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Traveling to St Thomas/St John w/ 18m toddler - car rental, rest. ques

Traveling to St Thomas/St John w/ 18m toddler - car rental, rest. ques

Old Jul 27th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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Traveling to St Thomas/St John w/ 18m toddler - car rental, rest. ques

Hi there,
My husband, daughter and I are staying at Crystal Cove on Sapphire Beach for a week. We plan on spending most of the time at the condo we got thru VRBO but we also want to venture to other beaches in St Thomas and St John. So I'd love to hear advice or recommendations on the following:

1. renting a car - we'd likely rent but for how long? if we don't rent for the entire week, where should we rent from? I'd rather not have to go to the airport to drop off and then have to take back a taxi to the condo.

2. going to st john - should we consider taking the rented car to st john? if not, what are the transportation options at st john?

3. taxis - do taxis require or take child seats?

4. kid-friendly restaurant recommendations - would love to hear where we should go. We'll be near Red Hook.

5. groceries and diapers - where's the best place to get well priced groceries and diapers?

Thanks so much!
M.
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 07:45 AM
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a couple of answers to questions:

If you have car, there is a K-mart not too far from you that would be good for baby supplies.

Marina Market in Red Hook is good but expensive. A less expensive option a little bit outside of Red Hook is Food Master. I am not qualified to give directions to either K-mart or Food Master, but someone on the island should be able to.

Molly Malones in Red Hook is a casual diining place that is kid firendly. Plus they often have iguanas, which are fun to watch.
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 08:11 AM
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Since the previous respondant cover your shoppig questions I'll try answer your other questions:

How long to rent a car is really a question only you can answer. Prsonally I always rent a car for my entire stay when I travel to a Caribbean Island. I think the convenience of being able to come/go as I please far outweighs the cost and I never fret about paying a "daily rate" even though the car might sit unsed for a day. To me it's wortyh it - to you it may not.

If you decide to rent for your full time and you are planning to visit two island be sure your rental car company will allow you to take the car on the ferry. Some companies do, others do not.

On St. John your best travel options are either take taxis or rent a car 9or take one from St. Thomas, if allowed).

Most taxis will not have car seats for your child. You can use your own, if you feel it is necessary.

Sorry, can't give you any specifics for child friendly restaurants other than to say locals and tourists alike who have young children have been dining out on both St. Thomas for years and years so I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding child friendly restaurants. In fact I venture to guess that there are far more child friendly restaurants than those which are not.
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Just wanted to repost to say that the grocery store I mentioned is actually "Food Center" not "Food Master" as I wrote earlier (that's a Boston chain).
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for the advice!
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 09:15 AM
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Take a day trip over to St John but leave the car on ST (most rentals won't permit). The car ferry is much more expensive and doesn't run as often as passenger ferry. Catch a taxi once on SJ, they wait at the ferry dock. I don't think they will require a child seat but it may pay to make an inquiry from a reliable source before you go. Take a taxi to Maho Beach which is very shallow and calm (good for the toddler) and right next to the road, but no facilities. Truck Bay beach is a beautiful, large beach with showers, snorkel rentals, snack bar and taxis are readily available. Cinnamon Bay Beach has a campground with a place to eat and rent equipment but it may seem like a long walk to beach from the parking lot if carrying much stuff and sometimes the water can be rough.
I don't know about restaurants on ST but just about all restaurants on SJ are kid friendly as it is a laid back island. There are plenty close to ferry dock.
Have fun and enjoy! I hope to be on SJ again soon!
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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Former Virgin Islands resident here..2007/2008..If you are staying close to Red Hook..do rent a car for a day and take the car ferry($50 round trip) to ST John and explore the north shore drive..consider Trunk Bay or any of the beaches to Coral Bay..an amazing drive..While in Cruz Bay have dinner at Lime Inn..great seafood and very reasonable..great for families..

For more local tips on traveling the Virgin islands ck out this site: http://www.travelaskthelocals.yolasite
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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agreed, you want a car in St John if you want to make the most of your day there, there are local taxis, but that will take time and probably work out to the same or more cost.
No problem taking a car to st john from Budget rental, and they are right at the airport.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 04:30 AM
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We rented a car from Discount in St. Thomas. We called them from the airport, and they came for us. Their office is close to the airport. They do allow their cars to be taken to St. John...a necessity for us because we spent the first six days of our holiday in St. John. After having rented cars several times on St. John, we found the professionalism, courtesy, condition of the vehicle and service to be far superior at Discount. We'll definitely use them in the future.
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