St. Thomas or St. John?

Old Oct 18th, 2005, 05:36 AM
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St. Thomas or St. John?

Having trouble decide between these two islands. I'll be on my honeymoon in June of 2006. I'm looking for a place with a breath-taking beach, plenty of R & R, great restaurants/food, nice pool, lively bars for the evening and some privacy. Looked into Caneel Bay & the Westin for St. John.
St. John looks beautiful but St. Thomas looks to be more lively. Though this isn't a major concern for me it still stirs my curiosity.
Please, if there is any help out there feel free to clue me in with any information on the islands and places to stay. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks...
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 06:15 AM
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It really depends on what you enjoy doing on your honeymoon. There are many beautiful places on both islands and yes, St. Thomas is more complex and perhaps multilayered than St. John. Look into the Ritz-Carlton on St. Thomas as well.
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Do the cruis ships dock on St. Thomas or St. John? If so, does that make the island TOO populated?
I heard St. Thomas was dirty is that true?
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Dirty?
I'm not sure I've ever heard or seen it myself.
Are there undesirable areas? Of course.
Most Islands have some areas that tourist might not want to visit.
If you're on your honeymoon the Ritz is liked a walled compound and you don't have to see anything on the island if you choose.
On St. John you probably want to stay at Caneel over the Westin. The Westin is a geared to families and might not be what you're looking for on a honeymoon.
Cannel has beautiful beaches compared to Westin’s, which is man-made. The snorkeling is also great at Caneel.
Cruz Bay has some excellent restaurants and some great places to hang out for drinks.
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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Forgot to answer you cruise ship question; they dock at St Thomas, BUT smaller boats or "tenders" to the cruise ships come into Cruz Bay and drop off people.
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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Stephen ross: I've been answering questions regarding Caneel and Cruz Bay on another post. With respect to St. Thomas, I go there often for day trips and I find it a very lively place with all the conveniences of home, warehouse style markets, KMart, Home Depot, and wonderful restaurants and beautiful places like Magens Bay. Fun places like Coki's Coral World or Black Beard's castle, etc. etc. I've never felt uncomfortable on St. Thomas but I tend to be comfortable just about anywhere including a Turkish bazaar. St. Thomas is not dirty. It has some low-income areas where things are not kept up as well as others, and some of the architecture is not too posh either, but I wouldn't call it dirty per se. Certainly the resorts and tourist areas are clean.
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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tuxedocat:
would you recommend St. THomas over St. John?
I like the luxary of being able to visit St. Thomas from St. John.
I just want a breath-taking beach with the luxary of a fun/lively bar to cap my day off at.
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 10:04 AM
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Ahhh... that's where you have to make a decision for yourself. I'm one of the biggest St. John fanatics on this board so I can't even pretend to give an unbiased opinion. I think if you don't mind going off resort to find a livelier bar scene, then you will be very happy with St. John. If you prefer to just crawl back to your room from a fun resort bar, then I think you should look at St. Thomas because I think the bar scene at the Ritz may be well, Ritzier.
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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what bars off the resort (Caneel Bay) do you recommend?
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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It depends on your tastes. The Quiet Mon is a local favorite. I enjoy the one right beneath it at La Tapas. Woody's next door is always a hoot. Then there's Rhumba Lines and Duffy's Love Shack. On the Coral Bay side, which is where we spend most of our time, we love Island Blues, Skinny Legs and Shipwreck Landing. You will have no problem finding great places to unwind on either island.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 03:26 AM
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stephen,
I second the Quiet Mon...also The Beach Bar in Wharfside Village is fun and sometimes has live bands and it's on the waters edge at Cruz Bay so you can enjoy the views of the lights of St Thomas at night!

Caneel Resort is a great place with some great snorkeling on it's 6 or 7 beaches on it's property.

I have not stayed in St Thomas..too busy for me!

Have fun..wherever you end up!

Christie
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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We went back and forth just like you did and finally chose St. Thomas and were pleased with our choice. The majority of the hotels are not by the downtown area, so it's not like you don't have the quiet when you want it. The cruise ships do dock in Charlotte Amalie and it can get crowded. St. Thomas is NOT dirty, however. You do have the option of taking the the ferry over to St. John for a visit.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 05:29 AM
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thanks Knowing:

what hotel did you stay at on St. Thomas?
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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if you have decided on st. thomas may i suggest secret harbour if you want condo style. RIGHT on the beach. nice rooms with patio or balcony. they have a beautiful beach with very good snorkeling, very good restaurant, fun {not so much lively} bar but duffy's love shack is 5 mins away in red hook and it is very lively.
if you prefer the hotel type - marriott frenchmans reef in the morning star section would be very nice. the restaurant there 'havana blue' is a 5star in my opinion. oh so romantic carib style decor, and this unbelievable cuban/fusion/carib food.
if you want ai try wyndham sugar bay - but the beach is a hike from the hotel rooms. has fairly good snorkeling.
the ritz if you want ritzy [has stunning infinity pool]
bolongo bay if you want non stop fun. also right on beach.
secret harbour and ritz are 5 mins to st. john ferry. sugar bay about 10 mins. so you could easily enjoy st. john on a day trip basis.
www.secretharbourvi.com is definelty my first choice even if you don't want to use a kitchen. and you can easily drive or taxi to any island restaurant.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Hi Stephen,
We stayed at Wyndham Sugar Bay. It is an AI. We chose it as we were with friends who like to travel in this manner. And as I stated, we were pleased. We got a great rate. The food was good and the alcohol was all top shelf. The rooms were nice with a refrigerator, nice bathroom, beautiful views from all the rooms, great staff, and there's always something going on at night. We took the opportunity to eat out on the island a couple of times and went to Duffy's one night. The beach, although a private one, is not breathtaking. The pool area is very nice. It is down the hill. You can either take the steps down - which are not a big deal, or the shuttle, which goes every five min.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Hi, Virginia...I have a St.Thomas question for you...we are looking for a 2 bedroom condo for 2 nights in February and while Secret Harbour looks great, it's something like $600.00 a night which is more than I would like to spend. What do you think about Cowpet Bay or Point Pleasant? I have read good and bad reviews about point pleasant and have been to their restaurant years ago but have heard little about Cowpet except that it's close to the Ritz. Good snorkeling at either place? Point Pleasant has two 2 bedroom units on the hill that are supposed to have great views. I don't care if the service is not great or I see a lizard or an ant in the room like some have complained about ....I will just be happy to be out of Ohio and on a beach....thanks...Lori
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Hello Stephen! The cruise ships dock in St. Thomas at the port in Charlotte Amalie.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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hi lori, unfortunately i have not stayed at cowpet or point pleasant so perhaps someone else will know more. for me one of the priorities for carib travel is to be directly on the beach. that walk right out onto the sand and into the sea is what does it for me. for this reason i like sh.
so, that said, both places are within 10 mins of either secret harbour or sugar bay for snorkeling. my instinct is point pleasant over cowpet.
a site you might look at is www.travelhop.com click the hotels tab then type in st. thomas. it will show you numerous resorts. click a resort and then the print just under the photo - this brings up the list of 360 virtual tours. they have point pleasant but not cowpet.

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Old Oct 21st, 2005, 09:17 PM
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Stephen-Hi, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
You COULD stay on both islands and experience the uniqueness of each. How long is your honeymoon? Red Hook (St Thomas) has lively bars , but in a different town atmosphere from Cruz Bay, St John.
During the first and so far only trip I've made to the Caribbean., we stayed three days on St Thomas and five days on St John, and loved it all!
I enjoyed them both, in different ways. Red Hook has more of a --how to say?--"down to earth" feel than Cruz Bay. Cruz Bay is picture perfect beauty--Red Hook less so, but interesting and lively. Maybe a more frequent visitor can help describe these differences. (Tuxedocat????) At that end of the island there's good snorkeling at Coki and reportedly at Secret Harbour (did not get to that one).
That said, if i had limited time, on a honeymoon I'd stay on ST JOHN.

Lori, I stayed at Point Pleasant in a one bedroom condo and loved it. We were fairly close to the water and loved the view. The suite was fine--not posh or elegant, but clean and comfortable. There's an open-air restaurant right at water's edge there that had good food, and fun atmosphere, good drinks, and that sloooowwww service that tells you, "You're in the Caribbean--relax, mon!" Wonderful Coki beach is about a ten minute walk up a "country road" from Pt P past a beach at the adjoining resort (which may be closed) and an old cemetary with above-ground tombs (like NOLA's)
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Old Oct 22nd, 2005, 11:42 AM
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You might check out Sapphire Beach Resrot. Great beach, wonderful view & 5 minutes from Red Hook.

http://antillesresorts.com/2sapphirebeach.htm
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