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Old 12-19-2007, 09:27 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,652,893 times
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Originally Posted by dbaxxx View Post
*amenities

this thing should have spell check!

It does - when you do a return message, look to the right of the box you are typing in up in the corner...you'll see it. You have to download something, but it's there.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:26 AM
 
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I'm a pilot thinking of giving my resume to Seaborne, but they require a 2 year contract. Is there a decent quality of life in USVI, good private schools for my son, a UPS (my husband works for ups and would need to transfer). Is it safe for an attractive young white girl?
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:40 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,652,893 times
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Where would you base out of, St. Thomas? If you make enough money there's a decent quality of life...it would have to be private schools...UPS - well, I know there was one on STX but I don't know if they fill with locals before they transfer folks in. Safe for an attractive young white girl? Guess a lot would depend on her level of maturity and street smarts and where she's from and what she's experienced in life already. There's really no hanging at the mall, ya know!

Seaborne seems to have a pretty steady turnover, which should tell you something. I hear the pay ain't that great and flying the same loop a gazillion times in a day is bound to be boring. I guess you have sea plane experience?

I can tell you about STX, but I'll leave STT for someone else...
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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thanks for the quick reply. where i would be based would depend on the company, i don't know how flexible they are. not all pretty girls hang out at the mall for fun. some fly airplanes. i am concerned feeling safe walking down the street in broad daylight. the only place in the carribean i have ever been is jamaica, and when you leave the resort there, it is pretty terrifying. not that i expect all islands to be the same (clearly from your responses that isn't the case)but there seems to be some disturbing undertones to some websites i have visited. comments like "parking is limited and not patrolled by so and so, we are not responsible for your vehicle". that sounds like-you're gonna have to park three miles away and walk in the dark, and if you actually make it to your car, you might find it up on blocks if you find it at all. sometimes circumstances simply require you to go out after dark, if moving here would be like moving to the ghetto(crime-wise, not people or surroundings) i won't raise my kids there.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:20 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,652,893 times
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Sorry...I was thinking "young white girl" rather than "son" - I thought you were talking about your child or something. Hazards of old age...

I don't know how to say this without it being perceived as negative...and it isn't so much negative as just the way it is, or at least on St. Croix. And this is my personal experience, so take it for what it is worth.

It seems to me that St. Thomas is less safe overall, but I think both STT and STX have way more than their fair share of crime. Probably STT more so than STX. Read the blogs and pay attention - many of these crimes are never solved, and they are the most "solvable" ones. The police department is undermanned, undertrained, ill prepared for the influx of new residents, and according to those in the know there is quite a bit of graft and corruption. I believe they have a new police commissioner, so hopefully that will change in 20 years or so - change comes very slowly to the islands.

These are very small islands and within a block the scenery and your safety factor can vary widely. I will be honest and tell you on St. Croix we really didn't wander around much at night. If there was a festival, when the crowd started thinning we were on our way to the car. On a regular night I wouldn't simply go to downtown Christiansted to walk around. Might go to the harbor to eat, but we surely didn't park on a side street. If you are from a metropolitan area you will be familiar with the safety drill. Head up, eyes open, stay in the lights, don't go where you don't know, blah, blah, blah. It ain't Jamaica, though, I can tell you that for true. Still, I'm not sure how safe I ever really felt there. You really don't want to go to remote beaches, leave your car unlocked, and a dog is a nice theft deterrent.

One thing you have to remember is there are a number of homeless and/or mentally ill that frequent the more populated areas looking for a handout....there is no place for them to go. The mentally ill who have committed criminal acts on St. Croix are in general population at the jail or wandering the streets. Mental illness is just not anything that is talked about...at all. The islands simply haven't progressed very far in many ways, and in my opinion they don't want to.

You will have to be a regular fixture in town for a while to be accepted. No matter what the perception of the islands, the people aren't standing around waiting to embrace you and give you the One Love feeling. Nope. As I've already stated, the attrition rate for mainlanders is abysmal...the locals most likely will not even bother to get involved with you until you've been around a while...and this is a very reserved culture, particularly the older islanders. Everyone seems to be related, and everyone seems to share some big secret that you don't know about. But generations of the same families have lived in the same place for so long, of course they have a history! Still, don't go in thinking you're going to make a difference - and don't go in with an idea on how to do something better, quicker, cheaper, more sensibly. No one wants to hear it - the dreaded "we did it this way back home" statement will cause eyes to go blank and ears to go deaf.

Accept that this is a different culture and different way of life. Be prepared for paying through the nose for lots of items. Be prepared for "if you see it and you might need it, buy it now - it won't be there tomorrow" (this can't be stated strongly enough!). If you're on St. Croix you have little to no stateside comparable retail stores. Kmart and Office Depot, and there you are.

I personally think it is ridiculously expensive to live there, but I live in a very low cost region of the country. The sticker shock was unbelievable, and all the gorgeous water and weather in the world couldn't take that away. Still, entertainment is cheap, if not free - the beach is always there - and if you are a local a lot of places will give you a discount on diving lessons, rentals, etc.

If your income is sufficient and you don't require a lot in the way of entertainment other than the beach, it is a great experience. I've heard other mainlanders who relocated say that the lack of activities for their kids was a big hinderance - I've heard others say they got their kids involved in sailing or whatever and it wasn't an obstacle. There really is little for them to do and nowhere to go, so the obvious problems follow from there.

It ain't Jamaica. I promise you that....but it's not all palm trees and blue water either. I think you have a perk in that with Seaborne you can get on and off the rock more quickly and easily and less expensively than your average person...but you really need to spend at least a week on whatever island you would be based off of and try to get a feel for it. If you do that, send me a DM and I will give you some names of people to talk to who know a lot about the islands and are in the hospitality business. If you ask honest questions and want honest answers, these folks will shoot you straight.

I'd suggest you talk with the other Seaborne pilots before you make your move...at one time there were complaints from some of them that the equipment was constantly going down and they were losing flight time - I guess that's more of an inconvenience than anything if you're getting paid on salary. Still, most of them didn't seem to hang around for a really long time and I think the pay scale, coupled with flying the same route over and over and over, finally wore them down.

I will say one other thing - your husband needs to have IN WRITING from UPS that he's being transferred there. Unless you want to be in the hospitality industry, jobs are not a dime a dozen and he could find himself out of work while you fly the friendly skies....locals will get jobs first with the government and most other island-owned businesses. If you have definite income needs, make sure those are met and you have jobs in place before going. The job market is tough if you aren't a V Islander.
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:36 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,707,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxSage View Post
I would definately not reccomend it, it is a dangerous crime ridden third world country, regardless of being a US territory. The Islanders are generally very resentful of Americans & I do not know hardly anyone there who has not been robbed, home invasions are common. Most Americans live togeather in clustered compounds because that is the only way they dare stay there.
There is shopping in St. Thomas, but is overpriced & touristy, you might as well just go to Acapulco. St. John is the prettiest, lush & green but not much there really. St. Croix is the largest & also the most dangerous, the east end is flat & dry, TX is much prettier, the west end has a rain forest but it is not a good idea to wander around there as the Rastafarians (I guess) get upset wondering what you are looking for. Get used to shopping at K-Mart as not much else. Even cruise ships have dropped the route due to crime.
The water is certainly blue, & there is some pretty old architecture, mainly Danish, & old sugar mills. Interesting for a day or so. It will cost about a million for any decent house, but you will probably get stuck with it, as many people who can afford them are pulling out. Fishing if you like that of course.
The only good things there are Conch (like Abalone) & great hot sauce, but you can get the former in Key West & import the latter. The weather is unbearably hot & bright, even by most TX standards. The moisture ruins anything nice so you cannot have things like framed prints there. I could go on but if you are really thinking of it you can email me, other drawbacks as well - no medical care - you must be airlifted to decent medical care. In case of hurricanes, riots, ect. it is hard to get off the island, also the local flight services are generally not to safe. It just sucks!!!!!
I beg to differ with you...the islands are beautiful, there is NOWHERE that does not have some aspect of its culture that has decided to be a druggie, and the cruise ships still go there, just got back 6 daus agp and go every year via a cruise.

The ONLY please that we no longer are willing to get off the ship and go and spend our money is Jamaica...it is definitely gotten to the point where it is not worth the risk IMHO..but other than that the islands all have many more very friendly and kind people than not, and much to offer.

ANY place ANYONE lives that has the "HAVES" the "HAVES NOT" has some type of crime...and that is any city you live in around the world these days.

The only reason we are not willing to move to the islands is the expense...that is the REAL issue anymore...that and as we grow older we appreciate having access to things that are creature comforts.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:52 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,652,893 times
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Ummm...I think the poster was speaking of St. Croix being taken off the cruise route, and indeed it was for a while until the new pier was built. Then the first couple of times they tried taking ships in, they landed at night (and unless they are having jazz night in the park, there is NOTHING to do in Frederiksted). There were no cabs waiting (they hadn't been told) and everything was closed. The next time it was a gay cruise ship and they were greeted rather nastily - depending on who you talk to, that may or may not have been deserved. The shops that were open said the tourists didn't seem much interested in any offerings they had.

Frederiksted has a lot of beautiful architecture and a lot of unemployment. It is very "poor" looking at first glance (and second and third). Although the beaches are lovely there, that's about all that can be said. The streets are teeming with people doing absolutely nothing during the daytime and go vacant at night.

Having lived there, I'll step out on a limb and say the vast majority of islanders could not care less if they ever see a cruise ship. They don't want to turn into St. Thomas. There is great rivalry between the islands, but the islanders and the continentals who live there don't want the fast pace that is St. Thomas. Although tourism could surely be of benefit with the tourist dollar it would present some problems too. And the pier is at the far west end of the island, completely away from Christiansted proper, the shopping, and the harbor there, which isn't deep enough for ships anyway. To be honest, although the pier area is beautiful and they have landscaped and refaced the buildings directly facing the water, I hated to see the pier go in at F'sted. The coral reefs and natural wonders of the sea are being ruined anyway by those who don't appreciate Mother Nature's work of thousands of years. It's becoming way more crowded there than even when we moved there in 2005.

I don't know if the cruise ships have picked St. Croix up again - I seriously doubt it. To be honest, though, if I were going to St. Thomas on a cruise I'd probably stay on the ship rather than fight the madhouse at Havensight. If you get away from downtown Charlotte Amalie there are really some pretty beaches, but if you have a whole day catch the ferry and go to St. John...you won't regret it.

Oh yeah...the expense...unbelievable and the primary reason we returned stateside. Just unbelievable.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:53 AM
 
Location: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
4 posts, read 55,376 times
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Default Its not that bad....

I moved to St. Croix because I didn't want Target and chain restaurants on every corner and my life to revolve around shopping and have little else in life. The lifestyle here is a lot different than living in the US. There is a culture and vibe that is liked by some and not by others. Statesiders CAN fit in, but they must try. Yes, there is crime but isn't there crime in the US too? I live simply and can get along with an average paying office job just fine here, but I don't have some of the things I had in the US. In exchange, I have a wonderful community of friends and associates (stateside, Cruzan, downisland, and foreigners) and I get to spend my weekends at the beach and have a very active social life.

If you want suburbia, don't move to the USVI. If you want culture, sun, beach, and a laid back atmosphere and can live without your double shot soy light foam latte, well... this could be it for you.

Don't think I don't miss or can go without an annual trip to the mainland for shopping and good Thai food when I can save the money for it. It only makes me more than happy to to get back to my island paradise for a good Passionfruit juice and saltfish pate.

Good luck with your choices!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TxSage View Post
I would definately not reccomend it, it is a dangerous crime ridden third world country, regardless of being a US territory. The Islanders are generally very resentful of Americans & I do not know hardly anyone there who has not been robbed, home invasions are common. Most Americans live togeather in clustered compounds because that is the only way they dare stay there.
There is shopping in St. Thomas, but is overpriced & touristy, you might as well just go to Acapulco. St. John is the prettiest, lush & green but not much there really. St. Croix is the largest & also the most dangerous, the east end is flat & dry, TX is much prettier, the west end has a rain forest but it is not a good idea to wander around there as the Rastafarians (I guess) get upset wondering what you are looking for. Get used to shopping at K-Mart as not much else. Even cruise ships have dropped the route due to crime.
The water is certainly blue, & there is some pretty old architecture, mainly Danish, & old sugar mills. Interesting for a day or so. It will cost about a million for any decent house, but you will probably get stuck with it, as many people who can afford them are pulling out. Fishing if you like that of course.
The only good things there are Conch (like Abalone) & great hot sauce, but you can get the former in Key West & import the latter. The weather is unbearably hot & bright, even by most TX standards. The moisture ruins anything nice so you cannot have things like framed prints there. I could go on but if you are really thinking of it you can email me, other drawbacks as well - no medical care - you must be airlifted to decent medical care. In case of hurricanes, riots, ect. it is hard to get off the island, also the local flight services are generally not to safe. It just sucks!!!!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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I've made 5 trips to the USVI over the past 10 years, always staying in STJ, going in off-season [right after of before hurricane season] either in vacation homes or condos in the hills over Cruz Bay, always renting a jeep to travel around the beautiful island and enjoy all the beaches. Stayed in St. Thomas a few evenings depending on flight itenerary. Never been to STX. I'd pretty much go along with Sam I Am's evalution of the USVI. STJ's scenery is absolutely breathtaking. It's true there isn't a whole lot to do there as far nightlife, but I'm content with hitting a few of the bars around happy hour or grabbing burgers or fresh fish at some place on the harbor. As far as living there, I don't know, I would have to think very hard about it. Would have to have a boat...there is no way I could be surrounded by that beautiful ocean and not get out on it several days a week. As Sam said, it is expensive. If money's no problem, it would be a great place to have a home or condo, live part of the year, rent out the rest of the time. as far as finding jobs, it's limited to some construction, working in a bar or something with tourism. One thing briefly mentioned is the lack of medical care. If you have any kind of medical problem, don't consider it..all STJ has is a small clinic that is open from M-F during the day. If you have an emergency and you don't have insurance [or a lot of money] to have a helicopter pick you up to take you to the hospital in STT, you're SOL. My wife fell and broke her wrist on a Friday evening and we had to wait till the folowing morning to take the ferry to STT to have her treated at the emergency room. Also, the doctor just put a bubble cast on it, he thought we may want to get home to have it set. It's not the place I would want to go if I just had a major coronary attack. As far as crime, yeah, you'd better be careful. STJ seems to be safe from violent crime, but don't leave anything laying in your vehicle [camera swiped] and I also had some cash taken out of a rental home. As far as dealing with the natives, never had any problems, be polite, friendly, remember it is their island and don't expext anything to get done too quickly. It's not too hard to figure what watering holes to avoid.

But hey, 5 trips, obviously I love STJ...sitting with a cocktail watching an incredible sunset over the Caribbean, after spending a day at one of several great beaches is wonderful.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
4 posts, read 55,376 times
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Doug,

You sound like a lot of people that move to St. Croix... I can't speak for St. Thomas, but I call St. Croix home and can attest to this not being for everyone although it is definately my thing. A lot of the beach bars are always looking for some new entertainment, so when you come down make sure you can give them a CD. You said you are a biker and there are some options to get your bike down here too. VICargo is a great resource. You can ship/drop off at the dock just outside of Miami and they will send it down, pretty reasonably. I had a trunk and box of books shipped from there and the cost from FL to here was $75 for 276 pounds! When you take your pre-move trip, make sure you check out St. Croix, it really is different than St. Thomas.

Working at Hovensa/Hess pays great, but you are working for the institution by doing so and since you mentioned you are 'anti-establishment', I don't know if that would be a good fit for you. VI Dept of Labor is online with jobs at U.S.V.I. Department of Labor and all EDC companies have to post their positions there by law. Moderator cut: edit If you work hard, construction work will come. A lot of people build their own houses down here, so if you can't find work with a company, just pass the word around.

Housing will happen, but you need to meet people and find the good deals. Some places are totally expensive and some are super reasonable. You could offer to assist building in exchange for rent too.

Just another opinion.
Good Luck!

Last edited by Sam I Am; 04-12-2008 at 09:32 AM.. Reason: sorry, no links to competitive websites, no links to your own website
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