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Old 07-01-2013, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Smyrna, GA
246 posts, read 334,313 times
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What are the "You can't miss" things to do in St Thomas? We are staying at the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. We won't have a car, so anything needs to be accessible via cab or public transit.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:03 AM
 
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Getteth thee to Magen's Bay for a picnic and swim. That'll eat up some beaching. Take a safari cab to Red Hook, hang there some. Jump on the Ferry in Red Hook to St. John, hit Trunk Bay. Maybe get out to Cinnamon. Wander around Cruz Bay. Take another cab from your hotel to Hull Bay, hang out at the Hideaway, enjoy the beach with the locals, grab a bite to eat that isn't severely overpriced. Pop a captained day charter out of Red Hook to Jost Van Dyke (passport or birth certificate required to enter BVI). Go to Ivan's Stress Freeeeeeeee honor bar. Nicest people, least tourist trappy. On St. John hit Skinny's (although Moe sold it earlier this year). Sunday I'd go over to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island - take the ferry from Tickle's Dockside Pub. Throw some horseshoes, have some burgers, go swimming in Druiff Bay. Hang with the eclectics that live on Water Island. Above all, be safe.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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I'd seriously reconsider the car rental, at least for a few days of your stay. Public transportation is totally unreliable, the safaris which Maineac mentions don't run by the Marriot property where you're staying (neither do the regular buses) and taxis charge per person. Just to get from the Reef down to Havensight which is only a 5 minute drive will cost you $5 per person each way. Cab to Hull Bay is going to cost you at least $13 per person each way but getting there by car is easy.

Relatively close by you should find plenty to occupy you in the Havensight area as far as dining, shops, etc. are concerned while the adjacent Yacht Haven Grande property has higher end stores and some decent restaurants. The best beaches are on the East end of the island - Coki, Sapphire, Smith Bay Park and Secret Harbour.

You should definitely take the ferry over to St John for the day. If you do decide to go over to the British Virgin Islands, note that you MUST now have a valid passport - just a birth certificate won't get you in any more.

For links to taxi rates and ferry rates and schedules, go to VINow.com.

Have fun!
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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I took "we won't have a car" as determinative. Further, according to the BVI Tourism Website, both Canadians and U.S. Citizens can still use a notarized birth certificate to get into the BVI. The only change occurred in 2008, when the U.S. began demanding passports for re-entry from the USVI to Stateside. But ask the charter company, not people on a bulletin board.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:23 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,669 posts, read 65,601,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post
I took "we won't have a car" as determinative. Further, according to the BVI Tourism Website, both Canadians and U.S. Citizens can still use a notarized birth certificate to get into the BVI. The only change occurred in 2008, when the U.S. began demanding passports for re-entry from the USVI to Stateside. But ask the charter company, not people on a bulletin board.
No ferry operator or charter boat operator will take you to to the BVI unless you have a valid passport because the US authorities specifically require it for the check back in to the territory. This is made clear on the ferry rate and schedule websites and on charter websites.

Many people initially opt not to rent a car assuming that getting around via public transportation/taxi is easy/cheap and that driving on the left here is difficult. The majority change their minds after a couple of days.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:41 PM
 
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Excuse me, you said "just a birth certificate won't get you in any more" and the BVI Tourism website states differently. It will get you in. The complication now, thanks to "Homeland Security" and the jackboots in Cruz Bay, are that THEY are demanding the passports. Didn't I point that out? Ask your charter company, not "experts" on a bulletin board.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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And if the ferry operators and the charter operators won't take you unless you have a passport (which they will NOT), how do you plan on physically getting there with just a birth certificate and then how do you plan on getting back into US territory with just that? Being argumentative for argument's sake accomplishes nothing. Speak of what you know and stop turning every simple USVI question on this forum into a negative diatribe.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:50 PM
 
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To the OP: to be safe, bring passports if you want to go to BVI. Having made hundreds of trips there myself, as a 100Ton USCG Master ("speak of what you know"), nearly every weekend for over 15 years, and dealt with the gang at the BVI Shipping Registry in the charter wars, Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, etc., I don't know what I'm talking about. The problem, if any, is on the U.S. end with charters and ferries required to have filed passenger manifests 24 hours in advance of the trip. Better yet, there's some fine charters that simply head out Pillsbury Sound and go over to the St. John beaches. And no, private boaters don't need a passport going in/out of BVI. Besides, when on private boats, I never actually physically cleared back in ever. Hundreds of trips. Not a recommended practice, but we have to take a few risks in life, no? STT, take a breath, go back and look at my first post. Any negativity there? No. Speak of what you know.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Smyrna, GA
246 posts, read 334,313 times
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Thanks for the input guys & posts 4-8 were unnecessary as we are already bringing our passports.

I will check out VINow.com & the information there & certainly look into the local spots mentioned.

Any input on the 99 steps & Blackbeard's castle? They were noted as some of the top things to do on Trip Advisor.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:11 AM
 
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99 Steps goes up from downtown Charlotte Amalie to an interesting old mill building with a very pricey restaurant in it. The actual existence of Blackbeard or Bluebeard in the V.I. I don't believe has ever been proven. As I recall, its all rumor. Nice view, used to meet people there for Friday afternoon cocktails. Get specific directions, because the neighborhoods at the bottom steps and next west are quite sketchy. It is not uncommon for daylight gun-in-your face robberies in the areas of Hospital Ground, Backstreet, Contant, Savan, etc., which surround the "castle". There is quite a bit of very interesting history of the Virgin Islands, going back to the days of pirates, etc., but I think these "castles" are old sugar cane mills. STT will now jump in and call me names. Enjoy your trip and be careful. Like anywhere with tourism, they want your money and some will simply take it.
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