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Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

Binghamton, New York
4 posts
Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

We are planning a trip to St. Croix in May. We were about to reserve a condo near the Cruzan Princesse complex but I read a review of it on here that said the reef came right up to the shore. We would love to snorkel around the reef but we want to stay where we can swim in the water and play in the sand without hurting ourselves. I've also read the same thing about the area that Gentle Winds is, which was our second choice.

So my question is....on a limited family budget, where is a good location to stay on nice, swim-able beaches?

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
10,721 posts
196 reviews
1. Re: Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

Welcome to TripAdvisor and the St. Croix forum, Kirsten1216

I've stayed at Pelican Cove condos nearby and the reef does come right to shore, but don't despair! It's a short stroll to the Palms at Pelican Cove hotel where snorkeling and swimming is good. That's where you can get to the outside of that reef. I understand the owner of the hotel also takes people on snorkel tours, including non-guests, so I recommend you ask about that when you arrive. It's a nice area of the island and the walk to the Palms is really not bad. Plus it's close, so you may find yourselves going for dinner on occassion. We found the area perfect for our first visit to the island as it's fairly close to Christensted, too.

I'm told that Gentle Winds has reef openings so you can get outside of it to snorkel. It's also near a terrific beach, Cane Bay, that your family will probably like a lot.

St. Croix is a great island to explore and all beaches are free of charge. We found ourselves bringing the beach chairs, snorkel gear and picnic basket for the day and finding a new beach on a different part of the island.

Edited: 10:25 pm, February 17, 2014
Gardnerville, Nevada
Level Contributor
195 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

If you go to a VRBO listing for Gentle Winds and click on "location" and then do maximum zoom and then click on "satellite" in the upper right corner you can see clearly where the reef was removed to provide a sandy bottom swimming area by the beach marked off with a rope and white buoys. You can also see the sandy area near the left side of swimming area where you can pass between the coral and snorkel out beyond the reef. However, you can also snorkel inside the reef. Just won't see as much.

Binghamton, New York
4 posts
3. Re: Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

thank you for your input. Do to changes in how many are coming we have decided to rent the Cruzan Princesse condo. Now to just plan the activities.....any input on local activities? We were thinking snorkeling at Buck Island, we just don't know what charter to take yet, snorkeling at Cane Bay and shopping in Christiansted. Any other suggestions??

Elkhart Indiana
Destination Expert
for St. Croix
Level Contributor
1,165 posts
4. Re: Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

You don't mention how many are coming but a good place to start might be by scheduling a TanTan Tour which would give you an over-view of the island. Again depending on the size of your group BigBeard is a good option but there are smaller charters that can go to Buck Island. If you can give some idea of what you like to do I think the experts will be able to give you some good options. Do you like to hike, snorkel, kayak, etc. Happy Planning

Binghamton, New York
4 posts
5. Re: Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

There are only 3 of us going. Our 7 year old and my husband like to snorkel and I am hoping that I can get over my difficulty berating with the snorkel and enjoy it too. We like to hike and would be willing to try kayaking. We're pretty open to trying new things and challenges.

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
10,721 posts
196 reviews
6. Re: Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

Kirsten - take a look at the top of the page, Things to do tab. It is full of great things to do, from beach hikes to rainforest exploration. One thing that folks with kids don't often think of is botanical gardens. Check out the St. George Village BG on island, it's not only beautiful to stroll through, it has some interesting sugar plantation ruins (the ruins are everywhere on island, but these you can get up close to). In some are Jamaican fruit bats roosting. It's just delightful! Nearby, don't pass Armstrong's Ice Cream. Wonderful, local ice cream flavors made on island.

Hope you have a great time!

7. Re: Last minute question about vaca rentals on St. Croix

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