Since I'm always gathering so much helpful information from the friendly posters on TA, I figured I should finally return the favor!
We just returned from a very relaxing week in Vieques. We had been to Puerto Rico before but wanted to return to stay at a smaller island like Vieques or Culebra for the primary purpose of quiet and great beaches.
getting to vieques: after much debate we finally decided to take a taxi to the ferry (john's publicos mentioned by posters on TA) given that we were worried about making a connecting flight to Vieques. I am SO glad we went with this option b/c our AirTran flight was over 2 hours late (long story but I would NOT recommend flying with them). John waited for us with a sign and had even picked up ferry tickets the day before which was really helpful. The price was reasonable at 80$/each way for the both of us and our heavy luggage
getting around vieques: Juergen from Abreeze met us at the ferry and took us to his place to get out rental car. Fantastic service, great vehicle (Jeep Liberty 75$/day) and really friendly, helpful hints
staying in vieques: we stayed at Villa Venti (also found via TA)- the upper loft. Alex and Glen were great, nonobtrusive hosts and provided all the essentials for a relaxing stay (beach towels, cooler, beach chairs). The loft is amazing with spectacular views of the ocean and a wonderful cool breeze that makes ac or even fans unnecessary. Admittedly, it's not for everyone, as there are no windows so you get to hear/see all of the various animal life that makes Vieques so colorful (roosters, peacocks, horses, cows, sheep, goats, dogs). But we loved it and would stay there again. The price was reasonable and the location was fantastic.
dining in vieques: again went with TA advice and went to Sol Food, El Quenepo, Next Course, Bananas, and Tradewinds. Bananas was the only disappointment given really poor service (forgotten orders, burnt food, mistake on bill, and unreasonably long wait time- yes i know about island time but this was excessive). The rest of the places were fantastic with really flavorful and fresh food. We had a kitchenette in the loft so had breakfast and lunch most days from groceries obtained at the supermarket, which I felt was reasonably priced given the island location and well stocked.
beaches in vieques: my favorites (i like soft sand and little wave action) were orchid and blue beach. my husband's favorite was green beach for the snorkelling. we also visited secret, sun, red and a couple of others i'm probably forgetting. Off the beach snorkeling was not as robust as St John, Bermuda, or Hawaii but the quality, variety and amount of beaches Vieques has is spectacular
biobay: we went with island adventures for the electric boat- booked the morning of for 40$/person. We had a knowledgeable tour guide and overall really enjoyed the experience.
If you're looking for an island that can provide nonstop entertainment (shopping, movie theaters, historical tours), Vieques is not likely the place for you. Rather if great beaches and good food can keep you occupied, then I think Vieques is worth a trip.
Last note, I read several posts before planning our trip comparing St John to Vieques. This was something my husband and I debated as well since we loved St John and wouldn't mind going back. Having visited both, St John is still my favorite but Vieques is a close second! I do feel like it's comparing apples to oranges as Vieques still feels like a Spanish island with a native culture/tongue while St John seems more like a haven for rich retired Americans with subsequently more infrastructure which can make travel to/fro slightly easier. Just my 2 cents