STX and STJ trip report

Nov 15th, 2006, 03:16 AM
  #1  
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STX and STJ trip report

This is our first time taking a family trip since my son was born. A lot of the restaurants I listed, we did take out. We also didn’t do as much activities as we used to. Our photos are at the link below (please use the 2nd link. I don't why two links show up. But only the 2nd one works.)

Photos community.webshots.com/user/dodolin100

Nov, 2nd, 2006.
We left very early from Houston. The flights from IAH to Miami and Miami to STX were both short and excellent. I had the Benadryl in my bag, but Miles, my son, was well behaved. We didn’t use any on him.

The Miami airport is under major renovation. It’s a mess and full of frustrated and stressed travelers because of the very long walk between terminals.

We took the taxi from STX to the Buccaneer. The ride was around 8 dollars per person, I think, and about 30 minutes. We had a very warm welcome from Diane at the Buccaneer. Staffs at the Buccaneer were very friendly. We stayed at the Deluxe Oceanfront room between Grotto and Mermaid (the recommendation from forum). The location was great! We had more privacy. The room was spacious and with a very good view. During the day, we could see the beautiful ocean. At night, we saw the lights of Christinasted. My first impression of the room was that the interior wasn’t as good as a resort in the same category could have, but was ok. The crib was already set up. Later during my stay, after we had a few trips back and forth to the beaches, I realized how difficult it was to keep a room clean. Therefore, I think the cleaning staffs did a very good job keeping our room neat. The excellent view also made up the room’s deficit.

We requested a taxi to take us to a supermarket to get milk and diaper. The taxi driver was afraid that Schooner’s might not have what we wanted and took us to Pueblo supermarket. It was 10 dollars each way, 20 dollars round trip, not cheap. At Pueblo, things were not as expansive as I thought. Just need to be careful with expiration dates.

We had dinner at the Terrace. The view was very pretty. The food wasn’t bad at all, just pricy. Rack of lamb was 32 dollars. The service was good, but it is what I would expect for my 32 dollar of lamb. We also enjoyed the jazz band very much. My son had a blast watching the pianist and the drummer play.
Ghengis is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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Ghengis, I'm enjoying the first part of your report. Thanks for taking the time to post, and I look forwrad to reading the rest!
ejcrowe is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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Enjoying the review!!
TXgalinGA is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Thank you for sharing. I'm particularly interested in the St. Croix/Buccaneer report/pics since it's been on my already too long list of places to go.
Did you do Houston to St. Croix in one day? If so, I'm impressed with your son. Ours is 4 1/2 and I think that only now would we dare do a layover with him (he's full of energy).

caribtraveler is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Ghengis--

Love the report so far. Think you characterize your accommodations well and fairly We always say that the rooms aren't the Ritz (nor do we pay Ritz prices!) but the warmth of the staff, the views, the water, the housekeeping all make up for that.

LOVED looking at your photos! I'm particularly fond of the Mermaid Beach one with the two palm trees. May print it out to hang and keep us going until February 16th when we'll be there again.

Keep it coming
ccrosner is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 06:23 PM
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I really enjoying writing the report. It brings the happy time back.

ejcrowe,TXgalinGA,ccrosner -
Thank so much for the encourgement.

caribtraveler -
My son is quite active, too. DVD player really helped. The flights from Houston to STX were not long. Each flight was a little bit over 2 hours. Just about the right amount of time my son could handle.

Although I don't like to get old, I look forward my son getting older. I hope he would be able to share and appreciate the joy of travel with us.

Ghengis
Ghengis is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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Thanks for writing the report. I really look forward to visiting STX in the near future and any information is helpful. Looking forward to the rest of your report, too.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Nov, 3rd, 2006
At the breakfast, OWA approached me since I was the only one with a little toddler. She also introduced me to HowardC and his wife. It was such a pleasure to meeting everyone.

After breakfast, we checked out Mermaid beach’s facility. The tennis court across the street from the beach was full every morning. Many locals come to Buccaneer to play tennis. We met Paul who worked at the beach shack. He was excellent and great to chat with. He told us the beach was racked every morning. My husband was excited to learn that he could use the sea kayak for free and kayaked for the next 5 mornings. The beach shack offers free beach toys, life jackets, and sea kayaks. My husband wished it had sunfish sail boats and windsurfing like most other resorts in this price range, but was content to kayak. The beach has a lot of palm trees providing good shades, especially in the morning.

I went to the concierge desk to reserve the Buck Island trip, one day car rental and spa appointments. For the Buck Island trip, my first choice was Capt. Heinz since it costs around 70 from 9am – 2pm (bring your own lunch), vs Big Beard 90 dollars for adult, 20 dollars even for my young toddler, from 9am – 3pm including BBQ lunch.

However, due to low season, Capt. Heinz didn’t have enough customers. We had to go with Big Beard.

The rest of the day, we hang out at the Mermaid beach and had lunch at the cafe. I was content with the lunch at the Mermaid beach. For dinner, we also ordered some take out from the café before it was close at 5pm.

I had a honey cucumber facial at the Hide Away Spa. The spa store front was small and simple. The spa room was comfortable. The facial procedures were similar to other spas I’ve being to. I was satisfied with my facial service. The product they used was ok.

At 4pm, we went to the beach shack for the crab racing which was on the Buccaneer marketing material. It wasn’t a big event and not many people participating. If you like to get free drink vouchers, however, you would have a good chance that your crab would win.
Ghengis is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Nov 4th, 06

Today is our rental car day. We planned to go to Cane Bay (The Wall) to snorkel. Driving on the left wasn’t as hard as to find roads on St. Croix. There was no sign. I guess the key was to be patient. To make to Cane Bay, we drove back and forth quite a few times at a few spots.

For us, I feel this is an important clue. If you plan to visit Cane Bay, make a right at the Corner shop on 80. It is quite awhile after you pass the Salt River. But if you start driving into deep woods, you’ve being driving too far.

The burger stop was pretty good at Cane Bay. I would recommend that for lunch if you go to Cane Bay. There is also a dive shop that rents snorkel vests at 5 dollars each and sells swimming related things.

The beach was definitely not as nice as the Buccaneer’s. This is also where I realized it was so nice to have someone groomed the beach. Do bring beach towels, mats or beach chairs if you plan to be on that beach for awhile.

Many people had recommended Cane Bay. However, we couldn’t see any fish. Until I read OWA’s post, I finally understood it was because of the previous heavy rain.

We also visited Christinasted, walked on the boardwalk and watched people who just came back from deep sea fishing. Someone caught a mahi. It looked like so much fun. The Big Beard’s Renegade also just docked. So many local kids, at least 30, were coming out of the boat one after one, each with big smile on their face. The seaplane terminal is on one end of the boardwalk. The location is very convenient for people who stay at the Buccaneer.

We had our dinner at the sports bar close to Schooner’s. The taco salad and burrito were below Taco Bell taste. But it was early and not crowded. My son could run around and look at other kids. It was great that I could relax. Therefore, it was a good meal.
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