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Cinnamon Bay
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All reviewsthe cottagesbeautiful beachtent sitescamp storest johncold waterdolphin marketpublic beachisland lifebathrooms and showersbeach shopbath housetwin bedsice chestbring bug sprayopen airdish soap
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Reviewed 3 June 2014

I've taken two different school groups for two weeks each to Cinnamon Bay Campground, staying in their cottages and eating two meals a day with them for two weeks. The staff always takes such GREAT care of us, learning our names, our schedules, and our preferences. They are wonderful!

The accommodations are rustic, so don't expect luxury, and there always seem to be mosquitoes so bring your DEET repellent. But the beach is amazing and the price is very affordable!

Room Tip: We like the cottages closest to the bathrooms!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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4  Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2014

Wow, what an experience. Me and my buddy had gone down for 11 days, may 9-20. it was defiantly the best vacation i've ever been on. I travel a lot and I have been to St john before and it was awesome. Camping is defiantly a whole new experience there and its totally worth it.

We had read thousands of reviews, What to bring what not to bring. Watch out for donkeys, where to hike (even though i've been on a lot of them), We read everything. Before the trip we had bought, Two books, Bare foot and four wheel of St. john and another one I cant think of the title right now. We bout cintronella candles, bug spray 40% deet, dry bags from Walmart, rope, cloths pins, plastic spoon, fork, cup, knife, and plate bought at xmas tree shops for 4$, headlamp, and Advil.

When we got to cinnamon bay on Saturday, It was down pouring. I mean literally down pouring. We stayed in one of their tents, When we got to it there was about 8" of water all around it. The tents are on raised platforms, thank god because we would of been screwed. The water was almost up to the tent. We were supposed to have the closest tent to the beach. We had gone up to the front desk to talk to Mary; One of the nicest woman I have ever met. For anybody that had said anything bad about her, your crazy. She helped me and Justin out with so many things. We were so thankful. Mary said, walk around the campground pick any tent we want, set up and come back and tell her. We found the perfect tent in group campsite A tent 4. We were the only ones in the site. And we had this massive tree covering our tent, When it rained we got nothing.

The tent came with a decent sized Coleman cooler, and a huge storage box. There was no lock boxes or safes in the tents, You could rent one at the front desk, but we didn't. We left our phones and passports out all week, nobody came near our site nothing was ever stolen. I was skeptical about it at first but there was nothing taken all week. we brought our phones to listen to music. The tents had four cots, and 5 pillows. The provided fresh linens and towels on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A 10 pound bag of ice was 2.75 at the camp store, you'll probably need a bag every other day. There was a piknik table outside with a propane lantern and grill hooked up to it. For a 20$ refundable deposit you could rent pots and pans, forks, knifes, spoons, everything you needed to cook.

Transportation
When we first arrived to St. John we had to take a taxi, because we're to young to rent a car. The taxi was 9$ per person plus tip. After taking taxis to Cruz bay twice I looked at my buddy and said, yeah i'm all done taking taxis. With out bags its 7$ each way, being two college kids we don't have a lot of money. We started hitch hiking. To me, it was probably the funnest part of our trip. Standing up in the back of a pick up truck holding on to there rack system as the wind is blowing on your face. Flying around the island, seeing all these beautiful sights. It was a blast. In St john they don't a thumb, You use your pointer finger and point in the direction your going. By the third day, we ruled out women wouldn't pick us up, Or the black locals. No racism at all here, I'm not really sure why, they would just blow by us. Obviously no women would pick up two 21 year old guys, although two chicks did stop. Very thankful for that haha. If you can hitch hike DO IT! it really fun plus you get to meet a lot of cool locals, and friends.

What to do.

Oh man, we had a blast these 11 days. We hiked the cinnamon bay trail. The first part looks terrible, you gonna get to the to the piece of flat rock to sit down on, and want to quit. Don't. The first part is the hardest part. After that its a lot easier. Its a 1.2 mile hike that leads you to the top of centerline road. (which Kenny Chesney lives on, his house is beautiful). When you reach the look out point there's only a few hundred feet left. The hike goes through the woods, and if your lucky enough you'll see some mini cascading waterfalls. The cinnamon bay hike was an excellent easy hike!

The absolute best part of our trip
Noah's Little Arks, We rented a 12 foot dinghy for a full day, 165$ no deposit just solid cash. I was an absolute BLAST! We got to Cruz bay around 815, had to get up earlier, because we were hitch hiking and didn't know if anyone was going to pick us up, You watch this 10 minute mini video and the boats yours for the next 8 hours. We took it to Waterlemon key. It took us about 45 minutes to get there, once you round Maho it gets a little choppy but not too bad, Just sit down on the storage compartment that's up front. I was stupidly hanging one foot off the edge, we hit a massive wave and I went over board, along with a 500$ pair of Oakley glasses, not sunglasses. But I wasn't gonna let that stop my trip even though I cant see more than 30 feet. Waterlemon had nice corals, but the same kind of fish as anywhere else. No cool sightings this year, but still go out there if you can.


GO TO MAHO
This year at Maho was EXCELLENT, we went twice it was so nice. When we got there on Monday morning, my buddy had never been snorkeling or even seen any fish up close like you would while snorkeling. I said "dude if you see a turtle get some pictures, because every time I come to st john I only see one or two.
WE saw 13 turtles, a few massive ones, babies, mid sized, it was amazing, you'd be snorkeling over on itd go to far out, and you swim in ten feet and another one would be there. just eating the sea grass. We stayed until about five at night. Feeding time ! Yes we saw, a massive barracuda, tarpons, and yes a few sharks. And a ton of sting rays. I have to say following a nurse shark or thrasher to see where its going is an adrenaline rush, In your head your like is it going to turn around and bite me or can I follow him. Maho was defiantly an awesome beach.

We didn't get to do reef bay this year, but if you have the chance book it through the national park service. They bring you there, you hike down with a national park guide who tells you about everything. You get to see the petroglyphs, and some ruins. Then a boat picks you up at the end. Sorry I am rushing this last part I'm running out of time.

Go to woodys for happy hour if you like beer, 1$ beers, Not bad considering there 3 or 4$ the rest of the day.

I'm running out of time to keep writing I will continue tomorrow night. But if you can and you like camping stay at Cinnamon Bay it was a blast, I had so much fun. We met an older couple who also had a blast. so don't think its for the younger people. Give it a try! and go to Maho, lots of sea grass there.


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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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16  Thank tpaquette0990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

Being a woman I was a bit skeptical about camping for a week. You only live once, so we went for it. We stayed in a platform tent. The website shows great platform tents with big screens, however you should go prepared with your own. Our site was high up, which was nice because it was private but more wilderness. There are some big spiders, little lizards, mongoose, and bugs.. But you are camping! All the showers were cold but started to feel good after awhile. The beach is absolutely gorgeous. In fact my husband prefers it over Hawaii. We rented kayaks for a day which was so much fun. There was a $7 ride to town. The restaurant was a little above average. All food is expensive because you are in an island. So if you can pack a few things to bring with you, I highly recommend it. Some some canned goods and pastas. Many of the people we met have been going there for years. People book far in advance to stay here. I will be back one day- heaven in earth. Worth being out of my usual comfort zone to experience this place!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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4  Thank ASA_81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2014

The two of us aging baby boomers just returned from our sixth two-week stay at CBC. This was a wonderfully relaxing vacation and since we both have mobility issues this year we mostly just walked the 3 minute walk to the most beautiful beach on STJ, back to our site for meals and up to the T'ree Lizard with our deck of cards and our rum in the evening.
When I reserve I list 3-4 sites we would prefer. We like a short, even path to the beach and bathroom and we avoid the rooted, stony trails that many sites are on. They are currently working to fill in some of the nooks and crannies with sand and stone; maybe by next year we'll see a big difference in the ease of getting around.
We always stay in one of the platform tents. If you find your window or door mesh is torn, let the staff know right away; they sometimes can be replaced or repaired. Campers are friendly, generous with information. We have come to love the staff, from Miss Mary and Miss Gertrude who are the go-to people to the restaurant and bar folks and our friends behind the desk: Lisa, Pamela and Rochelle.
We brought mosquito netting from LL Bean this year which made for better sleep; we still got some bites during the day.
We hitch/walk into town, shop at the Dolphin after grabbing a beer or two at the Tap Room and taxi back for $7 each. We bring a Polar Bear cooler with frozen shrimp, scallops, chicken, kielbasa, ham steak, turkey sausage and bacon. Our two checked bags contain the cooler and foodstuffs; the few clothes we need fit in carry ons. The BEST THING we bring are our inflatable pool floats which act as beach chairs as well as water toys. We sell them when we leave and bring new ones the next year. Our kind of place is Cinnamon Bay Campground.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Bonnie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

We are frequent visitors to St John having stayed at Maho Bay Camps for a number of years. Since Maho closed last year, we decided to give Cinnamon Bay a try. When we reserved our cottage through their reservation office we said just put us anywhere. They asked if we would be interested if they had openings close to the beach and we said sure. They e-mailed us a week or so before arrival that our cottage would be a beach view. When we got to our cottage we were very pleased with its location. Having walked 180+ steps to get to the beach at Maho we were literally a 30 second walk to the beach. Fairly close to the bathhouse as well. The cottage was in good shape, including a small refrigerator and plug in coffee maker. It had an oscillating fan and a couple of other outlets. The beds were very comfortable - more comfortable than the beds at Maho Bay. Each cottage had a picnic table in front so it was a great place to eat breakfast and a few dinners outside our cottage. We did eat a couple of dinners and 1 breakfast at their restaurant and the food was very good. We shipped non-perishables down which were waiting for us when we arrived. We found the staff to be very friendly and accommodating. When we got to our cottage we noticed that there was no propane tank connected to the gas grill. I mentioned it to the front desk and they had one brought down to us right away. The store was pretty well stocked except that one of their freezers was out of commission while we were there which meant that they had no frozen meat to sell. The beach is great, soft white sand and very long. It seemed like the campground was pretty full but the beach is big enough to accommodate everyone including day visitors without being crowded. Water is crystal clear with schools of fish right near the shore. With a Verizon cell phone I had no service there which was fine with me. I could get text messages but none of my apps. Our son has AT&T with similar results. I think you can rent Wi-Fi there if you really need to be connected. You can also get signals closer to Cruz Bay or Coral Bay. All in all we had a very relaxing time there. We hope to go back there next year.

Room Tip: Cottages 7, 8, 9 + 10 are closest to the beach.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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8  Thank Kgreene2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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