The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

PRE-TRIP TO ST. JOHN

Notifications
Clear all

PRE-TRIP TO ST. JOHN

Please Register / Login to take part in discussions about the Virgin Islands.


74 Posts
26 Users
0 Reactions
10.6 K Views
(@sharon)
Posts: 74
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Hi! This is my first time to post but I have been a lurker here for about 2 weeks. My husband (age 55) and I ( age 50) will be coming to STT/STJ for the first time for 7 days on Aug. 5th and have found this message board to be a great resource of information for us!! I just love the funny and informative trip reports that have been posted! Keep them up!

I do have a few questions that I need help with. We are flying out of Dallas,Tx., with a 3-hour layover in San Juan, and wonder if there are any decent restaurants inside the airport? Also, I smoke, so I will be running for the nearest exit /bar / restaurant as soon as I hop off the plane, lol! Do they allow smoking outside of the airport or anywhere inside the airport? If not, then they will have to arrest me, because no-one will get between me and my Marlboro! I have yet to book our car rental because I am in shock over the weekly SUV rates on STT/STJ, and so far, have found it difficult to get an agency to guarantee me a 4WD in writing. I called the 1-800 number for Budget and got a very disinterested young man on the phone who did not understand why I needed one in the first place. I later learned from this message board that it can be difficult just to get a car at Budget when you have reserved it, so will go to Avis and see what they say. We need to rent at the airport because we will be staying overnight in STT and want to do some shopping before getting on the car ferry to STJ. The kind lady who we booked our condo with in STJ says a 4WD is not essential for STJ, but is nice to have. I know I would much prefer more comfort, good a/c, and a trunk to store valuables in than a 4WD. Would love to hear your opinions on this.

Again, thanks for all the great tips and funny stories I have read here!!

Sharon

 
Posted : July 24, 2006 6:54 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
 

Hey Sharon,

I think jeans are fine, but may be hot if you are visiting in August. Maybe khaki shorts and a collared (golf) shirt?

I'm sure there are smoking sections. I don't smoke, so I've not noticed.

Limin' means to do nothing, relax, hang out, take it easy. It is an island slang.

Yes, others are so driven! ha ha. Me included! I have a daily itinerary being planned - including a villa meal menu that I have painstakingly prepared to take advantage of local foods, healthy eating, low on carbs and fat..., yet, exotic and interesting. I am shopping for the items here at home that can be transported in my luggage, and will shop for the perishables when I arrive. I was originally planning to ship the non-perishable items, but the stories of shipped boxes getting lost were stressing me out.

I have a book that I am creating for this trip - a binder of the daily schedule - including what cruise ships are in. It isn't a time bound thing - it is just general - what beaches to hit on certain days, where to have lunch or what to pack for lunch (some items will require grilling the night before when I grill the evening meal, so my prior day's evening menu tells me if I need to grill something for the next day's lunch while I have the grill hot - things like that to keep it simple). Also, the schedule tells me what restaurants are having specials that day - like Margarita Mondays at Green House, etc.

It is fun to plan and keeps us busy in the days leading up. Typically, at least half of the plan goes out the window once I arrive, but I had fun planning it and the plan often helps me to do everything I wanted to do, even if I only follow a little of it.

WOW, you only have 2 days and a wake up til wheels up! Wooohooo!

Right behind you - 16 days and a wake-up for me!

Enjoy! Any leftover rum can be stored for me at.....oh, never mind, you surely won't have LEFTOVER rum!! 🙂

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 10:31 am
(@sharon)
Posts: 74
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for the good news about the airport and what to wear to restaurants. Leaves more room in our carry-ons! For the two of us, we are bringing a carry-on each, plus a large tote bag with snacks, wallet, travel pillow,etc. in it, and then one large checked bag(61 linear inches) with our snorkel equipment and groceries. I may stuff a smaller travel bag inside of the big one to carry my souvenirs back in. I am just packing 3 pairs of shorts, 3 sleeveless shirts, toiletries, medicine, and cameras in my carry-on. Guess I will throw in a nice pair of shorts and shirt too. I am bringing a pair of sandals and my flip-flops. Don't plan on doing much hiking. I bought a little tube float, thinking I might need something to carry a little ice-chest that I could tie to me while I am snorkeling. Didn't know how far from the beach we would be snorkeling, and wanted drinks close by just in case. If we don't need it, I won't be out any money to speak of, and it takes nil space in my checked bag. Would love feedback on this though. Bluwater, I have never been much of a rum-drinker, preferring tequila or vodka, but being there may change my mind! Glad to hear that you are as obsessed as me about preparing for your trip!! We are kind of worried about tropical storm Chris, who the experts say is heading towards the U.S.V.I. and building strength. We bought trip insurance, but it will break our hearts if we have to cancel our much-needed trip to paradise!

Sharon

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 12:46 pm
 TomB
(@tomb)
Posts: 763
Prominent Member
 

Here is a shot of me coming down Jacob's Ladder. My sweetie got out and walked down. http://community.webshots.com/photo/547685030/2613518690082606958nbxQjr We were staying at Sunset Ridge Villas (RCI) which is at the very top of the road. My wife hated going up, I hated driving down. And there is nothing like coming down with a concrete mixer behind you.

However the view is spectatular once you get there, and we had a great week - love to get the Sunset Ridge Again

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 1:25 pm
(@sharon)
Posts: 74
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Great photos, TomB! Wow! Don't know if we could make that hill in our sedan that we are renting! Thanks!

Sharon

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 1:49 pm
 TomB
(@tomb)
Posts: 763
Prominent Member
 

You could, but not with the slighest water on the road. Really it is coming down and resisting the urge to stand on the brakes. Low gear, pump brakes, pump..... breathe, pump pump, pump.... pray, breathe
Repeat over and over

Here are couple links that I posted a while ago on first trips to STT/STJ. May be helpful
http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=474245&an=0&page=2#Post474245 and
http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=497179&an=0&page=1#Post497179

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 2:09 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
 

Snorkeling with your drink float tethered to you??? No THAT is a new one!! I am seriously laughing out loud!

I don't think that is a good idea becasue:

1. you will be snorkeling with a mask over your face - not able to drink
2. you will not want to have alcohol while snorkeling - dangerous (maybe you meant water and juice only)
3. You are likely to snorkel out over your head, so drinking would require treading water in your fins, removing your mask, getting your drink, drinking, putting drink back, snorkel back on, etc
4. Good snorkeling spots can be crowded at times and you may have others swimming by you/near enough to knock over your drink float (if your flat has alcohol on it, this owuld be a valid reason to ask that person to meet you on the beach for a "fair one" lol)
5. You will be the subject of too many people's trip photos!! LOL

If you decide to do it anyway -take plenty of pics!

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 4:43 pm
 Pia
(@pia)
Posts: 1036
Noble Member
 

Hi

I think she is joking Bluwater (about the snorkeling with an ice chest) .......you ARE joking Sharon ...right !!!!

Pia

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 4:52 pm
(@east-ender)
Posts: 2023
Noble Member
 

6. You will be tempted to stand up to get your drink. Please don't stand on the reef!! (td)

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 4:55 pm
(@sharon)
Posts: 74
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

I am serious! Got the idea from a trip we did on the Guadalupe River here in Texas, where it is a common thing to do! Lol! Just didn't know if it would work snorkeling in the ocean or not. The mask will not be covering my mouth, so I could just take out the snorkel, tread water for a minute, and get me a drink of water or juice, and go back to snorkeling! I just didn't know if we would be snorkeling that far from shore or not to be worth using it. Wonder if you can tread water and smoke? Lol! I also bought some metal clips that has a big rubber band thingie on one end to snap over plastic bottles and the other you can attach to your belt,etc. so you can 'dangle' some drinks. Found them in the sporting goods dept. at Walmart. I hate having tons of stuff to carry around with me. Ok, ya go ahead and laugh! If I use it, I will definitely take some photos!

Sharon

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 5:20 pm
 Lora
(@Lora)
Posts: 1
 

Tom - that road looks like a typical West Virginia road to me! if that's as bad as it gets, we've got no worries! We're staying on STT, but will be taking a car to STJ for a day or 2, and I'm not gonna sweat it.

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 5:31 pm
 Pia
(@pia)
Posts: 1036
Noble Member
 

OK Sharon,

I had to put this in the "Topic" line - everyone needs to read this (I wouldn't have found out about this if I hadn't been catching up today) You have given me the biggest laugh in a long time - I really thought you were joking - you definitely will be the "laugh" of STJ if you really do this....tell me where you are going and I will drive anywhere on island to be a witness to this "first" 🙂

What does everyone else think???? I would LOVE to know.

Pia

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 6:05 pm
(@c-urchin)
Posts: 82
Estimable Member
 

There can be no abbreviations for this one! Laughing out loud (so much that I have tears in my eyes). The picture in my head . . . 😀

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 6:18 pm
(@sharon)
Posts: 74
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Okay! Just look for a sea-cow with bright neon yellow mask, snorkel, and ice-chest floatie! No crap! I found a round tube that matched my snorkeling equipment! Another tip: If you see smoke coming out of a snorkel, that will definitely be me! Maybe I need to put the floatie with the ice-chest in the pool before I go to get the 'kinks' out of the equipment, lol! Ya are a hoot, Pia and CUrchin!

Sharon

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 6:26 pm
(@east-ender)
Posts: 2023
Noble Member
 

Sharon: I hope you are going to bring a little floaty ashtray!!! ROFL!

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 6:42 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
 

OH MY GAWD!! The tears are streaming down my face! Seriously - I am picturing Sharon with the ice chest tethered to her - and another smaller tether for her ash tray - one hand out of the water holding her LIT cigarette over her head - and her face underwater with smoke coming out of her snorkel. :>

Sharon, I just googled floating ice chests. I don't see any with a description that includes tethers for attaching to your body while you snorkel or do anything else in the water. Did yours come that way or did you rig it up like that? :->

You have tried this while snorkeling and it works? I can see a new cruise ship passenger gimmick hitting the STT/STJ beaches next year - rent a snorkeling ice chest for your drinks!!

🙂

(Leave it to EE to raise the issue of standing on the reef or being careful not to drop ashes in the bay! LOL)

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 7:02 pm
(@dntw8up)
Posts: 580
Honorable Member
 

Hi Blu.

I'm guessing EE is less concerned with ashes and more concerned with butts, which smokers tend to drop whenever and wherever they're finished with them, as if they aren't really littering. I think all of us would prefer that everyone dispose of all of their garbage in the big ugly dumpsters that we have placed around the islands expressly for this purpose.

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 7:56 pm
(@sharon)
Posts: 74
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Okay, I found some photos of some ice-chest tubes at this link: http://www.moreenergy.net/guadalupe1.html. Check out the fourth and fifth pictures on this page. Click on them and they will enlarge. We did not snorkel, but we did swim and tube, but I thought it might just work the same?? Hey! I am always trying to "work smarter, not harder", lol! You know, I could tie one of those smokeless ashtray cups to the side of the ice-chest! Oh, my! We are so "throwed", as they say in some parts of Texas! Later!

P.S. I have a small rope that has clips on either end that I can rig up. I would wedge the ice-chest in tight inside the tube.

Sharon

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 8:21 pm
(@connie)
Posts: 1634
Noble Member
 

Nobody has thought of a bungie cord?

If there's a will, there's a way.

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 8:33 pm
 Pia
(@pia)
Posts: 1036
Noble Member
 

Hi Sharon,

You are a hoot 🙂

I hope you didn't mind I posted a clip of your "ice chest" on another forum (that you also post on). I figured we all need something to smile about - to get our minds off TS Chris 🙂

Thanks for the link and making me smile 🙂

Pia

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 8:56 pm
 TomB
(@tomb)
Posts: 763
Prominent Member
 

Sharon and et al

The cooler method of water fun is a long standing practice in the south. I have done it many times while living in NC, AL, and VA.

The hardest thing that we had to over come was finding an extenstion cord for the blender. We finally figured that out by floating the ice chest with ice, and with a blow up dinghy from KMart attached to a 100 Ft power cord strung from a cypress tree branch to the dock - Drinks were served!

Life was good!

It is amazing looking back that we are still alive

Your challenge Sharon if you choose to accept is... To find some place to plug the cord into on Maho Beach!

Remember WC Fields famous quote: Don't drink the water... Fish F@#$ in it!

Bring a cooler and float it - Just do not step on the reef.

And remember be wear sun screen = A day in the sun can be dangerous

 
Posted : August 2, 2006 9:23 pm
Page 2 / 4

St. Thomas Activities

Set sail on top-rated charters, explore underwater wonders with scuba diving, encounter exotic animals, and venture into the wild with kayaking and ecotours. Feel the adrenaline with parasailing, aerial tours, and water sports for a memorable vacation.
Book Your St. Thomas Adventure Now
Virgin Islands Books & Maps