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Woo-hoo! Just booked first trip to St. John, would love tips & suggestions...

Woo-hoo! Just booked first trip to St. John, would love tips & suggestions...

Oct 13th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 12
This is easy. The place with the most information about st. john in one place is www.stjohntravelforum.com. Not a lot of posts yet, since it is very new, but it has enormous amounts of info that is very easy to find. Good luck with your trip!

Incidentally, there are several really good charterers who go to the Baths. Pirate's Penny is very popular. Remember that it will take quite a while to get there and back, so be prepared for a boat ride. Go easy on drinks the night before. Click on the Activities Planning Center Topic at the travel forum, and ask them what they recommend for the dates you will be on St. John.
stjohncaptain is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,306
I really appreciate all the suggestions here. Please keep them coming! Also, anything special or fun to do on St. John on New Year's Eve? Someone mentioned there are fireworks at the Westin?
lisa is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 10

Not much to do for New Years because everyone will be on Jost Van Dyke - Foxy throws THE best New Year's Eve party. Google it and you'll find some info. I've been 7 times while I lived on St. John in the '90s. Good fun!
Trixie44 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 736
Yeah, I've seen the New Year's Eve fireworks at the Westin. Nice if you don't have other specific plans, but the party at Foxy's (which I've never been to) will be a much bigger deal, assuming you're interested in a big rowdy party. Note that there are no fireworks at Caneel Bay, as they're in a national park, and fireworks are illegal there.
hawksbill is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 196
Hi Lisa

Regarding the private shuttle to St. John from St. Thomas... This is just our opinion. First of all, when you get out of your taxi on St. Thomas, there is someone there who you first think is with the ferry company which takes your bags for a fee ( or a tip) I can't remember which. Then you find out to have your bags actually taken to the ferry, it costs you in addition. We arrived just when the ferry took off and had to wait in very hot weather for the next one. Then when you arrive at Cruz Bay, you have to fetch you bags yourself off the ferry as there is a new law prohibiting the taxi drivers to help you until you reach the end of the dock. I thought it was a great inconvenience when for ( I think) $80 dollars, we returned to St. Thomas on a wonderful private water taxi, complete with meeting us at a quiet dock over by the park in town. They also had a new passenger van pick us up on St. Thomas to take us to the airport.

If you look at our St. John review back in March of 2006 you will find the company's name. I thought they were very nice.

Hope this helps!
ydoc is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,306
ydoc -- Thanks so much, I just read your trip report and it was very helpful. I think we may still end up taking the public ferry, only because we travel light (never check any luggage, just carry-ons) and there are only two of us -- but the tips on snorkeling spots were great!

Keep those ideas coming. I'm really enjoying reading everyone's trip reports. I just realized this may be the easiest trip we've ever packed for! Sandals, hiking shoes, shorts, T-shirts, bug spray, sunblock, hat, swimsuits, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, and a good book. Woo hoo!

Hey, I remember reading something about a phone number you can call on the island to tell you what the water/wind/visibility/weather/tide conditions are at various beaches each day...does anyone know what this is?
lisa is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
What time does your flight arrive? You might also be able to take the ferry from Charlotte Amalie instead of Red Hook. The schedule for this ferry does change from time to time without notice unlike Red Hook. One of the factors is how many vessels they having running. The best thing to do is go to the taxi dispatcher to see which ferry you can feasably make the earliest. Just put yourself on island time the minute you land and go with the flow. If you are only doing carry on, it will be a breeze for you. Check out vinow.com for the ferry schedules to get an idea of what may work for you.

brenandg is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 196
By the way to everyone traveling where mosquitos are:

I can't recall exactly the website to go to but we have purchased these small devices ( about the size of a walkie talkie) which have cartrages you insert to keep the biting type away.

They work!

They clear a medium size room out of mosquitos and sand fleas. and work great on the beach.

I can't find the devices in our home... probably in a drawer somewhere but I believe I googled mosquito repellents etc.

We will probably have tumors growing out of our ears by using them but they do indeed work!

ydoc is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 196
Found the site for mosquito repellent...

"The bite shield" is the name of the device we used. It's not an electronic sound but some sort of repellent which is emitted when you load the cartrages and turn on the device... You can wear it on your belt also.

Just a fyi as I hate being bothered by those biting insects!
ydoc is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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Posts: 1,306
brenang -- Our flight is scheduled to arrive STT at 2:59. How long does it take in a taxi from the airport to the Charlotte Amalie ferry & how long to the Red Hook one? I think there are 4pm ferries leaving from both but don't know if we could make either of those. If we miss the 4pm one then we'll try to take the 5pm from Red Hook.
lisa is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
It would be very doubtful to make the 4:00 out of Red Hook. If your flight arrives on time I think you would be able to easily make the 4:00 from Charlotte Amalie since you are only doing carry on. Taxi ride is only about 10 minutes. Just check with taxi dispatch to make sure it is running. I would think so since it is a very busy time down there then but you never know when on the islands. That ferry tends to be a little unreliable. Taxi ride to RH is about 30 minutes or a little more depending on traffic.
brenandg is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
Just wanted to mention, we have done both routes and much prefer taking the longer CA ferry ride as opposed to the longer taxi ride to RH when possible. We just do whatever works out best for our arrival time.
brenandg is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
How was Honeymoon Cottage? We're thinking of staying there this fall and would love to get a recent review. What did you like most about your trip? Did you go to Virgin Gorda? Any helpful tips for first time visitors? Thanks!
naptx is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,306
We loved Honeymoon Cottage. Only downside was a neighbor had constantly barking dogs that were annoying, but we complained to the owner and the neighbors sent over an apologetic note with a bottle of wine and some chocolates and kept their dogs quiet the rest of the week.

Also shower pressure was low but that was no big deal.

We loved the location and would definitely recommend it. The owner is great.

The snorkeling at Waterlemon was the high point, we liked it so much we did it twice. Our second favorite was Salt Pond -- we did that one twice also -- snorkeling was good & the beach was gorgeous. We also did lots of hiking which was wonderful -- the Reef Bay hike & Rams Head were both great. Snorkeling at Trunk was better than I expected (I had low expectations). We saw lots of sea turtles, rays, sharks (nurse & lemon), and too many gorgeous fish to count. The coral was not as healthy as we've seen elsewhere, but the varieties of colorful fish were outstanding.

Other nice beaches were Maho & Hawksnest. Lameshur was ok. Cinnamon was too windy when we were there. Francis Bay was nice in the morning but the no-see-ums were terrible in the late afternoon/early evening.

I couldn't even tell you all the beaches we snorkeled, there were so many. We did not get to the BVI because we found plenty to do on St. John -- 10 days was not enough. We did go to Caneel one day and while the beaches were lovely, the grounds looked like a golf course -- too sterile -- we liked the more natural-looking areas better.

The best part was waking up to the gorgeous view every morning and eating breakfast while watching the bananaquits & hummingbirds.

Get a good map and guidebook and drive all over the island -- it is so beautiful.

Our best meal by far was at Sweet Plantains -- fantastic. Also loved burgers at Skinny Legs. Tried to eat at Miss Lucy's twice but service was non-existent so we left without ordering both times.

Overall we both felt STJ was probably our most relaxing vacation ever, and we have been all over the world. It was just easy and laid-back. I see why people love it so much. By the time we left I was seeing the colorful fish in my dreams every night, and floating above rays and sea turtles.
lisa is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks so much, Lisa - I'm really getting excited now. Did you feel safe everywhere - different parts of the island, various beaches, and hiking? Your posts, along with the responses, are so helpful!
naptx is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 10:39 AM
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Posts: 1,306
Felt safe everywhere, as much or more so than we do at home. Took usual precautions (didn't leave anything visible in the car when we parked it, etc.).

Hope you have as great a time as we did.
lisa is offline  
Jul 25th, 2008, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Here's how I start each day - guaranteed to make you smile:


Nuf' said!
golfergirl is offline  

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