St. Thomas

Old Feb 27th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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St. Thomas

Here I am again, asking a few more questions about the Ritz and St. Thomas. =) I just hope to plan this trip out well so we are well prepared and don't miss a thing.

I read the feauted report about "Ken and Michele's USVI Trip" and I had a few questions. From the full version of his report, he says that breakfast is $54 per person at the Ritz. Is this true? Can anyone who has stayed/ate there give me more information regarding what is typical for food prices (and not just breakfast)? I was expecting to spend quite a bit on food (from all of the posts I had read), but that seemed a little pricier than what everyone else had said.

As far as tennis and snorkeling go, should we bring our own equipment? We both have very nice rackets and snorkeling gear, but we are worried about having too many bags. Does the Ritz provide these, and at what cost? Would we be better off bringing our own?

For the $35/day resort charge, what does it include and does it mean the activities are free? Do you still have to rent whatever you use at the Aquatic Center?

Have any of you used the spa or salon, what do you think about it & services did you receive? If so, what are the ranges for the massages? Does the salon offer manicures/pedicures?

Are there any locations on St. Thomas you are aware of that offer opportunites to swim with dolphins?

We will be staying at the resort much of the time, but are there are any excellent shopping or restaraunts you would recommend?
Would you recommend a day trip to St. John, any suggestions on places we must visit?

Again, thanks for all of your help. I appreciate it very much, and I'm very glad I've found such a friendly, helpful forum.
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Hi,
I see no one more qualified has responded so I will try. We've only stayed one night at the Ritz but we are frequent day visitors since my inlaws live down the road.

I think that $54 for breakfast is for a big buffet. You should be able to order a la carte for at least half that, per person. We had a continental breakfast (muffins, rolls and coffee) for room service for about $25, including tip, as I recall. But the food prices are expensive. There is a little bar area over by the new time shares that has more reasonable prices for lunch and dinner.
I don't know about what the resort fee includes but I like to bring my own mask and snorkel and rent fins, if I need to. you might want to go down the road to Secret Harbour for snorkelling.

Definitely go to St. John for at least a day of snorkelling and beaches. People also seem to love the Lady Lyndsey trip. In the spirit of being prepared, expect a fair number of kids in the pool.

It's a lovely resort with a gorgeous view of St. John. The service is better than anywhere else on the island.

jim
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Sorry, I can not help with your questions regarding the Ritz (completely out of our league), but will try to respond to your other questions.

We stayed at the Wyndham Sugar Bay in May '05 on their AI plan. We found the food quite expensive and was glad we went AI.

We purchased 1 hot dog and a lemonade at Coral World and it was $12.00. A basket of 6 buffalo wings at Paradise Point was $9.00. Evening entrees at Wyndham's hotel for non-AI guests was around $26.00.

The closest place to swim with dolphins is at Dolphin Discovery on Tortola. www.dolphindiscovery.com

If you plan on beach hopping through St. Thomas, St. John and BVI, bring your own snorkel gear. It will be easier and less expensive.

Definatley do a day trip to St. John and the BVI's. They are many good companies to choose from. We chose Tropic Tours for a day trip to St. John and the New Horizon II boat trip to the BVI's. We enjoyed both. Many will tell you to just take the ferry over to St. John and rent a vehicle and do your own tour.

We also did an Island tour of St. Thomas, which we also enjoyed. It include 3 hours shopping in Charlotte Amalie, which was plenty. There were around 200+ jewelery stores. We were not interested in jewelery or other high end merchandise, so felt the shopping was limited. We did purchase liquor, perfume and linens at a reasonable price.

We also enjoyed Croal World and Coki Beach. We did the Sea Trek and thought it was fun, but wouldn't spend the money to do it again. The snorkeling on Coki Beach was better than Trunk Bay on St. John. More fish to see.

On Wed. night Paradise Point has a live band and 1/2 price drink specials.



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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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I stayed at the Ritz 2 years ago. Make sure you get one of the "newer" since the older ones are just that. I was not overly impressed with the beach, it was small and rocky. The pool was nice and of course the service is always great at the Ritz. The best thing we did was to go to St. John 4 days before we went to St. Thomas. Wish we would have spent the whole time on St. John, in fact we fell in love with St. John so much that we married there 9 months later. St. Thomas is simply a place where cruise ships come to dock and unload hundreds of passengers, making the place too dirty and too busy. Save your $$ and plan the majority of your trip on St. John
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 03:48 PM
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We are staying in a condo next to the Ritz so I have been taking notes for more reasonable priced restaurant spots. Real cheap breakfast can be found at Burrito Bay at the American Yacht Harbour Marina. They are supposed to have breakfast burritos with good homemade sausage for $3.50. Someone also recommended Bonnie's By The Sea at The Elysian Resort for breakfast. (It may be walking distance from the Ritz)
The Blue Moon Cafe at Secret Harbour also does breakfast and they are supposed to have one of the nicest snorkeling beaches. More reasonable priced restaurants in our area also include, Duffy's Love Shack, Molly Malone's Irish Pub, XO Bistro, Caribbean Saloon, Sopchoppy's, The East End Cafe, and Roberts (maybe a little more $ but I'm sure its less than the Ritz )at the Elysian also.
Someone also suggestee Randy's Wine Bar and Bistro which is in the Al Cohen Plaza between our end of the island and downtown. The Marina Market grocery store is also supposed to have to go sandwiches and a bakery with desserts.

I would recommend bringing your own snorkel equiptment or you risk getting a mask that doesn't fit properly.
Have a nice trip.
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Thanks to everyone for all of the help, I really appreciate it. I will keep all of these places in mind. Blue Moon seems to keep reappearing for referrals.. can anyone tell me how far Blue Moon is from the Ritz?

No one has yet replied about the Ritz's spa/salon.. if anyone could help out, it would be greatlyu appreciated. I've searched all over the internet for info/reviews, but have yet to find anything helpful.

Finally, can anyone advise me on the luggage issue? The 2 of us will be staying for a week, and will probably end up bringing our snorkel grear with us. We have a big canvas/thick mesh snorkeling bag to hold our equipment, but will this be okay to check in? Since it is thick mesh, you can see the contents easily and I am concerned about theft. If any of you bring your snorkel gear, could you please advise me on what sort of bag you bring it in?

Thanks again.
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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We have stayed on St. T's with our teens. We brought all our own snorkeling equip with us in one small LLBean canvas duffle - I have also used those thinner travel duffles - the kind that fold up into nothing - you don't need much protection for that equip - I wrap the masks/snorkel in the beach towel - hat works best for me when going to the islands as I can also put in the same bag sun lotion, and other miscellaneous beach gear.

I highly recommend on St. T's : SNuba, snorkeling, a day downtown (restaurants we like are: Herve (table w/ a view),, Alexander's Cafe, Agave Terrace), and a day trip to other islands (aside from a ride around St. T's) For our boating day trips when down in USVI or BVI we always use Nauti Nymph - out of Red Hook - www.st-thomas.com/nautinymph -
bring your passport and they will stop at St. John, Virgin Gorda/the Baths, Jos Van Dyke, Tortolla, the Indians and NOrmans Island or wherever you choose. You get to see a lot of the other islands on one day (say 8am to 5pm), lunch at a adifferent island, etc. nice day excursion.

I didn't have any treatments at the Ritz, sorry - but we did enjoy wonderful Chritsmas there a few years ago -

I like having own snorkeling gear for convenience and cleanliness. Resort fees are everywhere, and what they cover, if anything, can change,, but i would think tha tis listed on their web site or they shoujld be able to tell you.

You had some very nice other reasonably priced restaurant mentions here also. Have fun.
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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sunkissed, blue moon cafe at secret harbour is about 5 minutes down the road from the ritz. you will pass it on your way out to ritz. they do 3 meals daily - very well. have a nice beach bar and very good snorkeling off to the right side of the beach.
my snorkel gear travels in my suitcase. i have a hard plastic case for the mask. fins flat on the bottom. the mesh bag takes up the most room actually.
oh how i wish i could speak of the spa. have looked at it online and it looks gorgeous!!
if you want to do the bvi excursion it www.newhorizonscharters.com
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