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How are the locals?

Wolcott, Connecticut
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749 posts
28 reviews
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How are the locals?

We are veteran travelers to St Croix (over 20 trips) and stopped going there a few years ago because of the negative vibe we received from the local people. We have traveled to PDC area in Mexico and the Mexican people cannot be any nicer.

We are now planning our 1st trip to St John wondering how the locals are there. In St Croix we started to feel unwelcome and resented. We are always respectful of others and tip well. Will we run into the same thing in STJ.

St Thomas, VI
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7,972 posts
59 reviews
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1. Re: How are the locals?

Someone who lives here went to Mexico a few weeks ago, and also commented about how friendly the people were. You'll probably find most of the people on St John to be somewhere between the vibes of St Croix and Mexico. The VI government has been running ads and offering customer service training programs to improve relations between visitors and residents, and some recent reviews/articles on St Croix have commented on how friendly and helpful the residents were. Complaints about attitudes seem to be fewer this year than they were in the past, so hopefully there's been improvement on all the islands.

St. Thomas
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1,264 posts
1 review
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2. Re: How are the locals?

You'd probably like St. John. In the main the people are friendly but it's a good idea to always initiate conversations with Good Morning, Good Afternoon or Good Night when entering an establishment.

Rhode Island
Destination Expert
for Virgin Gorda
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2,788 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: How are the locals?

I find the majority of the people of Quintana Roo to be incredibly friendly, but they also have some amazing tourist scams down there, particularly at gas stations and with the local police. I have never been scammed on St John. The vast majority of St John locals are very nice (especially, as previously noted, after required pleasantries are exchanged), but I do not think they are as friendly as the locals of QR. So, all things considered, there is a trade off.

Probably one of the biggest complaints I read about on this board involves issues at rental car companies. In truth, when I compare the people I have dealt with over the years on St John at the rental car companies to the gracious and professional folks at Easy Way at the Cancun airport (who even present an ice cold Sol beer to you as you drive off) it simply is night and day.. For that matter, Mahogany Car rental on Virgin Gorda is consistently as professional and friendly as any service I have used on the planet.

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2,478 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: How are the locals?

The word "local" means different things in different contexts on STJ. Sometimes it means the West Indian population. Sometimes it means someone born there or with deep roots there. Other times it just means anyone who's not a tourist.

I find STJ to be much more Americanized than other Caribbean locations.

The West Indian population and culture has become increasingly peripheral, being supplanted by a kind of island life-style developed by transplants from the mainland. I don't get the same sense of being a visitor in another culture that I do elsewhere. Most businesses are owned and staffed by folks from the mainland. It's very possible that someone can spend a week on STJ and have no contact with any West Indians once they pick up their vehicle. This Americanization is exactly what some visitors like about STJ, while other visitors are saddened by it.

bethesda, md
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417 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: How are the locals?

It seems like a simple thing, starting a conversation with a smile and a greeting, Good Morning, Good Afternoon, etc. but I observed the differences in the responses/attitudes if they are used or not. On our first visit, I was in line at the butcher's case with several people in front of me, some of the tourists started their order with "give me.. . .(whatever) and the response was packaging what was ask for, sometimes with a scowl. If the person started with a greeting they were met with a smile and conversation, "which ones would you like. . ."

Admittedly a very small sample and it was only 1 person working there but I always started every conversation with a greeting and I think the people of St John are absolutely lovely!

Cedar Point, North...
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1,246 posts
123 reviews
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6. Re: How are the locals?

The only problem we ever had was with a group of young "adult" American transplants while we were at Francis. Evidently, they had planned a birthday party for one of them and it became so bad we had to leave. Loud, Vulgar, disrespectful, etc...They decided they wanted the picnic table we were using and must have asked us 10 times when we were going to leave. The actually stood within 3 feet of us glaring at us until we left. I recognized several of them from visits to the local restaurants. I remember thinking how sad it was that these rude kids were probably taking jobs from the real locals.

7. Re: How are the locals?

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