on St T but I couldn't give up a day on St J's to do it personally b/c I'd rather hike, swim, etc and shop (when I have to at home....

enjoy
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Feb 25th, 2006, 01:44 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 207
jackiehammond
Since I fly from St. Louis, I fly either Delta or US Air. it is a short flight to Atlanta or Charlotte and direct from there to St. Thomas You may wish to check Orbitz to help you determine which airline is best for you in terms of price and arrival time. Earliest arrival means more daylight hours your first day.)
When you make your reservation, request your choice,(all that you are considering are nice0. They will probably say that they will try. but will not guarantee your room choice. About a week or two before your arrival, call again to say that you would be most appreciative if you would be able to get your requested choice. They are very nice, and will try to help you. I find that friendly person to person communication goes a long way. I have been there at the times that you are planning your stay, and the weather was wonderful. My sister feel that it is the best time to see their flowering plants. No matter when or what room, it is a very special piece of paradise.
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Feb 25th, 2006, 09:45 PM
  #27
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hi escargot,

i agree...there has been GREAT advice on this thread! fodorites are the BEST. your advice is excellent, as well. renting a boat for a day sounds very interesting! my husband and i are very fast when we travel places. we went to 5 countries in 10 days in europe (on the eurorail), and felt that 4 days in hawaii was more than enough. because of how we like to see a lot fast, how many islands do you think we can visit on our own boat, in one day? we want to go to the baths at virgin gorda, and it would be neat to discover a couple of other islands (maybe tortola?). i would like to be able to see something special on each island i can. i guess we're more into that than exploring in detail the island we are staying on. exploring the island we are staying on is great, so we'll rent a car for a day to do that (we won't need longer than that, since we are "fast"). for example, when we went to paris, we got to the eiffel tower, stayed for about 5-10 minutes, and then left...and we were fulfilled.
i really appreciate your detail on the boat chartering. i can swim in pools just fine, but i am insecure about what is in the ocean...not having that control to stand up at any time bothers me, so i'd probably prefer for the captain to dock. your day on the boat sounded awesome. i definitely will look into it. your captain sounded very nice, as well. that "whirlpool" spot (on tortola?)really sounds lovely. do you remember your captain's name? although it would be fun to take the boat out on our own, i think for the extra $115 (i chekced the rates on the website) to get a captain for a day, would definitely be worth it. i also think that there is not really a need for us to go to st thomas, since we'll see it on the plane stop. thank you so much for your post!

Dianebridles,

thanks for responding again. i will check out orbitz, as well as delta and us air. i'm glad your sister says june is a great time of year to go. a big thanks for letting me know that i should call and request the room, but then check on it a week or two before i go. i, too, agree that kindness goes a long way. so, i hope that they will be able to accommodate my choice. thank you, again!

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Mar 5th, 2006, 09:10 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 35
Ypu've already received so much great information about one of my favorite islands and resorts. We've been going to Caneel for years and it's a great place to stay (as long as you're not expecting Ritz-style accomodations). You might want to consider booking your stay through Virtuoso. In doing it this way, you'll get the same rates as Caneel posts, plus a free cold buffet breakfast (in the dining room)every day and an upgraded room if one is available. We did this for the first time last year and while we didn't want the room upgrade (that's another long story) it was great having the breakfast. The free continental breakfast is nice, but is only served until 9 am (I think) and that's too early for us when we're on vacation. As of December, all the rooms had not been refurnished and we're looking forward to seeing what happened when we're back later this year. If you go to Caneel, afternoon tea and the manager's cocktail parties are two of the very few free things and are very nice! Have fun!
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Mar 5th, 2006, 12:44 PM
  #29
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,206
jackiehammond: the guy we have used is Thomas, but if he is not available their guys are all great. The last we had eveyrone in the family has a block on his name - but his card is somewhere I'll look - but he also had been in the islands for many years doing charters and was very knowledgeable.

On our day w/ Nautinymph we did the following, for example, last time from St.John -
Norman Island, the caves, the Indians, Jos Van Dyke (where the hike to the 'whirlpool' spot is - the Baths - and cruised around other islands along the shore and learned some history - we docked at Virgin Gorda and Jos Van Dyke. They will do what you want. I will say, altho knowing you like pools, they are very good about where they take you if you want to swim/snorkel depending on your ability.
We have some excellent swimmers in our family and one very reluctant 24 yr old and an average at best 'father' swimmer: they were very comfortable with where he took us - we chose one time to anchor and swim into the Baths and they used preservers and float rings as well as flippers and were quite comfortable - also if he anchors near the Indians, where the snorkeling is lovely - the reluctant ones stayed right around the boat, which has a ladder and shower, and were very comfortable also. But again, he will do what you want. One stayed on the boat at one point, relaxing and talking while the other three swam around the caves, etc so he will mix it up however you want.

You can also snorkel close to the beach and shore where you may feel safer - or when you do that on your own, bring a float ring if it makes you feel calmer. The waters are tame there, it isn't as if some enormous wave will suddenly throw you off - so it makes for some serene snorkeling and I think you will feel ccomfortable.

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Mar 5th, 2006, 02:13 PM
  #30
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NS07950,

thank you so much for your post. if i end up going to caneel (which i think is looking like the most desirable) i will definitely do the afternoon tea (it's nice to have something free!). i will also lok into virtuoso for booking. is there a website for them? thanks, again.

hi again escargot,

thanks for your post. i think the baths are a must. the boulder rock formations look amazing. my husband found some better snorkels than the ones we have now in the herrington catalog, and i think they were only $24.95 each. i hate when water gets in the snorkel! thanks so much for the info on thomas! he sounds great!
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Mar 6th, 2006, 10:32 AM
  #31
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 10
We spent our honeymoon at Caneel Bay and I wanted to chip in a few things that you won't find on the website. Bathtub: Even though there is only a shower, the bathroom is tiled and has louvred windows so you can hear the birds chirping and feel like you are in an exotic rainforest when showering. We had an oceanview room with a private porch and a great view of the sailboat traffic between St. John and St. Thomas. The perfect setting for a romantic happy hr! Even though the rooms don't have refrigerators, Caneel will lend you and ice chest for free and refill the ice daily so if you want to keep some snacky things in the room, you can keep them chilled. There is a herd of donkey's that roam the island and it is very common to pass a few as you walk to the beaches. They are very docile though but it's neat to see them roaming around and it accentuates the natural aspects of the resort. Also there is a 'trolley' that makes the rounds around the grounds every few minutes so you can always catch a ride to any of the 7 beaches or restaurants. And speaking of the restaurants, they were all very good. I believe that Turtle Bay is the only one that requires jackets for men. The Equator is much more casual and is open to the Caribean breezes with a great view of the ocean and sailboats. Highly recommend! And finally, consider getting 'take out' from any of the restaurants one evening and taking a picnic down to a beach to watch the sunset. Very romantic and an experience you will never forget! Our experience at Caneel couldn't have been any more perfect! Best of luck to you in planning your trip.
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Mar 6th, 2006, 06:19 PM
  #32
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hi Loblolly,

i really appreciate your details about caneel. the shower sounds very nice! which beach did you stay on? scott beach? thanks, again for your great input!
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Mar 7th, 2006, 08:33 AM
  #33
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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you might find this post interesting, poster just returned from caneel

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...5&tid=34766244
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Mar 7th, 2006, 12:57 PM
  #34
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37
An amazing thread here... lots of useful info... A couple of more items, anyone?

Dinner: Had a great romantic and excellent dinner at restaurant in gallows point. We ate early and watched the sunset -- it was, however, kind of hot... but one of the best dinners on St. John
(ZoZo’s Ristorante -- we each had fish and thought each was better than the other!)

Car Rental: St. John is amazing -- rent a car and drive around -- at least for a day or two. Maybe a bit harrowing at first glance but definitely fun and worth it. Check out cruz bay (skinny legs), national park trails and other beaches along north shore. See: http://stjohnbeachguide.com/

Diving: We have dove General Rodgers before -- kind of a snoozer. Wouldn't recommend it. BF dove with Low Key and went to RMS Rhone -- BVI -- need passport to clear customs. This is an all day affair but BF is still bragging every chance he gets. (I didn't go... won't do wreck penetration dives...) Did you see the movie The Deep? That is the dive site...

We've dove a lot of places (Gr Cayman, Belize, Cozumel, Cancun, Saba, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, St. John.....) and the diving in the USVI is a bit under par -- relatively speaking. Better is the diving in BVI -- which would require transport (ferry?) to Tortola.

We dove in Feb w/Blue Water divers -- but we were also staying on Tortola and loved it. We had a great couple of dives off peter isl and norman isl. (BVI)

With that said, because divers need to dive and when in rome.... we've dove with (and like very much) Chris Sawyer Diving out of Red Hook. With your free shuttle from Caneel to Red Hook this may be very do-able. We like diving with Larry and have done so on repeat visits. Chris Sawyer also has nitrox -- which is few and far between in US / BVI.

Diving Long story short : low key on ST.J -- OK - RMS Rhone excellent. Better - Chris Sawyer Red Hook STT. Better yet Blue Water Tortola.

Day Trip: On our first trip to STT / STJ we took took New Horizons day trip. This was perfect -- Baths Virgin Gorda, Snorkeling and Jost Van Dyke. Lots of fun - highly recommend - very convenient and easy.

STT -- 2nd best island dinner yet was at Craig and Sally's in Frenchtown. That may be a bit complicated (ferry's and taxi's etc., but it was truly amazing. Reservations are necessary.)

Also -- no one mentioned shopping in STT. Great deals on high end watches and if you shop carefully, deals are to be had on jewelry.

enjoy....
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Mar 7th, 2006, 08:10 PM
  #35
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hello again escargot,

thanks for the link! i enjoyed that post and posted on that thread, as well!

hi gidget!

AWESOME info in your post. i bookmarked the stj beach guide webpage and will be printing out all of these posts to take notes/put in a spreadsheet...i like to be in the know and organized. the info you provided on diving is excellent. how long would you say my husband would be out diving for a one tank dive? whenever he has dove in the past, he is usually gone for a half a day, and since we are only going for 4-5 nights, we lose that time (i hear you lose a day there and back? i guess because we'd have to leave the island so early and get there so late). well, thanks so much for your post. i really appreciate it!
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