St. John October 13-21, 2006 Trip Report

Oct 23rd, 2006, 08:59 AM
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St. John October 13-21, 2006 Trip Report

My husband and I returned to St. John for our 3rd time, however this time we had friends getting married at the Westin. We decided to extend our invitation and make a vacation out of it. We stayed at the Westin for 4 nights and then we moved over to Caneel Bay for the final 4. I have broken down our report into categories instead of days. (The days seem to blend together).

Westin - The Westin is currently under going construction throughout the resort. It did not affect our stay entirely, however our poolview was changed into a view of a green fence. We inquired at the front desk but due to the fact there was a convention going on, no other rooms were available. A few of our friends were upgraded to the hillside villas. While these villas are a hike to get to, they do offer very nice views of Great Cruz Bay.

Wedding - The wedding went very well. Our friends were married outside at one of their gazebos providing a very beautiful setting. However the weather was not too cooperative so their reception was moved indoors. The food and service was very good.

Caneel Bay - What can I say this is still my favorite place. We had reserved a room on Scotts Beach, however like the Westin they too were doing renovations to the rooms on Scotts. We were upgraded to Cottage 7, room 7E which offered amazing views of Scotts Beach and the surrounding virgin islands. We could not get over the size of the balcony. We did notice that the staff seemed more pleasant and approachable. The food at the Caneel Beach Bar and Equator also seemed to improve a great deal. We did notice that they added a new bar area closer to the Caneel Bay beach which was a nice change. This was our 3rd stay at Caneel and it seemed to be our most enjoyable stay. (Well I guess staying at Cottage 7 didn’t hurt).

Daysail - We once again booked a day sail on the Scubadu with Captain Joe. This time we had a few of our friends join us. We thought it would be nice wedding gift from us to the bride and groom. Joe promptly picked us up at the Westin dock and we were on our way to Jost Van Dyke. We did make one snorkel stop along the way and enjoyed seeing a barracuda and other tropical fish. Then it was onto Foxy’s. Foxy was there but the place wasn’t fully opened. The bartender however accommodated us with a few cold Caribs. Our next stop was to the Soggy Dollar Bar on White Bay. The Soggy Dollar Bar seemed pretty busy but there were no day trippers there. I assume they were guests of the Sandcastle. Everyone had a great time and a nice suprise was that they were playing Buffett when we were there. After a few (well a lot) of Painkillers we swam back to the Scubadu and enjoyed an awesome lunch provided by Captain Joe himself. Soon is was time to sail back to the Westin. (Recommendation - painkillers taste a lot better with spiced Cruzan rum vs. Pusser’s - JMHO)

Car Rental - We did rent a Mitsubishi SUV one day from the Westin. Please note to have the staff write down where the gas gauge is before you leave. We only went from the Westin around the North Shore to Coral Bay and back and they said that we used a lot more gas then we actually did.

Restaurants - What can I say the prices just keep going up! We went back to Morgan Mango’s and felt that the food was very good. They had an amazing Mahi Mahi special. We stopped by Skinny Leg’s to catch some of the Giant’s game and enjoyed a few cold Heinikens. My sister had a cheeseburger and said it was excellent. Other places we went to, the Equator, Zozo’s, Margharita Phil’s, Woody’s, Polli’s, the Balcony, Beach Bar. One note, we noticed that the Simple Feast located outside of the Westin resort was currently closed. We were a bit disappointed because we would normally go there for breakfast. We did try the Texas Toast Cafe a few mornings and I highly recommend the Huevas Rancheros! We walked through the Ocean Grille in Mongoose but did not have a chance to eat there. The menu looked very good and not too overly priced. If you enjoy mojito’s check out Joe’s Rum Hut located right near the Beach Bar.

Weather/Beaches - Well last year when we visited St. John it rained half of our stay. While we didn’t have rain everyday the weather was pretty unpredictable. We only really had one day where it rained the entire time. Every other day it would be sunny for half the time and then get cloudy with a few showers in the evening. The temperature was very hot during the day, around 90 degrees. The water at Trunk Bay was beautiful as well as Cinnamon. We noticed the water clarity at Scotts Beach was a bit more cloudy because of stronger currents that made snorkeling a little more challenging (but it still seemed calm if you are used to the Jersey Shore). We were able though to spot a few turtles, sting rays and a VERY large fish. I am not sure what kind it was - my husband thinks it was a turpin?

Well another St. John vacation has come and gone and we look forward to return next year hopefully. You can see my pictures at (be warned there are A LOT):
http://family.webshots.com/album/555061891FuSDqD

SSypniewski is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Use this link for the photos instead:
http://community.webshots.com/album/555061891FuSDqD
SSypniewski is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Sounds like you had a lovely time, Susan. Thanks for taking the time to post!
ejcrowe is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 01:49 PM
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I really enjoyed your report. It helps pass the time as I await my trip in 2 weeks. This will be my eighth visit, and I am as excited as I was the first time.
Diane
Dianebridles is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 01:56 PM
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It's unfortunate but the prices on everything down here have zoomed which is a by-product of fuel prices since everything is shipped in. As an example, a 5 lb back of sugar has more than doubled at the grocery store.

Glad you enjoyed yourself, though.
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Susan,
Really enjoyed your trip report and pics. I also appreciate your taking the time to post. 33 days til we go again!!
brenandg is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:08 PM
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owa
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Hi, We will be at Caneel starting 4 November. This will be our third time, and I am especially excited this time. Glad to hear the food has improved.

Did you like cottage 7 better than Scotts? I'm still trying to decide where we want to stay.

Thanks for posting. Owa
 
Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for posting. I'm loving pics #368 & 369.
caribtraveler is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Thanks for posting. My husband and i spent our honeymoon on St Thomas the first week of June but we fell in love with St John. I'm especially interested in Caneel. We are planning to stay there next time we go which will hopefully be soon!! Thanks again!
luvSTT is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Thanks for the good report.
And Owa-- please reprot when you're back from Caneel. Have a lovely time!
poss is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 05:17 PM
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I loved your report and pics from last year too! Ahhh...living like a Rockefeller in Cottage 7. Thanks for this year's report and pics. I especially appreciated the one of the gorgeous tuxedocat!
Tuxedocat is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 09:28 PM
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Thx for posting. We'll be at the Westin for 8 nts in July. Can't wait. Your pics really got me excited.

Steve R
stever is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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We really enjoyed Cottage 7. If I were to choose again I really don't know which one I would prefer. I know that they are current doing renovations to the rooms on Scotts so that should be nice to see once completed. I just couldn't get over the size of the room and the balcony. The views were amazing. I think that if money was no object I would pick Cottage 7. The room we had 7E was perfect. On the second floor and on the side near Scotts Beach.

To Tuxedocat, yes that cat was a cutie at Foxy's! My friend who is in that picture also has 3 of them so she was so happy to see a cat that looked like her own!

Thank you again for the positive feedback! - Susan
SSypniewski is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 08:42 AM
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owa
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Thanks for the reply. I will see if they will upgrade us. It would be nice to try something different. We've always done premium ocean view. I'll let you know what happens. Owa
 
Oct 24th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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So funny...I also enjoyed the tuxedo cat photo! I lost one of mine last week but still have one at home. They are the coolest cats by far.

Glad you had a great trip and fantastic weather!

Thanks for sharing your photos! Trish
tpatricco is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 10:34 PM
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Thanks so much Susan for your report.

It's especially meaningful for me since I'll be going to both the Westin and Caneel Bay as well for 8 days starting this Saturday, Oct 28!!!

This will be our first ever trip to St John (and probably not last).

BTW, your photos were terrific and really captured your having a great time with friends.
bluefan is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 01:58 AM
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owa
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bluefan, are you still going to be at Caneel on 4 November? We will arrive on the 4th. Owa
 
Oct 25th, 2006, 04:50 AM
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Trish, I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear about your cat. It's just wrenching when something like that happens, as many of us here know all too well.
ejcrowe is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Trish: I was sad to read about your loss, too. I have to agree, there's no cat quite like a tuxedocat. I'm sure your kitty had a wonderful, love-filled life with you, which is as much as any of us can hope for. Best regards.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Sorry for continuing the "highjack", but Trish, I too am sorry to hear about the loss of one of your beloved cats I looked at their little album of pictures from your link in the past. We have three cats and I know how they become part of the family.
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