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Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

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winter springs
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Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

We love St. John, but wanted to share about our experience at Dolphin Market. Do Not Shop there. The manager put a "boot" on our rental, we were parked legally at the closed business next door. It was during Carnival and he and 2 other locals wanted to make some big bucks ~ it was a shake down. They wanted $175 to remove it. Later, they asked for $250. They were intimidating. We had our family there ~ they were scared ~ my husband was furious at their whole contrived plan. We called the police. Once they heard that we were involving the police, the manager called to have the boot removed at no charge. It was an awful night. I would not recommend anyone shop there. Nearby is Starfish Market ~ much better! Starfish has a larger selection and friendly staff. DO NOT GO TO DOLPHIN MARKET.

Allen, Texas
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365 posts
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1. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

So sorry you had to experience all that during your vacation! You did the right thing in calling the police!

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278 posts
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2. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

That's terrible

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658 posts
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3. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

Wow, I'm sorry you had this experience. Thanks for sharing this info. We're leaving in a few days for our first trip there-- we'll be sure to go to the Starfish Market instead.

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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14,221 posts
18 reviews
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4. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

OK, please be advised that I'm playing Devil's Advocate here on this post because I don't like to see local businesses dunned.

Carnival on STJ gets a little crazy where parking is concerned so although you say that you were parked "legally" at the closed business next to Dolphin, were there posted parking signs in close proximity? Did you maybe see a vacant space and, not seeing the signage, decide to park there?

And when you returned to find your car booted did you raise a fuss and were less than polite?

All counts, but I do have a problem with your denigrating Dolphin and advising people to go to Starfish over a parking incident which just might have been overblown given the circumstances.

Just a thought. Cheers!

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5. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

I'm so sorry for reading that,I'm hearing alot of bad behavior from the locals there,especially the men.This is our first time there to the USVI, and we will be going in 9days.I'm not all that excited as I was,concerned about the disrespect, and greed frm the locals.

I'm glad that you stood up for yourself, and didn't let them rob you.

I made reservations to take a tour with Varlack ventures on a half day tour, and because I pronounced his name wrong he gave me attitude over the phone, like I was suppose to know how he would say it.He was very agressive about it as well.I don't know if I want to take his tour any longer, because first impressions are everythg.I really would like to see the island,and intersted in a half day tour with doesn't involved a lot of walking.Hiking is fine,but not alot of up hill things,also wanted to see Coral Bay.If anyone have any suggestions please let me know.Email is www.bigwar44@aol.com.Have anyone ever toured with them before, and if so how was it? Again, very sorry that this mishap happen at all.Please help, thanks!

6. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

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Removed on: 4:34 pm, July 09, 2008
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103 posts
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7. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

We shopped at Dolphin Market when we vacationed in May. I found it to be a very friendly market and had no problem. Starfish is a great grocery store, more like a grocery store we'd find at home. However, things were less expensive at Dolphin, and I didn't want to feel like I was at home . . . I get that every day. I liked the Dolphin Market, and I'd go back. In addition, we didn't have any problem with anybody while there. We remembered our manners, respected that we were in a different culture, and enjoyed every minute of it. We also knew to play it safe, and not to do anything that in any way may cause us trouble . . . hence, a wonderful vacation.

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8. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

It must depend on what you purchase, as we found Dolphin to be more expensive than Starfish. The meat/fish at Starfish was very fresh and a good selection.

Destination Expert
for St. John
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9. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

Slightly moving off topic but the cardinal rule for traveling to the VI is "Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening"

It is the best way to ensure that you will get good service. Being polite has gone to the wayside all over America and people want things right away and they are usually not nice about it.

When I moved to STJ from the Northeast, it was a culture shock. People saying hello to you on the street, stopping in traffic to chat with someone on the side of the road, etc. After 5 year I moved back to the states and I realized how rude Americans can be. Even my family and friens were never as polite as some strangers on STJ were.

It is just a different culture. That is why people vcation there, it is not the same as it is at home and isn't that what we are all looking for on vacation?

To the original poster, the parking near Dolphin and even around the corner by Ronnie's Pizza is for the entire Boulon Center, so even if the business directly in front of you space is closed, the parking is still for the other businesses. Of course, not living there you would never know that and I am sorry that you were treated so poorly. Carnival is a crazy time for business owners, so many people and so little parking.

Be polite, always wear a shirt or cover up in town, grab a rum drink before noon, and enjoy the beauty that is STJ. It is all good.

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10. Re: Groceries in St. John/Tourist Safety

Over the years, Ive found that the employees at dolphin are very friendly, but definately not the owners. I quit shopping there a year ago.