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NDSeigler Apr 29th, 2006 03:28 PM

Virgin Island Virgin
We are headed for the beautiful island of St John (Cinnamon Bay Campground) in late May. I would appreciate any advice on what to do once there. There are two of us that scuba dive. The other two are looking forward to sitting on beach and relaxing. Is the trip to JVD and Virgin Gorda worth our time? We will be there for about 9 days. I want to experience as much of the USVI and BVI as I can. I'll take time to sit on the beach too but I like seeing new places and doing new things.

soggydollar Apr 30th, 2006 03:52 AM

You are staying at a great spot! Cinnamon is one of my favorite beaches! The color of the water.....

Bring lots of bug repellant, they get thick early am and in the evening.

If you are going to be there for 9 days then definately take a couple of day trips to the BVI. My favorite is JVD, you can visit Foxy's and White Bay. Nothing to do there except eat, drink, relax!
I have not been to VG, but would like to some day. I suggest not planning both on the same day as you are rushed. Some of the planned trips cram everything into 1 day and it is not relaxing to rush!!

Enjoy...oh, and you who like to lay on the beach, put on a mask and snorkel and check out what is beneath the water just a few steps from the beach! You will be hooked!

NDSeigler Apr 30th, 2006 05:00 AM

Sweet, I can't wait! 20 days to go. Has anyone been to the Cane Garden Bay Beach Music Festival on Tortola? This year it's on the 26th to the 28th of May. I was wondering if we should definitely try to go. And I saw Foxy's 32nd Wooden Boat Regatta on Jost Van Dyke is also on the 26th through the 28th. I'm a boat fan so that looked fun. Has any one been to that? One absolute for me is to dive the RMS Rhone. I've talked to Low Key Dives who dives there on Thursdays if they have at least 7 people signed up for $165 each. And Cruz Bay Watersports goes every Friday for $150 + $20 customs. Does this sound in line with the diving market? Has anyone had experience with either company? I'm a SSI diver and my dive buddy is a PADI diver. I'm still a recreational diver with 15+ dives and have dove to 110' in past dives. Of course my first concern is safety. I want to have fun and have a knowledgeable crew.

RaymondLuxuryYacht Apr 30th, 2006 06:05 AM

NDSeigler, I am heading to St. John next weekend, and intend to dive the Rhone if possible, so would be happy to answer your questions when I get back. I've contacted Low Key, but since I won't arrive till mid-afternoon on Thursday, they're trying to see if they can get enough people to make a Friday trip. If not, I'm glad I just read your post about Cruz Bay Watersports making Friday trips. The price for this dive trip from St. John seems reasonable because of the distance. If the site were closer to St. John, I'd think it was overpriced.

Regarding your other plans, have you checked out the itinerary of the New Horizons II? It looks like a really fun day trip, and we're signed up to do it. (I found out about it through this board, of course.) Here's the website (with photos):

NDSeigler Apr 30th, 2006 02:30 PM

I had heard of New Horizon II Charters before but hadn't researched it. Looks like a good deal at $135 plus $20 customs fee. It would cost us about $35.00 more than taking two ferry trips at $40 each and the $20 custom fee each trip for my original plan. Not bad considering we wouldn't have to stress about making the last ferry. Let me know if you felt rushed with not having much time to spend at the Baths and Jost Van Dyke.

brenandg Apr 30th, 2006 06:07 PM

I don't think you will feel "rushed" on NH II, but to me, it is an overview of the BVI's. You will have about an hour at each stop. I would suggest doing it early in your trip, that way if you decide that 1 hour wasn't enough on an island, you can take a ferry back for the day. We ended up going back to JVD for the day by ferry. Have a wonderful trip. Cinnamon Bay is absolutely beautiful. We also highly recommend NH II, had a great, relaxing day on that boat. Crew were top notch.

tewels May 1st, 2006 02:14 PM

We went on a daytrip to t he bvi from St. John last year. The boat was called "Breakaway". I am thinking the co. was New HOrizons. It was a great way to see the BVI;s in one day. Well worth the money. Because of that, this year we wanted to stay on Tortola. We were on the bigger of the two boats, which I was glad of. It was a smooth ride, and the crew was fun. Highly recommend.

RaymondLuxuryYacht May 7th, 2006 06:34 PM

Hi, we're still in St. John right now, but just a quick note to say the dives on the RMS Rhone were fantastic. We went with Cruz Bay Watersports, right from the Westin dock, and Capt. Charlie and Divemaster Trevor were great. The Westin is also excellent, as are the restaurants in Cruz Bay. Just had our best dinner yet tonight at The Balcony... lobster crepes, prosciutto-wrapped scallops, seared ahi and pecan-encrusted Chilean sea bass with coconut curry sauce... YUM! Will write a more thorough trip report when we're back Stateside! Tomorrow morning, we're off on our New Horizons adventure to the BVIs!

virginia May 8th, 2006 05:40 AM

hi nd, i too have done new horizons tour. it is excellent and i agree the earlier in your stay you can go the better. i would def liked to have gone back to the baths, but time did not allow. be sure to take the mini tour they offer there. and book it today. this is an extemely popular trip and sometimes books months ahead. they will pick you up on st. john.
anything at foxy's will be loads of fun!! and while i have not been to music fest i'm guessing that it will be a real good time too.
raymond - your meal at the balcony sounds fabulous....and it's only 8:30 in the morning here.

klwphoria May 8th, 2006 06:11 PM

Another altenative to booking is the boat Sadie Sea. I was in Saint John last week and heard it was the local's choice, so we decided to check it out. Thier booking office is right across from the National Park dock, look for the orange kayak out front. Turns out that Katie in the proshop was extremely helpful and got us onto a full day trip with Captain Ben. My favorite stop was hurrricane hole, where we saw starfish as large as my hand! I would highly recommend that charter as an alternative for the other two in your party that don't dive, it made for an excellent day out for us! thier website can be found at

Tuxedocat May 8th, 2006 06:49 PM

I beg to differ! Those starfish are as big as dinner plates! Sadie Sea and many fine local operators are excellent. I would highly recommend "Breathe" a good size sailboat with quite a world-wide history and a colorful captain and crew.

island_breeze May 9th, 2006 11:05 AM

Hey Ray,
Which accomodations did you use at the Westin? Haven't stayed there in a very long time and was wondering if the ocean front rooms have been renovated? Taking the family early winter and will most likely stay at the Westin.
Enjoy your vacation, island_breeze.

Mkraus May 9th, 2006 02:53 PM

We took a motor boat trip to Virgin Gorda for a tour of The Baths with the company Stormy Petrel/Pirates Penny this April. They have been in business for over 25 years and are very professional. Our crew took two groups off the the main trail to avoid the other tour groups. One route was more adventurous than the other. We climbed up to see "The Lions Head" and "The Whale" which included an incredible view. We also followed a crew member out to a 10 foot jump off a rock into the ocean. It was fun. They told us about the scientific orgin of The Baths and some of the tales. After The Baths they had a menu on board for Cooper Island Beach Club which was the next stop. They called in our order before we arrived and it was ready about 10 minutes after we got there. The last stop was at "The Indians" for a wonderful snorkel. Walls of coral as far as you could see. The conditions are not always favorable to stop here but the trip always includes a snorkel stop on the way back to St. John. We spent $125 per person, $20 customs fee per person and lunch. We gave a 20% gratuity because we felt the crew deserved it. I would have to say Virgin Gorda and this trip was definitely worth our time.
We also had a wonderful day with Captain Phil of the Wayward Sailor. We took a daysail with him which included two snorkel stops, lunch, marine life education, and a few sailing stories. He also books up fast and you would be wise to contact him before you leave. I have posted web sites for both places.

NDSeigler May 9th, 2006 10:26 PM

11 days and counting!!! The RMS Rhone, the Baths, Foxy's and lots of rum are on the agenda. Packing light and getting excited...

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