First of all, this post is not intended to offend...keep in mind this was MY experience and opinions....others may share or negate them....I am okay with that.
We just got back from a week in Stx this past weekend...stayed at the Gentle Winds.....Lovely is probaby a word that still does not do it justice. The resort was absolutely wonderful.....well maintained, not crowded, peaceful, beautiful beach with good snorkeling right off the beach....a large pool that was NEVER crowded.....plenty of space to walk around and find that perfect spot to just relax with a good book......again, I can not emphasize how much we enjoyed the resort....a security guard on duty at night who greeted us with a smile.
The food on the island was wonderful...Singhs (sp)..the roti was AWESOME..along with the potoato stuffing and johnny cakes....Angry Nates...excellent conch chowder and conch fritters,.....Rumrunners...had both brunch and supper there.....ate at 2 of the beach bars by cane bay....had fish tacos at one of them...to die for.....We were NOT disappointed in the food on the island at ALL.....LaReine Chicken shack...the best BQ chicken..again with johnny cake...VERY busy, but excellent service.
We went sailing and snorkeling w/ Dee on the Bilinda w/ chandra .....WONDERFUL.....VERY patient with my teenage daughters.....could tell that she loved to teach and talk, both pluses.
We snorkeled at Cane Bay....EXCELLENT...saw barracuda, starfish and countless other colorful fish, coral, marine life.
We went out to Buck Island w/ Carl...i dont remember the business name...it was just our family...not with the big group that goes.....Buck Island is AWESOME....my husband met a biologist working there with the lizards who took the time to talk to him regarding his research. The snorkeling, again, was an experience I will always cherish....we saw a nurse shark, a hawkbilled turtle, parrot fish, baraccuda, and COUNTLESS other marine life. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Carl, you could tell, did this for a living and seemed somewhat burned out dealing with tourists all the time....the trip was still wonderful though.
We also went kayaking...again EXCELLENT...thank you Brice and Adrian.
We took an afternoon and toured the rainforest...found the beerdrinking pigs...Grunt and Hurricaine ? .....Cute and fun....had smoothies at another place in the rainforest.....YUMMMMMMM......went to Whim plantation and took a tour of the big house....very informative...there is soo much history to this island and there you had someone very willing to talk to you about it....again, WOW.
Okay....for the negative....yes there are some as there is everywhere......Crime IS an issue here....you are kidding yourself if you think it is not. Keep in mind my family is from small town, midwest america where most crime is petty and is typically domestic or drug related....while present...fairly easily avoided and not in your face.....
We new right away by all of the bars on windows on both homes and business that crime was a significant issue with this island. Talking to the locals confirmed that. Still, until Friday night, we were not afraid....keep your eyes open, aware of your surroundings, your mouth shut and you should be okay...again, for the most part, I agree with that.
Friday night we were eating icecream in a well lit area that did not seem like a questionable area to be in during the early evening...it was dark, but definielty not late. 5 gun shots went off and my daughters saw a man running and jumping into a vehicle and speeding off. I have no idea if someone was actually shot or not.....we did not see any victims...this occurred about 100 yrds from where we were.
This really shook up my teen daughters....if you live in a city, this may be no big deal....for the kids, it was and they did not feel safe until we had them back at the resort.
There were also 2 other minor things...nothing big....opportunities to teach the kids, but they did not feel there safety was in question.
I am not trying to discourage people from visiting this island.....but you do have the right to know what is going on before you make the decision to come.
BTW this is the second Caribbean island we have visited...and no, we did not see crime as much of an issue on the other island as this one......no, we have not been to jamica, bahamas, or St Marteen.
Overall the vacation was wonderful, and I do not in the least bit regret coming to STX...and I was prepared, minus the gunshots, for everything else...good and bad...thanks to this board.