My now husband and I had been planning a destination wedding to St. John USVI for almost a year. We decided to rent a house-villa on the Coral Bay side of the island. We originally booked through an agent and unfortunately three months before the wedding we were informed that our house was double booked-everyone coming to the wedding had their accommodations and tickets already. Our booking agent went ABOVE and BEYOND to find us another house through a friend of hers in the same area. Her friend opened her private home to us and it was AMAZING. We have a larger house with a better view for the same amount of money we originally agreed to. In addition, the original booking agent and her friend (neither live on island) made sure someone was there to meet us at the ferry after a very LONG day of traveling. For renting villas, I strongly recommend Calabash Cottages through Susan Breirely.
If you want fast, reliable and an entertaining trip for only $80.00 roundtrip to and from the airport, reserve with Dynamic Tours. Because our flight was changed and we got 'stuck' on the island (not too bad) another day on the island Freddy, owner of Dynamic tours made sure we had an associate of his pick us up, take us to a hotel on St. Thomas AND picked us up again to take us to the airport to catch out 6am flight on Sunday morning. You cannot get that kind of service through a regular taxi company.
We also we advised to rent our jeep through Courtesy Rental Car. They provided us with after hours pick up, efficient check-in and a great car with good air conditioning-a MUST after many days of high humidity.
Although planning a destination wedding was supposed to be easier than a local wedding, it was much more nerve racking than I anticipated. I made all of my arrangements through Kathy Hurley at "A Love City Wedding" and was GREATLY pleased with her. She not only gave us the inside tips on the islands stuff to do, eat and see, but she was patient with all of my questions and was very efficient. We married at a secluded location at sunset on Trunk Bay and we could not have asked for anything more.
Among the many suggestions Kathy provided me with, our photography was done by Brandy who works with Sonya Mehlesua (not sure if the spelling is correct) She is based out of St. Thomas. Absolutely beautiful photos and Brandy took great care with our posing, incorporating our family, private shots. Overall she made us feel comfortable while we were VERY nervous.
My hair was done by Lawrence at the Grapevine Salon in Cruz Bay. THE BEST HAIR STYLE I have ever HAD. Now, putting your hair in the trust of a total stranger on the day of your wedding is nerve shattering, but Lawrence not only squeezed me in at an earlier time he did a fantastic job for a reasonable price $85.00-cheaper than my local hairdresser in Pittsburgh.
On our wedding night we decide to have a private dinner catered at our house by KatliLady Catering. We could not have asked for anything better for our wedding dinner. Katlady went above and beyond just preparing and serving food in our villa. They not only set the mood by providing warm candle light, they set the most beautiful adorned with local flora and shells. The food was AMAZING and our wedding cake was absolutely to die for both in flavor and style.
.....some of the places we ate and what we thought in Cruz Bay.
1. Stone Terrace: Our family took us there for our "rehearsal" dinner and it was amazing. The service was great-albeit slow. We were a large group, but VERY hungry by the time our dinner was served. We all know that fine dinning comes with a long time frame, but the pace of the meal was out of sync. With that being said, it was well worth the wait and we would definitely eat there again.
2. Tage: Made a reservation one week before we left with the owner for a romantic dinner for two. Unfortunately when my husband and I arrived for our reservation we were informed that all reservations had been cancelled and the restaurant had been "bought out" for that evening. Since they had my telephone on file (they asked at time of reservation) and no one called to let us know-I did have a working cell with me; we would not recommend them at all. It was more of a blow off than a "we're sorry."
3. The Balcony: They have an amazing view and great food, but they are very pricey.
4. Grotto Deli in Mongoose Junction: wonderful sandwiches and refreshing teas/coffee drinks. A much needed stop before a day at the beach.
.....some of the places we ate and what we thought in Coral Bay
5. The Island Blues: a local's hang out serving typical American food and strong island drinks. The service was great and personable. Situated right at the bay this place offered great views and a cool breeze. Beware of the bugs they bit the hell out your legs. Bug spray is a must!!!!!
6. Skinny Leggs: The best Mahi we have ever had. A fantastic local's hangout with down home cooking. The service was fast, friendly and our waitress was funny. The owner made his rounds and talked to all out-of-towners about the island.