St. John Trip Report

May 4th, 2006, 03:34 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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St. John Trip Report

Hi everyone,

These boards were very helpful in planning our trip. Here's what I have to share:

Spent 4/21 - 4/28 on St. John. It was as spectacular as we hoped. We rented a villa from Windspree - they were great. The villa had an amazing deck and stunning view of Coral Bay. The interior was as advertised: nothing fancy, but we booked kind of late and felt lucky to have found such a place for the price. I was surprised by all the steep driveways!! Glad we had our Jeep. Got the Jeep from Denzil Clyne. Absolutely no problems with the rental and we parked in their lot twice.

Now for the good stuff - beaches! We went to a different beach (sometimes two) every day. I feel a bit weird talking about the "crowdedness" of the beaches - they were ALL deserted when you use the beaches north of Boston in July for comparison.

Anyway, my favorite was probably Honeymoon - combination of clear swimming area, nice view, and excellent snorkeling in the reef over toward Salomon beach. Also loved Gibney beach. We fought hard for our parking space there and enjoyed the beautiful, nearly deserted beach also with great swimming. Cinnamon Bay was very nice; Trunk Bay was lovely and totally uncrowded at 3:30 in the afternoon; Jumbie wasn't my favorite - it was practically empty, but the beach was small and without a lot of clean white sand and a lot of the swimming area was rocky.

Snorkeling:
Happily, we saw everything on our "hope to see" list. Turtles at Francis Bay and Salt Pond; a few stingrays at Cinnamon (otherwise we saw nothing there); a great array of all the standard fish (tangs, parrot, etc) at Honeymoon, where the water was clear and there was a lot of coral to explore; some barracuda, a nurse shark, and some neat, jumping ballyhoos (I think) at Francis Bay. Best snorkeling for us was Honeymoon and Francis (even though the visibility wasn't great at Francis, we saw a lot of cool stuff). Salt Pond and Trunk Bay didn't excite me. We started trying to swim out to a large rock in the middle of the bay, but couldn't make it. We ended up snorkeling around the rocks on the left side of the bay, then around a smaller cluster of rocks in the middle. Despite seeing a big barracuda and a turtle, we just weren't bowled over. A few days snorkeling on St. John can make you a harsh critic, I guess. We meant to go to Watermelon, but didn't end up going. Something for next time.

We tried to keep it simple and cheap re: food. Enjoyed Shipwreck's Landing in Coral Bay, watched the Red Sox at Skinny Legs, and had some nice drinks and apps at High Tide Bar and Grill in Cruz Bay. Also went to Donkey Diner, Island Blues, and Aqua Bar in Coral Bay. Will say that I wasn't impressed with Starfish market or Lily's Market - just not what I expected. If we really had been trying to cook nice meals in to save money, I would've been disappointed both by the choices available (e.g. produce, boneless chicken) and the price. Not a criticism of St. John - just an FYI to those who haven't been there and hope to cook. We just went with pasta.

Loved those Limin'de Coconuts and Painkillers though - made plenty at our villa too. A can of Coco Lopez was one of the few things on our customs forms in St. Thomas.

Alright, well thanks again for all your help.
candg is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,134
Great trip report. Thanks for taking the time to post.
cmcfong is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for posting! Sounds like you had a fantastic time.

We leave a week from Saturday for 2 weeks in STJ and cannot wait to get there! Trish
tpatricco is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 03:47 AM
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Just waiting for my turn to go...in December!! Thanks for the great report!!
Coden is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Again, someone sees turtles. Well, this just puts me into another funk! I better see turtles the next time I go or I'm... Trish, I am working feverishly to clear the decks to be able to go by May 27. Will you guys still be around then?
Tuxedocat is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Thanks for the report. 43 more daze to go for me!

-Bill
iamq is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Oh Tux, we're on island May 13-27 (flying home on the 27th!).

Who else will be on STJ those weeks? GTG at Island Blues? Trish
tpatricco is offline  
May 6th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Trish: Shucks! Oh well, things are looking bleak anyway regarding being able to go down at that time. Enjoy yourself every minute! Don't forget to write a bliss by bliss account when you get back. Have a great trip!
Tuxedocat is offline  
May 6th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Have a nice, relaxing vacation, Trish. I know you have been counting down for a while! I usually start counting down in earnest somewhere around 60 or so. Keeps me going. Have fun
brenandg is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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Thanks Brenda! We've been dying to get back to STJ. It's been two years - two years too long in our opinion!

Right now our dining room is filled with supplies in the ready - snorkle gear, sunscreen, drink cozies, rafts for Little Lamesur Bay... We're starting to get our foodstuffs together and putting our house in order for being away.

1 week from now we'll be in paradise! Aaaaahhhhh!
tpatricco is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 04:24 AM
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Mae,
Poor thing! I am sure that you will see a turtle on your next trip!

Trish,
Have a wonderful trip!

Christie
christiegr is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 03:54 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Do you thing the turtles will be there in December?

Thnx!

Coden
Coden is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 04:25 AM
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coden,
Hopefully they will be!

Christie
christiegr is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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christiegr - my fingers are crossed!! I have never wished for winter as badly as I am right now!! Ha!!

Actually, we are heading to Fla this Sat. and coming home the following Sun so we are getting in a nice little beach break. Can't wait!!

Coden
Coden is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 09:52 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Can someone tell me what the best beaches are to snorkle without getting there by boat ? One of our group gets seasick ! Thanks.
Also...on another note...nicer restaurants to recommend for a "special" dinner.
mamame0w is offline  
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