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“Chiggers & Sand Fleas - You have been warned!!!”
Review of Cruz Bay

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Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
8 helpful votes
“Chiggers & Sand Fleas - You have been warned!!!”
Reviewed November 28, 2010

Consider yourself warned, the chiggers, sand fleas or no-see-ums, are horrendous on St. John. The women in our group absolutely got eaten alive! The insects bite you and cause a horrific itch that last for days and weeks. They can be compared to the chicken pox in appearance. The nice resorts are not immune to the problem, the are rampant at Canel Bay, I was told the problem is just as bad at the Westin, and we know it is just as bad in Cruz Bay. Most all the restaurants are open air, thus your dinners will be visited by the flying insect. The local remedy of coating the bites in gin, yes gin, only provides temporary relief. If you are planning a trip to St. John take a few things with you, plenty of insect repellent (Off, Repel, Etc.), just so you think are are doing something to protect yourself. The best things we have found to calm the itch is "Tea Tree Oil" and "Liquid Bandage." Apply the tea tree oil to existing bites. The idea behind the liquid bandage is that it forms a barrier over the insect and cuts off the oxygen supply thus killing it in your skin. Keep applying tea tree oil, for the itch.

Consider yourself warned. St. John's chiggers, sand flea, or no-see-ums problem almost over shadowed our whole vacation.

4 Thank keyeyw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 review
“Good Times in Cruz Bay”
Reviewed July 29, 2010

Great place to spend some time if you find yourself in the islands - STJ is way way better than STT. Lots of fun bars, Beach Bar & Larry's are my personal picks.

Thank MattTheRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apollo Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 helpful votes
“Unspoiled Beauty, Hidden Treasure ....”
Reviewed July 4, 2010

For me, St. John in the US Virgin Islands is my perfect vacation spot in the entire world! I have traveled to Tahiti, Hawaii, and many, many Caribbean islands, but the island of St. John is where I always return ( never less than three times a year!)

Crystal clear waters, beautiful sandy beaches, unspoiled tropical beauty make St. John a hidden treasure. Beautiful vistas and miles of unspoiled trails delicately preserved in the National Park allow St. John to remain the paradise that it truly is.

That is not to say, though, that St. John is without upscale amenities. Campgrounds and B & B's abound, but St. John also has beautiful and elegant resorts such as the Westin Resort & Villas and Caneel Bay Resort. And, St. John is the perfect place to find multi-million dollar villas that are often available for private rental.

So, what is it really like? Relaxed, relaxed, relaxed... fine cuisine abounds at any number of incredible restaurants but few require their guests to "dress up". Perfect combination!

Snorkeling, scuba diving , sailing and more ... all available ... Power boat rentals are awesome ... a day trip to Jost Van Dyke (and the Soggy Dollar Bar) , Pussers, snorkeling at Sandy Cay or Sandy Spit takes you miles awy from the hum drum of everyday existence! Love, love it!!!

And the people of St. John are always there to welcome you with friendly smiles! You must remember, though, St. John is first and foremost their home... and the town of Cruz Bay reflects their culture. Small "boutique" type shops blend in with the island charm ... no big chains here and those of us who love St. John, like it that way!!! It' perfect!!

Access to the island is only by ferry! No airports on St. John ... There is the public ferry, a private ferry service, and ones operated by some of the larger resorts ... But one thing, I can tell you, it is absolutely worth the ferry ride to experience the most unforgettable vacation of a lifetime! And, BTW, don't tell anyone I told you!!!

Thank stjusvi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton, Virginia
Level Contributor
228 reviews
143 helpful votes
“One of our favorite family destinations”
Reviewed January 21, 2010

St. John is simply one of the best vacation spots we've been lucky enough to visit again and again -- both before and after kids. We have rented several homes in different price ranges, and many years ago, we stayed at the St. John Inn. It is a place to visit as many of the wonderful beaches as you can, snorkel, dive, and hike. Sadly, there seems to be quite a bit of reef death, but the island is almost all a National Park and I believe the park service does its job well in protecting its natural beauty. One irritating issue is the lack of parking mixed with the aggressive, entitlement of the taxis and towing services. I haven't figured the scam out, but there is a serious problem I wish the park service would address. Cruz Bay is still a charming little town with a vibrant night life. We've stayed at Ristaba, Casa Luna and Swodjans Dragon, all of which I would recommend. All the beaches are public, including the Westin and Caneel Bay. The Westin's beach is crowded and not nearly as nice as Trunk or Cinnamon, but it does have a nice restaurant and bar and has a festive atmosphere. Caneel is so crowded and the service is so incredibly indifferent and slow, I wonder why people pay the freight. However, I haven't stayed there, so I can only rate the beautiful, tiny beach and great dive shop. We have had great service with their dive masters. We have gone diving with Low Key Water sports a number of times, they are professional and have many options. It is nearly impossible to do your own shore or boat dives, the park rangers won't let you on the park beaches with dive equipment and the boat rentals won't let you do it either. The restaurants at Wharfside are mediocre. I would recommend going off the beaten path instead. We always go to Vi's, Ms. Lucy's and Skinny Legs as a matter of course. The food is mediocre, but the experience is rich. The same with Morgan's Mango, it is fun al fresco dining, but I would stick with the appetizers and smoothies instead of expensive and mediocre entrees. We usually stock up on groceries at the Starfish Market and eat at home. There is no way to describe how wonderful this island is and how much it is worth the effort to get there.

1 Thank marcyro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nashville, TN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“exotic island”
Reviewed October 19, 2009

Our day on St. John was like travelling into a picture perfect post card. We arrived via cruise ship to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and then took a ferry to St. John. We rented a jeep and explored the entire island. We stopped at most overlooks, snorkeled at Trunk Bay, stopped at the sugar mill ruins, and in our search for a short cut to Leimshure Bay (sp?) were surprised to learn the state highway was actually a one lane impassable gravel road. Some of the beaches were vacant, there were wild donkeys and other animals roaming about, and the views were postcard perfect.

Thank TNdreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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