Surprise 25th Anniv Trip - St. John

Jan 2nd, 2004, 08:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2
Surprise 25th Anniv Trip - St. John

I am planning to surprise my husband with a trip for our 25th wedding anniversary, first week in Dec. 2004. At this point, St. John is the destination and I have a few questions:
1. Flight options - anyone have any experience flying from Minneapolis (or Chicago) to USVI? Tickets are currently $730 RT.
2. Cruz Bay vs. Coral Bay - I plan to rent a villa (more to questions to follow on this topic!), but am undecided as to which area of the island to stay on. We prefer to eat in or dine casually and are usually up early (even on vacation), so will likely explore the beaches in the AM and not be out after dark.
3. St. Thomas - am thinking of flying in on a Thursday and staying on St. Thomas 2 nights before heading to St. John - any suggestions for accomodations (beach or view not required).
4. St. John vs. Hawaii - my husband and I have often talked about going to Hawaii (our anniversary is Dec 7 - Pearl Harbor Day), but I think at least 2 weeks are needed for a trip there and we don't have that option this year. Opinions?

Many Thanks!
brrrgrrl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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what kind of budget?

For St thomas- my hotel of choice, that is nice, with great views and close to town - if you can to taxi in for dinner =is Marriott Frenchman's Reef....

andy is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 09:27 AM
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we didn't do big island, but we did maui..and i kinda agree with you about doing longer than a week in hawaii especially coming from the midwest. we did 10 days on top of staying overnight in l.a. going to and back.
Jan 2nd, 2004, 09:28 AM
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sorry my message got cut off!
we didn't do big island, but we did maui..and i kinda agree with you about doing longer than a week in hawaii especially coming from the midwest. we did 10 days on top of staying overnight in l.a. going to and back.
i'd advise cruz bay for the villa. cruz bay is closer to the beaches and all the action (not much action in st. john but you know what i mean).
i would think you should be able to get cheaper flights from midwest. we got $500 from nj and the price went even lower than that closer to our departure time.
never stayed in st. thomas so can't help you there.
good luck.
Jan 2nd, 2004, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 607
We just spent two weeks in Coral Bay at the end of October. Mixed eating in with the local bar/restaurants in Coral Bay. There's an excellent market in Cruz Bay ( Starfish ). Spent the time basically beach hopping and snorkeling. St. John is small so going to Cruz Bay was no big deal. Coral Bay is very laid back and more of community than an actual town.

Lots of additional info and villa stuff at this site:

Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary.
RobertoB is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Thanks to all for your comments. RE: Andy's budget question - am planning (at this point, anyway!)$300/night for villa rental and $200 (or less)/night St. Thomas hotel.
brrrgrrl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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brrgirl- best news is the rates do NOT go up in the Caribbean til Dec.15, so you may be able to get the Frenchmens Reef for the $200 pn rate....

IF you want to stay IN TOWN, here is one that is good-up in the hills:

Blackbeard's Castle
P. O. Box 6041
St. Thomas, VI 00804
(340) 776-1234
(800) 344-5771
(340) 776-4321 FAX
Historic Site, Pool, Live Jazz, Award Winning Restaurant, Town/Harbor View, 5 Minute Walk To Main Street
Member: St. Thomas-St.John Hotel Association
andy is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 32
As with everything on this site it depends what you like, a couple of thoughts:
-If this is your 1st St. John Trip I would definately recommend Cruz Bay area rather than Coral Bay. Cruz Bay will give you more dining/ent/shopping options and you can rent a villa within 10 minutes and you can be extremely secluded/private.
-If you like private/relaxed then why spend 2 days on St.Thomas? We find it too commercialized and touristy, we usually take the ferry for the day of jewelry shopping.
-we've had good luck with caribbeanvillas,
Cyclone is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 155
Our son was a news reporter in STT and he flew back to Cgo every Dec and June. Lately, the best rates are through US air. We're going down for spring break and got good rates through them. Also flying our college son who is in Mpls. Rates are very high to stt right now 700+ you should be able to get a 200 each way on us air. Keep watching travelocity and then when it looks low, check other sites. We're renting raj mahal through great caribbean getaways also and I have another house in STT we've rented that is spectacular and reasonable. There is a gorgeous stone house called Azul something on st john reasonable price and gorgeous. we've got 4 of us and it only takes 2. That would be my choice
k is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 155
just remembered is "siempre Azul"
put it in a search engine and it will come up.
Advantage of this place or the one we rent is that you are close to the surf and can hear it all the time. As a midwesterner that is what I want to pay to have..
k is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 607

While on St. John we met a couple staying at Siempre Azul for their anniversary who highly recommended it. It is in Coral Bay on the road to Salt Pond Bay.
RobertoB is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I would definitely opt for Cruz Bay vs. Coral Bay. Virtually all of the restaurants are in Cruz Bay and taking the drive over the mountain roads from Coral Bay at night after some wine or drinks isn't the best idea. You can get a villa with great privacy within ten minutes of Cruz Bay.

I don't recommend staying in St. Thomas. On your day home, you will check out of the villa in the a.m. and, assuming you have an afternoon flight out of St. Thomas, you can spend the time before departing in the shops in St. Thomas. Or take the ferry over one day from St. John. For a one week trip, changing lodging midstream is a pain and in my opinion, St. Thomas is not worth it.

Agree with the others -- Hawaii is too far for one week -- St. John is a great, private relaxing choice, for a romantic time.
travbabe is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 156
I agree with the posters who suggested staying on the "Cruz Bay" side of St. John, and, also choosing St. John for your full stay.

We also rented a villa I highly recommend Lisa the agent who is very helpful. The island is gorgeous.

Most villas are on the hillside with magnificent views and sunsets. we spent more evening there poolside mesmoried by the sunsets. You can't go wrong with St. John and a villa. There are tons of them with pools...all price ranges.....
floridabound is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 155
Having been to STT numerous times, I would agree to spend the entire time on STJ. However, we usually get in from the midwest in the early evening. We choose to get a room at the Mafolie in Charlotte Amalie (nice restaurant nice views) or stay at either of the best westerns (carib or Emerald, rooms $100 (give or take) near the airport the first night, get our car from Dependable and then the next morning take the ferry to STJ. At 300-400 a night, we don't like the rush of trying to get there by dark etc. (suggest the same if you have an early flight out in the am) But I sure do agree with spending the whole week in STJ---unless I'm jewelery shopping.
k is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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A couple of years ago several friends and I rented Coco Lobo on St. John. It was an incredible place. I highly recommend a stay there. It is quite large, but there are many smaller properties available there. There are plenty of restaurants and great places to hike in St. John. I love it there.

My husband and I got married in Hawaii and I truly love to go back to celebrate our anniversaries; but,it is definitely not the place for a short trip.
cmcfong is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 237
I've flown to STT from Chicago for less than $500 on American in November 2002, so $730 sounds kind of high especially for early December which is technically low season. We also went to St John the last week of March 2003 and flights were about $600 on American out of Chicago.

I've been to St John twice, once we stayed at the Westin using Priceline and the second time we rented a villa, the Dreamcatcher. I prefer to stay in the Cruz Bay area to be close to dining options. We used Carribean Villas to rent the Dream Catcher (

I've been to Hawaii three times and love Hawaii, but I would agree that two weeks is ideal for going to a couple of Hawaiian islands. A week isn't quite long enough due to the length of the flights and time change.
anna_k is offline  

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