trip report 05.20.07 - 05.30.07

Jun 20th, 2007, 12:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 51
trip report 05.20.07 - 05.30.07

Thanks for the information from this forum.

We had fabulous 10-day-vacation in VI. Here is my trip report. It is long…. And a link to our pictures.

05.20.07 – 05.22.07 Secret Harbor, St. Thomas
My husband, toddler and I spent the first 2 days at Secret Harbor in St. Thomas and stayed at a beachfront unit located on the 3nd floor. The unit was spacious, clean, pleasantly decorated and with adequate air conditioning. We did have a problem with the toilet right before we left, the handle and the whole flushing mechanism was falling apart.

Beach at Secret Harbor was nicely groomed and uncrowded. There was plenty of shade in the morning. The snorkeling was good.

I just thought of the fact that we did have an unhappy incident with Secret Harbor when we checked out, due to the $125 safety deposit box charge. We returned the lock of safety deposit box after we checked out. However, there was some miscommunication due to the person who helped us check out was different from the person who received the lock. When we were picked up by the taxi driver, the taxi driver asked us to give the lock to him. We called Secret Harbor immediately, but no matter how hard my husband tried to explain, Secret Harbor just assumed that my husband was lying.

That was a very unpleasant experience. It is too bad that I remember this now. I have to say though, other than that incident, overall, the Secret Harbor was a good place to stay.

Grocery wise, we shopped at Food Center and Marina Market. The meat at Food Center was bad, a lot of it was way over its shelf life. However, the veggie and fruit selection was better at Food Center.

05.22.07 Sea Blossom Villa at Fish Bay, St. John

We took the ferry from Red Hook to St. John around noon. Picked up our big 7-passenger Jeep Explorer from St. John car rental. It was a great car for our group. We spent the rest of afternoon back and froth between villa and Cruz Bay to pick up our arriving friends.

This villa didn't have the best of everything, but it had a little bit of everything. It was a bit far from Cruz Bay, maybe 20 minute drive, but we traded distance for money. We were happy with it.

05.23.07 Waterlemon Cay, Skinny Leg, and Westin Hotel (kids playground and watching parrots and iguanas)
This was a wonderful day and we had great fun snorkeling at Waterlemon. There is so much useful information in the forum about Waterlemon so I am not going to write a lengthy report about this day.

Ghengis is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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05.24.07 BVI with Capt. John Brandi – Palm Tree Charter
I was looking for people sharing charter Born to Rhumb with us. I didn’t succeed. But the captain of Born to Rhumb was so nice and referred me to Capt. John Brandi who has a power catamaran. (340-714-5641) I am very thankful for that information.

This day trip was the most wonderful and memorable day of our trip. I had a long list to visit and was very satisfied at the end of the day that we made most of them.

We went to Soper’s Hole in Tortola to clear custom. Then, visited the Bath. We swam to shore and started our own explore at the Baths. The beach at the Baths had the most beautiful aquamarine water. We spent about one hour to 90 minutes at the Baths and left around 11 am and headed to the Indians.

At the Indians, the sun was bright and the visibility at some spots was very good so we could see deep and the colors under the sea were vibrant. It was like swimming in a well lilted giant fish tank. There was abundant of fish and a lot of text-book-like corals. The current was very strong at the side where our boat was. It would be very helpful to wear flippers here. We spent extra time (almost 2 hours) at the Indians because the floating devise I brought with me failed twice and it was so hard to swim back to the boat. Plus, my husband and I had to take turns to take care our toddler. But this was the best snorkeling spot of the whole 10-day trip so extra-time was well-worth it.

Because we spent so much time at the Indians, when we finished, the capt suggested us to make a decision between having picnic at Sandy Spit or more snorkeling at the Caves. We voted the later. We headed to the Caves and snorkeled more, but we only spend around 40 minutes here. I didn’t go down at all. The Caves was special in its unique way. When heading back to the boat, my husband saw two spotted eagle ray, gracefully synchronizing swimming in the deep water.

We headed to Soggy Dollar after the Caves. We were there before 4 o’clock. I thought we were only grabbing a cup of painkiller and headed to Foxy’s. However, we loved the beach at Soggy Dollar and had so much fun and decided we would leave Foxy’s to our next visit. The painkiller was the most delicious mixed drink. Our friend figured out the trick to play the ring game. He could throw the ring to the hook almost every other try. We enjoyed sitting at the beach, chatting with our Capt and watching people. My kid played with sand. Our group played Frisbee. Here was Utopia. To be at Soggy Dollar bar was a perfect ending of that day. We left White bay around 5:15pm.

I was so happy that we truly maximized what we could and Capt John tried so hard to help us accomplish that. (We left Cruz Bay at 8:30am.) We spent $490 + tip for the Capt and his boat. Because we made a long trip, our gas was $175. I think it was more than 4 dollars a gallon. We were so exhausted but it was wonderful.

I will post more.....

Ghengis is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
hi ghengis, nice trip report. can't wait to hear more. did you try any restaurants?

the soggy dollar is a hoot. i've thought about a brief stay at sandcastle...

can't wait to see your pics - the link only takes me to webshots homepage though.
virginia is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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hi, virginia

Here is the link to pur photos

We had a little kid so we had most of our dinner in the villa and each person took turn to cook.

We tried a few popular restaurants for lunch, all on the lower-price end, such as Skinny Legs, Miss Lucy's sunday brunch, and Sogo's. We also tried The Lime Inn for our friend's birthday.

Our favorite was Sogo's, a local restaurant in Cruz Bay. Plenty of food. Excellent conch fritter and lemon butter conch. Its curry goat tasted just like lamb, it didn't have any unique goat smell. King fish was also excellent.

I've being reading your post about Mexican Riviera and thinking if it could be our next destination.

Traveling from Houston to STJ was quite a drag. I am hoping to find somewhere that has some quality of St. John (I am trying to be realistic) but has a more direct route from here.

Ghengis is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
well i'll be looking at your wonderful pics for a while. i'm loading the eagle ray video now. (my dial up has got to go) i am curious to know who's villa that is on peter bay??
it looks like you had a wonderful time everywhere you went.

we loved mexico. and of note for you is that continental has a direct flight to cancun and aa flies through dallas. st. john is fairly americanized and the maya riviera is so not, but i see you have traveled extensively so this should be no problem. you might look at akumal and tulum in particular. or south of the sian ka'an biosphere are a few more places to stay- but it's pretty remote down there from what i hear.
virginia is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 02:22 PM
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Ghengis, Good to see your name on a post!! I'm glad you had a good time, and thanks for telling us about it. I appreciated the lower end meal tips because of our trip in August with three teen boys. owa
Jul 23rd, 2007, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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pmuzzy17 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,567
I'm slowly going through all your pics. Glad your vacation was fabulous. Thanks for posting.
caribtraveler is offline  
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