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Island Vacation - HELP

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Dallas, Georgia
4 posts
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Island Vacation - HELP

I am looking to take my family of four (20 year old daughter and 16 year old son) to a tropical getaway for 7-10 days. I have read reviews and I am now blurry eyed and confused.

We are looking for:

Sandy white beach close to room, condo, villa or house

Local dive certification (my son and I want to do this while on vacation)

3 bedrooms

Stay in the $3,000.00 range

And all the other island excusions within reasonable distance.....boating, snorkling, etc...

Please advise....

Raymond

Dallas, GA.

Pittsford, New York
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1,376 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

There are very few rentals on a beach in STJ due to most of it being National Park. So in general, with a few exceptions, you can expect to get to a beach by hiking (very few), car or taxi. I am not a diver, so I cannot really talk about the diving. While STJ is renowned for it's snorkeling, I do not believe it is a mecca for divers, although I do know there are some dive sites. Perhaps a keen diver will correct me if I'm wrong. All the STJ attractions are within a relatively short drive, so you are all set on at least that requirement. Other than that, all I can suggest is VRBO, or perhaps Gallows Point (not sure what size the units are). Hoppe you find what you are looking for.

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Cruz Bay
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5,723 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

There are VERY few 3BR condos or villas on, or walking distance to, a white sandy beach. The Westin would put you on a man-made beach, but it just doesn't compare. The water isn't as clear either and there is no snorkeling because of the many boats. You need to include a rental vehicle in your budget and plan to drive to the many beaches on St John. If you are willing to drive to the beach, then you can find something very nice for $3000 in low season.

For diving certification - have you already done your book/classroom work? If not, I highly recommend getting that done before your trip. I made the mistake of doing it all for my Advanced Open Water on vacation one year. It took a LOT of time away from my "vacation" with all the reading each afternoon, and my reviews each morning with the divemaster before the morning dives. I have dove with both LowKey and Cruz Bay Watersports. LowKey's boats are right in Cruz Bay, while Cruz Bay Watersports are docked at the Westin in Great Cruz Bay.

Sugar Land, Texas
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2,600 posts
190 reviews
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3. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

Have you considered the Turks and Caicos or Grand Cayman? They both have what you are looking for.

New Jersey
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2,955 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

St croix might fit the bill nicely for budget , plenty of beach front condos and dive certs.

Dallas, Georgia
4 posts
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5. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

Thanks for the prompt reply. Good advice on the dive work. We will get started at once. I am open for anything. Just dont want to make the mistake of spending alot of $$ on guessing. Do you have any recommendations on a resort or a VRBO that was off the chain for you?

Kentwood, Michigan...
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318 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

Our favorite 3 bedroom so far has been Satinwood (http://www.satinwood-usvi.com/) It has 2 bedrooms with bathrooms on the main floor, and an "apartment" on the lower level. It also has a lovely pool and an amazing view. It's high up for great views and cooling tradewinds, but still an easy drive to just about everywhere. I am thinking of getting my certification while on St John as well - Low Key has some good options.

London, Kentucky
7 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

We stayed at the Westin last summer and although it was nice having a beach right outside of your room there are much more beautiful beaches throughout the island. We stayed in a beachfront room & it was nice & clean but nothing fantastic for the price. We are going back to STJ next week and staying at Gallows. We have not stayed here but based on the review on here we thought we'd give it a shot. I liked the closeness to Cruz Bay and we are renting a car so that we can visit various beaches while on the island. I would also recommend getting a car.. There is so much of the island to explore. Good luck! :)

Dallas, Georgia
4 posts
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8. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

Thank you.. getting a rental for sure!

MA
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740 posts
12 reviews
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9. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

When are you going? Because there is a big difference in most villa prices between in season ( usually from Mid-Dec through middle/end of April).

Cleveland, Ohio
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164 posts
28 reviews
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10. Re: Island Vacation - HELP

We have been to St. John several times, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke (Pink House), Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos in the past few years... No comparison that you should go to St. John, and stay at Gibney Beach Villa. You won't have three bedrooms. It is a simple cottage with a loft upstairs (kids each have their own bed in same loft area) and one bathroom, but you can't beat the beach, the gardens, the location, the snorkeling, etc. Caneel Bay is down the road (we've stayed there also), and we did our diving there. There is a Padi dive on the premises.... You will pay more than $3,000 for the week though. Or you can stay on Virgin Gorda at Guavaberry Spring Bay and rent their places for around that price in the summer... (go before mid july due to weather changes). The beaches are amazing and you can walk to the Baths....

Turks and Caicos was also beautiful...(St. John is nicer)... We stayed at Ocean Club West on Grace Bay Beach. Nicer than Ocean Club, but reasonable and clean and on the nicest beach in the world...

Happy reading!