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T&C versus St. Croix

Carrollton
posts: 8
T&C versus St. Croix

Having a tough time deciding between a May/June vacation in Providenciales vs. St. Croix. Family of 3. (teenager)

We're looking for:

- nice beach with relaxing atmosphere

- snorkeling

- intro to scuba diving class

- kayaking, stand-up paddle boards, etc.

- golf

The two locations seem so completely different and yet possibly similar in pricing as long as we stay with a 4 star type accommodation. Anyone have thoughts or recommendations they would like to share?

Thanks!

Wake Forest, North...
posts: 183
reviews: 96
21. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

Both are nice for all points mentioned which is why we go to both. Was at Provo last year and will go back to STX this July. Provo is definitely more expensive in general but there are ways to save. The former comfort suites is not on the beach but a short walk and right in the heart of Grace Bay. A rental car helps with more restaurant choices. Tiki Hut is not expensive. I've stayed at the Sands several times in off season and it's reasonable. Caicos Adventures on Provo is excellent diving but does cost more than STX. They have a 45min boat ride to the wall so higher fuel costs but best dive boat in the Caribbean. I use Anchor Dive in STX <$100 per 2 tank dive, 5 min boat ride to the wall. STX may not have the perfect beach but certainly has more variety between the beach and the rain forest and hills. Provo is more of a desert Island. I would suggest Provo first at least once before it gets too built up and too expensive.

Lousiana
posts: 59
reviews: 48
22. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

Well, Sandy Point is closed the time we want to vacation (June). It looks like it is one of the things we're looking for though.

We were very close to being set on Provo, but then I started reading about the food prices and taxi rates. WOW! Lunch at a casual beach bar, nothing fancy, is like $50+....not sure if that included drinks. Might not sound bad, but after 8-10 days that can really add up after 20+ meals. Or did I read about the wrong restaurants?

The everyday costs are not close to that in St croix. I.e. diving, food and drink, taxi/car rentals.

Wake Forest, North...
posts: 183
reviews: 96
23. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

You are getting the picture for Grace Bay. There is a reason its lined with Condos $500K up. Across the street from the beach and along the highway you can find a few more reasonably priced places to eat, there's Pizza Pizza, Saltmills Diner, a couple bar and grills, down the road is Fresh Bakery and Bistro (mainly takeout). You can get a lunch sandwich and fries at Hemingway's on the beach at Sands for menu price under $15 plus drinks and tip. Wife and I would sometimes just split one. You just have to work to not spend a small fortune on food. Rental car rates aren't that bad compared to Taxi alternatives. You can pick up a car right in Grace bay but if you get Hertz they say are required to charge the same airport access fees that they have to charge near the airport. STX is not cheap either but there are more options providing you get a rental car and Provo doesn't have anything like quaint historic Christiansted. There's no question the diving is cheaper in STX and no rum factory in Provo:)

407 area code
posts: 203
reviews: 1
24. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

Okay, just got back from Provo last night.

As I wrote in post #19, Provo and STX are two different islands.

The beaches are amazing on Provo but I didn't like the island being so flat. If you want an island just for the beaches, Provo is a great choice.

I like STX and the ability to do so many different things away from the water. I do think the reefs are in better "shape" on Provo compared to STX.

We stayed at a rented villa on the far end of Grace Bay (north east area) so we didn't go out to eat much but I found the prices to be "the usual" for a Caribbean island. Gas was $6 a gallon. Ouch.

We had a great time and would probably go back.

But my heart is, and will always be, with STX.

If you have any specific questions, fire away.

Wake Forest, North...
posts: 183
reviews: 96
25. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

Speaking of gas prices, anyone know what the average is on STX now that the refinery is closed?

At least Provo is so small you hardly use any gas. I think I only used a couple gallons last year for the week.

Edited: 10:41 pm, March 17, 2013
boston
Destination Expert
for Christiansted
posts: 2,146
reviews: 98
26. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

407Guy,

glad you had a nice trip. We flew over T&C on our way to STX last week, and you could see from the air why it is so gorgeous.

As for gas prices on STX, we paid about $4.19 a gallon yesterday for gas. Don't know how that compares to pre-Hovensa departure prices.

Providenciales
posts: 3
reviews: 6
27. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

As the owner of two beachfront villas, one on St. Croix (Cruzan Sands Villa) and one on Providenciales (Crystal Sands Villa), and of several townhomes a block from the beach in Provo (Grace Bay Townhomes), perhaps I can offer perspective:

Provo has the most beautiful water imaginable, crystal clear turquoise waters complementing the brilliant white sands. It is a water sports paradise. One can find every activity related to water sports. The immediate surrounding underwater landscape is shallow; there is nothing but pure white sand until the prolific reef appears, some distance out, a boat ride away. The island is completely flat. The island has very little rain. It is arid and dry. Breezes are constant. Temperature is always moderate. The sun shines all the time. Everything about Provo is modern and new.

St Croix has the most beautiful landscape imaginable, breathtaking scenery in every direction. It is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Spending a day hiking will refresh the soul! The water is also crystal clear in front of our villa, but the striking undergrowth provides interesting things to see for snorkelers and divers and makes the water appear emerald green. No boat ride is needed, but venturing out by boat is exhilarating! The terrain creates sand that is sandy in color, but beautifully enriched with shells and beachcombing delights. The island is hilly. It rains enough to create a true tropical landscape, lush with flowers and fruits at every turn. Breezes are constant. Temperature is moderate. Everything about St. Croix is historic. There are a few new villas, giving credit to those who persevere through the restrictive development process.

Provo is brand new. St Croix is historic. Provo does not showcase a lot of Turks and Caicos history. One has to venture to the neighboring cays to find it. St Croix’s history can have one exploring for a year without exhausting the magnificent sites.

Regardless of budget, one can have a wonderful meal on each island. Provo has the most fantastic restaurants, each with its own chef vying for the top spot, each rather pricey. A large selection of moderately priced establishments offers a lot of variety for those who don’t want to splurge all the time. Eating out is far more reasonable on Provo than having a chef prepare meals for you at your villa. St. Croix has some exquisite restaurants for the true connoisseurs, as well, and equally high priced. It also has a variety of reasonably priced restaurants for those on a budget. St Croix’s private villa chefs prepare true Cruzan meals at a fair price, a luxury which is probably undervalued.

The Caribbean culture permeates both islands. One can be amazed at the behaviors and mannerisms of the local populace on each island. St. Croix tends to have more local cultural events, which are fun for tourists. The rural feeling of the St. Croix environment is welcoming and fascinating. Churches are important and the good faith of the good people is evident in everyday life. Provo is geared more for the tourist, offering events the locals think you might find at home which you might miss on island.

Renting a private villa or home is an unbelievable experience! Typically, one gets far more room and more amenities than a single hotel room can provide. The total trip cost for families is usually less than a hotel environment, too. Couples should not despair, however. For those who do not need an entire house, try the townhome route or travel during the off-season. Owners are usually quite willing to offer the same beautiful villas for a lot less when the season is quiet. On island, there is very little difference throughout the year as far as temperature and activity are concerned. Take advantage of it! Water sports. Outdoor activities. Golf. Exploring. Fine dining. Simply relaxing. Enjoy it all!

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
posts: 9,579
reviews: 178
28. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

Beachdigs: That was a great comparison and the type that I love to read! You capture St. Croix so very well, I imagine you've done the same for Provo. I had looked into T&C but felt it would not meet my family's requirements because it does not seem to have the same land opportunities that we like: moderate hiking, gardens, flora and fauna, exotic fruit, culture, and those amazing sugar plantation ruins! I love a bit of jungle, some rolling hills. St. Croix, especially the North side, struck me as just as beautiful as the North shore of Kauai.

Our first villa experience is approaching, but we thoroughly enjoyed St. Croix from a condo in 2011.

Austin, Texas
posts: 365
reviews: 30
29. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

Also, the money you spend in STX helps the United States Economy.

Edited: 6:28 pm, August 11, 2013
Arkansas
posts: 167
30. Re: T&C versus St. Croix

Check out cottages by the Sea in St Croix. It's very relaxing right on the beach, they have kayaks on site. I'm not sure if its still the case but there were also stand up board lessons next door. During the summer the water is very calm there, its like a giant swimming pool. We loved to grab a noodle and just relax in the ocean all day. You'd have to drive to hold but its a nice drive. By far the most relaxing trip I have ever had.