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Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

Fort Worth, Texas
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21 posts
47 reviews
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Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

My husband and I are going to STJ at the end of May for our first anniversary. We had a lot of trouble finding an available jeep on STJ, so we booked on STT. (I know there is a lot of controversy on this - but since the few rental agencies that had a jeep available required the car to be returned at 10 am and our flight isn't until late, this will give us an opportunity to continue to explore.)

Anyways, I have a few questions about our short time on STT:

1. What's the best route from the airport to the Red Hook Ferry?

2. I've heard to make a quick stop at Cost-U-Less for Water. Is this close by or on the route to Red Hook?

3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there 3 Car Barges that go every 30 minutes until 7? If our flights lands at 3, we should have no problem making it in time?

Thanks!

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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1. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

If all you're planning to purchase en route is water then probably best not to even bother. Buy water on STJ as the price difference is minimal. If you plan to stop for general grocery shopping then CostULess is on Route 38 coming out of town and is an easy stop. You'll be given a road map with your rental vehicle which will guide you - and there are several posts on this forum with more explicit directions if needed.

There is no "controversy" about renting on STT versus STJ. If you look top right this page under, "Top Questions About St John" you'll find subjective opinions from visitors.

Here's a link to the inter island ferry schedules which should answer your question about the timing of the car barges:

www.vinow.com/general_usvi/interisland_ferry/

Enjoy a wonderful vacation!

Edited: 08 April 2014, 22:48
Fort Worth, Texas
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21 posts
47 reviews
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2. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

Thanks for the reply!

As for the route, I had seen some in forums from the past with directions, just wanted to make sure they hadn't changed. I'll try and find more recent ones. Glad to know its an easy route.

I guess "controversy" was the wrong word to use. "Opinions" would have been better. I didn't mean anything by it, I have just seen a lot of opinions about where to get rental cars. Didn't want to start a debate on which was better, so I felt the need to express why we are getting on St. Thomas instead of St. John. Sorry for the confusion.

Can't wait to enjoy STJ!!

Wellesley, Ma
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796 posts
37 reviews
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3. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

Please bring reusable bottles and buy large gallon jugs of water on St. John and refill them at St. John Ice. Much cheaper and better for the environment. St. John unfortunately has very little recycling so the less impact you can have, the better for the island and our wonderful blue planet. You don't need to stop at CostULess for water; pretty cheap on St. John if you go the gallon jug route.

New Jersey
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3,192 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

Great choice for an Anniversary, hope you have a magical one!

There is no right or wrong on where to rent a vehicle, just pros and cons with any choice, so no worries although I would find out what the policy is if you have car trouble on STJ just so you are prepared.

As for directions, ask for landmarks in addition to road signs.

Hollis, New...
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5. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

I just want to reinforce the idea that St. John Ice is the way to go for your water needs. Seventy-five cents per gallon for a refill, and as mentioned previously, you won't be adding a lot of plastic bottles to the trash stream.

Parker, Colorado
Destination Expert
for St. John
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1,044 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

I've said before, and I'll say again, after today's experience. If you choose to take the car ferry, there are a few things you should consider. Namely, they aren't as reliable as the people ferry. With the car ferry, there are two companies. Each company has two ferries. Today, when trying to go to stt from Stj, we learned that two of the four ferries weren't working; one from each company.

Thus, what we hoped would be a 9: am ferry ended up being a 10:30 trip. We were late, but handled our business.

Upon trying to return to Stj, we were there on plenty of time, but did not get the ferry we should have. They were so disorganized, and the waiting lot on Stt so small, people who had gotten there after us ended up getting on, but not us.

Currently, I'm sitting on the ferry from stt to Stj waiting to leave. 1.5 hours after I had anticipated if things were right in ferry world. Things aren't always right in the car ferry world. This is not the first time this has happened.

The car ferry is a good deal but not always reliable. The people ferry is completely reliable, in my experience (which is fairly substantial).

I've been watching disappointed tourists/ families. I can only say you should plan extra time if planning to use the car ferry. Don't cut it close. Doesn't always work out. It's almost 15 minutes past the hour and we still haven't left stt... Flexibility is key on car ferry.

Pittsford, New York
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7. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

Sorry to hear about your troubles, tethered. Also sorry to hear that some ferries are not running, although I believe that's been the case for some time now. I remember a few years ago there were issues with the car ferries, but I have to say in all the time we have been coming we haven't experienced any. We usually travel Sundays, so the lightened commercial traffic may help with that. But all in all, good advice to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Good luck

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8. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

We just left STJ on Monday, no problems, ferry was not even half full, same with the STT-STJ on previous Sun. Also we arrived in STT at 345 pm and picked up a rental car and still made the 530 pm ferry so depending on rush hour or cruise ship traffic you shouldn't have any problems. We didnt want to risk missing any of the ferry's so we did our shopping on St John. On the return we had a later flight so we left at a leisurely time, definitely take the advice of not cutting it close. By the way Budget was great to deal with, jeep only had 2400 miles and the rest of the fleet that I saw looked as new. They provided a decent map that got us to Red Hook fairly easy.

Parker, Colorado
Destination Expert
for St. John
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9. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

Oh, I know. It wasn't upsetting to me, really. Now, if I had a plane to catch and a rental car from stt that needed to be returned before the flight.... Well... Another story. Just fair warning to give yourselves plenty of time.

Pia
St John, VI
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for St. John
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10. Re: Car Barge/Ferry to STJ

I'm hoping all will run perfectly today - I'm waiting on 3 concrete trucks from STT to STJ to pour our driveway - yesterday the trucks waited 2.5 hours to get on a barge (not our pour thank goodness but I do feel bad for saying that)

Pia