I will be going to the Carribean with a friend in the middle of January, neither of us has been to this part of the world. What we would like is an island that has
great beaches within walking distance to hotel. Also something mid range in cost.
Thought about St. Thomas, but unsure, also Charlotte Amalfie.. Would greatly appreciate suggestions on islands and hotels
St. T is a miserable tourist trap designed to fleece cruse customers(and there are plenty of them) out of cash.
mid jan is sort of high season. can you still get reservations? do you have a passport?
are you leaving from PDX? if so, it is a seriously long trip to the carab islands. you will spend more time in the air than in the water. go to safe mexico. costs less, takes much less time. beaches are great.
aruba, bonair, curaco, roatan, st johns, bvi all have nice beaches. it is hot even in jan.
you can stay cheap in decent place with beautiful beach in bvi. just look at the edges.
Thanks so much for all your input. Your info on St Thomas was much appreciated.
Settled for St. John It sounds nice AND it has a Westin so I will be using points!
I can't find info on the distance from STT to the ferry boat. One website says
"not far from airport" I have found this forum to be incredibly helpful..Any
feedback about various ferry would be great. I know that the Westin has it's own fairy for $100 per person while the others run between $6 and $20.00. Is theWestin ferry worth it? that would knock out the cost of a cab, but I have no idea
what cab fare would be..Also, would love to hear your own picks for things to see and things not to bother with on St. John's
Cab Fare will be roughly about 20 per person. And you will be in a van with everybody else. There are no individual cabs. It is all shared transport.
If you are not planning on getting a vehicle in Cruz Bay, I would suggest taking Westin up on their offer. As you will have 1) transport to the dock 2) Ferry cost 3) Transport to Westin.
Also, while is St John, do get a car and head to the SE point of the Island to the Rams Head. It is a nice hike to the top and watch the sunset. By get your butt back to the beach before it is dark. It is very safe, but the trails are not lit at all.
Once you are in St. John, plan a visit to the Virgin Islands National Park. The US Park Service offers guided tours: http://www.nps.gov/viis/planyourvisit/guidedtours.htm
I also suggest you consider day trips to Tortola & Virgin Gorda, BVI. Cruising in these waters is tremendous, as well as the snorkelling!
And you will be in a van with everybody else. There are no individual cabs. It is all shared transport.
In fact, you can arrange a private taxi van. The driver will meet you on arrival, help with luggage and get you promptly to the main ferry dock at Red Hook. Cost for two is $50. Ferries run on the hour and the trip takes only 20 minutes. PM me for the name and contact info for a reliable driver if this option is of interest.
Depending on your arrival time, you also might check out the St. John ferry that departs from downtown Charlotte Amalie not far from the airport. Only a handful each day, but this option eliminates the drive to Red Hook. The ferry ride from here takes about 45 minutes. Schedule is online.
Once in Cruz Bay, you'll find taxi/trucks to your left as you leave the dock. At least one is likely to be the Westin taxi.
donlind has it right. We took a private taxi from STT to Red Hook for $20 per px+ tip. I can give you a contact off line. The tour of the island with the driver we used is well worth the trip. The cattle car taxis available at the airport will charge $15 per px + $2 or $3 per bag + tip. Probably about the same cost. The private taxi will pick you up at the same place as the other taxis and take you directly to the terminal when you are ready. The cattle car taxi will wait until every seat is full and make as many as 5 of more stops before you get to RH. There is a new terminal at RH with a bar. Good to know if you have to wait for the next ferry. If you like being on the water the Charlotte Amalie ferry is good. It runs rather infrequently. There are no facilities at CA. You stand in the sun on a sidewalk or sit on a bench to wait for the boat in CA. The combined taxi and ferry fare are more or less the same whether you go to CA or RH.
There are taxis waiting at the ferry dock when you get to STJ. They will be happy to drive you to the Westin. There are no beaches within walking distance of the Westin except its own man-made beach. Reviews of it have not been too good. Several beaches are within a taxi ride from the Westin which are GREAT. It may be worth your time and money to rent a jeep at least a few days to see the parts of the island that are not within the area served by taxis. Don't forget! they drive on the left side of the road. It is easy to adjust to the change. Much easier than you think it will take. Make a reservation ASAP. It is the high season.