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Tortola, St. Croix, or St. Thomas?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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Tortola, St. Croix, or St. Thomas?


I am traveling to the Virigin Islands in March for 9 nights and am trying to plan out where all to stay. We are flying into Saint Thomas and have to stay at either a Marriott or Starwood Hotel (using points). We would also like to be at one Marriott for 5 days. The decision I'm having trouble with is whether we spend that 5 days on St. Thomas (Frenchman's), St. Croix, or the new Scrub Island Resort off of Tortola. I've been to St. Thomas one time on a cruise and it was beautiful, but have never been to Tortola or St. Croix.

There are a few things that are important to us when making the decision and so I was hoping anyone who either lives in the Virgin Islands or has had a similar experience can share some advice. We would like easy transportation such as busses that's not too expense. We don't mind walking a bit to get to it. With this transportation, we would like to be able to get to "town" or the main attractions and to inexpensive eating options like a grocery store or mart or carry out food within walking distance or public transportation. We'd also like to be able to get to a few beaches and hikes withint walking distance or public transportation.

A few pointed questions:

1) Is the Marriott Frenchman's on St. Thomas easily accesible from the airport, is it near a grocery store, and are there things to do around the hotel that are easy to get to?

2) Does Scrub Island have any inexpensive food options? Is it easy to walk around? Are there any attractions, transportation, or food on Tortola near the ferry drop off from Scrub Island (near Airport)? Is it easy to get from the drop off (airport) to Road Town and is there an inexpensive means of transportation? Main concern: We would get "stuck" on Scrub Island for 5 days and end up spending quite a bit of money on hotel food or trying to get to the main town.

3) Pretty much the same questions for St. Croix. Can we easily get from the ferry dock to the hotel (Marriott)? Are there means of public transportation and are there easily accessible food options?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Our only restriction is, like I said before, we have to stay in a Marriott or Starwood and we have to stay in one place for at least 5 days. We plan spending two days in one location, two days in another, and 5 in a third. Unless, Tortola is completely unreaslistic, then we'll forgo that option. We also plan on taking the passenger ferries from one island to the next.


British Virgin...
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1. Re: Tortola, St. Croix, or St. Thomas?

I can only help you with Scrub. There is no public or inexpensive transportation from the airport into Road Town. Most reviewers consider the food at Scrub good, but expensive. Same for the Scrub market. The resort itself is very nice.

There is a small market on Trellis Bay, near where the Scrub ferry drops you off. You can reach a few other restaurants on or in Trellis Bay by free ferry: Loose Mongoose, Last Resort, Marina Cay. You could provision from Bobby's or similar, which delivers free to Trellis Bay. Look online at pricing, as everyone's idea of inexpensive is different.

I suspect the BVI will be the most expensive of your three options.

Idaho Falls, Idaho
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2. Re: Tortola, St. Croix, or St. Thomas?

I have been to Tortola and St. Thomas only on a cruise ship. However, I have recently been doing extensive research on these three islands for my upcoming vacations. The one thing I can tell you is that none of these islands have public transportation that can get you from point A to B easily.

As far as inexpensive food, with the exception of St. Thomas none of these islands are overly developed and therefore cheap eats will probably be more in the non-tourist areas.

I have generated several long threads on both Tortola and St. Croix's forum pages which should answer a lot of your questions. I am not sure if any of these three islands have what you are looking for. You may do better in Barbados or Antigua, both of which have pretty good bus s ystems for getting around.

Look for my name and follow my various questions. The answers are manificently informative.

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3. Re: Tortola, St. Croix, or St. Thomas?

The trip to St Croix is only by aircraft right now because the ferry is not working (It ran into something) and when it was it bears the nicknames of barf barge and vomit comet. It is about 40 miles through very rough water to get from STT to STX. STX is geographically separate from the other V - you can take the seaplaneI. The Marriott on St Croix is aka the Carambola and is a beautiful resort, but is rather isolated. It is about 30-40 minutes from town and about the same amount of time from the airport. You need to rent a car because there is virtually no transportation (i.e. buses) on the island. There is one bus between C'sted and F'sted, but it does not go near the hotel you will be at. Food is quite expensive on all three of the islands. The VI are not an inexpensive destination. Everything has to be flown in. As far as restaurants, there are many on the island at all price points, but you will need a car. There is not an easy way around it - on all three islands.

For Tortola, I pretty much agree with the above poster. Scrub Island is pretty expensive and separate from the rest of Tortola/Beef Island. There are some things in Trellis Bay but not a huge selection. If you are staying there I would expect to pay a lot for food. I don't know if they have any cooking facilities. You can get some good, inexpensive food on the island, but you need a car. You can get from STT to Tortola by ferry but you will then need to get to the east side of the island and that is only by taxi.

I can't give you any detail on STT because I don't go there any more - don't like it too much.

I would advise you to post on the separate St Croix and St Thomas forums to get advice on those islands.

Edited: 08 December 2011, 20:00
North Pole, New York
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4. Re: Tortola, St. Croix, or St. Thomas?

None of what you are looking for is available at Scrub (or anywhere on Tortola or in the BVI thankfully). You will want to look at the USVI or an AI-rich area like the Riviera Maya or Aruba for these amenities. But since you are staying on STT you may want to look at trying SXM or Barbados then flying to STT.

Edited: 09 December 2011, 01:06
5. Re: Tortola, St. Croix, or St. Thomas?

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