St. Thomas Trip Highlights...

May 13th, 2003, 07:16 PM
  #1  
Cal
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St. Thomas Trip Highlights...

My wife and I just returned for a glorious week in beautiful and entertaining St. Thomas...Here is a concise guide (as promised) for the benefit of other travelers.

BEST UPSCALE RESTUARANTS:
1. Herve in downtown Charlotte Amalie presented a nice view of the harbor, an excellent wine list, cordial service and above average cuisine.

2. The Old Stone Farmhouse, with a charming plantation style ambience, would have rated first had it not been for the very slow service. However, we were told this was the "restaurant of choice" of many of the chefs in the area which sparked our interest. The food was A+, so they may have been right on that count!

BEST MODERATE PRICED RESTUARANTS:

A virtual tie between these three:

1. Cuzzin's Caribbean Restaurant, specializing in fresh local dishes such as
stuffed lobster and seafood.

2. The Blue Moon Cafe at Secret Harbor
was outstanding and offered a great view of the beach. Very casual, good service.

3. Mafolie Hotel & Restuarant provided a beautiful view of the harbor and superb local cuisine.

BEST SNORKELING & OVERALL BEACH:

Sapphire Beach, hands down over the other heavily promoted beaches such as Coki Beach on St. Thomas and a couple of other locations on St. Johns...Magens Bay is beautiful from afar and stunning from beachside, but does not have the steady sea breeze we found at Sapphire.
At Sapphire we liked the ability to order a quick beverage at the poolside bar, the nighlife and entertainment available (especially on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons). And the overall effect of the tourquoise water that rolled into the sea with a backdrop of mountains was stunning! The iguanas and "sea ducks" gave Sapphire an added charm in our opinion. There seemed to be more visual stimulation at Sapphire than any of the five other beaches we visited. It has become our favorite in the Caribbean, period!

OTHER SUGGESTIONS:

1. Take the day trip to Virga Gorda and The Baths...It was pricey but worth it! Several firms offer these excursions. We went out with a company called New Horizons II.

2. If you take cabs like we did, ask about the regularly routed "open air" vehicles to save big bucks.--They may take a little longer, but who's in a big hurry when you're on vacation!

3. Take a back back and freeze your water bottles before you take a daily excursion. They will come in handy as the day progresses and it will save you the hassle of having to buy it!

4. Have fun at some of the local beach bars such as Duffy's Love Shack and Fungi's On the Beach. The appetizers and specialty drinks were very good at both places.

Hope this helped for what it's worth! This was our second trip and won't be our last.

Cal & Patty
Cal is offline  
May 14th, 2003, 03:54 AM
  #2  
 
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Great trip report. My family will take their first trip to St. Thomas in July. We've booked a villa in Peterborg which looks nice - right near Magens Bay. We've also got a couple of cars rented - we usually like to explore on our own.

Is there a good grocery store with lots of variety in the Peterborg area that you are aware of?

On restaurants we've also heard the following are great: Alexander's, Banana Tree Grill, Herves, Randy's Bistro, Virgilio's, Blue Moon and especially Agave Terrace. Any comments on any of these?

Did you make reservations way in advance??

Thanks for the help. We usually travel to Barbados but thought we'd try something else as well.
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May 14th, 2003, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for the report Cal. I had surgery a month ago and finally got my bandages and stitches removed yesterday, have been feeling kinda down,and you brought me back up with the good memories I had of our trip in February. Just talked to my friend two days ago about how much we're missing our morning breakfasts and Duffy's. I feel much better now that you've given me something good to think about.
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May 14th, 2003, 11:56 AM
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I did make reservations about 3 days out in advance esp. Old stone Farmhouse and Blue moon Cafe. Call day of to canfirm. Old Stone Farmhouse was incredible!!!
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May 15th, 2003, 06:04 AM
  #5  
Cal
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Lois,

Agave Terrace is not too shabby! In fact, very good, especially on "Thai night"...Sorry I can't help you with a grocery store except to say that what they call "the big K-Mart" is the best overall place to save money on practically everything according to the locals.--Surprising to us, that even included liquor! I think there are two K-Marts, but the one I speak of seemed to be kind of centrally located. CAL
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May 21st, 2003, 08:55 AM
  #6  
Am
 
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We will be honeymooning in St. Thomas in June. I'm trying to plan a nice dinner one night (b/c it is also my fiance's b-day while we will be there). I'm looking for great food and atmosphere and a nice harbor view would be nice too. Which of the following restaurants do you think would be best (or maybe you have a better suggestion):
1. Old Stone Farmhouse
2. Hotel 1829
3. Herve
4. Mafolie

These are just the ones I keep hearing about. Any help would be great.....

Also, does anyone know if there is a spot on St. Thomas to swim with the dolphins?
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May 21st, 2003, 09:59 AM
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Not a view of the harbour, but a magnificent place and view itself Te Old stone Farmhouse, you won't be disappointed. call ahead and they probablly can do something specail for the birthday. One of the finest places for food and service I have been in, next to New York.
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May 21st, 2003, 11:51 AM
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1. Old Stone Farmhouse
no view to speak of especially after dark
2. Hotel 1829
no dining available but dinner at the Inn at Blackbeards is a fantastic substitute with a great view
3. Herve
excellent but both Mafolie and Blackbeard's are from higher up in the hills.
4. Mafolie
higher wider view than Blackbeards but haven't tried it since the new management.
Thankfully there is no dolphin prison on St. Thomas. For that you can head to Tortola since they've reopened the one there.
Alexander's - great, Banana Tree Grill - not my favorite but Room with a View although indoors is lovely, Herve - excellent, Randy's Bistro - only place I've had "bad" bass one time but great martinis and pick your wine with a corkage fee from the retail selection, Blue Moon - very good and especially Agave Terrace - spotty at best, good salad, good wine list, table on the rail is preferred
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May 21st, 2003, 12:50 PM
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cdt
 
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I wasn't going to mention the Tortola dolphins because I didn't want to encourage it.

However, a suitable substitute in STT might be the "Sea Trek" thing at Coral World, where you walk around by the reef with a helmet on.

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May 22nd, 2003, 04:33 AM
  #10  
Am
 
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I have heard something about that sea trekking. Have you done that before? Would you say it is worth while to do it?

We are looking for some fun activites to do while we are there
1.Possibly jet skiing. Any recommendations for that?
2.Or any good day trips that might be fun (ie to British V.I.)

Thanks for all the above great info!!
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May 22nd, 2003, 12:51 PM
  #11  
cdt
 
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St. Thomas has more activities available than many other islands, which is one reason we chose it for a trip with an easily-bored 16-year-old.

We visited Coral World and didn't do Sea Trek ourselves, but talked to others who enjoyed it. It would probably seem hokey for a true scuba diver but looked like fun for the rest of us.

There are lots of daytrips available by sailboat (my favorite) or powerboat (they can go a lot farther). Most of the sail trips from STT just go to St. John, although there was a catamaran that sailed from the Renaissance resort to Jost van Dyke. Powerboat trips go to The Baths on Virgin Gorda and other locations in the British Virgin Islands.

Also, you may like the sound of some of the daysails that are based on St. John, and you can easily take the ferry over there in the morning.

Seems like we may have seen jet skis at American Yacht Harbor or Sapphire Marina but I'm not sure.

Check usvi-on-line.com for more info.


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May 22nd, 2003, 04:05 PM
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Cal,
Where did you stay & did you like it? We are considering St Thomas as a destination, but are looking for moderate prices.
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Jun 17th, 2003, 12:35 AM
  #13  
Cal
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Sparks,

We usually make our trips to timeshare properties through RCI and have rarely been disappointed in seven years of doing so...No, I don't work for RCI by the way! My suggestion for moderate priced properties would be to get on the Fodors internet "trip planner" site and see what pops up...Another source is www.askjeeves. com, which we use quite often.Then, call the properties direct and negotiate an even better deal...GOOD LUCK and have a great trip!
Cal is offline  
Jun 17th, 2003, 02:46 AM
  #14  
 
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"sparks": check out usvi-on-line.com for summer (low season) accomodation deals.
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Jun 17th, 2003, 03:39 PM
  #15  
k
 
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Our son has lived and worked in STT for the past 4 years. Al the restaurants mentioned are great. Mafolie is lovely and has great chefs...according to my son.
for groceries, go to the new Pueblo though i think there is another new grocery store too..just don't remember the name. Groceries are $$ and be careful of the refrigerated and frozen foods, sometimes they have been there forever. We usually buy fish from a fish market near the marina at Crown Bay. Peterborg is a great area, you might want to rent a car
Try the BOB excursion. He tells us it is a hoot..especially for those who don't usually snorkel or dive. You can get a look at it by going to Royal caribbean cruises web site and go to shore excursions and stthomas. Dan says it's awesome.
Head over to St John's for a day and if a Jazz combo is playing at the Westin It might just be our son earning a few extra bucks.
Don't miss Cuzzins and for a quick cheap sandwich, have a cuban at the little market a block up the hill from Little Switzerland.
Weather should be ok, unless hurricane or tropical depression is around. Low season, so check with restaurants ahead, but probably not too bad.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 06:57 AM
  #16  
mm
 
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Hello k,

What is the BOB excursion? I checked rccl but nothing jumped out at me. My wife and I are going to STT the first week of August.

Thanks,

MM
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Jul 13th, 2003, 10:26 AM
  #17  
Cal
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Think "BOB" is an underwater "bubble" reminiscentt of what the old sea divers in the 1930's and 40's used before moder scuba gear came into vogue.--The brochure we saw showed a guy looking out of an oversized underwater bubble...We didn't go on the trip, however...
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Jul 14th, 2003, 05:26 PM
  #18  
 
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We'll only be in St. Thomas for one day (cruise stop). What should we "not miss" (we are not shoppers)?
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