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St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

smithfield, ut
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St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

We are planning a 10 day trip in December and need some advice. We want to go to St. John but have heard St. Croix and St. Maarten are also great places to visit. Would the trip be too rushed if we were to go to all 3 places? Is there anyone who has been to all of them and who can tell me if I should cut out an island?- or replace one with another...BVI? Thanks!!!

St. Thomas
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1. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

I think you wouold see a lot more taxis, airport terminals, hotel beds, check in counters, baggage carousals and generic dining facilities than any nice beaches, restaurants and local attractions trying to see all those places in 10 days.

Arctic Bay, Canada
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2. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

Why not do 2 mini vacations and stay at St.John the fly to St. Marteen...We both love St. Maarten and could spend the whole 10 days there ...Enjoy!!!

Safe travels....jimmy

Edited: 5:24 am, September 19, 2010
Bonaire
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3. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

I wouldn't do all three islands in 10 days. What are your interests and priorities? St. John is VERY different than St. Martin. St. John has alot of natural beauty and is very laid back. St. Martin is busy and flamboyant compared to St. John. It has lots of shopping, casinos, activities, etc.

You must go through St. Thomas to get to St. John, so that actually adds another island to your itinerary.

If I were doing a 10 day trip and wanted to see two islands, I would focus on St. John and St. Croix, or St. Martin and Anguilla.

St Thomas
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4. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

I'm with localsailor. Way too much traveling to be enjoyable and you probably don't realize how far these islands are from each other. St John is only a 10 minute ferry ride from St Thomas and from either island you can easily take day trips (ferry or charter sail) to the BVI.

For sheer beauty where beaches, snorkeling and vistas are concerned, St John is almost impossible to beat. St Thomas has more of a night life and of course shopping but I think ten days on either one is a much better idea than trying to split up the time between islands so far apart.

Boston
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5. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

Many people do all three US Virgin Islands (St Thomas, St Croix and St John). It is possible in ten days, but I would not do it because you can easily spend ten days on any of the islands and still have more to see. Also, ome people don't mind spending a lot of time during their vacation travelling, but I would rather get to a place and stay there. My personal favorite of the three is St. Croix, but everyone has their favorites for different reasons.

A couple of other itineraries if you want to do more than one island that are easier to travel between are:

The three USVI: ST Thomas, St Croix and St John,

The BVI and USVI: Any mix of ST Thomas, St John, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. (The airports are on St Thomas and Tortola and you would have to ferry to the other islands). If I was doing this one, I would do Virgin Gorda and St John, but there are very limited beachside accommodations on St John which is the main reason we do not go there.

You could do St John, Tortola and St Martin because I believe there is a direct flight between Tortola and St Martin.

As another poster said, you can do St Martin and Anguilla, which is a great suggestion.

One other thing - Most of the USVI and BVI are releatively close t each other except St. Croix (US) and Anguilla (BVI). So, it makes it relatively easy to island hop around the others.

Have a good trip whatever you decide.

smithfield, ut
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6. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

Thanks so much for all the information. We have been struggling (in a good way) trying to decide where to go. We won airfare to anywhere in Central America, Mexico, or the Caribbean and want to go somewhere we normally wouldn't be able to afford. I'm learning a lot about the areas....we've researched Roatan, Bonaire, Costa Rica...etc. and are now planning the trip for the Virgin Islands. We love to snorkel and can't believe how beautiful the pictures are of St. John. I would also like to experience some different cultures- food-...and heard St. Martin is great (part French-part Dutch). I then asked some cousins and they said they really loved St. Croix (on a cruise)- largely due to the rum tour :-). Most experience the islands through the cruise ships (which we don't really enjoy because of the limited time) so it's hard to know how valuable the advice is- if there are better places and experiences out there that cruisers don't have access to due to time restraints.

We were thinking about St. John and St. Martin (1 hr flight through Liat airlines for about $129)-but then heard about St. Croix. We are from Utah and it takes a full day to get to the East coast -then on to the the Virgin Islands so I'm not sure when we'll be back (I'm trying to justify seeing as much as we can). Our air tickets can also be open jaw so we planned going home from St. Martin but as you can tell- we are open to many suggestions :-)

Boston
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7. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

I meant Anegada, not Anguilla!

For Food, IMO for the Virgin Islands, St Croix has the best food hands down. There are a lot of excellent restaurants as well as really good local food. It also has more of an island feel to it compared to St John.

The snorkeling is good on all of the VI. Don't discound the BVI as there is a lot to do and they are all very different. It is very easy to do a trip that would include St John and the BVI as they are right next to each other.

A cruise ship visit does not give you a very good feel for the islands because it is not enough time to experience them and when the ship or ships are in, the islands can get very crowded which is not a good reflection of what they are like if you stay for a week or a few days.

You might want to research the type of accommodation you want because it might affect your decision on which island.

smithfield, ut
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8. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

How much should we expect to spend for food? Should we try to stay in a place with a kitchenette to save some money and are the islands all about the same when it comes to cost of eating out?

thanks!

Boston
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9. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

We ususally get a place with some sort of kitchen facilities (at least a coffeemaker and fridge, but a microwave and toaster oven are nice too). We eat almost all of our breakfasts in the room and many of our lunches, but we stay in hotels that are right on the beach so we can come in at lunch and eat. I bring certain things with me, like coffee, snacks, peanut butter, maybe a small soft sided cooler with cheese, tuna pouch, etc. Not too much, just small things that will fit into my suitcase that we can have for bfst, lunch and snacks.

We usually eat out every dinner but there might be the odd night that we had a really big lunch out or have leftovers that we could not eat, so we stay in for dinner. We do not bring food from home for dinner like a lot of people seem to do that go to St John. It is just not for us. I love to cook, but one of the enjoyments of my vacation is going out for dinner, particularly on St Croix because they have really superb restaurants.

The food can be expensive because nearly everything has to be imported. If you go to the grocery store, you will probably have sticker shock. The restaurant food ranges in price from very reasonable to very expensive. I live near Boston, so to me, it is comparable to home for a good restaurant, but if you live in a smaller town it will proabably seem expensive. I would say that the larger islands have more of a variety of restaurants and thus options as far as price, but generally, they are more expensive than the mainland.

Many of the restaurants have menus online so you can get a feel for what the prices are.

If you narrow down where you want to stay, you will get better responses.

Edited: 9:23 am, September 20, 2010
Boston Ma
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10. Re: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Maarten?? Too much???

We did 10 days split between St Martin, Anguilla, and St Barts. First 4 on St Martin, then 2 at Cuisinart on Anguilla, it's expensive but great island, then 4 on St Barts. Anguilla is a short ferry ride. St Barts is a short plane ride from the small airport on the French side of St Martin. We had a great time on all three and never felt rushed or that we were spending to much time traveling for the islands are so close to each other. That's the key. Good luck