Virgin Islands Travel Forum

GPS in USVI?

February 04, 2010 08:50AM
Registered:
02/04/2010

12 Posts

Does anyone have any experience using a GPS unit to help navigate the roads in the USVI? I have a Garmin Nuvi 650 and am planning a trip to St. Thomas and St. John later this year, and I am looking for any advice people may have regarding bringing this along with me.

In the past I've relied on maps and asking locals for directions and have generally been successful with finding my way around, despite having to make U-turns from time to time. However, I think it would be much easier if I could add some waypoints into the unit ahead of time and then rely on it to tell me when to turn, driving would be much less stressful. As I'm sure everyone has experienced, the lack of street signs combined with names on street signs not matching those shown on maps can making finding your way a challenge!

February 04, 2010 09:07AM
Registered:
03/21/2006

104 Posts

Can not speak to St. T. but on StJ, even when you think you are lost you are not, it's to small just keep driving you will find your way.

Plus you never know when you might find something new.

RM

February 04, 2010 09:59AM
Registered:
02/01/2010

9 Posts

Don't have any experience w/ it in the VI yet, but I'm bringing my Garmin Nuvi w/ me on my upcoming trip to STT at the end of the month. I've purchased the European maps and taken it with me abroad and it has been a great help in small towns and areas where there are no street signs. I figure it should make exploring on my own and finding off-the-beaten path places much easier.

February 04, 2010 11:40AM
Registered:
07/20/2009

27 Posts

One of my greatest finds to date is a free GPS map download site which you might be interested in. They have a recent USVI map download available. If you find it useful they ask for voluntary donations

[www.gpsfiledepot.com]

February 04, 2010 01:20PM
Registered:
05/15/2008

35 Posts

We brought our Nuvi 650 to St. Croix last July and most of the time we would end up shutting it off. It was more of a hindrance than helpful, but the kids did get a kick out of it when it would show the car driving in the ocean which of course we did not big grin

February 04, 2010 03:13PM
Registered:
02/04/2010

12 Posts

Wolf - Were the maps on your Garmin incorrect, or were you just not getting a good signal? I've had problems in downtown Chicago with mine and in wooded areas while carrying handheld units because they could not acquire a signal from enough satellites.

February 04, 2010 08:40PM
Registered:
12/17/2009

22 Posts

I contacted Tom Tom for a 330XL, and they stated that they did not have USVI maps to download. I'm just going to do it the old fashion way. I'll bring maps with me.

February 05, 2010 06:20AM
Registered:
01/20/2005

1,834 Posts

There are only a limited number of roads on an island 13 miles by 3 miles. You really can't get lost. It is kind of fun exploring.

February 05, 2010 10:13AM
Registered:
02/11/2009

34 Posts

We used our Garmin Nuvi 650 last July on STT and STJ and it worked wonderfully. Found the beaches, Iggy's, K-Mart (search for TuTu Plaza) and everything in between!
Happy Vacationing!

February 05, 2010 12:46PM
avatar
Registered:
09/15/2007

144 Posts

Quote
talkintx
We used our Garmin Nuvi 650 last July on STT and STJ and it worked wonderfully. Found the beaches, Iggy's, K-Mart (search for TuTu Plaza) and everything in between!
Happy Vacationing!

I'll have to start this question by saying I am GPS ignorant at this point....-never have had one.

Were you able to see the roads in STT on your GPS?

Did you have to download a map or program anything in first?

Thanks

February 06, 2010 07:52AM
avatar
Registered:
09/15/2007

144 Posts

I found a couple interesting links on GPS in the Caribbean--

[rwsmaps.griffel.se]

[www.travelbygps.com]

February 06, 2010 10:45AM
Registered:
02/11/2009

34 Posts

Yes, we were able to see the roads and No, we did not need to download any additional maps. They were already on our Nuvi 650.
Because the island is so small a couple times out and about you quickly learn "landmarks" - while our condo did not come up (by name) on the GPS - Iggy's did - and since we were staying beside Iggy's we made it home every time! To us - our GPS was worth it's weight in gold!

February 06, 2010 11:58AM
Registered:
03/21/2006

104 Posts

Talkintx,

If your post was in regards to STJ, where can you get lost on this island?

Just curious.

February 06, 2010 08:51PM
Registered:
02/11/2009

34 Posts

LOL... RM... The question concerning GPS use was directed towards STT. I threw in the fact that our GPS worked on both islands! (Whether you need it or not!)

February 06, 2010 10:21PM
avatar
Registered:
09/15/2007

144 Posts

Thanks for bringing this up I think a GPS would help me on STT. I get the island time limin' thing...but c'mon sometimes it is frustrating to get lost on vacation.

Yeah, on STJ you have alot less use for it.

I might buy one for our STT trip...TOYS....

February 07, 2010 07:51AM
avatar
Registered:
11/03/2006

1,162 Posts

Sherban,
Haven't you been here a few times?

Some people do bring their GPS, some work, some don't! Being that I have lived here many years, we only use ours for boating.

February 07, 2010 11:04AM
avatar
Registered:
09/15/2007

144 Posts

Sherri- This will be our second USVI trip, last time we spent most of our time on STJ...this time we're on STT.

Been to Aruba more than the USVI...I like a variety though...

I'm sure I could get around fine without a GPS but it seems like a cool toy...happy

February 08, 2010 08:17PM
avatar
Registered:
10/26/2007

265 Posts

A couple of years ago my wife went to St Thomas before I could so she had to drive around the island for 2 weeks (which she had never done) so I made sure my Garmin was up to date, programmed in several of the places that she would have to drive to and off she went. I figured that way she could concentrate on driving on the wrong side of the road along with the traffic around her without having to concern herself with directions. It worked great. She never got lost or received bad directions. But normally we just drive, after all eventually you come to the ocean and just turn around and go the other way.

February 09, 2010 06:47PM
avatar
Registered:
09/15/2007

144 Posts

Amazon dot com had a special yesterday on a Garmin 285WT...$99.

I bought it ...impulse buy.

Will report on the experience after I get back...

Anyone else have any experience or suggestions?

Fun, fun, new toys...

February 10, 2010 09:01AM
Registered:
01/17/2010

4 Posts

I Have a Garmin GPS and have been bringing it along to St. Thomas it works great.....Last trip we didn't need as we know our way around the island.

February 20, 2010 07:25AM
avatar
Registered:
09/15/2007

144 Posts

I received my new Garmin 285WT from Amazon and checked out St Thomas on it and ...yep most of the roads are pre-loaded on the North American map included with the unit. Cool.

I am adding in several key points of interest so the thing cen help us find our way once we get there.

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