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Car Rental vs. Taxi

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Car Rental vs. Taxi

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(@Kim B.)
Posts: 1

I am taking my first cruise in early October. During our port visit to St. Thomas, I am making plans to visit St. John for the day. I would really like to snorkel at Waterlemon Bay, visit Annaberg ruins, and hike some of Reef Bay if time permits. I have looked into renting a car for the day, but found out that each car rental business requires multiple day rentals. They said I could call the day I arrive and if a vehicle is available I would be able to rent it. Does anyone have feedback about car availability during the off season? I have also looked into renting a taxi. What type of flexibility would I have if we did a 2 hour or 3 hour sightseeing tour? Do I get to pick where I want to go? Any feedback on which mode is suggested would be greatly appreciated. I would prefer doing my own excursion rather than doing a shore excursion from the ship because I want to see more of the island.

Thank you in advance for your feedback and insight!

Posted : July 10, 2006 5:00 pm
Posts: 580
Honorable Member

Hi Kim.

Cars are often available at the last minute off season but since you only have part of a day I'd recommend a taxi. If you "rent" a taxi for the hours you'll be on island it will go where you want to go when you want to go there and it will be more relaxing because nobody will have to worry about how to get anywhere or driving on the left side of the road.

Posted : July 10, 2006 5:16 pm
Posts: 233
Reputable Member

Here is a thought. We went on a Daysail from Red Hook on STT and were joined by a couple and their two boys that were on a cruise ship.(They took a taxi from the cruise ship dock to Red Hook) We talked Captain Ron, of the sailboat The Alaunt, into sailing us out to Waterlemon Cay for snorkeling. We got there and back with plenty of time for the family to get back to their cruise ship. His web site even says he will adjust his times to accommodate your cruise ship schedule. You would have to probably talk to Captain Ron and make arrangements ahead of time. The other thing is that the wind conditions may not be favorable for sailing out to Waterlemon on the day you are in port. I have no doubt that Captain Ron would find another snorkeling spot that you would be happy with if that would be the case. His boat is very nice and he serves a wonderful lunch. The cost is probably much less than going with the cruise ship tour and he only takes 6 passengers on the boat. It was $125 a person in April 06. Here is his web site:

If you want to read about our day on the Alaunt here is a link to that part of my trip report.,53488,53493#msg-53493

I was able to reserve a one day jeep rental with Varlack Ventures which is walking distance from the ferry dock. The rates on the web page were outdated. I think it cost us $72 for a Vitara. Here is a link.

I preferred traveling by sailboat rather than by jeep.

Posted : July 11, 2006 2:29 pm
Posts: 909
Prominent Member


Trust the don't want to "play" with renting a car for a few hours...and apparently you've never been to SJU so you don't know your way around.......and most importantly you don't want to miss your ship.


Posted : July 11, 2006 3:36 pm
Posts: 163
Estimable Member

You have a very, very ambitious schedule for a day on STJ!!! The Reef Bay Trail is no where near the Ruins or the Cay and you'd have a heck of a time trying to find it on your own. Also, its nice, but to hike "part" of it is a waste of time as you'll go downhill then have to turn around and go back up with no place anyway to park a car. My suggestion is to take the taxi, go to the Ruins and snorkle in that area- I assume you have snorkle gear you can bring? If you don't bring your own or can get it from your cruise ship, that'll cut into your day too trying to find a place that will rent and fit you to the right equipment. Try to spend time going through this board and maybe cut back on your expectations for a day on STJ. There's so much to see but its a slow moving island with tough, tough roads to get around-best left to your taxi driver. You'd also want time to go eat and there's nothing near any of the places you want to see so you're talking a trip back to Cruz Bay or out to Coral Bay as there's little elsewhere-again your taxi driver can recommend something but mostly you have to go into town. Scale it all back and you'll wish you had skipped the cruise and just came directly to STJ known as Paradise to many of us.

Posted : July 11, 2006 4:37 pm
Posts: 44
Trusted Member

The Reef Bay hike is a day trip in itself. I wouldn't recommend trying to fit it in with the other things that you'd like to do. Have fun!

Posted : July 11, 2006 10:16 pm
(@Kim B)
Posts: 1

Thanks to everyone for their feedback. Based on the ferry schedule, we'll have about 4 hours to enjoy the island. Would a 2 or 3 hour taxi be sufficient to snorkel Waterlemon and visit Annaberg ruins? Also, can taxi rentals be set-up before the trip (I haven't found any contact numbers)? or do we have to do it on the day we arrive?

Posted : July 12, 2006 7:13 am
Posts: 44
Trusted Member

You could spend 3 hours at Waterlemon and Annaberg, but you'd definitely have to rush it. The walk from the Annaberg parking lot to Waterlemon beach alone is 15-20 minutes. I don't know about pre-arranging taxis, but there's always a bunch of taxis at the ferry dock in Cruz Bay. Good luck!

Posted : July 12, 2006 10:38 pm
Posts: 844
Prominent Member

I would not do this. Knowing myself, I'd worry every minute about getting back to the ship. You'll be on STJ for 4 hours? Even if you hire a taxi immediately, you're talking about the round trip drive to Annaberg/Waterlemon taking at least 45 minutes and the round trip hike another 45 minutes. That leaves you a little more than 2 hours to snorkel and see the ruins.

For me this would be the way I want to spend 4 hours on STJ. Why not hire a taxi and go to Cinnamon Beach? Great snorkeling, ruins across the road, and food and drink available on the beach. A much nicer experience, IMO.

Posted : July 13, 2006 4:08 am
(@Kim B)
Posts: 1

After reading all the posts, I think this sounds more feasible for the amount of time I have and it incorporates everything I'd want to do. One more question though......would we have to hire a taxi for a certain amount of time or can we take it one way, then be able to catch one later from Cinnamon Bay to Cruz Bay. Do they hang around at the various beaches to take people back to the ferry? Thanks!

Posted : July 15, 2006 1:09 am
Posts: 844
Prominent Member

Take it one way to Cinnamon. Either arrange for the same taxi to pick you up at a certain time, or just get another one. They hang out in the parking lot.

Posted : July 15, 2006 3:24 am
Posts: 1

Thank you for all your insight!

Posted : July 16, 2006 1:01 pm
Posts: 230
Estimable Member

Jeez the taxi rates are going to be astronomical for this WAY more than a car rental and the extra $25 for the car ferry versus the people ferry. There is a Avis car rental place in Havensight but I agree with everyone that you have a VERY aggressive schedule and God forbid you get lost or you can't get on a certain car ferry. I think a taxi driver would charge you a fortune to wait for you to finish walking to and snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay. I'd take a day boat to Waterlemon or just drive to some of the Northshore beaches and relax. Have a few drinks, no hurries no worries.

Posted : July 17, 2006 4:10 pm

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