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Just got back from Maui

Sunny California
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Just got back from Maui

Just came back from Maui and I realized how much I really like St. John. Beaches were nice and snorkeling was ok in Maui, but I think the beaches and snorkeling in St. John are waaayyyyyyy better. Whale watching was top notch in Maui, but besides that, I'll take St. John over Maui anytime. Already planned my trip to STJ in July during Carnival... I could hardly wait!

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
NH
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1. Re: Just got back from Maui

I agree with you - I like that Maui offers more variety in terms of activities, but I would pick St John over Maui- IMHO the snorkeling isn't even close.

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Miami Beach, Florida
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382 posts
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2. Re: Just got back from Maui

I enjoyed Kauai even more than Maui, but still enjoy St. John more. St. John has more of a homey feeling where the Hawaiian islands seem a little more touristy. Though we did see dolphins in Maui, but that was the only thing it beat St. John on IMO.

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Rockwall, Texas
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912 posts
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3. Re: Just got back from Maui

My 2 favorite vacation destinations are Kauai and St. John. I'll be in St. John in July and will make the deciding vote . . . or not and have to visit both again!!!!

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
San Francisco
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197 posts
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4. Re: Just got back from Maui

A sunny Californian picking St. John over Maui! That says something! My wife and I have gone to Hawaii (Maui, Kauai, or BI) every year for the past 5 years and we will be going to St. John for the first time this May.

We have that same excitement we had before our first ever trip to Hawaii. We'll actually be going to Kauai as well in September (poor us! HA!)

Regarding snorkeling in Hawaii, it's funny because there are so many so-so spots that all the tourists get sent to, but there really still are some phenomenal areas that are less known and are filled with healthy and colorful hard corals (and lots of turtles!). I can't wait to experience the different types of soft and elkhorn corals of the Caribbean!

Edited: 05 March 2011, 03:11
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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
palm springs
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1,065 posts
21 reviews
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5. Re: Just got back from Maui

I go to Hawaii every year , but went to St John last year for the first time. Snorkeling-wise, Id give the edge to St John. The underwater landscape is much more beautiful and varied than the Hawaiian islands. Generally I saw more fish in St John also (with maybe a few exceptions on north shore Oahu and Kauai). Oh, and the water is warmer than Hawaii also. St John of course is beautiful and very laid back, but there are areas on many of the Hawaiian Islands that are very remote also.....you just dont hear about them much. I was a little disappointed in the vegetation in St John. Though very green for the most part, the variety and beauty of the trees and plants in Hawaii is much greater. I really like the Hawaiian culture and generally thought the local population was much friendlier in Hawaii. I think my next trip to the Caribbean will be to St Croix..since Ive heard a lot of good things about it on Tripadvisor. But for me, Im heading to Kauai, Maui, and Oahu for the summer this year.

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
St. Croix
St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands
Boston
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6. Re: Just got back from Maui

Why does one have to be better than the other? They are different places in very different geographies - just like the different islands in the Caribbean. Also, thankfully, people like different things and different places. What is one person's paradise is not necessarily the same paradise to another.

Hawaii is much closer for people on the west coast. Even for those of us on the east coast it is taking longer and longer to get to the Caribbean with the airline schedules changing so much and I for one, would be hard pressed to fly there from the west coast as much as I like it. Tomtravel, I highly recommend that you try St Croix. It is my favorite VI for many reasons.

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Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
St. Croix
St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands
Winnipeg
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47 posts
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7. Re: Just got back from Maui

Oh boy!! Just came back fom 10 days in ST John and as last year LOVED IT. But booked Hawaii next year ( 1 week in Maui and 1 week Kaui) for the first time to Hawaii. And told my wife I am sure it will be great but not looking forward to it as I think we will be disappointed vs. St John.

I hope not... stay tuned!

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
San Francisco
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8. Re: Just got back from Maui

Hey Mozza,

I think you'll love Maui and Kauai. Kauai is definitely more of a nature experience while I consider Maui the more "complete" of the Hawaiian Islands, meaning there is something for almost anyone's fancy. We go to Hawaii often (and will go to Kauai again this year). We will go to St John for the first time this year. We're totally excited about St John (and Virgin Gorda).

You may notice that the ocean is not as friendly in Kauai, meaning you may have to be extra careful when swimming. I think it's the least swimming-friendly of the Hawaiian Islands but with the most striking landscape scenery. With Maui, the choice of where you stay and what areas you visit will have a big impact on your impression of the island. There are some areas that are too congested, touristy, and with too many high rises for my taste and that I think would be the antithesis of what appeals to people about St John (from what I've read here at least).

I love talking about Hawaii, so send me a PM if you have any questions.

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
Texas
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85 posts
14 reviews
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9. Re: Just got back from Maui

We finally did Kauai and Oahu in October 2010. We had been to St. John 4 years in a row. We never went into the water in Kauai. It was too cold for our taste. However, the hiking is unbelievable! We are pretty active people. We hiked to a different waterfall every day! The Princeville area is so clean and beautiful w/ very friendly people. We are from South Texas and the flight to Kauai was brutal. Of course, we had a few delays. I don't know if I could recommend one over the other. St. John is just our spot now. We fell in love with it and can't get it out of our system. I think we decided it will be St. John on odd years and we will explore our options on even years. As our kids get older, we will probably travel more with them and may be able to do both every year!

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Texas
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289 posts
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10. Re: Just got back from Maui

OMG, I've had Maui during whale season on my list for years! I've seen whales in Alaska and was floored by that experience. I would LOVE to see them in warmth! We've been to Kauai a couple of times and the Big Island. You can't beat Hawaii for hiking and sheer beauty but the beaches are better i think in St John. The mossies aren't as bad in Hawaii either. Hey it is us lucky people who get to do both in our lives! We're heading back to St. John this year so Maui is still on that list!

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands