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GPS in USVI?

johnnyslimane
February 04, 2010 01:50PM
Registered: 02/04/2010
Posts: 12
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!

RM
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 04, 2010 02:07PM
Registered: 03/21/2006
Posts: 106
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

mdaly
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 04, 2010 02:59PM
Registered: 02/01/2010
Posts: 9
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.

dierenarts
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 04, 2010 04:40PM
Registered: 07/20/2009
Posts: 27
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]

Wolf
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 04, 2010 06:20PM
Registered: 05/16/2008
Posts: 35
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

johnnyslimane
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 04, 2010 08:13PM
Registered: 02/04/2010
Posts: 12
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.

kingsmez
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 05, 2010 01:40AM
Registered: 12/17/2009
Posts: 22
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.

East Ender
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 05, 2010 11:20AM
Registered: 01/20/2005
Posts: 1,838
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.

talkintx
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 05, 2010 03:13PM
Registered: 02/11/2009
Posts: 34
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!

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sherban
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 05, 2010 05:46PM
Registered: 09/15/2007
Posts: 144
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

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sherban
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 06, 2010 12:52PM
Registered: 09/15/2007
Posts: 144
I found a couple interesting links on GPS in the Caribbean--

[rwsmaps.griffel.se]

[www.travelbygps.com]

talkintx
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 06, 2010 03:45PM
Registered: 02/11/2009
Posts: 34
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!

RM
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 06, 2010 04:58PM
Registered: 03/21/2006
Posts: 106
Talkintx,

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

Just curious.

talkintx
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 07, 2010 01:51AM
Registered: 02/11/2009
Posts: 34
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!)

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sherban
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 07, 2010 03:21AM
Registered: 09/15/2007
Posts: 144
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....

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sherri
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 07, 2010 12:51PM
Registered: 11/03/2006
Posts: 1,162
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.

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sherban
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 07, 2010 04:04PM
Registered: 09/15/2007
Posts: 144
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

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vi_bound
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 09, 2010 01:17AM
Registered: 10/26/2007
Posts: 265
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.

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sherban
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 09, 2010 11:47PM
Registered: 09/15/2007
Posts: 144
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...

melzy
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 10, 2010 02:01PM
Registered: 01/17/2010
Posts: 4
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.

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sherban
Re: GPS in USVI?
February 20, 2010 12:25PM
Registered: 09/15/2007
Posts: 144
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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