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Old 01-19-2010, 12:04 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,320,196 times
Reputation: 984

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Recently, I finally got to go on my cruise to the Caribbean. We went to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, BVI, Antigua and USVI. I loved all of them except for St. Thomas. Yes, the scenary was spectacular, especially at Drake's Viewpoint. (Though Magen's Bay Beach is overrated). Now I know what I am about to say may cast an unfare judgement on the entire territory. However, the only unpleasant experience on the entire trip that I had was in St. Thomas. I was in Downtown Charlotte Amarlia (sp?). I just picked up the local newspaper and stopped at a little food shop on a side street. There was a chair and a table that I sat in. I was very tired, so I just glanced at the main pages of the newspaper. I simply was way too exhausted to read the whole damn paper. Anyway, the sales person delivering the drinks says to me "Can you please teach me how to read. You will be a good teacher because I cannot read." He laughed hysterically, believing I did not even know how to read a newspaper! First of all, mocking a tourist (especially when you are DEAD WRONG) is one of the most unwelcoming acts that you can do. As far as I am concerned that person that made such an outrageous comment is the biggest $@#^*U that you could imagine. It spoiled my entire time there. However, that wasn't the only problem. The downtown area was full of alcohol and jewerly stores. Only a occasional sovernier shop here and there. Can't there at least a little else there other than that?!; like in downtown Nassau which had almost everything. There simply was a real seedy nature to St. Thomas. I know all of the islands have a seedy side, but in St. Thomas it seemed the most obvious. Now, I am sure that a lot of good people live in St. Thomas, but the negative side showed its ugly head to me there (the locals did not bury it in the sand). Hence, I need to ask these questions...Why is St. Thomas so seedy and rundown? Why were people not that friendly, besides that one $%#^? Did anyone else have a similar problem in St. Thomas.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:49 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 65,029,886 times
Reputation: 26620
How very bizarre. What more can I say? I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your visit to my home but the old adage refrains that one can't please all of the people all of the time but only some of the people some of the time. Sorry!
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:01 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,569 posts, read 16,714,819 times
Reputation: 16641
I find i t incredible that you could allow a comment from an ignorant waitstaff to ruin your entire day and clud your whole vision of an entire island of people. Either you are beyond overly sensitive or a drama king/queen. I found St Thomas wonderful and the people warm and friendly. I had a truly great time and am looking forward to going back to St. T and spending more time

What I really find incredulous is that you liked the BVI. We decided to take a walk through Tortola, foregoing the typical shore excursion or the snorkeling. It was early Sunday morning when we debarked; shops were just beginning to open; but the chickens were running all over, the garbage was everywhere and some of it made its way into open trash containers, open sewers, people heavily laden with jewelry yet their homes were strewn with garbage, fetid sewage smell, and chickens leaving fertilizer everywhere. At one point, we were just a few blocks from the port, my husband and I realized that we were being followed. What started out as a way to really see the heart of the island was cut short because someone was planning to take advantage of the tourists. It was not a total waste of time. We did have an opportunity to see some of the island and to interact with locals. It did NOT ruin our entire day.

2 places I do not plan a return trip: The Bahamas and Tortola and more places than I can believe that I would love to return and spend a lot of time, St. Thomas is one, Belize and Nueva Vallarta, Puerto Rico, and I could go on but there are still so many places in the world we have NOT yet seen.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:45 PM
 
Location: NJ
1,252 posts, read 3,301,334 times
Reputation: 1023
Ignorant people live everywhere. You should not let that one experience form your opinion of St. Thomas. If that particular incident did not happen, would you have been otherwise happy with the very short time you spent in the middle of Charlotte Amalie in the middle of St. Thomas?

You went to the most touristy and crowded area of St. Thomas for eight hours at most maybe? In that frame of time. you encountered one rude person where most people are actually nice and friendly. You are judging the whole island based on this moron in the middle of the "city".

I like St. Thomas but I LOVE ST. John. A word of warning: if you did not think there were enough souvenir shops on St. Thomas, you wouldn't like how un-touristy St. John is.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 7,415,199 times
Reputation: 1356
Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
Recently, I finally got to go on my cruise to the Caribbean. We went to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, BVI, Antigua and USVI. I loved all of them except for St. Thomas. Yes, the scenary was spectacular, especially at Drake's Viewpoint. (Though Magen's Bay Beach is overrated). Now I know what I am about to say may cast an unfare judgement on the entire territory. However, the only unpleasant experience on the entire trip that I had was in St. Thomas. I was in Downtown Charlotte Amarlia (sp?). I just picked up the local newspaper and stopped at a little food shop on a side street. There was a chair and a table that I sat in. I was very tired, so I just glanced at the main pages of the newspaper. I simply was way too exhausted to read the whole damn paper. Anyway, the sales person delivering the drinks says to me "Can you please teach me how to read. You will be a good teacher because I cannot read." He laughed hysterically, believing I did not even know how to read a newspaper! First of all, mocking a tourist (especially when you are DEAD WRONG) is one of the most unwelcoming acts that you can do. As far as I am concerned that person that made such an outrageous comment is the biggest $@#^*U that you could imagine. It spoiled my entire time there. However, that wasn't the only problem. The downtown area was full of alcohol and jewerly stores. Only a occasional sovernier shop here and there. Can't there at least a little else there other than that?!; like in downtown Nassau which had almost everything. There simply was a real seedy nature to St. Thomas. I know all of the islands have a seedy side, but in St. Thomas it seemed the most obvious. Now, I am sure that a lot of good people live in St. Thomas, but the negative side showed its ugly head to me there (the locals did not bury it in the sand). Hence, I need to ask these questions...Why is St. Thomas so seedy and rundown? Why were people not that friendly, besides that one $%#^? Did anyone else have a similar problem in St. Thomas.
Something about this story makes no sense to me at all. Something's missing. Are you telling me that someone saw you glancing at a newspaper and just, out of the blue, mocked you for being illiterate? You assumed he thought you could not read a newspaper because he asked you to teach him how to read? I don't know, but that sounds really weird to me.

I am a Virgin Islander, born right there on St. Thomas. I KNOW we have our share of characters as I am sure you have your share where you come from. I realize we are not perfect and YES, we have our share of rude people, but you seem to have had a "moment" and pretty much judged everything else through that filter. You said THAT moment spoiled your 'ENTIRE time there.' We're not talking about a robbery, someone running you off the road or an attempted murder here. Someone [allegedly] mocked you and THAT killed your entire vibe???

You wanted to find some souvenir stores and because you did not in YOUR search or on the path you took, you feel the island needs to cater to your liking??? Well, St. Thomas has tons of souvenirs, however, it is an island that is better known for liquor and jewelry as it has been long BEFORE now. Keep in mind that while you visited different islands, no two are entirely alike and each is heavy one on thing over another. For example, Dominica would be for the tourist that loves eco-tours while St. Maarten would be like St. Thomas, but Jamaica would be for those who love the all-inclusive experience. On St. Croix, for example, you get a far more laid back approach and less crowds.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas has been a cosmopolitan, hustle and bustle city from centuries ago. It is not some sleepy town with empty streets. It has a real city feel and with that comes some dirt, some rudeness here and there and congestion. There are also places and people you need to avoid and one should NEVER take leave of their common sense on St. Thomas or Tahiti. You NEEDED to know all of this beforehand BEFORE going there with what you think it should have been. Also, keep in mind that we have been seeing tourist in great numbers longer than most other Caribbean islands. We are not in awe of them and we do not bow down to worship them. The island has a population living life "as usual" where visitors pop in and out to share the same space. For the most part, the tourists are neither here nor there for us, BUT the great majority of us will return respect for respect, but don't feel bad if we don't stop to notice you as we let you do your thing and we do ours.

Finally, I don't understand what you mean here:

Quote:
Why were people not that friendly, besides that one $%#^?
Are you saying that the 'one $%#^?' was the ONLY person who was friendly to you?

Oh, one other thing; St. Thomas has areas that are run down, but so is New York, London, Los Angeles, Miami, small town U.S.A, however, you sure did not go across the entire island to see multi million dollar homes that would make some homes in the U.S look like a dump with views to die for. Charlotte Amalie is a VERY old city and edges of it shows the wear and tear of the centuries, but it is also constantly regarded as a lovely city with rich Danish architecture hearkening its past. Clearly, it seems you never gave it a chance because of a waiter which I still say seems VERY fishy or there was a misunderstanding in your interpretation of the events.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 7,415,199 times
Reputation: 1356
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
I find i t incredible that you could allow a comment from an ignorant waitstaff to ruin your entire day and clud your whole vision of an entire island of people. Either you are beyond overly sensitive or a drama king/queen. I found St Thomas wonderful and the people warm and friendly. I had a truly great time and am looking forward to going back to St. T and spending more time

What I really find incredulous is that you liked the BVI. We decided to take a walk through Tortola, foregoing the typical shore excursion or the snorkeling. It was early Sunday morning when we debarked; shops were just beginning to open; but the chickens were running all over, the garbage was everywhere and some of it made its way into open trash containers, open sewers, people heavily laden with jewelry yet their homes were strewn with garbage, fetid sewage smell, and chickens leaving fertilizer everywhere. At one point, we were just a few blocks from the port, my husband and I realized that we were being followed. What started out as a way to really see the heart of the island was cut short because someone was planning to take advantage of the tourists. It was not a total waste of time. We did have an opportunity to see some of the island and to interact with locals. It did NOT ruin our entire day.

2 places I do not plan a return trip: The Bahamas and Tortola and more places than I can believe that I would love to return and spend a lot of time, St. Thomas is one, Belize and Nueva Vallarta, Puerto Rico, and I could go on but there are still so many places in the world we have NOT yet seen.
Proof that one person's experience is not necessarily another's and that a little perspective goes a long way.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:40 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,320,196 times
Reputation: 984
Listen, I do not know why the $@#$ mocked me nor can I explain why he thought that I could not read. All I can say is that is what happened. I am not saying that all USVI people are like that. I admitted in my first post what I am saying may not be a good generalization of the entire island. However, that was just one event and reason why I did not get a good vibe from the St. Thomas. I was NOT saying that the USVI is all-bad and the people are all jerks. What I am saying is that I got some bad vibes and had a unfriendly experience on the island.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
11,310 posts, read 11,741,846 times
Reputation: 4922
I just returned from St. Thomas (was one of the ports of call on my cruise.) During my time there, I never once experienced rudeness. It's a beautiful place!



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Old 01-19-2010, 07:42 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 7,415,199 times
Reputation: 1356
Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
Listen, I do not know why the $@#$ mocked me nor can I explain why he thought that I could not read. All I can say is that is what happened. I am not saying that all USVI people are like that. I admitted in my first post what I am saying may not be a good generalization of the entire island. However, that was just one event and reason why I did not get a good vibe from the St. Thomas. I was NOT saying that the USVI is all-bad and the people are all jerks. What I am saying is that I got some bad vibes and had a unfriendly experience on the island.
Ok, you know, I thought about your encounter and began to think about our sense/style of humor. Are you sure he was not joking with you? In other words, he saw you flying through the paper and was jokingly asking, "hey, I'd like to read as fast as you. Can you teach me?"

Anyway, hope you get back there someday and hope you have a better experience.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:48 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 7,415,199 times
Reputation: 1356
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasGirl@Heart View Post
I just returned from St. Thomas (was one of the ports of call on my cruise.) During my time there, I never once experienced rudeness. It's a beautiful place!

Glad to hear T.G.H. Um...can I swipe that first pic? I have a Facebook fan page (dedicated to the Virgin Islands) where I would like to post it. I recognize the view, of course, but where did you take the picture from?
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