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First trip to St. Johns

Alexandria, Virginia
5 posts
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First trip to St. Johns

My wife and I are hoping to take a vacation to St Johns this spring. Our only previous trip to the caribbean was 8 years ago for our honeymoon and we stayed at Ti Kaye in St. Lucia. Here is what we are looking for in our trip and would appreciate any ideas and suggestions:

When:

A week in early May 2014 (6th-13th +/-)

Budget:

We are on a tight budget, so hoping to stay close to $2500 (I realize this will be tough)

Flights from DC will be $325-$375 each

Jeap rental for the week $450 +/-

Accomodations: $1500

Accomodations:

I had origionally looked in to so resorts, but found the prices to be to high for us. I think Caneel Bay was $3000 without food. We are open to B&B, small cottages, condos or any budget friendly spots. From what I have read it would be best for first timers to be close to Cruz bay? I think it would also be nice to have a bit of a view for mornings and evenings.

Activities:

We are pretty athletic and love the outdoors and we loved the snorkelling we did in St Lucia. Part of the reason for selecting St Johns would be for the snorkeling. We enoy hiking to scenic points, kayaking, relaxing on the beach, romantic evenings, etc. We also enjoy exploring new places which is why we would like to have a jeep. I could see us venturing back to St Thomas for a day trip too.

Palm Tree Charters
Boat Tours, Scuba & Snorkeling, Private Tours
Cruz Bay Watersports
Scuba & Snorkeling, Parasailing & Paragliding, Boat Tours
Sunshine Daydream Boat Charters
Boat Tours, Scuba & Snorkeling
Love City Excursions
Boat Tours, Water Sports, Scuba & Snorkeling, Private Tours
Rockport...
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312 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: First trip to St. Johns

You're going to love it but you aren't allowed to call it St. John's! No s at the end! There are tons of threads about inexpensive accommodations so do a search for B&Bs and get cracking. You can camp if you can camp. I can't. Also check VRBO. You might not have a water view for that price but you'll fall in love with the island!

Pittsford, New York
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1,463 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: First trip to St. Johns

As Julie says, VRBO will be a great resource. And book soon - May is beginning to be off-season, but it's not too far away, and you'll need a car/jeep also

Colin

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Cruz Bay
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6,417 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: First trip to St. Johns

$2500 is tight. Don't forget to add 10% sales tax on your jeep & accommodations. Look on VRBO as others have suggested. Also look at www.caribbeanvilla.com for last minute deals. May should be posted. If your dates are flexible, that will be helpful. Beware that Caribbean Villas charge an additional 5% service charge in addition to the 10% tax. As soon as you have your accommodations, reserve your jeep!

New Jersey
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3,192 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: First trip to St. Johns

Serendip condos might work they have a great website with toll free # they are above cruz bay . I highly recommend sol cottage out in fish bay, google James Marc Miller properties for info . We stayed there on our first trip it is a beautiful cottage in traditional west indies style. Under 125 per night includes vi tax. It is located on the millers property but we had no privacy issues .

Tomball, Texas
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4,051 posts
41 reviews
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5. Re: First trip to St. Johns

Ti Kaye is on my short list. St. John was actually where we ended up though, and it was because of the superior snorkeling, beaches and hikes.

I've only been once, so don't have much advice, but best of luck in your search!

St. Thomas
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213 posts
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6. Re: First trip to St. Johns

". . . Flights from DC will be $325-$375 each. . ."

I just checked "on the fly" app and there are really good fares for May 6-13. I see $380. with American / JetBlue and $395. with Delta. Spirit shows $283. before the laundry list of add on charges.

Rocky Dock

Water Island

Alexandria, Virginia
5 posts
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7. Re: First trip to St. Johns

Thanks for posting...We really got a steal at Ti Kaye as we went in 2006 just before St Lucia and Ti Kaye became a big hot spot. Our honeymoon was in August, so we opted for the "hurricane-free" location.

Mattapoisett, MA
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708 posts
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8. Re: First trip to St. Johns

Don't discount coral bay. We love it and will be there in 2 days. We are staying at Harmony by the pool. I think it is booked for May. But at the same property is Island Harmony Cottage which has some open time in May for $1,100. Has good reviews on VRBO. I have not been there yet but the people running it have been great. Take a look. Very budget friendly.

Good luck,

Sue

Minneapolis
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568 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: First trip to St. Johns

$2500 is not very realistic, IMHO. You can find accommodations for <$1500, but the jeep will probably be closer to $500 with taxes, and you can easily spend another $100 on gas. Just getting you and your luggage from STT to St. John will be close to $100 in taxi and ferry costs. And presumably you are planning to eat. Even if you rent a place with a kitchen and cook all your own meals, you'll probably spend $100 or more on groceries. And let's face it, you will probably eat out a few times, which can quickly add hundreds to your trip budget.

In 5 trips to St. John, the only time our total trip was under $3,000 was the time we stayed at Maho Bay Camps, which is no longer there. We did manage a 7-day trip in 2009 for about $3500, staying in a lower priced villa ($1100 before tax). I think that's a realistic budget if you are careful.

Here's what I mean by "careful." Pick a villa or condo with cooking facilities. Check online to see if Paris Car Rental has their summer discount running. If they do, be sure to ask for the discount when you book your jeep. Skip the fancy dinners out - plan budget meals around Happy Hours or lunches at informal places like Tourist Trap or Vie's. Bring your own coffee, snack foods, sunscreen (stuff that is really expensive on the island). Bring your own snorkel gear.

Personally, I would recommend a small villa in Coral Bay. The closer you are to town, the more you are likely to spend - both on lodging and on food/drink. But if you would rather spend most evenings in town, there are people on this forum who can give you tips on doing the Cruz Bay thing on a budget. If you think you'd like to try Coral Bay I can recommend some relatively inexpensive digs.

St. John
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244 posts
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10. Re: First trip to St. Johns

St. John Guest Suites may be exactly what you are looking for!! Price is great! View is to die for and convenient to town , and in my opinion , close enough to Coral bay!