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all inclusives in St Thomas  

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inderski
(@inderski)
New Member

Change of plans - now we've decided we'd rather go to an all inclusive so we don't have to worry about meals and there would be activities and socializing. Any suggestions?

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Posted : September 5, 2011 1:21 pm
STT Resident
(@stt-resident)
Island Expert

Personally, I think going AI on St Thomas is a waste of time and money. That said, your options are limited. Sugar Bay Resort offers AI, Bolongo Bay offers a version, I believe The Marriott Frenchman's Reef also offers something - but that's about it. It's just not popular here when there's so much to do and see on this small island. Loads of different restaurants in varying price ranges, an assortment of beautiful beaches, plenty of activities all over and ample opportunity for socializing outside the confines of any one resort. Hope that helps!

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Posted : September 6, 2011 1:57 pm
sherri
(@sherri)
Noble Member

Spot on, STT! So many awesome restaurants you miss out on. A villa allows you to save money also by doing some cooking yourself!

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Posted : September 6, 2011 5:06 pm
Chris at Work
(@chris-at-work)
Noble Member

I have to chime in with STT and sherri so I am afraid not much help to you. I find AI to exist where there is not much outside the 'resort' so they have to offer everything. This is not the case on STT so it is not built to support AI. In fact, the AI operations in the past have probably gone the by for that very reason. STT offered the options but I really recommend you go the villa route and take advantage of the strengths the USVI arrangement offers.

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Posted : September 6, 2011 6:55 pm
schultz
(@schultz)
Estimable Member

Personally I would suggest that if you are convinced you want the AI that lets you stay at the resort and have all you meals, drinks and entertainment at that location, you might be better off going to a different location. As has been stated before, the AI is geared towards places where you don't want to leave the resort grounds or where there is nothing to see if you do leave. St. Thomas is not like that. The island is one that can easily be navigated either on your own or with a taxi. There are loads of great restaurants all over the island, nice beaches on all parts of the island. Good shopping in various locations as well as side trips to the BVI or St. John. If you're going to spend the money to go to STT you really should get out and about on the island to experience all it has to offer. If you don't really want to do that, from my ecperience, the AI options on the Mayan Riviera or Punta Cana give you a lot more for your money.

The only true AI on STT is Sugar Bay. Bolongo has a limited plan as does Frenchmans Reef, but the latter is currently closed for renovations.

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Posted : September 6, 2011 7:49 pm
billd
(@billd)
Honorable Member

Do not do it! You can learn more about the islands if you go about and eat where you want and do wnat you want.

billd

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Posted : September 7, 2011 7:41 pm
Ric
 Ric
(@ric)
Estimable Member

And if you're not interested in going off property (which is fine, nothing wrong with a quiet, beachside vacation), there are better, less expensive options in Mexico

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Posted : September 7, 2011 8:42 pm
Ruby
 Ruby
(@ruby)
Estimable Member

So agree.

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Posted : September 7, 2011 11:11 pm
ventogt
(@ventogt)
Trusted Member

I'll second and third what was said above..AI is for resorts where you don't leave the resort...STT you would not have a good time sitting on a resort the whole time no matter where you're staying. Also, Marriott is planning to discontinue their AI package altogether [if they haven't already]. Sugar Bay may still have theirs going, and Bolongo does as well.

Consider saving money and going to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, or another cheaper place as the AI experience fits better those places!

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Posted : September 25, 2011 4:17 pm
Ruby
 Ruby
(@ruby)
Estimable Member

AI is a total waste of fantastic resources on St. Thomas. So much to do, so many restaurants to experience, just driving the area is amazing -- so quaint, so beautiful. Rent a car so you can drive everywhere and experience all of it. We only got a brief glimpse after a full week there. Taking 10 days next year, already booked. Thinking we should have done a full 2 weeks.

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Posted : September 25, 2011 9:29 pm
ventogt
(@ventogt)
Trusted Member

PS--you will find the socializing and activities at any resort you go to to be sorely lacking. Don't depend on the resort, ANY resort here to provide entertainment for you...

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Posted : September 27, 2011 1:24 pm
bashment
(@bashment)
Active Member

I am considering coming down to St. Thomas in a few weeks. I found a package for $670 (air/hotel) staying at Sugar Bay. I do not need all inclusive but it seems to be the least expensive weekend trip on short notice. I have a good friend from St Croix (living in the US) and I recall her spending that much and more on just airfare. So I am convinced it isn't a bad deal.

However, I keep reading mixed reviews on Sugar Bay Resort. My priority is checking out sites and checking out the nightlife. Relaxing and swimming (beach activities are secondary).

Any thoughts or suggestions for a first time female solo traveler???

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Posted : October 4, 2011 2:01 pm
JamminMe
(@jamminme)
Eminent Member

I couldn't agree more with all the great advice on the AI subject. In all fairness, I have only had one AI experience and it was not a good one. It was in Punta Cana and was exactly like Shultz described (couldn't leave resort..... wouldn't want to).

In my particular case "All Inclusive" came at a price. The ONLY beer they offered was Ed Presidente. The hard liquor was rotgut booze..... brands I never heard of and which tasted like jet fuel. The food options were plentiful but in my opinion, most of it was horrible. To top if off, I ended up sick 4 days into the week and spent the rest of the week curled in a fetal position with chills one minute and sweating the next. Even though I drank bottled water the entire time I was there, something got me. Who knows what caused it..... food, ice cubes, water the veggies were washed in? I'm sure there are lots of folks out there who had a much better experience than me with Punta Cana or All Inclusives in general. But from this experience, I decided AI is not for me.

In the USVI, we never experienced any of these issues. Plenty of options for nightlife, bars, and restaurants. Drank the water, had great drinks, ate good food, with lots of options to save $$$.

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Posted : October 4, 2011 8:59 pm
STT Resident
(@stt-resident)
Island Expert

bashment: It does sound like a good price for a weekend in the VIl and I wouldn't have any worries at all about Sugar Bay. They have plenty to do there to keep you busy and on a trip for just a few days you won't have a lot of time for exploring anyway. Enjoy the relaxation and come back another time when you have more time so we can steer you around!

JamminMe: Your problem was less with the fact that you stayed at an AI resort but that you stayed at Punta Cana! Sorry to hear what a miserable time you had but you DO have to be very careful in the DR and, because of the country's political fragility, there are few options other than AIs for vacationers. Completely the opposite here where visitors travel around freely and AI is very limited because it's just not successful.

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Posted : October 5, 2011 8:41 am
bashment
(@bashment)
Active Member

Thanks so much STT I really appreciate the info.

I will have to venture off the resort at least once while I am there. I know I won't have a lot of time to see much but I am not much of a resort activities person. It was just the best deal. Whenever I visit Jamaica I always stay with family unless I have friends with me who may not be ready for some of the aspects of island life.

It's my first vacation alone but I am sure I will enjoy it regardless!!!

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Posted : October 5, 2011 12:53 pm
STT Resident
(@stt-resident)
Island Expert

bashment wrote:
Thanks so much STT I really appreciate the info.

I will have to venture off the resort at least once while I am there. I know I won't have a lot of time to see much but I am not much of a resort activities person. It was just the best deal. Whenever I visit Jamaica I always stay with family unless I have friends with me who may not be ready for some of the aspects of island life.

It's my first vacation alone but I am sure I will enjoy it regardless!!!

Good for you for traveling alone for the first time. Of course I don't know your age but even today there is a fear and even a stigma involved in traveling solo which is such utter baloney. Over many years I traveled long and far with friends, companions and husbands and can absolutely truthfully say that the best vacations I've ever taken have been by myself. I don't need someone to agree with me that the sunrise or the sunset is awesome; I don't need someone to agree with me that the local culture is fascinating. I don't need to answer to someone else if I choose to get up early or wander off for a while and get to bed late. When I'm mentally rapt in something special I don't need someone nudging me and saying, "So where are we going to have lunch?" Of course there are so many other instances and certainly not to say that the majority doesn't truly enjoy trip companionship.

Enjoy!

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Posted : October 5, 2011 3:51 pm
bashment
(@bashment)
Active Member

I agree STT 🙂 LOL

but i ovastand what you mean. hence the reason i am going alone. depending on other people and i will be right here at work on my bday. i love traveling with friends and family but my priority isn't always theirs (and vice-versa) so sometimes you just have to enjoy moments and create memories.....alone.

i will be 35 (and i am told i make 35 look good)

thanks again!!

i will be checking in periodically before i depart!!

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Posted : October 5, 2011 5:45 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Prominent Member

Bashment, based on your posts, I think you'll definitely want to leave the resort so you can visit other beaches. Coki is the most social beach with loud, reggae music blasting, and a few local food and drink booths. Most of the other beaches are pretty sedate, IMO.

You'll probably want to go to Red Hook for nightlife. If you go during happy hour, you can get a feel for where you might want to go at night.

As far as sights, you'll probably want to take an island tour. The resort probably offers one.

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Posted : October 6, 2011 9:20 am
bashment
(@bashment)
Active Member

Thanks for the info!!

I had an amazing bday trip to St. Thomas. As a "yardie" I never thought I would visit a place that I loved as much as JA but St. Thomas might make me reconsider.

I have already began looking for employment opportunities in the USVI and thinking about my next trip!!!!

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Posted : October 19, 2011 5:31 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Prominent Member

A "yardie" cuts my hair, and he's a fabulous barber!

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Posted : October 19, 2011 5:47 pm
jazzartist
(@jazzartist)
Active Member

I'm visiting Sugar Bay with the AI package in early Feb, and based this dialogue, it will be a waste! Shame. The trip is a B Day present, so no cost to me, but now I feel badly. I guess, I will use what I can - mainly breakfast and dinner, and take advantage of the tours and water sports they offer.

So much to see, it's no wonder I suffer from indecision!

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Posted : January 28, 2012 10:43 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Prominent Member

Jazzartist, your screen name caught my eye since I'm going on the Capital Jazz cruise in Oct. Do you play professionally?

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Posted : January 29, 2012 1:19 pm
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