St John - rent a car or do taxis?

Old Sep 25th, 2008, 12:40 PM
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St John - rent a car or do taxis?

The family is heading to St John in November for a week, staying at the Westin. We are 2 adults and a toddler and are trying to figure out what would work best for us - rent a car for the week or rely on taxis?

We like to explore and were planning on renting a car for 1-2 days and rely on taxis the rest of the days, however the more I read it seems like renting a car for the week may be a good way to go.

Renting a car for a week can get a bit costly, so I am wondering how much taxis are down there? If we go from the Westin to say Trunk or Cinnamon or Hawksnest, how much will that run me?

Opinions on renting vs. taxis?
jacobobbi is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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I'd definitely rent a car. On St. John it's going to be some type of 'jeep'. If you like to explore a taxi would limit your travels, aside from the inconvenience.

Beyond the beaches that you mentioned there's the entire East End, Salt Pond, and the Lameshur area. November should be a great time.
RobertoB is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Most people rent 4WD vehicles on STJ. Taxis can get very expensive, so there's no cost savings there. Plus, taxis don't want to travel all over the island, so if you're explorers, you'll miss some great spots. You need to reserve one now, though. Rental vehicles are limited and once they're gone, they're gone.

We have used Courtesy Car Rental twice and have been very pleased with their service and the condition of the vehicles. An added bonus is the ability to park on their lot while visiting Cruz Bay.

Here's a link to taxi rates.

Hope this helps. Have a great trip.
pjayer is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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Unless you plan on spending alot of time at The Westin, I would rent a vehicle the whole time or most of it. We stayed at Gallow's Point right in town and the first trip, tried it without a rental. The next time we got one for a few days and the following times have gotten one for the whole week. We just think it severely limits what you can see and do. Also, you have to wait for the taxi's to fill up before they leave. It's usually not too long, but potentially not too pleasant with a toddler and the amount of gear you will have to haul.

Just wanted to mention, Maho is a fantastic beach for little ones. It is clear, calm, and shallow. It also has the closest access to the road. No facilities though. Unfortunately, St John has had a tremendous amount of rain recently and Maho is pretty washed out from the pics I have seen . Hopefully mother nature will quickly return it to its beautiful state. I'm glad I'm not going in the next couple of weeks as the skeeters will be horrific. Have fun on your vacation!
brenandg is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 07:17 PM
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Don't forget a car seat for your toddler! I don't know the availability of them there. You'll feel much better bringing your own, I'd think.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2008, 08:50 AM
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I agree with most. Rent a car or you will be very limited.

St. John is a wonderful place to explore, and the driving is quite easy.
TPAYT is online now  
Old Sep 26th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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Plus the Westin has a car rental facility right on the premises. We have stayed here several times - we split our time between there and Caneel (headed back in a couple of weeks). We usually rent a vehicle for a couple of days. The prices there are comparable to other rental agencies on the island. Plus a nice feature is you can leave the rental car in their parking lot when you return. Just be sure to CHECK your mileage and gas gauge before you leave and that it matches the rental agreement. You'll have a great time - Susan
SSypniewski is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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I think it's unanimous! We started to bring our daughter to STJ when she was 7 months old. IMO, you definitely should get a car. The only advantage the taxi provides for you is that someone else is driving. But most taxis on STJ is open air style and not equipped to have any extra safety features for very young children. One of you will have to hold on to the child for dear life while trying to hold yourself steady. It's alright for the occasional ride, but after a few days of it, you'll hate it. I would definitely rent a car. I would also recommend lugging your own carseat/booster seat. We have rented them before and you can't count on getting the most suitable seat for your child and you can't count on cleanliness. IMO, it's worth the little extra hassle for peace of mind. Also, I don't know about you, but my child was always surprising me with "I gotta go potty" "I'm hungry" "I wanna go somewhere else"... and it's just so much nicer, especially on a vacation, to have the flexibility to just up and go and not relying on being able to find a taxi. We like renting a jeep liberty or a montero style 4 wheel drive. While it may seem like fun to most, I personally don't like the idea of driving my toddler around in a soft top or convertible. You might consider a combination of renting a car for a few days and taking taxis for a few days, especially if you're staying at the Westin. The Westin is a great choice for a family with young kids. The resort has become more family/kid oriented and that can be a big plus for you. We have stayed there a few times and appreciated the convenience of the on-site activities and amenities like restaurants, a gym, and shops. They have a terrific playscape and kids activities programs. The pool and beach will be perfect for a toddler, but by all means, don't stick to the resort! You might take taxis on the few days you figure you'll visit one of the big north shore beaches with facilities like Hawksnest, Trunk Bay or Cinnamon. Or you might take up a day with a boat trip to the BVI's (takes off right from the resort). When you feel like exploring for a few days, the Westin has relationships with car rental companies (I believe O'Connor's is on-site) so you can take the car, park it right at the resort. In November, it shouldn't be too bad for car rentals. During high season, reservations may get tight. I would check with the Westin about 2-3 weeks before. Just my two cents from my own experience. Have a great time!
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Old Sep 28th, 2008, 02:08 PM
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I just encourage you to check that the car seat is properly installed. If you are not sure have the rental firm check it out and indicate on the aggreement the seat is properly installed. While on some days you may only use the car for 2 hours as above the sheer convenience vs. cost makes it a best bet plus likely a "wash" or cost savings.
StanKase is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:22 PM
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I suggest renting a Jeep from Conrad Sutton's for most of your trip. It is not far from the ferry dock.
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