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Tip for those new to St. Croix

Atlanta, GA
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Tip for those new to St. Croix

Don't (as my wife did) leave your door open, allowing a mongoose (they are all over the island. Really.) to enter and then close the door, unknowingly trapping the mongoose in your room. They don't like it. Even though they look like really big squirrels with a Bill the Cat haircut, they are more like Taz in the cartoons. Especially if you accidentally step on them. (as my wife did) I've never seen her move so fast in her life. Followed closely by a fur ball making loud "ehhhhhhhhhhh, ehhhhhhhhh" noises.

Fortunately I was nearby and had my video camera. It was truly a Kodak moment. (And fortunate that I made and stashed away several copies, because for some reason they keep disappearing. The video is always a big hit when we have family and friends over)

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1. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

Hi,

My girl friend and I are going to St Croix in early June. We are 2 married women who had the opportunity to take this great trip to 'just get away' - we can't wait. Lay out, read, and do nothing. I like to think we are both 'smart' travelers since we've both taken our share of trips (St Maartin/Hawaii/Canun/Puerta Vallarta/Nassau etc etc.

Anyway, my question is - would you consider it safe for us to take a taxi and go into town on our own? As i said, we are pretty cautious and try to make smart decisions on safety but, in all that i've read, i can't find anything that addresses this issue. In Cancun we thought nothing of getting on the bus (with a bunch of other tourists) and taking it into town to shop and eat. Without husbands, should we just stay put on the resort? Also, how long is the ride from the airport to the resort? I would like to rent a car but, driving on the left side is a bit daunting - not sure if I want to deal with it.

Thanks-Sherry

Navarre, Florida
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2. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

Hi Sherry,

You might want to post this as a new topic to get more responses. Also, look at the responses under "Real story on Crime".

I didn't see that you mentioned where you are staying so I don't know about the taxi ride. I would recommend renting a car. We've been on several islands where you drive on the left and St. Croix is the easiest. You just follow everyone else in the busy sections. The hardest part is just pulling out into traffic and making sure you look the right way. With 2 of you, the passenger can help make sure you're on the correct side of the road. And St. Croix is such a beautiful and diverse island, you will really want to explore.

Since you are experienced travelers and take the necessary precautions, you shouldn't worry about going into Christensted. There are some wonderful shops and restaurants. You can email me at mrshufstader@yahoo.com if you have any questions or want more specific information. You will love St. Croix. It's a great island that grows on me more each time I visit.

Atlanta, GA
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3. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

It has been at least five years since my wife and I went to St. Croix and things i've read seem to indicate that crime has become more of an issue since we were there, with some cruise lines taking it off their itinerary altogether. Having said that, I think I would feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with my wife and a female friend seeing the nightlife on their own in Christianstad than in almost anyplace in Jamaica. I do suggest renting a car, but that can be an adventure in yourself if you are not use to driving on the left side of the road. I lived for years in both the UK and Japan so driving on the left wasn't an issue. What is different about St. Croix is that they drive on the left but still use U.S. spec. cars insofar as the steering wheel is one the left side like here, which can make for some visibility issues, especially on curvy roads.

I agree. check with the threads on this sit that address crime in St. Croix.

Atlanta, GA
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4. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

P.S. If you travel a lot and security is an issue, as it should be with everyone, check out Aruba. Lowest crime rate in the Caribbean (accompanied by the lowest unemployment) and the island is a blast with so much to do. You can go anywhere on the island (as long as your rent a 4WD) and not be concerned for your safety. As a matter of fact, night time safety and crime is far more of a concern here in our hometown of Atlanta than it is in either Aruba or St. Croix, but at least here, both my wife and have permits (which hundreds of thousands of Georgians do) to carry a firearm concealed, so it tends to lessen safety concerns, here.

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5. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

Hi,

thank you for the information on St. Croix. I did forget to mention that we are staying @ Cararmbola Resort. Does anyone know how far it is from the airport? how much do the taxis cost from airport to resort? Nassau uses american cars but drives on the wrong side of the road as well. Years ago, we got quite a kick out of the "TO THE LEFT" sticker on the windshield as a reminder! We ended up going around the round abouts 2-3 times before we could mentally exit in the correct lane/side of the road.

So, if we go out driving around - would you think we would be safe to drive the roads and look at the scenery?

We're not really drinkers or partiers so, if we go into town in the evening it would be to shop and eat dinner. I guess I'm trying to figure out economically if it would pay us to rent a car or not. Even tho people have told us that we really should. Which rental car co do you reccomend?

feel free to email me directly @ shblades@yahoo.com -THANKS!

Your comment about Jamaica was 'right on'. When we were there our hotel conceriege desk had the most beautiful bouquet on it one day. I commented to someone in the lobby about how pretty the flowers were and they told me that the concierge had been shot the nite before - the flowers were actually for her. Not decorations of the hotel. Alrighty then.

Atlanta, GA
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6. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

We stayed at the Carambola Beach Resort and loved it. It is on the northwest coast of St. Croix and the airport is on the southwest coast. As the crow flies it is probably only about 7 miles away. I don't know what the cabs cost, because we rented a car at the airport and dropped it off there. Taking a cap shouldn't be too expensive and it's probably a good idea rather than renting a car at the airport. You can pick up a rental car right at the resort and leave it there, taking a cab back to the airport. My wife and I arrived there at night and got a map along with the car and proceeded to get lost. As I said, it was night and if you're a newcomer and don't know the road numbers, the roads aren't well marked. It should have been an easy drive cutting north up Rte 69, over "The Beast" (The Beast is what the locals call the road where it passes over the top of the mountain ridge that defines the west end of the island.) and headed west on the north coast, but we ended up in Christianstad which is on the north coast, but closer to the east end, than the west. Rather than drive around on curvy and/or steep roads in the dark. We stopped at a cab stand and paid one of the drivers to guide us to the resort. It cost $20, but as I was tired, and wanted nothing better than a nice meal and then hit the hot tub at the resort with a rum punch, it seemed a bargain. Once we got a better map at the hotel, the next day getting out and finding our way around was easy. And sure, you can explore the island with no worries. Make sure to book a full day or half day snorkeling trip over to Buck Island while you're there. It's absolutely beautiful and if you don't snorkel or scuba, book one of the glass bottom boat tours out the the island. The coral reefs surrounding it are amazing. You will be happy with the Carambola Beach, and it would be easy to spend your entire stay there on the property, but don't. That's what going to new places is all about.

But remember my cautionary tale about the mongoose. They aren't vicious (to humans, although I understand that they are hell on snakes and birds) and will go out of their way to avoid you, as long as you don't lock them in your room and step on them.

Groves, Texas
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7. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

Sherry,

Renting a taxi from the airport to the Carambola isnt expensive and is very helpful. If you're not 'directionally challenged' like I am then renting a car is your best bet to really see the island. The roads from Carambola to Christiansted are pretty windy and not marked, so I wouldn't attempt it at night on the first try. With a map,tho, you'll get the hang of it fairly easy. If you're just staying a week, you may want to just get a taxi at the Carambola and let them get you into C'sted for a day of shopping. We 've been several times and love it there! We rent a car from Judi of Croix (www.judiofcroix.com) and have had good luck with them. They deliver the car to wherever you want and pick it up whenever you're ready to leave. We got a Toyota Echo, which we found to be a good size for navigating the winding roads.

Before we went this last year I went on www.gotostcroix.com and clicked under "info requested" and for $4 they sent me some very useful maps and island magazines that told where everything was and what was happening. It was nice to familiarize ourselves with the roads beforehand. If you click on "webcam" on that site you can see a live view of C'sted harbor and Fredericksted beach (not a pretty one,tho). People call home from there and family can see them. We called our daughter and she captured our picture and we use it for our screensaver to remind us that we actually WERE there!

Go shopping during the day-- most shops close around 5. We went early and shopped all day and had a big lunch, then went back home to relax and watch the sunset. Make sure you wander all the little streets at least up to Company Street because there are all kinds of little shops tucked away. Don't miss Sonya's! You'll see it with all the women pushing around the counter drooling over her bracelets! ha! She started the original St Croix 'Hook' bracelet back in the 1970's and now several shops have created their own bracelets,too. You'll be amazed at all the women (and men) with bracelets on made on the island. It's the thing to wear! One day at the pool I counted a woman wearing 12 stacked on one arm! And it looked good on her down there, esp with her tan. Here in SE Texas people would be doing double takes!

You're going to love the Carambola. It's on the georgous Davis Bay... wish I was there right now!

Email me with any questions you might have. I've lived on St Croix and now vacation there.

Paula11554@aol.com

Boston
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8. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

Dear Sherry,

I just got back from St. Croix with my sister and the stories of crime are grossly exaggerated. We did not have any trouble nor see anything. (See my postings on the true story on crime and the update). We went into town every night and also rented a car for 2 days and drove all over the island. There is a lot of poverty on the island and you do need to take sensible precautions just like you would anywhere. I do not know where you are staying, but I am sure you will have a lovely time. Enjoy your trip.

Saffie

St. Croix, USVI
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9. Re: Tip for those new to St. Croix

Hi Sherry,

I'm a single lady from KC who moved here 8 years ago. From Carambola, you are right down the road from Cane Bay with your choice of Cane Bay Beach Bar, Off The Wall, Bogies and The Waves. Sunday Brunch at Cane Bay Beach Bar usually features Steve Katz who is absolutely one of the best guitar player you will ever hear anywhere. Sunday night at Off The Wall, my dear friend, Jon Rueck plays although he may be on vacation when you are here. It is a wonderful setting for sunset, music and just relaxing. You can park right in front. Going into Christiansted would be best done during the day the first time if you are driving (I do suggest renting a car) so you can 1) check out the wonderful views along the cliffs and 2) get used to the road. When I first moved here I was a bit leary of the curves but now have no problems. From Carambola, you're about 30 minutes or so into Christiansted. Oh yes, Mongoose Dem are cute little critters, but I agree, you don't really want one trapped up in your room. Kind of like the possum that got trapped in my garage before I left KC - actually had to call animal control to get it out. Wish I'd had a picuture of that one. Overall, I feel much safer going out here than in KC and there is lots to do. The Avis, our local paper is often the best source of current happenings. Enjoy your vacation on our beautiful island!

Linda

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