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Old 11-29-2006, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Central Jersey - Florida
3,355 posts, read 12,922,248 times
Reputation: 2168

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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer's best View Post
Hi,

Since this is US territory, I thought this might be the spot to ask. Has anyone had any experience of living in the Virgin Islands? St. Thomas in particular as that's where the college is located.

Could you go through any pros and cons? Thanks!
BIG PRO!!!!! Cuzzins Restaurant. Possibly the best meal I've ever had in a restaurant, try the jerk chicken and also Megan's Bay which can possibly be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. I've been to numerous places in the carib. and really enjoy ST. Thomas.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Central Jersey - Florida
3,355 posts, read 12,922,248 times
Reputation: 2168
Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
We honeymooned in the Virgin Islands last year. Honestly, everyone in St. Thomas was pretty rude. They close up all the stores early. There were local, young adults loitering about the streets and they made us uncomfortable. We talked to a few other tourists who agreed that the locals did not seem to like us folks from mainland U.S. very much - the locals were much nicer to other islanders, even if they were from totally different islands like Jamaica.

St. Croix and St. Johns were much, much nicer.
Odd. I never had that feeling and I've been there numerous times. We routinely wander from the beaten path and never had a problem. The only issue I've heard of is the locals will try to take advantage of you if you come in on a cruise ship. They figure they only have one shot at you so they can be persistent if nothing else. Actually if you ask any of the islanders about who they care for the least most would probably say Jamaicans and Haitians. Many believe they have ruined some of the tourist trade by scaring people away. I've been approached dozens of times by these people offering to sell me weed. I can see how it would scare some ,but you just have to know how to deal with them. It's the same as the hair braiders and shirt sellers on the beach they are annoying but it's the way they make a living. Sorry you didn't have a better experience.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Miami
284 posts, read 1,005,913 times
Reputation: 251
Default St Thomas USVI

This is the busiest island with a population of 50,000, around 95% black with 5% making up the rest. This is strictly a one day cruise port. The island is 3.25 miles wide and 13 miles long. About 30-40 % of the terrain is mountain and non-habitable bush. One square mile downtown is devoted to the duty free shopping area (jewelry,watches, perfumes, liquor etc) Public schools are very unsafe and not an option. People are extremely racist and open about it. They dislike(to put it mildly) white people and are even suspicious of the mainland blacks(calling them yankees) Nightlife is nonexistent and the streets are dangerous at night. In this past week, there have been two fatal shootings in the same neighbourhood. Summers can get very hot, (in the high 90s) and humid. Around winter the mercury hovers around 85(days) and 75(nights). Expect to pay around $300-$500 for electricity and at least $50 for hi-speed internet. Grocery costs approx 50%-80% more here than the mainland as everything has to be shipped/airlifted in.
The water is not potable, bottled water is the only option.
We even use bottled water when cooking to be safe.
(The last report said that samples contained trace amounts of fecal matter)
Oh, and did I mention, crack is the drug of choice here and freely available everywhere.
The speed limit is 25-30 and you drive on the left hand side of the road.
There are no gated communities here and you cannot distance yourself from the problems here. It is ever present and in your face.
There is virtually no place to take a stroll in the night safely.
Liquor is cheap, rum being the choice for most. This is Alcoholics central as well.
This is pretty much the twilight zone.It is unreal. There is big money vested here though from the cruise lines that come here,so you will never get this information from the colorful booklets or travel websites.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:23 PM
 
Location: McLean, VA
32 posts, read 113,708 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
We honeymooned in the Virgin Islands last year. Honestly, everyone in St. Thomas was pretty rude. They close up all the stores early. There were local, young adults loitering about the streets and they made us uncomfortable. We talked to a few other tourists who agreed that the locals did not seem to like us folks from mainland U.S. very much - the locals were much nicer to other islanders, even if they were from totally different islands like Jamaica.

St. Croix and St. Johns were much, much nicer.
Wow, St. Croix's crime is comparable to an urban hood in Dade County. People close the stores at five because the ships leave. Also, most tourists don't want to shop after 6 p.m. From, what I hear about America, that's dinner time .

St. John is wonderful, the best of the 3. It has an awesome island feel and it is very tourist oriented.

People were rude to you because when you walked in the room and didn't say good morning, you were considered rude. Also, you were probably one of those customers that walked in the store and didn't reply to anyone when they greeted you.

All in all, you aren't the first one who's said this. The local people are rude to Americans of lighter skin color. I was born and raised there, and I know they don't like the majority of the store owners as well (hint: ethnicity).

Sorry for your bad experience, but I promise you that there are a greater number of polite people than rude in St. Thomas.

Cheers
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:19 AM
 
Location: S. Charlotte
20 posts, read 77,818 times
Reputation: 17
hi! what are you hoping to go to UVI for? i was/am actually debating on going to UVI on st. croix. what i'm hoping to go to school there for, i've been advised that i should get my degree on the mainland. we're in charlotte, nc currently. we've only lived there (stx) part-time (we have a condo there) but i've visited stt and any island is going to be very expensive! rent is a little high BUT, in most cases it includes utilities (except electricity). groceries are a shocker the first time but then you have to think about how they get everything there! yes- the locals may take a day or two to get used to but as long as you're not rude, you have nothing to be worried about. this is probably silly but i love say the good morning/afternoon/night whenever we're there! wish people did that here! only thing that i haven't been able to fully adjust to is the very laid-back life. too long of living in the cities! and yes, alcohol is cheaper which is a problem for many students and they forget the real reason they're there! best of luck and let me know if i can help!
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:28 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,615,256 times
Reputation: 26569
Quote:
Originally Posted by induhvidual View Post
This is the busiest island with a population of 50,000, around 95% black with 5% making up the rest. This is strictly a one day cruise port. The island is 3.25 miles wide and 13 miles long. About 30-40 % of the terrain is mountain and non-habitable bush. One square mile downtown is devoted to the duty free shopping area (jewelry,watches, perfumes, liquor etc) Public schools are very unsafe and not an option. People are extremely racist and open about it. They dislike(to put it mildly) white people and are even suspicious of the mainland blacks(calling them yankees) Nightlife is nonexistent and the streets are dangerous at night. In this past week, there have been two fatal shootings in the same neighbourhood. Summers can get very hot, (in the high 90s) and humid. Around winter the mercury hovers around 85(days) and 75(nights). Expect to pay around $300-$500 for electricity and at least $50 for hi-speed internet. Grocery costs approx 50%-80% more here than the mainland as everything has to be shipped/airlifted in.
The water is not potable, bottled water is the only option.
We even use bottled water when cooking to be safe.
(The last report said that samples contained trace amounts of fecal matter)
Oh, and did I mention, crack is the drug of choice here and freely available everywhere.
The speed limit is 25-30 and you drive on the left hand side of the road.
There are no gated communities here and you cannot distance yourself from the problems here. It is ever present and in your face.
There is virtually no place to take a stroll in the night safely.
Liquor is cheap, rum being the choice for most. This is Alcoholics central as well.
This is pretty much the twilight zone.It is unreal. There is big money vested here though from the cruise lines that come here,so you will never get this information from the colorful booklets or travel websites.
As a resident of St Thomas for over two decades, I think some of your comments are not quite correct. You say that people are "extremely racist and open about it." I'm not daft enough to say that racism doesn't exist but your comment really pushes the envelope and in my opinion gives a very wrong impression. In case it's relevant, I'm in the white minority here!

"The water is not potable" is a generalisation which is incorrect. Most of the town area has piped potable water and potable water piping is right now being installed along the Smith Bay Road to the East End to bring it out to "the country." The general method of water collection is from the roof into a cistern - wonderfully soft and pure rainwater. Many home-owners and most condos have in more recent years installed ultraviolet filtration systems and those without generally treat their cisterns regularly with a small amount of chlorine. All restaurants, schools and otherwise "public drinking facilities" are required by law to have their water tested monthly for coliform and annually for nitrates. The larger hotels have desal plants. Many residents drink bottled water (me too) because the taste of the cistern water isn't palatable to all. Many restaurants (mine included) serve only bottled water for that reason.

I used to live in Connecticut and the summer humidity there was MUCH worse than here. Much worse in Florida, too! The year-round air temperature varies by only a few degrees between winter and summer but seems hotter in the summer when the Trade Winds die down.

$300-$500 for electricity? My restaurant has one a/c unit, multiple ceiling fans on all the time, three deep freezers, two fridges and a bunch of other electrically run things and my bill is about $550/month. The average residential bill is MUCH lower.

As far as drugs are concerned, there are drugs here as pretty much anywhere these days but again your wording of crack being "the drug of choice and freely available everywhere" is unfortunate and might lead a reader to suppose that there are crack smokers and dealers on every corner - which is very far from the truth.

There are several "gated communities" on STT.

Anyway, I've taken up enough space but just wanted to comment on some of your points which I felt placed St Thomas in a rather unfavourable light which I personally felt unjustified. And, no, I don't rely on tourism to eke out a living. Nor do I consider that I live in the twilight zone. Cheers!
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Boonies of Georgia ~~~~ nuttier than a squirrel turd !
1,950 posts, read 4,789,708 times
Reputation: 2265
I was in St. Thomas for 9 months.
It was some time ago, but I did not run into alot of problems.
We never had a problem with any locals. We didn't experience racism.
We went out at night. LOL Club Arby's. Yes there is/was a bar in the fast food joints. Also THE CHART HOUSE AND THE GREENHOUSE were some of the places we frequented. Blackbeard beach (hope I am correct, might have my islands mixed up) was very nice.
Yes, the (drinking)water situation was different, but we were in a different part of the world than we were used to. We adapted. We didn't stay in the resort area. I can recall exactly where we lived... Pearl comes to mind. Is the a pearl mountain/hill ??? I remember a very steep incline we had to go up to get to our house.
The beaches were AMAZING !
Groceries were expensive, again par for the course.
We did take the taxi alot, but we also had a car.
St. Johns is amazing. Very nice for tourists and accesable from St. Thomas via ferry.

Thanks for the memory jog ! Those were some good days for us !
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Miami
284 posts, read 1,005,913 times
Reputation: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
As a resident of St Thomas for over two decades, I think some of your comments are not quite correct. You say that people are "extremely racist and open about it." I'm not daft enough to say that racism doesn't exist but your comment really pushes the envelope and in my opinion gives a very wrong impression. In case it's relevant, I'm in the white minority here!

"The water is not potable" is a generalisation which is incorrect. Most of the town area has piped potable water and potable water piping is right now being installed along the Smith Bay Road to the East End to bring it out to "the country." The general method of water collection is from the roof into a cistern - wonderfully soft and pure rainwater. Many home-owners and most condos have in more recent years installed ultraviolet filtration systems and those without generally treat their cisterns regularly with a small amount of chlorine. All restaurants, schools and otherwise "public drinking facilities" are required by law to have their water tested monthly for coliform and annually for nitrates. The larger hotels have desal plants. Many residents drink bottled water (me too) because the taste of the cistern water isn't palatable to all. Many restaurants (mine included) serve only bottled water for that reason.

I used to live in Connecticut and the summer humidity there was MUCH worse than here. Much worse in Florida, too! The year-round air temperature varies by only a few degrees between winter and summer but seems hotter in the summer when the Trade Winds die down.

$300-$500 for electricity? My restaurant has one a/c unit, multiple ceiling fans on all the time, three deep freezers, two fridges and a bunch of other electrically run things and my bill is about $550/month. The average residential bill is MUCH lower.

As far as drugs are concerned, there are drugs here as pretty much anywhere these days but again your wording of crack being "the drug of choice and freely available everywhere" is unfortunate and might lead a reader to suppose that there are crack smokers and dealers on every corner - which is very far from the truth.

There are several "gated communities" on STT.

Anyway, I've taken up enough space but just wanted to comment on some of your points which I felt placed St Thomas in a rather unfavourable light which I personally felt unjustified. And, no, I don't rely on tourism to eke out a living. Nor do I consider that I live in the twilight zone. Cheers!
I think you are living in a bubble my friend.
People drink bottled water because they do not want fecal matter in their water. Good restaurants will always advise their patrons to do the same.
And have you ever visited the downtown district. The don't call it the Crack Capital of the Caribbean for nothing. It is a well knownsecret.
This place is a haven for petty criminals, drug dealers and your usual assortment of low-life.
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:09 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,615,256 times
Reputation: 26569
Quote:
Originally Posted by induhvidual View Post
I think you are living in a bubble my friend.
People drink bottled water because they do not want fecal matter in their water. Good restaurants will always advise their patrons to do the same.
And have you ever visited the downtown district. The don't call it the Crack Capital of the Caribbean for nothing. It is a well knownsecret.
This place is a haven for petty criminals, drug dealers and your usual assortment of low-life.
Then I must have been living in that bubble for 23 years now which is how long I've been a fulltime resident of St Thomas. I already addressed the subject of drinking water and its potability and thought the explanation was more than sufficient.

Surely you jest when you ask if I have visited "the downtown district." And pray tell the source of your information that "town" is called the "Crack Capital of the Caribbean." Methinks, my friend, that your knowledge of St Thomas and its people is limited at best. Cheers!
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:28 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,646,560 times
Reputation: 7618
Quote:
Originally Posted by induhvidual View Post
I think you are living in a bubble my friend.
People drink bottled water because they do not want fecal matter in their water. Good restaurants will always advise their patrons to do the same.
And have you ever visited the downtown district. The don't call it the Crack Capital of the Caribbean for nothing. It is a well knownsecret.
This place is a haven for petty criminals, drug dealers and your usual assortment of low-life.
Having lived in St. Croix, I also find your observations to be pretty absurd. Actually, much of the "potable" water is from cisterns, which is nothing but pure rainwater. The cisterns are treated every month or so......and I never had a restaurant on St. John, St. Croix, OR St. Thomas advise me to have bottled water. I don't know where it came from, didn't care - it's quite drink-able. On St. Croix, some of the private water supply at residences comes from wells, and it is kind of yucky.

Crack Capital and low-lifes, huh? Never knew that one either. Silly me. Thought that was Arkansas. Or Nebraska. Or Oregon. Or South Carolina Or pick a place, any place, anywhere under the shining sun. Every place has their less than savory characters, everywhere has drugs, everywhere has drug dealers and petty criminals. If we are comparing St. Thomas to Utopia, yes - it has a ways to go. If we are comparing it to Mainstream USA, I think you'll find the same problems wherever you go.

I'm going to side with the person who has been there over two decades....I surely didn't live in the Caribbean that long, but I'd figure they know more than I do by far.
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