We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

cincinnati
Level Contributor
18 posts
135 reviews
Save Topic
Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

Myself, husband, and 9 yr old will be staying at Fishermans Reef for six nights to attend a wedding in July. We arrive on a Sat. & the wedding festivities are Sun & Mon. We're free for the rest of the wk. With the only free three days what is a must see and won't break the bank. We don't plan on visiting this area agin as we usually only go somewhere once so we need to see what we can. Also, because we're used to only go to All Inclusives and are on the EP plan where are some good places to eat that are reasonable. Any other money saving ideas are welcomed. Thank you for your ideas/help!

Pittsford, New York
Level Contributor
1,463 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

I'd plan on spending 1 day shopping in Charlotte Amalie. Some of the duty free deals are pretty good, and there's also a kind of flea market you can get Tshirts and knock-off handbags at. Remainder of the day at the pool or on the beach at the Marriott.

I'd recommend taking a day trip to the BVI - I know it will be somewhat expensive (dont recall the exact cost, but it probably depends on the company). There are many threads on the board that suggest day-trip companies, so check them out. If you're not coming back (I wouldnt be too sure about that, the islands have a way of bringing you back), I'd try to get a day trip to the Baths at Virgin Gorda.

Third day, I'd get a cab over to Coki beach. Good snorkeling and tame fish for your 9-year old, and plenty of amenities at the beach (bars, stores, people cooking and selling lunch)

For eating, if you dont want to spend much money, the beach bar (Coconut Joe's?) to the Marriott is OK. The Green House in Charlotte Amalie is also OK and reasonable. There used to be a Hard Rock, not sure if it's still there. If you want to really go downmarket, there are the usual fast food places - Wendys McDonalds, etc.

Good luck

Long Island
Level Contributor
542 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

Mary

The trip to BVI (although beautiful) is expensive. It runs about 135.00 a person. plus 20.00 per person customs fees. Depending on the company you go with you have to pay for your own lunch and to top it off you have to pay for your cab(per person fee) to get you there and back to the boat.

I would look into a day sail to St John. I am not sure but I think the Heavenly Days catermaran from the Bolongo Bay Resort has some kind of deal with the Marriot and takes their guests right from there(for a fee I am sure). We were not thrilled with Bolongo Bay but the day sail to St John was great.

Unless you a renting a car (yikes) St Thomas is very expensive. I dont think in general that the food was so expensive but each time you leave your resort it is 8-10 per person each way. So you have spent close to in your case 60.00 before you even had a french fry.

If you use the search feature above it really helps you find what you are looking for.

Have fun planning and good luck to the new Mr. and Mrs.

Rocky Top
Level Contributor
1,422 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

Be sure to include a day on STJ!

Bettendorf, Iowa
Level Contributor
510 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

I echo the previous poster's comments about renting a car. If you are "trapped" at the Frenchman's Reef, you will pay a lot for meals. Coco Joe's is probably the most reasonable, but you'll still pay $15 for a cheeseburger and fries.

If you don't rent a car, you'll pay less at the restaurants, but will have the added expense of all of the taxi fares. The taxis charge per person. To go to downtown Charlotte Amalie (where most of the shopping and some nice restaurants and bars are located), it'll run $6 per person each way. So you'd have $36 plus tips for your taxi ride into town.

The shopping ferry that runs from the Marriott's dock to downtown Charlotte Amalie also costs $6 per person, each way, if you choose to go that route instead.

A rental car for us cost $250 for a week back in February. It was great and allowed us to go wherever we wanted on our own schedule. We used it to go to a local grocery store and bought snacks and beverages, which saved quite a bit. I remember distinctly that a bag of Cheetos (the typical 15 oz. bag) was $7.95 at the Frenchman's Reef gift shop and beers were $5 per can! The grocery store had prices that were maybe 10% higher than we pay at home.

There is a K-Mart near Havensight (where the cruise ships dock) so if you are in need of essentials, don't pay the overpriced hotel gift shop prices.

Must sees:

Shopping in downtown Charlotte Amalie and the local vendors.

Magen's Bay - named one of the top beaches in the world

Coki Beach - for snorkeling

Mountain Top - for the views (not for the cheesy gift shops or the Banana Daiquiris)

Day trip to St. John

More questions, just ask!!

New Jersey, USA
Level Contributor
118 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

Gotta go to St. Johns for the day - Trunk Bay is worth the trip. Besides, you can go to Duffy's Love Shack on the way back for cheap (and decent) burgers and shrimp (my kids love Duffys).

DFW area
Level Contributor
12 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

I loved the shopping in Charlotte Amallie, but honestly, if you have only a couple of days, skip the shopping and go to the beaches! That's the whole point of the islands, right? ;) Go to Coki Beach. Take the ferry over to St. John and spend the day there. Trust me, you WILL want to go back again! I don't know anyone who has been to the USVI and not wanted to go back, especially St. John.

Pennsylvania
3 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

DO NOT MISS st john! Paradise. Do some research on the net.

virginia
Level Contributor
326 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

with only a couple of days and limited budget I too will say skip the trip to BVI's. It takes a whole day and is expensive!! The whole shebag fees, food,tip etc... cost us about $800 for a family of 5.

It was great and it was our family christmas present, but next time I'll just take the ferry over!!

Again I'll also say DON'T waste a whole day shopping!! we did about 1 hour in STJ in the AM before we hit the beach (bought all the girls hook bracelets!) then before our flight left on our last day we did about 1 hour at the havensite mall and about 1 hour in CA.

GO to the beaches!!! snorkle you son will be hooked. GO to StJ for the day, take the ferry over and use the jitney busses to get to Trunk bay, Hawks nest, or Cinnamon bay. (pack a bag lunch and eatr on hte beach) I'd do Trunk last then you can shower and change and eat dinner on STJ without being all sandy. Cinnamon has showers as well.

Coki...didn't care for it. yes tons of fish but it hasa rough element hanging around.

Go to Secrect Harbour or Saphire beach instead. (Coral world..$$$ if you've been to any aquarium in a decent sized city...you've seen better!!)

Megans Bay...beautiful beach has snack shop etc... not good for snorkling but great for swimming and sunning.

Moutian top...a good view of the Island and Meagans bay. cheesey gift shops etc... I personally wouldn't spend $$$ to go there. If you have a car it's worth a drive up to see the view etc... but on your way to Meagans you can ask the cabbie to stop at an overlook and get a good pic. (if you don't have a car)

CAR...rent a car even if it's just ofr the 3 free days you have. yOu will see more and save money in the long run.

most of all....enjoy it and have fun.

boston
Level Contributor
608 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

Been to VI 5 times - own a timeshare there; skip the shopping, you can do that anywhere- Hit the beaches - rent a car, it will be less than paying for taxis because it is charged per person. Recommend- Morningstar, at the Marriott, Secret Harbor, Sapphire, and Megan's Bay. Take one day and go to St. John. Go to Trunk Bay and/or Cinnamon Bay. Restaurants at Yache Haven Grande are relatively inexpensive and good- Wikked, very good food and service, Fat Turtle, a Caribbean/Southern fusion type cuisine that isn't too expensive-service was a little shaky but they had been open only 3 weeks when we were there. Indigo at magens Point Resort-good food and at least at lunches, food could be shared because portions are large. I don't much care for Coco Joe's but would instead eat at the captain's Table at the Marriott. Not much atmosphere, but the food isn't too bad. Check out the in room magazines to see if something is of interest to you. Also, if you don't mind sitting thru a timeshare presentation, you can get at least $100 to $125 (I forget whicH) worth of Marriott dollars good for alot of things at the resort. Look for coupons in the books that are in your room or at the front desk which will give you a discount on some of the activities on the island. Hope this helps- have agreat time- you won't want to leave.

Maine
Level Contributor
353 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Help plan our itenerary... First timers to USVI

As others have said, definitely plan a day on St John. Very beautiful, Cruz Bay is a quaint little town, and StJ is so much less commercialized than St Thomas.

I would also highly recommend a day trip to the BVI's but if you only have 3 days it may not be worth it (although you mentioned you'll probably only go to the VI's once so I have a hard time saying skip the BVI's).