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Old 09-23-2008, 01:47 PM
 
79 posts, read 273,453 times
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My wife and I, are planning for a 2-week vacation to PR, St John, St Croix, and St Thomas this December. I would like some help with planning the logistics for the trip. Here's the itinerary we have in mind so far:
-Fly to San Juan from NYC and book a hotel for 6 nights at San Juan
-Visit top tourist attractions in San Juan and other places in PR in 5 days
-Spend 2 days each at St Thomas, St Croix and St John for the next 6 days
-Next day, fly back to NYC from San Juan, PR

That makes it a 12-day trip. With 6 nights at San Juan, 2 nights at St John, 2 nights at St Croix, 2 nights at St Thomas, and one night at San Juan.

I would appreciate if you have comments whether this trip is practical and your suggestions on planning this trip.
-Is there much to do for 2 days each at the US Virgin Islands?
-Is 6 days enough to see the top attractions in PR?
-How much does it cost to travel between these 4 islands (USVI and PR) and how easy is it to book?

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:19 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
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I can only address the V.I. - but yes, there are plenty of things to do. I hope you're into water sports! One thing on St. Croix that is a must see is the trip to Buck Island to snorkel. Also, walk through downtown Christiansted, buy a Crucian bracelet, drive to the north shore and see the old sugar mills. Drive to Point Udall, the most eastern U.S. point, for a sunrise if at all possible. Find a roadside stand that sells pate. I personally would skip Frederiksted, but there's some great pizza there if you're in the mood at Lost Dog. If you can possibly book your trip around one of the Christmas celebrations on any island it will not be forgotten, but if there is a Jump Up on St. Croix the steel pan band and the mocko jumbies are worth the evening. It's just a huge street party downtown.

St. Thomas has the shopping for sure, but try to ride the gondola.

I think you're cutting yourself short on St. John - it is absolutely the most beautiful place I've ever been to. If you could stretch your stay and ride a catamaran over to Jost van Dyke and Tortola you would really love it!

Stock up on cash, you will need it.

Oh - travel. I'd catch the seaplane. http://www.seaborneairlines.com/ I'm not sure if the ferry is up or down, but you probably don't want to take it anyway. It's several hours and I've heard it is very, very rough. The seaplane is a fun way to go anyway, although they don't always run right on schedule. Just try not to book peak times.

Weekday Off-Peak and Weekend Advance Purchase: $75 one-way
• Anytime Standby Fare: $85 one-way



I think there are only a couple of flights per day between PR and STT, but STT to STX runs all the time. They also go to Gorda and Tortola. American runs between PR and STT or STX, or STT to STX. You can just catch the ferry to go from STT to STJ. Rent a car from either Avis or Budget on the St. Thomas side - Hertz will not let you take a car on the ferry from St. Thomas to St. John and renting a car over there is more expensive.

Last edited by Sam I Am; 09-23-2008 at 05:28 PM..
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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Cape air to St. thomas, take the ferry to St. John, ferry back to st. thomas, take the fast ferry to STX

I would just stay 4 days in st. thomas. You can easily visit st. john from st. thomas. Places to stay in St. John would probably cost you AT LEAST $350 a night. When me and my girlfriend wanted a "special weekend" we would stay at the beachcomber next to the airport. Nice rooms ON the beach for about $150-180. Or if youre wanted just a quick skip to st. john you could stay at Saphire. I lived there a month in a condo, its nice but i cant say how much it is per night, probably not too bad. Its right around the corner to red hook.

I dont know much about stx or PR. If you go to the "beachbar" at the beachcomber tell every one Steven said hey. I used to work at the airport and spent every afternoon after work drounding myself at their bar. But if you want to party in cruz bay on st. john their last ferry is 11pm, i think, to get back to st. thomas.

They now have a transit bus that takes you to coral bay from cruz bay and back (taxies arent happy about it)

But I recomend hitting the beaches on North shore road then ending the night in cruz bay. Dont party too hard like i did there or you'll end up with with "problems". Anywayz... your not gonna live there.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:05 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,319,506 times
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Editing my post a little bit - I'd still travel the seaplane, but the ferry I was referring to traveling from STT to STX is the fast ferry, as mentioned by fairbanks above. I've never met anyone who recommended this form of travel - it is very rough and very long, 1-2 hours. Seaplane will get you there in about 20 minutes or so. For the cost and time spent and possible gastric problems, I'd just go seaplane.

There's a new fast ferry schedule.

Fridays: 7:30am From STX, 9:30am from STT, 4:30pm from STX and 6:45pm from STT.
Saturdays: 8am from STX, 6pm from STT.
Sundays: 12:30pm from STX, 6:30pm from STT.
Mondays: 7:30am from STX, 6pm from STT.
Tuesdays, the ferry will leave STX one way to STT at 7:30am.
Thursday, the ferry will leave STT one way to STX at 6pm.

Round trip $90 for 12-and-over, $80 for children.

Their website says they aren't running, but some friends said they were a month ago. I don't really know from here stateside, but the ferry is definitely an up-and-down enterprise that suspends operations fairly regularly.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:34 AM
 
79 posts, read 273,453 times
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Thank you Sam and Steve (fairbanks) for your comments.. Much appreciated.

Your suggestions certainly help us plan better for the USVI part of the trip.

Any thoughts on whether the 2-week trip is practical, in terms of travel across so many places.

Also, the biggest challenge I am facing so far in planning this trip - is the lack of resources/agents help in planning such a trip. For Jamaica, Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean, there are great deals and packages out there. For PR and USVI combined trip, I haven't seen any deals or packages. I am looking for packages that cover airline tickets, accommodation on the four islands, car, and travel between the islands.

Thanks again....
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:41 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,319,506 times
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NJN -

I don't think such an animal exists, particularly since I don't THINK anyone covers Seaborne, if you chose to go that route. In all my years of going back and forth I've never seen anything like that.

There may be a "deal" on airline, car and hotel if you know where you are staying on any one of the islands, but I'd bet money you'll have to work the rest of it out yourself. Multileg journeys may be difficult, particularly if your R/T is booked, say, to San Juan but then the return is from STX back to stateside. Do you have a travel agent that could beat the bushes for you?

I can give you the names of some hotels on STX that have land/air packages - Buccanneer, Carambola, Divi Casino and Hotel, and sometimes Hotel on the Cay. Try Cheap Caribbean

Incidentally, last week when I was looking it was cheaper to round trip to STX than it was to STT and I can't figure out why, but it was.

I think your time frame is doable, but I'd probably scale back on the PR part and kick up the other islands just because traveling to and fro from them can be haphazard with any kind of plane schedule.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:43 AM
 
79 posts, read 273,453 times
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I did not know about the travel forum on CD...

I would like to move this thread to the travel forum...How do I move it...
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:30 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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It would really help to know what you're looking for from your vacation. The US Virgins are very different from each other with each island having its own unique character and I do think that spending only two days each on STT, STX and STJ won't give you much opportunity to explore/appreciate any of them. I've nothing against PR but it can't match the Virgins for spectacular beaches, scenery, snorkeling, diving and sailing.

STT is the more commercial island but, once you get out of town it's a delight and St John is only a 10 minute ferry ride away while a sailing trip is a "must do" for any visitor. The British Virgins too are easily accessible from STT and STJ and a popular destination for boat trippers.

STX is further away and I agree about taking the seaplane over rather than the fast ferry. As Sam I Am says, that ferry ride can be very unpredictable and it isn't called the "barf barge" for no good reason. That stretch of open water can get quite rough depending on the weather!

You might want to take a look at ..VRBO® is Vacation Rentals by Owner® Vacation Homes Rentals by Owner (http://www.vrbo.com - broken link) for condo rentals at Sapphire/Crystal Cove. Sapphire is one of the most beautiful beaches on STT and is close to the Red Hook ferry terminal for day trips to STJ and the BVI. Plan on renting a car (public transportation is a joke and taxi fares run up very quickly) and you can even take your rental vehicle over to St John on the car barge so you can explore that island at your leisure. That's with the exception of Hertz which doesn't permit their vehicles to be taken to STJ.

I concur with Sam I Am that your itinerary is doable but also would suggest cutting back on the PR stay and giving yourself more time in the USVI. Again, it's a little difficult to make suggestions when we don't know exactly what you're looking for and what your interests are but, as a STT resident of 25 years, I'll be more than happy to answer any other questions you might have. Happy planning and cheers!
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:29 PM
 
345 posts, read 1,136,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
It would really help to know what you're looking for from your vacation. The US Virgins are very different from each other with each island having its own unique character and I do think that spending only two days each on STT, STX and STJ won't give you much opportunity to explore/appreciate any of them. I've nothing against PR but it can't match the Virgins for spectacular beaches, scenery, snorkeling, diving and sailing.

STT is the more commercial island but, once you get out of town it's a delight and St John is only a 10 minute ferry ride away while a sailing trip is a "must do" for any visitor. The British Virgins too are easily accessible from STT and STJ and a popular destination for boat trippers.

STX is further away and I agree about taking the seaplane over rather than the fast ferry. As Sam I Am says, that ferry ride can be very unpredictable and it isn't called the "barf barge" for no good reason. That stretch of open water can get quite rough depending on the weather!

You might want to take a look at ..VRBO® is Vacation Rentals by Owner® Vacation Homes Rentals by Owner (http://www.vrbo.com - broken link) for condo rentals at Sapphire/Crystal Cove. Sapphire is one of the most beautiful beaches on STT and is close to the Red Hook ferry terminal for day trips to STJ and the BVI. Plan on renting a car (public transportation is a joke and taxi fares run up very quickly) and you can even take your rental vehicle over to St John on the car barge so you can explore that island at your leisure. That's with the exception of Hertz which doesn't permit their vehicles to be taken to STJ.

I concur with Sam I Am that your itinerary is doable but also would suggest cutting back on the PR stay and giving yourself more time in the USVI. Again, it's a little difficult to make suggestions when we don't know exactly what you're looking for and what your interests are but, as a STT resident of 25 years, I'll be more than happy to answer any other questions you might have. Happy planning and cheers!
i agree with STT res for once.

I would just spend all youre time between St. John and St. Thomas. I think STT could agree on that too. That would take away all sorts of hassle and make for less travel time and worries to more fun time. By the way, that many plane trips in the caribbean? I think all of us residents (past and present) can agree youre luggage is going to be lost 8 times before you get back home lol
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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Thanks STT Resident and Fairbanks.....

This is our honeymoon trip. We got married in July, but could not go for a honeymoon due to work pressures. Both of us are in our mid-20s and don't mind the physical activities that go with vacationing.

I hear your thoughts on cutting back on PR stay. But going all the way to US VI, is PR not worth 4-5 days?

-Should I be flying to San Juan in PR or St Thomas from NYC?
-I looked at Cheapcarribean.com, but did not find any deals/packages for a PR/USVI combo trip. Anywhere else I should be looking?
-How many days in STX?
-Should I stay in STX and make day trips to STJ or stay at STJ for a couple of days?

Again, thanks for the VRBO site. It looks the most economical option for more-than-a-week accommodations.
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