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Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298295
03/26/2023 10:54 AM
03/26/2023 10:54 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 377
New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
skipdastraw Offline
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New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
No reason to avoid Point Pleasant. Ironically enough we looked at purchasing this exact condo years ago. It's a nice spot with great views. There are on site amenities and Margaritaville is right next door. There used to be a path from Point Pleasant to Margaritaville but not sure if it is still there post-Irma. Margaritaville is on a beautiful beach (My honeymoon spot when it was the Renaissance Grand 20 years ago!) and I imagine would be a good bar/vacation vibe.
The only downside is that PP in general is on a hillside and there is alot of uphill walking although that particular condo is closer to the amenities so it would be more about dragging luggage than lots of back and forth.
It's close Redhook, which as I said, I think getting to STT is your best way of doing this stress-free and maximizing time. I think you would be happy there. I would stay there and I am picky.

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Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298299
03/26/2023 11:37 AM
03/26/2023 11:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 678
Vail, CO/St. Thomas, USVI
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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Vail, CO/St. Thomas, USVI
Just FYI, during that time of year I would not swim off the beach in Water Bay which is where Margaritaville and Point Pleasant are located. It often fails the DPNR water test due to runoff. It is also known to get pretty bad sargassum, especially that time of year. Have you looked at Secret Harbor? We really like the beach there and the restaurant is really good as well.


Sue
s/v Ripple
Leopard 40

[Linked Image]
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298309
03/26/2023 04:36 PM
03/26/2023 04:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,175
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MIDiver Offline
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Agree Caribbeangirl - the beach there can be very iffy this time of year. Secret Harbor is lovely - our good friends (that we met on JVD!) are getting married there next year.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298312
03/26/2023 05:51 PM
03/26/2023 05:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 73
CT USA
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CT USA
It was maybe 10 years ago, but we spent our last night at Lindberg Bay. It was convenient in terms of walking to the airport. The beach is OK, pool is fine, and the restaurant bar was good.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298322
03/26/2023 06:34 PM
03/26/2023 06:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Thank you again for all the great feedback everyone! We do have a "hillside studio" held at Secret Harbour for now, although I may still book at Sapphire since we can save about $200 staying there and it is just for one night. The beachfront at Secret Harbour is like another $150. How bad is the hill for the "hillside" rooms? I understand Sapphire Village has a serious hill too.

Edit: Actually, looks like we can get beachfront at Secret Harbour for only $40 more if we prepay and book direct through their website or $60 more with a flexible rate.

Last edited by LA_FadeAway; 03/26/2023 07:49 PM.
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298326
03/26/2023 07:30 PM
03/26/2023 07:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 377
New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
skipdastraw Offline
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New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
Sapphire depends on what building you are in. Just ask the owner if you are concerned.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298339
03/27/2023 06:08 AM
03/27/2023 06:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2023
Posts: 6
FL
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hkdiaz Offline
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FL
Secret Harbour is a great choice! Quiet and beautiful, really nice upscale restaurant (Sunset Grill) and great casual space, too (The Patio).

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298387
03/27/2023 04:21 PM
03/27/2023 04:21 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 678
Vail, CO/St. Thomas, USVI
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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Originally Posted by LA_FadeAway
Thank you again for all the great feedback everyone! We do have a "hillside studio" held at Secret Harbour for now, although I may still book at Sapphire since we can save about $200 staying there and it is just for one night. The beachfront at Secret Harbour is like another $150. How bad is the hill for the "hillside" rooms? I understand Sapphire Village has a serious hill too.

Edit: Actually, looks like we can get beachfront at Secret Harbour for only $40 more if we prepay and book direct through their website or $60 more with a flexible rate.


The beach at Secret Harbor is much better than the one at Sapphire IMHO.


Sue
s/v Ripple
Leopard 40

[Linked Image]
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298400
03/27/2023 09:14 PM
03/27/2023 09:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Los Angeles
Thank you both for the feedback on Secret Harbour. We probably won't have much time to enjoy the beach after arriving on the 3:30 ferry from JVD but even a few minutes for a quick swim would be great. How is the beach at Secret Harbour compared to Emarald Beach, on the off chance that we decide to suck it up and save some money and end up at Emarald?

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298409
03/27/2023 10:34 PM
03/27/2023 10:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,347
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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The beach at Secret Harbor is smaller by far compared to Emarald Beach.
Swimming is much better than Emerald.

Last edited by LocalSailor; 03/27/2023 10:35 PM.
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298411
03/28/2023 12:04 AM
03/28/2023 12:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Thanks LocalSailor. I think we're going to stick with Secret Harbour. Just re-booked for a Beachfront studio. At this point, what's a little extra to not be up the hill, lol. Thanks again for everyone's help and feedback! Will we be able to get a taxi from there to the airport easily upon departure?

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298519
03/29/2023 03:26 PM
03/29/2023 03:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Los Angeles
As info for those looking at Emarald Beach Resort:

While I was looking into our options, I noticed that Emerald has two room categories on their web site: Premium and Superior. Most booking engines just have one option, "deluxe". I emailed them to find out the difference and they responded as follows:

"The superior rooms have some renovations including a remodeled bathroom, new A/C and mattresses."

The only way to guarantee a renovated room is to book a "superior".

Edit: I don't know that I even trust the above. Some of their premium rates are higher than superior and then they have "superior beachfront premium", which is most expensive.

Last edited by LA_FadeAway; 03/29/2023 03:49 PM.
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298532
03/29/2023 05:29 PM
03/29/2023 05:29 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 17,081
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Time for you to check out Emerald Beach....in person and see for yourself whether you like it or not...You can only tell so much by e mails and reviews..from one who rents a place that gets five stars...and then one!

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298574
03/30/2023 08:41 AM
03/30/2023 08:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 806
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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Kannapolis, NC
Emerald Beach is not a 5 star resort. I've stayed there 2 or 3 times and would give it 2.5 stars. But the convenience of being close to STT, decent food in the restaurant and a really good beach bar more than made up for any shortcomings. Would I stay there again? Yep. I'd much rather hang out there than STT. It is our go to after returning from Anegada even if only for a few hours.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298619
03/30/2023 04:59 PM
03/30/2023 04:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Los Angeles
Thanks again Manpot and Bill. I don't need 5 star (sure I enjoy 5 star but can live without for a night, lol), but all this talk of rats, roaches, and tarantulas, oh my. The husband is now willing to try it (says rats won't kill us, ugh). We're booked at Secret Harbour but does seem a little nuts to spend $560 on an overnight. Still thinking about it. Also still considering Sapphire Village. Can stay there for about the same price as Emerald. Might be the better choice. If you haven't noticed, my OCD make travel planning a little challenging at times, lol. At least the week at The Hideout on JVD was a one and done easy choice!

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298638
03/30/2023 09:31 PM
03/30/2023 09:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,901
Maine
Breeze Offline
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Breeze  Offline
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Posts: 1,901
Maine
I could probably curl some people's hair with the extent to which many Trip Advisor reviews are faked. Rankings in any market on TA are simply based on how many are positive, how many are negative, and people do band together to inflate positives and enlarge negatives out to ludicrous extent. .All it does is ensure that TA is a worthless compilation of drivel for the vacationer, and an unwelcome parasite to business.

USVI and BVI are not bargain basement destinations. In a close online forum such as this, we all know that anyone who can afford to charter a half-million dollar floating private resort, isn't going to put up with sharing rooms with rodents and spiders. Geckos--- well, that's another story in the tropics, and they help keep the bugs down !

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: Breeze] #298645
03/30/2023 11:50 PM
03/30/2023 11:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Los Angeles
You make good points Breeze. I am well versed in sniffing out fake or questionable Trip Advisor reviews though. First thing is to look at the history of the person writing the review. Did they just sign up? How many other reviews do they have? Are they balanced and consistent with who they purport to be? Did they include pictures? Look for ongoing themes amongst multiple reviews, like no hot water and power outages. I also look at other sites, like Expedia's "verified" reviews where you have to book through them in order to post a verified review. I love Geckos by the way!

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298649
03/31/2023 07:41 AM
03/31/2023 07:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,118
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GA/NC
The scammers can be very amateurish in their postings but there are professional web reputation services available that can be impossible to detect. We once stopped to eat at a place that had perfect 5 star reviews. As soon as we walked in I questioned the reviews. I was 100% sure they were fake when we asked for menus and the waitress said, “well we only have 3 things and we are out of one of them”!

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 03/31/2023 07:46 AM.
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298651
03/31/2023 08:24 AM
03/31/2023 08:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 806
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Posts: 806
Kannapolis, NC
"If you haven't noticed, my OCD make travel planning a little challenging at times, lol."

That is not a bad thing. You are about to spend a bunch of money for some time in paradise. Plan and question everything!

I am with Breeze. I'll trust the advice of this board over TA anytime. This board and its contributors have been invaluable to us having mostly smooth and pleasurable vacations.

GeorgeC1, hilarious story!


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: ndfaninnc] #298664
03/31/2023 10:13 AM
03/31/2023 10:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 304
Perdido Key, Florida
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cbinparadise Offline
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Perdido Key, Florida
Some people come to the Virgin Islands with unrealistic expectations. There will be water/power outages....and bugs....everywhere. To expect otherwise is unrealistic. I've stayed at Emerald Beach dozens of time over the past 40+ years and never seen a rat. It's about the convenience to me.....knowing exactly what time I need to be at the airport and being able to get there without having to wonder if I'll make it on time.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298666
03/31/2023 10:30 AM
03/31/2023 10:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,118
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GA/NC
I was once in a decent downtown NYC hotel watching a football game on the TV when I noticed a rat on my bag also watching the game. It would not have bothered me much but it quickly became apparent that he was a Patriots fan and this was not acceptable!

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298682
03/31/2023 12:45 PM
03/31/2023 12:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,615
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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Posts: 3,615
Woodstock, GA
Go back and read managements response from Emerald Beach to the "reviewer" who said they had rats in their room. Supposedly a block of seven rooms rented for a business trip. Management stated unequivocally that their group NEVER stayed at the property! We've stayed their many times on a last night and will do so again.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: GeorgeC1] #298696
03/31/2023 03:50 PM
03/31/2023 03:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Los Angeles
GeorgeC1 a Pats Rat?! Lol! Those are the absolute worst kind! RickinAtlanta, there are close to ten reviews in the last two years that mention rats and mice. Some in the rooms, some running around near the restaurant. The most recent review is suspect given that person signed up just to post that one review. If the Manager seemed to take other bad reviews more seriously, I'd be inclined to believe him that those people never stayed there; however, the Manager's poor handling of bad reviews is one of the biggest things that is turning me off of that hotel. He almost always accuses the person of lying or never having stayed there rather than offering a professional response. It makes it hard to know which ones are actually BS when he calls them all BS. He'd be better off with a canned response that at least sounded like he cared. At least he does acknowledge the power outages, which, as others have said are to be expected in the islands.

I don't doubt that you have all had decent stays there, but I also believe that some of the reviewers have run into a fair share of nasty conditions. At this point I've got it in my head that's it's going to be disgusting no matter what so why bother shelling out $300 just to go into it expecting it to suck. The price on our room at Secret Harbour just dropped $60 so now it's under my self-imposed $500 threshold. We're going to stick with that, at least for now.

By the way, you have to watch out for fakes in the Trip Advisor forums too. Many years ago, I caught a hotel Manager with multiple usernames promoting his hotel in the Belize forum, pretending to be past guests. I was already suspicious that someone was using multiple usernames when the wording in some comments was very similar, including grammatical errors. Then, he private messaged me under his manager name to offer a discount at his hotel, which they aren't supposed to do. The wording was just like all those other posts, so I called him out. He fessed up and begged and pleaded for me not to report him. I did not report him outright but did flag his extra usernames and let people in the forum know that "someone" was using fake accounts and to take those comments with a grain of salt.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298707
03/31/2023 05:17 PM
03/31/2023 05:17 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 17,081
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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I do hope you will finally relax wherever you end up.One thing I have learned is to trust the opinion of people I know and trust..and I know and trust quite a few here on TTOL so their opinions on places to stay, eat , drink etc rate highly with me..

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298708
03/31/2023 05:17 PM
03/31/2023 05:17 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 17,081
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 17,081
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
I do hope you will finally relax wherever you end up.One thing I have learned is to trust the opinion of people I know and trust..and I know and trust quite a few here on TTOL so their opinions on places to stay, eat , drink etc rate highly with me..

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298711
03/31/2023 05:25 PM
03/31/2023 05:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 377
New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
skipdastraw Offline
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New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
I think at this point, even if Emerald Beach was a 5 star resort, you would be sleeping with one eye open. It's in your head. I would be the same. Really no reason to stress over it. Emerald checks the convenience box but it's not like you are missing out on some bucket list place. Just enjoy Secret Harbour with a clear mind, drink in hand and hopefully an amazing BVI experience to reflect on!

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298755
04/01/2023 10:47 AM
04/01/2023 10:47 AM
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I'm way late to this thread but I'm with George at the top. Prior to our January 2023 trip I hadn't spent a night in St. Thomas since our honeymoon in 1987. This time we bookended a 12 JVD day visit with a night at St. Thomas both coming in and going out. We stayed in the Frenchtown area and loved it. We found that it made the travel days so much less stressful. We discovered the Frenchtown Bistro and had a great meal and a great time. Wake up and things are much more leisurely. After 12 nights in JVD, going over late afternoon before our travel day was no sacrifice. We'll do that from now on for most trips. In June we're getting in at 12:30 so we'll go all the way to Jost on arrival day. When we were in our 30's-50's going all the way was ok. But we're in our early 60's now and enjoy taking it a little easier. And we discovered something new.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: GeorgeC1] #298763
04/01/2023 12:41 PM
04/01/2023 12:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 546
Bay Area
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Husker Offline
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Bay Area
Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
I was once in a decent downtown NYC hotel watching a football game on the TV when I noticed a rat on my bag also watching the game. It would not have bothered me much but it quickly became apparent that he was a Patriots fan and this was not acceptable!

lol! You made my day, George.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #298767
04/01/2023 01:03 PM
04/01/2023 01:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,615
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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Woodstock, GA
Then definitely don't stay at Emerald Beach as MANY have suggested who have stayed there and had good experiences.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: JCfromNC] #298884
04/02/2023 10:59 PM
04/02/2023 10:59 PM
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Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Los Angeles

Thank you for the feedback JCfromNC. Where did you stay in Frenchtown, and did you like the accommodations? 12 nights on JVD sounds amazing! Where did you stay there? What are your favorite restaurants?

RickinAtlanta, don't worry, we won't smile

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #299553
04/11/2023 06:53 PM
04/11/2023 06:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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After all this debating and research, our room on JVD just opened up for our last night so we're staying there. Just canceled Secret Harbour.

Now, we just need to decide which ferries to take to catch our flight leaving STT at 4:53 pm:

9am Great Harbour to West End, 11:30 am Road Town to Charlotte Amalie - leaning toward this option to have shorter taxi ride to airport on STT
9am Great Harbour to West End, 11:30 am West End to Red Hook (stops in Cruz Bay to clear customs) - is this better than the option above? Is it faster to clear customs in Cruz Bay vs Charlotte Amalie?
7am Great Harbour to West End, 10am Road Town to Charlotte Amalie - safest bet but not our preference, we're not morning people, at all
9am Great Harbour to West End, 10am Road Town to Charlotte Amalie - is this even possible? Would be our favorite option if doable.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #299639
04/13/2023 08:39 AM
04/13/2023 08:39 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 377
New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
skipdastraw Offline
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New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
I would choose option 1. Not because of the taxi rides-you have a taxi ride from West End to RT which is about the same. The benefit of this one is that you get right into Charlotte Amalie. I would drop my bags at the taxi stand for later and go enjoy a nice lunch and some shopping before heading to the airport around 3ish.
Option 4 is not doable.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: skipdastraw] #299671
04/13/2023 02:50 PM
04/13/2023 02:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
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LA_FadeAway Offline OP
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Los Angeles

Thank you Skpdastraw. That was my logic on option 1 as well, get the taxi ride over with during the downtime between ferries. We'll probably go straight to the airport though. We like to give ourselves an extra hour or so buffer time, just in case.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #299701
04/14/2023 08:51 AM
04/14/2023 08:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 377
New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
skipdastraw Offline
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New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
I would wait to see what time you clear customs to decide when to head to the airport. If you blew through customs you could potentially have 4 hours before your flight. If the airport happens to not be busy, you will be sitting around for a very long time with really crappy food choices. If you don't think you have time for a potentially long sit down lunch, I would suggest Bumpa's in town. They are a quick, order at the counter place that does really good food. Whatever you do, don't go to that airport 4 hours ahead on an empty stomach. smile

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #299705
04/14/2023 09:27 AM
04/14/2023 09:27 AM
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Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,175
We don’t find the shopping compelling in STT (and many shops are only open when the cruise ships are in). I suggest grabbing a bite at the Petite Pump Room upstairs at the terminal (great breakfast).

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #299711
04/14/2023 10:30 AM
04/14/2023 10:30 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 377
New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
skipdastraw Offline
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skipdastraw  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 377
New Paltz, NY, Narragansett, R...
Yup- If you don't have much time to kill, Petite Pump room would work. Last time we made it through customs in 15 minutes so it all depends on your schedule. We enjoy walking into town to get a little exercise before the inevitable hours of sitting in the airport and on the plane. Glady's is another really popular option.

Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #299760
04/14/2023 08:24 PM
04/14/2023 08:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 678
Vail, CO/St. Thomas, USVI
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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caribbeangirl13  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 678
Vail, CO/St. Thomas, USVI
I second Bumpa's!


Sue
s/v Ripple
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Re: Where to spend our last night? [Re: LA_FadeAway] #299841
04/15/2023 07:49 PM
04/15/2023 07:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
L
LA_FadeAway Offline OP
Traveler
LA_FadeAway  Offline OP
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L
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 35
Los Angeles
Thank you all for the tips! Will make a list and keep it handy in case we get through customs quickly! Nothing worse than sitting around a boring airport for hours before boarding our long [censored] flights back to Los Angeles.

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