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Planning our first trip to St. Croix

Santa Monica, CA
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Planning our first trip to St. Croix

I've been researching a Caribbean destination for my family (kids are 17 & 21). St. Croix seems perfect as it seems easy to drive around, plenty of restaurants, snorkeling/diving, hiking, a "jungle" and a botanical garden. So my questions are:

1. We are coming from Los Angeles and American flight will arrive at 9:00 pm. Flight is about $500 rt per person but if we try to break it up (overnight in Miami for example), it is well above $800 pp. I am very concerned about getting there so late. Will we be able to get a rental car? Will it be hard to find our accommodations (I read one post that said street signage is a bit difficult)? Is there a hotel/motel near the airport for that first night?

2. I am leaning toward Pelican Cove condos because it seems that snorkeling can be done from the beach and a short walk will bring us to bar/restaurants. How are the winds on that part of the island in July? Is it feasible to snorkel or is it more wishful thinking?

3. Speaking of July, we were planning to visit end of June but I see Jump Up is July 8 . I think this makes it a better time to visit, do you agree?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

CT
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1. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

We are staying at Pelican Cove Condos now. We arrived feb 1st 4:30 pm had centerline car rental meet us at the airport. Hubby went for the car. We left the airport around 5:30. We stopped at Plaza Extra to get some groceries. It by now was after dark.

Well we FINALLY got to Pelican Cove Condos about 7:30. It's not that the signage is poor, it's that it's after dark and you're driving on the wrong side of the street. A little tricky. pelican cove is a 5 building complex. Fortunately for us we meet a nice woman who took us in the dark to our unit. We had been up since 3am got the last flight out of Hartford Ct. before they shut down the airport because of snow. A LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG day. There is one restaurant within walking distance. The rest you will need a car to get to. ANy specific questions ask away..

boston
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2. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

Why not just plan to take a taxi to Pelican Cove when you arrive so you don't have to worry about the driving and directions? Then, in advance, arrange for a car rental agency to bring you a car to rent the next morning. I am almost certain you can make that work.

Do not stay over in Miami....it's such a pain (believe me, we've had to do it before due to snowstorms) as you have to lug your luggage everywhere and re-check everything. Just get yourselves to paradise, take a taxi, and relax :)

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

A taxi! Why didn't I think of that! Many thanks, that is exactly what I'll do.

West Chester, PA
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4. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

Pelican Cove has decent snorkeling but there are far better spots such as Tamarind, Shoys and near the Divi on the South Shore. SCUBA dive shop does their pool certification work before diving at the Pelican pool so it is a natural that your kids will want to dive and maybe even get certified while you are there. They may also want to get kite surfing lessons out on the east end. Also put a hike into the secluded Jacks and Isaacs Bay and hike from Carambola resort into the Annaly tide pools. Also consider renting kayaks from Tamarind Reef and rowing out to Green Cay for spectacular snorkeling. Wild off road jeep tours are available with TanTan Tours and shouldn't be missed.

Try to make it for Jump Up in July. It's a very entertaining street party with lots of live music and vendors of all types. Forget about the overnight in Miami, get to the island as soon as you can.....you've got lots to do!

July winds should be the regular trade winds of 10-20kts or less unless some kind of weather passes through. Weather changes very quickly in the Caribbean and is never much to worry about.

Have a great trip.

St. Croix
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5. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

I agree with STX203. Tamarind Reef would be a much better place to stay - nice beach, best snorkeling on the island, pool, all units face the water, good restaurant, friendly, and many restaurants nearby. There are a couple of restaurants near Pelican Cove but I don't think you would want to walk to them. If you want a condo, consider Coakley Bay June and July are great months for snorkeling and Jump Up is definitely fun. As to the car, definitely take a taxi to the hotel on arrival. You can either return to the airport the next day to rent a car or you can arrange to have a car delivered to your hotel.

Santa Monica, CA
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6. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

Thanks STX203 and crabgroupie: I looked into Tamarind Reef, looks beautiful, but it is too expensive to rent 2 rooms there. For us, a condo is best. I'll look into Coakley Bay some more, but am concerned there are few recent reviews. Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Wheaton, Illinois
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7. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

This April we are staying in a villa just above Tamarind Reef / Green Cay called Villa Bambooshay, It might work for you, too. It has a huge pool and is 3 br / 3 ba.. It is east end but much closer to C'Sted than we have stayed in the past. Very close to beaches at Tamarind Reef and Candle Reef, Shoys and The Buccaneer.

vacationstcroix.com/VillaBambooshay/Villa_Ba…

Happy planning - we love St. Croix!

- Margy

Groves, Texas
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8. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

We've stayed at both Pelican Cove condos and Coakley Bay Condos. They are very similiar in how the rooms are designed and furnished. The plus of staying at Pelican Cove is you have the beach right there. We enjoyed snorkeling in pelican cove, but we're pretty easy to please. Both places have very nice pools and restaurants within walking distance. (Although we did not walk to either of the restaurants at The Palms or The Hibiscus at night-- only for breakfast or lunch) If you go to the website for The Palms (www.palmspelicancove.com) you can see what that area and the beach look like. When looking at the aereal picture of the area on the first page of that website you can see the swimming pool for the Pelican Cove condos at the top right corner. It gives you an idea of how close they are. For swimming in the ocean, you just walk down the beach and enter in front of The Palms. You can see where the reef is located in the aereal picture. I love swimming during July and August because the water is warmer and calmer. (unless something tropical is going by, and normally the tropical activities are more common here in the Gulf of Mexico at that time of year.)

I agree with ccrosner about grabbing a taxi at the airport. I know the company we rent from will deliver a car to your condo (or villa) the next morning. Their website (www.judiofcroix.com) says they're ''the only rental company on St Croix that offers free delivery and pick up service anywhere on island''. Someone on here may be able to let us know if that is still the case, if they've used another company who will do that,too,now. I do know that they've been very good to us, very reliable and friendly. Have fun planning your vacation!

Paula

Edited: 10 February 2011, 00:46
West Chester, PA
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9. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

Take a look at Sugar Beach which is very close to Pelican Cove. Each unit sits directly on the beach has washer/dryers in each unit, they have 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units. There is Breezes restaurant within a short walk up the beach but St. Croix has many fine restaurants in all price ranges that you will enjoy more. Swimming and snorkeling are decent, many people don't like the fact that some of the beaches on St. Croix that do not have a breaking surf since they are reef protected have large patches of sea grass. We like the sea grass because it brings in turtles, sting rays and spotted Eagle rays along with lots of other marine life . There also is a nice pool, tennis courts and clubhouse with free wi-fi that the kids will enjoy.

To see the proximity go to Google Earth and find Pelican Cove then head east on the beach for about a half mile and you will find Sugar Beach.

newyork
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10. Re: Planning our first trip to St. Croix

The condo's around Sugar Beach, Colony Cove and Pelican Cove are all on the water yet it is not the beautiful Caribbean sea someone from CA. might be looking forward to. There is a lot of beach grass, etc. and you should bring the little lightweight nylon/rubber beach shoes - maybe you wear them for surfing out there?

Fredrickstead has the sandy Caribbean blue beaches - it is a drive - which is OK when on vacation.