St. Thomas and Peter Island trip report

Sep 23rd, 2005, 02:50 PM
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St. Thomas and Peter Island trip report

This is going to be a very different trip report than I would have written a
few days ago. Last night we received a call from the wife of dear friends
of ours. The husband has inoperable brain cancer. I just don't have the
heart for a lengthy trip report which is what I had planned.

As I said in an earlier post, this trip will be hard to top. We flew from
South Dakota on Northwest to Atlanta. Then Delta from there to St. Thomas.
All flights were on time or early. We stayed at Crystal Cove on Sapphire
Beach for 4 nights and really liked our large one bedroom condo. Very few
people around on a very nice beach. It was a wonderful surprise to discover
how good the snorkeling was among the rocks on the far right of Sapphire
Beach. Saw turtles and rays in the grassy area while swimming across to the rocks.

Marina Market in Red Hook was a real treat. Great warm bread, good variety at the deli, a huge wine selection and very friendly service. We
grilled out for simple meals because we knew we were going to have lots of
food on Peter Island.

We took the ferry from Red Hook to West End Tortolla where we were to be met
by a cab arranged by PI as that was included in our package. No one was
there so we took a cab to PI's ferry dock at Road Town. After a short ride
to PI, we were met by management and shown to our beach front junior suite,
I had called twice to arrange for twin beds. There was a king in our room,
but by evening it was changed. ( Another couple had also called twice with the same request and with the same results). I thought the room was nicer than the rooms
we stayed in at Caneel Bay.

The day we arrived the resort had 16 guests scattered in 50 rooms. It then
went down each day until there were four of us on our last day. I suppose
that the busy hurricane season was factor. (On the plane flying from St.
Thomas, I talked to a honeymoon couple returning from Caneel Bay. They said
occupancy was very low there also.) We had White Bay to ourselves on the
two full days we spent there. The beauty, the snorkeling, the lunch
brought to us made for memories I will relive for a long time.

Since there were so few guests, we never had a buffet meal. I thought the
salads I had were excellent. We rated our lobster dinner the best of the
six nights. We certainly didn't lack for food.

We thought the snorkeling was very good. I like to snorkel better than my
husband and it doesn't take the best snorkeling site in the world to make me
feel like the luckiest person alive. I spent six to seven hours a day
snorkeling. I had snorkel face at the end of each day. I didn't finish one
book. Actually, meals took a lot of our time due to service on "island
time". I liked the left and right sides of White Bay because they were very
different. Lots of juvenile fish on the left side as one faces the water.
I spent 15 minutes watching the cutest baby cow fish swim around rock.
I could get extremely close to the fish. I should add that both of us our
not good swimmers so we wear a flotation belt. This allows me to just hover
over the fish and coral. We were lucky to have an absolutely gorgeous
spotted ray swim around us for several minutes. Every snorkel was sparkled from
the sun dancing over the sand, fish, coral and rocks. Just magic. I
spotted a very colorful eel hissing at fish as they swam around it on Drake's

Our package included some spa services. I found Maggie and her staff
incredible. The setting and spa is awesome and beautiful. I have had very
few spa services of any kind in my 65 years, and I don't know if the massage
and facial I had on PI will ever be duplicated in terms of pure pleasure.
When I was having my foot and hand massage, tears just ran down my face.

I think this turned out to be a "hard to top trip" because of the weather,
the snorkeling, the very few (but friendly) guests at the resort, no TV, and
some fabulous staff. We really had a good time with some of the staff. I don't think we would like to be on Peter Island with 100 guests plus all the boat passengers allowed to use the pool, beach, etc.

The management baffled us. By the end we didn't know if upper management
knew what was going on at the resort. There were screw-ups and excuses by
some of the staff that should never have happened at PI. In the end, we
didn't know who to trust. Many complain about the
staff at Caneel Bay on St. John. We have never been treated at Caneel like
we were treated at Peter Island. Management knew I was upset when they came
to see us off. I honestly didn't know if they knew about the problems, or if they had caused them.
Management called twice after we
arrived home to aplogize and ask if they could send a gift to make things

Sep 23rd, 2005, 03:05 PM
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I hit post before I had a chance to do the spell check, so please pass over errors. I'd be happy to answer questions. Owa
Sep 23rd, 2005, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 230
It seems you still had a wonderful trip, dispite what ever the issues were--so I am so happy for you! We have very fond memories of PI from our trip. I can say there were a few slip ups, but then there things that were above and beyond, so in my case the positives ruled. Lucky you, lobster, we never did get any
Any way, so glad the strike didn't affect the trip, I remember you being concerned--and that you are home safe.
Best wishes to your dear friend.
beachluver is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2005, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,121
Sorry to hear about your friend.Hope that all goes well.

I enjoyed your trip report..I would love to see an eel hissing at fish..that sounds hilarious.we wear snorkeling vests which also allows you to just hover over and enjoy the underwater world.

I have had 2 deep tissue I know just how good you feel afterwards

Again thanks for your report.Take care!
christiegr is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Thanks beachluver and christiegr for your response.

A couple things I wanted to mention. If I were to go to Peter Island again, I would fly into Tortolla instead of taking the ferry. It is much easier to get to Caneel Bay on St. John. Especially since Caneel has an office at the airport. I sometime get "traveling migraines". After taking two ferries, and then making the dumb mistake of doing the curvy hills in a van for the island tour right after we arrived, I had a real killer headache. I was in bed by five missing the manager's party. My husband said it was very nice. Management sent food and checked on me in the morning. I was fine the next day.

If anyone drinks Chivas and goes to Red Hook, Marina Market has it for half the price I pay here in SD. We also bought a nice bottle of wine which was not of line for price.

I love snorkeling so much because of the element of surprise. I always saw something new and unexpected every time I went out. I failed to mention that we did do a trip to the Indians. It was like nothing we had ever seen, but we both decided we liked White Bay better.

Sep 24th, 2005, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
owa: Thanks for the trip report. I wonder if it was the same eagle ray I swam with in White Bay 3 years ago. It was huge. Anyway, other than the screw-up with the twin beds, I'm wondering if you could give us more details on the problems. Are they the type which are on-going issues with service? How do you think service could be improved?
Tuxedocat is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 11:45 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 74
We are still waiting to hear about the errors. "Management knew I was upset when they came to see us off." What does that mean? Did you tell them ahead of time you wanted twin beds? Is THIS the issue?

Sounds to me that the only mistake you made was your flight situation. Your trip sounds lovely.
newyorkergal is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 04:20 PM
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After receiving our friend 's phone call, any problems we had at Peter Island seem pretty insignificant. It was actually pretty dumb for me to even mention anything. To explain it adequately, I'd have to give facts that might get some staff into trouble. The last thing I want is for someone to lose their job.

I know these are reoccurring problems after discussions while on the Island. Trip reports on "Advisor" mention them also.

I mentioned the twin beds because the other couple (two friends) were given two rooms to fix the king bed issue. All of their luggage had been soaked while on the ferry and they had to spread all of the clothes out to dry. They were very upset the next day when they had to pack everything and move to an entirely different room. They thought after two phone calls all of the inconvenience could have been avoided. Just trying to alert anyone if they are going with the same request. Owa

Sep 24th, 2005, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 997
Dear Owa,

I hope you know that your friend will be in my will too. It's so difficult to deal with the illness of anyone we care about. But when it is someone of our own age, that makes us all reflect on our own mortality...a scary thought for all of us.

Your trip report was a great one. Thanks for taking the time to post, when I'm sure you didn't feel like doing so.

I would advise taking a break from posting ;-) Read when you feel like it and let others research on their own.

In other words, take care of YOU !
MarionCK is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 06:27 PM
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You are so right..owa take care of you and that is all that matters right now.
christiegr is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 04:20 AM
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Marion and Christiegr, Thanks for the kind and considerate words. I'm going to take a trip to Seattle very soon which is where our friends live. Owa
Sep 25th, 2005, 07:13 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,980
I am also sorry to hear about your friend. It seems that when someone close to us becomes ill or something, everything else seems so trivial.
I am glad that you had a nice trip. I have never been to St Thomas or Peter Island it sounds wonderful!
Best wishes to your friend.
girlonthego is online now  
Sep 25th, 2005, 03:35 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 899
I am very sorry....but I disagree. I feel that if you are to point out inadequacies of management or other also have the responsibility to be specific. When I read owa's original post, I was left very confused. It sounded as if everything, but for the bed mixup, was incredible. Then we are hit with this negativity about the stay at the end of the post. But nothing specific. I feel that if you aren't willing to get into the details, don't post comments left for conjecture.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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Caribbeansoul, You are correct, and I have already said how much I regret having said anything. Owa

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