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“"the castle" in st. john, usvi”
Review of St. John

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myrtle beach, sc
Level Contributor
7 reviews
20 helpful votes
“"the castle" in st. john, usvi”
Reviewed 1 February 2009

rented a house in Coral Bay area of St. John for a week in Jan. 09. Name of house is "the castle", it is awesome, top of the world with a view to die for. Flew into St. Thomas, took taxi to Red Hook, ferry to Cruz Bay, rented 4 wheel drive jeep from "courtesy car rental", they were nice, only problem we had tires were slick and we did have a flat and had to change ourselves, roads are tough on tires there. glad we stayed over in Coral Bay, lots quieter over on that side of island, went to a different beach every day, all are awesome, our favorite was Mayo Bay because beach is next to road and view of boats and mntns are awesome and snorkeling was best here for us, millions of fish, huge turtle, stingrays....had fun at "skinny legs", "shipwreck landing" (get beer batter fish), had a great time and wil go back, "the castle" is a little bit of a struggle to get to because of road conditions, but once you do it's awesome.

Thank RedRyderMyrtleBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
2 helpful votes
“Perfect Getaway”
Reviewed 4 January 2009

St. John is the best of the USVI if you want to get away from it all. With most of the island a national park, you will not have the crazy crowds of St. Thomas or St. Croix. Also their population is less than 5,000 versus 52,000! The beaches are pristine with white, clean sand, aqua blue waters with great snorkeling and a constant soft breeze. We visited the second week of December and the temperatures were perfect!
Just know that EVERYTHING is expensive in the USVI. Double the price of all things from your home area. Restaurants are varied and plentiful but eating out requires it's own separate budget. We found a wonderful alternative called Baked in the Sun where you can get fresh baked bread sandwiches for lunch and take home daily specials for your dinner.
Renting a taxi is the way to go if you spend more than a few days on the island. Conrads or Cool Breeze seem to have newer jeeps but all companies are priced about the same. Just be prepared to have white knuckles and a tight stomach the first couple of days of driving on this hilly island.
Cruz Bay, where the ferries come in, is a fun little town that is all walkable (and little parking is available). However, know that St. John's is NOT a shopping mecca. This island really is a place to get away from it all - and we did!

Thank DKVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vero beach, florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
“Great familly fun!”
Reviewed 20 October 2008

My husband and I treated our children and their children to a week in St. Johns, VI. We had a great time even though we were on the edge of a hurricane. Do we go, no, yes, I am going. I am glad we did, we had a good time. We rented the perfect Villa, there are many to chose from. The weather turned out great as the hurricane missed us. We did have some rain that provided a few leaks in the main house, oh well, that is what it is all about, adventure! Beautiful views, beautiful beaches. The family arrived and departed at different times. Worked well. The downside was the expense. Wow! We even brought our own food. Cooler after cooler! Still expensive! The transportation alone from St. Thomas to St. John's was very expensive. We did use a private service going over, but leaving we used the ferry. The cab was expensive to the airport. Most of the expense was the rides. All in all a great time!

1 Thank sailingduo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 helpful vote
“Waste of time and money. Don't go.”
Reviewed 24 August 2008

I've just returned from St. John and my bug bites have bug bites, my bank account is considerably lighter, and I'm thoroughly unimpressed. The food on the island is AWFUL and expensive. When I read reviews saying the island was pricey, I expected NY prices, which I can deal with. However, I consistently paid $30 for entrees that were barely edible, $10 for a pint of Ben and Jerry's, $8 for a package of hummus, and you can forget fresh produce. It's ridiculous. If you do come visit, book a place with a kitchen and bring your food with you from home. Seriously. Anything that's not perishable, bring it in. The first few days of our stay the bugs were irritating but tolerable, the last few days we were literally followed by clouds of mosquitos everywhere we went. We left early just to get away from the bugs. We stayed at Maho Bay. It bills itself as an "eco resort". It's not. It's a cheesy summer camp. We have stayed in the biosphere in Cesiak in the Yucutan Peninsula more than once. It's also an "eco resort" with tents on stilts. It's beautiful, romantic, and has decent amenities. Maho Bay is nothing like that. It was pretty crappy. That being said, we almost moved to their sister resort, "Concordia", and it seemed much nicer. The water is lovely. The snorkeling is great. There were plenty of fun, active things to do in the day time, but nothing at night unless sitting around drinking is your idea of a good time. Basically, it was lame and a waste of money. Go somewhere more interesting for less cash, it should be easy to do. Oh, and if you're still hell bent on going, we had very good food at Chateau Bordeau. Chef Scott Penney is awesome and the guy who owns the restaurant also owns the island's food distributorship so they actually have fresh food!!!! At reasonable prices. Dinner for two ran about $60 to $80.

1 Thank odbray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 helpful votes
“Things change”
Reviewed 3 August 2008

We have returned from our St John vacation yesterday and our memories are pretty fresh, so I felt compelled to write this opinion. This was my third time on the island and I have thought of the place as one of the most beautiful I have seen. Truth is, nature wise, it still is.
What the island living has become is anything but pleasant. The friendly island that I visited 12 and 7 years ago doesn't exist any more. The rudeness of the locals is astonishing. Lack of will to help a tourist in any way is present everywhere. Renting a Jeep (at two places) is as nice as a root canal, and to get an information about a ferry ride to St Thomas you should learn a skill of either James Bond or Toni Soprano, depending what your character is.
In short we have visited a beautiful island where nobody wants you and doesn't care if you are back or not. So, we have decided not to go back, at least for a long time.
Having pain killers and a burger at Skinny Legs (local bar/joint) is still a true treat, and snorkeling around might still be as good as anywhere. When the memories of rude people fade, we might be craving the beauty of the island enough to go back and see how things changed again.
I rated St John as above average, but it should be above average with some problems.

4 Thank albatros63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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