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Groceries to JVD - Best Option

Mount Pleasant, SC
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5 posts
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Groceries to JVD - Best Option


We are headed to JVD from STT. This is our second trip so we know a little bit. What we did not do last time was haul in groceries. The way I see it, we have four options:

1. Bring them from home and therefore pay for the extra bag on the plane $25,

2. Shop in STT at Cost U Less. Pay customs import tax?

3. Buy groceries on JVD. I know there is limits on what is available.

4. Order them from Bobby's.

Here are some questions:

1. What is the cheapest option? Do the higher prices in the islands exceed the cost of an extra price of luggage on the plane?

2. Can you bring meat into the BVIs from the USVIs?

3. Do you pay a food import tax at the JVD customs?

4. How much is the entry and exit fee for the BVI customs?

Thank you,


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156 posts
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1. Re: Groceries to JVD - Best Option

Seriously, just order from Bobby's.

1. the delivery cost is the same as paying for extra baggage on an airplane. Plus you don't have the hassle of customs.

2. you don't have the hassle of wrangling boxes of groceries on and off the ferries or worry about any import taxes.

3. You found a grocery store on JVD? Perhaps one is open during other parts of the year, but there wasn't anything open a couple of weeks ago -- it was Bobby's or nothing!

4. If its warm (and when isn't it warm there?), do you really want to haul meat on the ferries?

At first I was stunned by the cost, but then, when you sit and figure out the logistics of hauling crap on airplanes and TWO ferries -- hands down, easiest thing is to order from Bobby's.... the hassle factor far outweighs any possible $ savings. Food isn't exactly cheap on St. Thomas either. You really don't save a lot of money buying on St. Thomas and carrying to the BVI.

I recommend packing some basics in your suitcase, like coffee, spices, cremora, sugar, maybe some snacks like microwave popcorn. You can fit that in without dragging an entire extra suitcase. But order all fruit/veggie and meats at Bobby's and call it a day. You're on vacation!

New York
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2. Re: Groceries to JVD - Best Option

Just order from Bobby's. I bring a few things from home like my specific brand of coffee and equal. The rest I order. You are on vacation. Enjoy.

highlands ranch, co
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60 posts
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3. Re: Groceries to JVD - Best Option

As another option.....we got one of those medical grade styrophome coolers (actually two) packed it full of steaks, chicken, hamburgers, deli meat, cheese, etc and checked it. We stayed the night prior in DC (coming from Denver and arrived in Tortola at 5 the next night (so a full 24 hrs) Everything that was frozen was still frozen and it kept the other items cool (we also used freezer packs). We didn't have to pay for luggage but you would only have to pay it one way because you can leave the cooler there. One of us got a customs charge and one of us didn't....maybe it's who you get (we gave full disclosure). Yes you can bring meats. When we went in May there were no restrictions on what you could bring including fruits and veggies....double check this though. You can also bring them into STT from USA but not back into USA unless unopened (say sausage or deli meat) and bought in USA. We only ate out twice while there a week. We cooked it all up in a couple hours and just ate smorgasborg style. It was nice not having to get ready and go somewhere for dinner everynight. We just used the coolers in the back of the car or we took a soft sided cooler for the ferry trips to other islands. It was a tiny bit of a pain getting there just because of cumbersomness (not a word) but soooooo worth it and no prob coming home. We also packed dry food and just stuck one suitcase in the other for the way home.

Groceries on the island are very expensive. We will do it again this way. Hope this helps give you an option.

PS we did order our alcohol and it was delivered and waiting for us when we arrived. Cheers!

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4. Re: Groceries to JVD - Best Option

I would not rely on purchasing groceries on JVD. We've never provisioned with Bobby's, but have shopped there, as well as most of the other grocery stores on Tortola, and Bobby's has lots of satisfied customers.

FWIW, we fly to EIS, catch a cab to West End, and purchase most of our groceries at Harbour Market in Soper's Hole. We put items that need to be refrigerated in a collapsible cooler and have never had any problems. Harbour Mkt also has an excellent deli on the 2nd floor, and their sandwiches are usually our first meal on JVD. We prepare our own breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, and eat dinner at restaurants. If you can't find everything you want in your provisioning order, you can easily reach Harbour Mkt via ferry from JVD


Have a great trip, alashas http://www.youtube.com/user/honeymoon2

5. Re: Groceries to JVD - Best Option

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