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icedcoffee Jul 18th, 2014 09:07 PM

HI Phillybob,
I was at the Mark when it was primarily a gay resort. It was a beautiful property, with a great restaurant. We operated non-stop through Hurricane Hugo, and had a great local following.
The property was over extended, and sadly did close in 1992.

IslandChica Aug 3rd, 2014 03:16 AM

i was in stt w/my beau for 6 months in 2008. i didn't feel threatened - but when my beau went out on his own - he did. and most of the guys i talked with that lived there said they were hassled by the locals. but the girls apparently aren't. my beau is the type that gets along with everyone - a musician - very inoffensive type. so maybe there's a thing w/the male islanders not liking foreign guys?

we had a car for the first couple of weeks until we settled at miller manor which is centrally located in the charlotte amelie area. but otherwise we used the safari($2)and walked everywhere. we're not big clubbers/drinkers - so we weren't out late often - maybe for the occasional movie. but on the occasion we were out late i must say - downtown was deserted after dark - but i did not feel a particular unsafe vibe.

miller manor is a great place to stay. it's not for the resort crowd - but then, i hate staying in resorts 'cause all you meet are other americans and everything is so "same"! i prefer to meet the people of where ever i visit.

the manor is up on a slight but steep hill w/a fabulous view of the bay. i got to know and speak w/many neighbors on the way up to the manor. they were nice people who enjoyed chatting! the neighborhood does look a bit dodgy in parts - but hey - it is what it is.

we went to all of the beaches but preferred coki 'cause it was easy to get to and had great rum drinks at the stands and the snorkling was the best of all the beaches. and the adjacent museum is a nice respite from the sun - if you wanted to go indoors for a spell.

at the entrance to the street you walk down to get to coki was a great little local eatery - no name! opposite was an expensive restaurant frequented by white folk - but the food wasn't good and i just hate paying for bad food! but the eatery - run and frequented by locals had the best fish on the island and cheap - like $7 a plate. they liked that we were foodies and preferred their local fare to the expensive crap across the street!

the sailing is great on stt - and ferries to the other islands and the bvi are convenient - and there's the sea plane too which you must take just because - well - how often do you get to fly in a sea plane? the mosquitoes are everywhere and the're fierce little buggers! but get yourself some "ya mate" for the mozzies - as the aussies say! best NATURAL skeeter repellent on the planet!

we also liked coki 'cause the locals hung out there and felt comfortable smoking with them too - although i do understand there's crime in the area - but we didn't feel unsafe in particular. we're white.

but i have to say that i did see overt discrimination towards whites for the first time in my life on stt. as a person that doesn't see color - it was shocking to observe. but the truth is that there is every combination of hate and bigotry everywhere in the world - white on white - black on black - yellow on white - white on yellow - brown on white - white on brown - you get what i'm saying!

but to be completely honest - i thought the white folk were the ones who behaved strangely! i'm a pretty well educated person who speaks several languages and have been to over 40 countries in the world - and can rise or lower myself to any occasion! but there's no doubt the white islanders had an attitude. is it because they're predominantly east coasters? i don't know. but i asked the black folk "what's with the white folk here?" and they explained there's a plantation mentality here.

perhaps that's the reason why the locals resent white folk and may appear rude or unfriendly - although that wasn't my personal experience at all. but i think a normal exchange between people - no matter the color of one's skin - depends on the person.

i'm going back there in sept for 4 months. my son is coming with. it'll be interesting to see if it's changed much in the past 6 years. i worry about my son being hassled. we'll see what happens. we're going for work this time - he's a photographer.

but there seems to be a lot of fear mongering on this thread. being held up by knife point is pretty scary - but i think that could happen ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. indeed, my kiwi friend was held up by knife point in guatamala city by a disabled person - go figure!

and yes, i do understand that stt has a high murder rate - but one should always be careful no matter where you are - but hey - you can't live in a cave! if my time's up then my times up!

but it's a lovely island - and has much nicer people than the dominican republic - which has a worse murder rate and everyone is out to jip you! i didn't feel particularly unsafe in jamaica - which has a high murder rate too - but did avoid kingston.

but then, i think nyc is positively horrible - and in fact - i just don't like big cities as a whole - (paris and amsterdam are exceptions),

anyway - i guess the point i'm making is depending on how you look at the world - is how you'll experience it! but stt is definitely worth a stay!

mstairs Aug 8th, 2014 03:03 AM

My boyfriend and I went to STT for 2 weeks in March. Although we stayed at the Marriott Frenchmen's Reef, we ventured out of the resort quite a bit. Our first night we went to the Fat Turtle in Havensight and walked around before we went back to the resort. One night we went to the MMA fight at the high school, went over to Molly Malones after and took a cab back to the resort (around midnight). I went to Coki Beach and to the laundromat near Havensight by myself. We went grocery shopping and shopped at KMart for little things. We made quite a few alcohol runs and overall we had no problems with the locals and we even used them for taxi service. We enjoyed our time so much that we're going back next march.

I would be ignorant if I said there wasn't any crime. Crime can happen anywhere. People have to understand that there are a lot of people in a very small area. Toes are going to get stepped on. I felt safer on the STT than I do in some cities in the states.

mstairs Aug 8th, 2014 03:20 AM

In regards to my last boyfriend is black and I'm white. I was expecting tension because of the inter-racial relationship but there was none.

ShelleyGug Sep 8th, 2014 05:52 PM

I'm really sorry to hear that some people had a bad experience in St.Thomas. My husband and I go all the time and we love it. Even going to Coki Beach. We have a great day there. We love the Island and the people. Even last August I did a girls trip there. I've taken my girlfriends there twice in four years and their crazy about it to. I hope some will give it another chance.

diann24 Sep 10th, 2014 02:12 PM

They have some really good deals there in October. I don't think there are many hurricanes then they are usually Sept. I wonder if there is a lot rain at that time.

tom42 Sep 11th, 2014 06:09 AM

<<I am wondering if that island in particular does not like being part of a US territory and resent US people going there? I think PR might as well for various reasons. Just a thought--who really knows.>>

Just a thought based on what? I've been going to Puerto Rico every year for over 20 years and have never encountered any resentment. In fact, I find the people there to be quite friendly. (I know this was a post from the spring but I just saw it and wanted to counter it so as not to leave people who may be thinking of visiting PR the wrong impression).

diann24 Sep 11th, 2014 06:22 AM

tom42 I am glad your experiences have been good.

My son was in the Navy and stationed in PR a few years ago. To my recollection there was some testing the Navy was doing, of some sort that the people felt was cancer causing. The Navy is no longer there to my knowledge. I was there several times to visit with my son prior to leaving on a cruise I also never really felt any bad vibes personally. I prefer other island over PR for different reasons. (beach culture food choices etc.)

joethebear Nov 3rd, 2014 07:05 PM

Where is good area for February trip?


Travelsafely Jan 23rd, 2015 02:07 PM

First of all, St. Thomas is not anything like Detroit! I know, because I live in a suburb of Detroit. Let's not compare the two places at all! In fact, you can walk downtown Charlotte Amalie and find local people very friendly. The same with Red Hook! Locals will come up to you and say hello and even ask if you are having a great day. They will even apologize if it rains while you are there. The majority of the people on the island are like this. Very friendly. Yes, they do welcome travelers. This is how they earn their money. Be smart! Be alert! Only stay on the streets heavily populated. And if you want to wander further on foot, go with a group of people. Don't wear expensive jewelry. I can't believe the tourists I see wearing their gold! Nothing like advertising! And then they cry because someone tour it off their necks. Be street smart! Don't carry large amounts of cash. Use only one credit card. Keep your car doors locked when driving. You should do this in any country including the USA! Coki beach is not a beach I would go to. There are many beautiful beaches on the island that are safe in front of timeshares, hotels and Magens Beach. It amazes me when I hear people get all riled up when they read something and are afraid to travel. Go and have a good time! See the world! Just be careful, be smart, be aware of your surroundings, smile and enjoy your vacation. It's a beautiful island and the people are beautiful! That's why I enjoy going there yearly. If it was so unsafe, why do all those cruise ships stop there and they are planning on building another dock for more ships! There is so much fun things to see and do in St. Thomas! My two cents!

IslandTyme Jan 25th, 2015 04:39 AM

Consider St. Croix. It's a USVI, with two very distinct sides of a beautiful island.

Ozarksbill Feb 6th, 2015 09:00 AM

Without any plans to visit St. Thomas I read this long thread about safety and vacationing with interest. We spent a day there some years ago as a cruise ship stop, first walking around in Charlotte Amalie, Ft. Christian, seeing where Pizzaro painted. And then an afternoon tour via trolley into the mountains to the Great House and then a view of Megan's Bay.

So we didn't feel unsafe back then. Now a question: is St. Thomas any more dangerous for tourists than other places in the world (name any you wish)? We've traveled widely and other than letting our guard down in Athens and having wallets lifted on a crowded bus have never felt threatened. Yes, warnings about gypsies in Rome and pickpockets in Madrid and threats in Budapest. So is this just a question of tourists having common sense wherever they are, trying not to be too blatantly American?

diann24 Feb 6th, 2015 03:17 PM

I was terrified going to Rome due to the gypsy pickpocket etc. I over did it in safey with hidden wallets, straps that could not be cut, and never once did I feel threatened in any parts of Italy. Love Budapest again never any problem for us. St. Martin is also another Island that has issues and indeed I believe they do there is a huge police presence and we were told where to go and not to go in p.m. even by locals. You need to be vigilant not matter where you are. I guess I would go to ST. Thomas again we were there on a cruise ship several times. I would stay for a week no problem.

suze Feb 6th, 2015 04:39 PM

<So is this just a question of tourists having common sense wherever they are, trying not to be too blatantly American?>

No, I believe some places do have more of a crime problem than others.

Bassguy66 Feb 12th, 2015 06:48 AM

"No, I believe some places do have more of a crime problem than others."

I completely agree that some places seem to be safer than others. But I also am convinced that many places get bad reputations by paranoid tourists getting freaked out by being asked to by some pot, and all of a sudden the place is labeled as "dangerous".

The Caribbean is far from Disney World, and yet so many seem to let their guard down when they visit the islands, and put themselves in bad situations.

joethebear Feb 12th, 2015 08:19 AM

My DD just spent her honeymoon in St Thomas and did not encounter any bad situations.

Yes, she did say there were some rough looking areas but didn't go there.

It was a lovely trip. They stayed at Point Pleasant.

Hefrod Jul 5th, 2015 11:21 AM

Fast forward to this morning July 5 2015 My girlfriend and her best friend with her daughter 18 and best friend were just robbed while in the condo.
The thieves came in the back sliding glass door while My girlfriend and her best friend were at the beach some 50 yards away. Her daughter and best friend were still in the bedroom! They stole their wallets with much cash in them and ran out the front door throwing the wallets down so at least they have their cards and ID's! My girlfriend described St Thomas as unfriendly, beaches other than Megans beach are hard to walk in. Taxi's are ripoff artists, shopping is terribly expensive, and the locals are not pleasant at all. No need to ever go back I thankfully live in LA where she said they should have vacationed :-). The police were nice but could not give them a report for many days??? Ya US owned but definitely not operated as such.

Sab2015 Aug 24th, 2015 12:44 PM

I just got back from "vacationing" in St Thomas for 6 nights. It was not the tropical paradise I had imagined. Although the beaches are beautiful and the food is good, I would say the cons outweighed the pros by far.

What shocked me the most is the amount of trash in peoples yards and on the side of the roads. I understand some of the buildings being destroyed by past hurricanes but this was different.

I was offered drugs daily in various parts of the island. The people who offered drugs to me weren't pushy or rude but still made it uncomfortable for me.

Most locals were not very friendly although we did encounter a few that were.

When finally driving through a rough part of town to find Coki beach we were stopped by a local to collect 5 dollars for parking which I don't believe he was actually allowed to do but I could be wrong so we lied and said we were going to coral world. We turned around at Coral world and headed back to Coki where the guy was no where to be found so we parked. As we were getting out of our rental car, a local pulled up next to us took all the trash out of his car, including glass bottles and threw it all in the bushes which were already loaded with trash. I feel as if the locals have no sense of community or respect for their home. Its sad!

While at Coki we were approached twice to buy drugs and one time was from one of the women working the food/bar. Wow!!!

We felt safe most of the time but some areas and people made me feel very uncomfortable. I wanted to go home by the third day.

The food prices are super pricey which I guess I expected but didn't realize it would be so much.

We stayed at the Elysian which I felt very safe and the restaurants on site had good food and drinks.

There is good shopping in Charlotte Amalie and Havensight.

Overall, I was shocked at the amount of trash and poor quality of roads/signage and the overall feel of the island.

I think the saving grace was our day trip to St. John which was absolutely beautiful. I would never recommend someone to stay on St. Thomas nor would I ever go back. Maybe my hopes were too high and I don't mean to sound too harsh but I did not enjoy my stay very much.

cbr2015 Aug 30th, 2015 12:08 PM

I just returned from a week on STT last night. I have lived on St. Croix and St. John. I first went to live there in 1977 and have either lived there full/part time (about 5-6 months at a stretch when part time) OR gone there for business for 2 wks at a time at least every other month for years (and years....). So, I think I have some idea of what the changes have been and what the current situation is.
The truth is, STT is just plain sad and disgusting when you simply LOOK at the environment--NOT THE BEAUTIFUL WATER OR BEACHES!!. As Sab2015 wrote before me, the island is filthy and rundown. It really is. Yes, there are lovely areas and private homes and resorts but to travel between these places forces you to see the ugly---and it is everywhere.
Some examples: the starving cats & dogs, the stinking, filled past capacity dumpters and trash all around them, the falling down buildings, half completed homes with the rusting rebar, burned up/trashed abandoned cars around every corner, piles of trash & who-can-tell what---that's what is sad and depressing.
I'm not sure what is happening in the minds of the locals....I mentioned to a longtime resident that I was shocked about the amount of trash I was seeing on island and his response was, "Oh?....I think things are looking pretty good lately..." I truly think he just doesn't see it.
There is an organization (ie: Mary Dema) on STX that is cleaning up Christiansted. STT needs that kind of community effort. It could be done!! There IS so much good, so many positive people on STT and that is being undermined and hidden by the obvious trash and rundown state of the island.
I believe it would better to see that fact and start to remedy it.

livingonstthomas Oct 25th, 2015 05:45 AM

I have lived on St Thomas for three years. When I moved here I was concerned with the rumors of runaway crime, but am pleased to say that both my wife and I feel completely safe here. Now, I would no sooner walk around late at night at Coki Point or the downtown area than I would in Chicago, Boston, New York, Los Angeles or any other town, but if the question is about the relative safety for locals or travelers then I must say that I am as comfortable here as anywhere. There is crime everywhere. It is nice to think we should be able to drink until we are stupid, party for five days straight, flaunt our jewelry and cash and still be able to walk in a downtown area at 2 in the morning, but that is simply not the case in any part of the world.
I agree that the culture here is different. The customer service skills of the locals is lacking, and it is easy to confuse cultural norms with indifference. If you are coming to St Thomas to visit, use common sense regarding being out at night alone. Learn the culture and try to avoid judging the locals based on what you are used to seeing in the states. Accept the culture and then decide if it is a place you wish to return to.
There are wonderful hotels, restaurants, dive sites and beaches on the island. I have visited over 18 islands in the Caribbean and they are all different. St Thomas is not Florida, is not St Martin and is not Aruba. It is St Thomas. There are good points and bad points, but as far as safety I must say that I feel much less safe when traveling to the larger cities stateside that I do here.
I hope this helps, from a locals perspective.

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