St. John - Really that good ?

Old Dec 9th, 2002, 09:29 AM
  #1  
Ruth
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St. John - Really that good ?



I notice that St. John is recommended quite often here. I was there several years ago and it was the brownest, deadest place I've ever seen in the Caribbean. Did I just happen to be there at a bad time?

I like the idea of ferrying over to St. Thomas so easily but since we don't want to drive ourselves because of the left sided driving, would getting around St. John be somewhat of a hassle? Unless you're into water sports, this place does not seem to be the greatest. Am I right?
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #2  
Joan
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--St John is rarely brown and dead. Must have been a drought period

--driving is not difficult regardless of the road rules since there's very little traffic anywhere

--if quiet islands aren't your thing, SJ won't be a very satisfying destination
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 01:05 PM
  #3  
Louis
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The Virgin Islands both US and British are not lush tropical islands as you would find further south in the Caribbean at places such a Tobago or the rain forest of Puerto Rico or in the South Pacific. Also the ativities are limited in Saint John since it is mostly park land. Islands are always a matter of personal taste and interests. There are groups of people that love St. John and another group of people that love Anguilla and so on. We personally would choose some the small and private islands in the British Virgins for our tastes in the upper Caribbean. However, without a prime interest in peace, quiet, nature and diving or snokeling in the local water this may not be the best area for your needs. By the way St. John, I believe drives on the right side of the road. It is in the British Virgins that they drive on the other side.
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 01:20 PM
  #4  
Deborah
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To Louis,

I don't think you've ever been to the USVI. The USVI is very lush and tropical. And yes, they do drive on the left side of the road.

I don't mean this to sound ugly, but people shouldn't give advice if there aren't sure about something.
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 01:58 PM
  #5  
Louis
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I have visited over 30 islands in the Caribbean and Pacific over the past 40 plus year including Bikini during the bomb tests. Things are relative, it is obvious that to you the USVI are very lush and tropical. I have been in all the USVI islands except St. Croix. To me lush and tropical are places like Fiji, Yucatan, and Panama. I like the the general BVI area since is is mild and fairly dry. Anquilla is even more arid. If you want to visit a really dry place go to Salt Cay in the T&C. This is a fun and most interesting place.
http://www.saltcaysite.com/
Have a happy time tonight and the rest of the holiday season. I am certain that you don't need any of my comments and I regret that they upset you however Ruth wanted some comments from somebody that has been around the block more than once.
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 02:02 PM
  #6  
Maria
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To Louis,
I dearly wish people like you would not give answers about islands you have never visited. What on earth would lead you to jump into this discussion?
St John does indeed have rain forest. The island is, except for the Coral Bay end, lush and green. Try the Reef Bay hike with the park service and you'll see it for yourself.
Driving in all of the USVI and BVI is on the left. It's not at all difficult just requires care and concentration.
Please Louis stick to giving information that you are certain of. People come here looking for accurate information and nonsense like you posted doesn't help.
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 02:41 PM
  #7  
Maria
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Louis,
It's not a matter of "wanting to be angry with you". It's not a matter of anger at all, merely frustration with misinformation being given by someone who sets himself up as some variety of expert on the Caribbean.
Are the USVI as lush as St Lucia or Tobago? Of course not. Are they "the brownest, deadest place I've ever seen in the Caribbean"? Again, of course not. There is a variety of terrain on all three of the major USVI but St John's small rain forest has been protected by the national park and it is beautiful.
I'm still baffled by your claim to have visited the USVI and yet you think that the driving is on the right. Why is that?
And no, I do not use my real email address on this board, not even my real name. If you feel comfortable with that, fine but I would prefer to protect my privacy.
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 04:24 PM
  #8  
Louis
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I guess I owe you an answer about the driving in the USVI. The answer is simple. In our visiting days in the USVI, Caneel Bay was still a Rock Resort and at those times we always hired a car and driver anytime we wanted to visit other places on St.Thomas and St. John. I guess that was in the 1960s. I did not pay much attention to what side we were driving on as there was not too much traffic in those years and we were enjoying looking about. I said, I believed that they drive on the right only because they are part of the US as compared to the BVI.

I am wrong as I forgot that the left was a leftover from Danish Colonial days and the story is that they did not switch in 1917 when the US took over because the donkeys were too stubborn to change. I do apologize to the forum that I suggested that they drove to the right today. I will be more careful in the future.

Since the early Rock Resort days we have traveled the Caribben via Puerto Rico rather than St. Thomas and we spend time there on the way to other islands rather than in the USVI since we like Puerto Rico better. What driving we have done in the area has been on the left in the BVI. We still like having a local driver and today we tend to go to small islands where there are few or no autos. We live in Califonia in the land where we travel 85 mph bumper to bumper. I would be happy to never see an auto again and we go to places like Guana Island, Cooper Island, Anagada in the BVI or Matangi in Fiji where you are free of autos.
You are correct, virgins are not without attractive flora but they not the road to Hana, Kauai either.

If Ruth did not like St. John the first time I don't think things have changed much so her picture of the place will be the same today. By deadest, I think she means lack of things going on or action. I don't think St. John fills that bill either. It is not Cancun.
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 04:36 PM
  #9  
Maria
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Louis,
No, St John is not Cancun. (Thank God!) We agree 100% on that.
I also don't believe that Ruth ever set foot on St John. IMO she posted what she did to stir up trouble.
We also agree on Anagada and Guana. simply beautiful!
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 05:24 PM
  #10  
Islander
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several years ago, the USVI was affected by a drought of sorts and indeed the landscapes were brown and very dry so it is possible Ruth did visit at that time. Ruth, there are taxis available and they are very accomodating to be your designated driver. No hassle at all except if you were to go out to the east end in the evening. Although the USVI is green most of the time, I would not consider it a lush tropical destination and the only rain forest in the USVI is on St. Croix and there is not one on St. John. The focus of the USVI and BVI is the wonderful water and opportunity to spend time in and on the water. There are other activity but St. John tends to be more eco conscious so there is not much commercialism other than the growth of the villa scene and supporting activity. It certainly is much more developed and busy compared to not too many years ago but it would not be the place for folks looking for an island like Aruba or Cancun with the non-stop activity and diversions that they do provide - thankfully!
 
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 09:25 PM
  #11  
traveler
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Islander speaks the truth, and you can tell she has traveled to more than just the VIs. Grenada is one of the greenest islands, and has real rainforests and some areas that get as much as 300 inches of rain a year. And yet on one of my trips there it had drought and was very brown on the south coast - it was as if it was a different island. Whenever I read someone claiming there is rainforest on St. John, I know they haven't been to an island with REAL rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, etc. or they wouldn't even begin to make that claim. St. John was a gem many years ago, but the housing explosion has changed it drastically and the heavy tourism and cruise ship passengers have taken a heavy toll on the reefs. I can't imagine what it would be if it weren't for the national park status.
 
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