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Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks #296523
02/26/2023 08:38 AM
02/26/2023 08:38 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,429
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline OP
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toast  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,429
Bucks County, Pa.
Just back from three Island hop visit to the Islands and I must say the St John was mobbed and the BVI, not so much. The winds were very heavy for almost our entire stay and I am glad we were land based to be honest. We stayed on Virgin Gorda, Tortola and St John and our travel dates were Feb 8 to the 21st.

First stop was 4 nights at Leverick Bay stayed in the Cinnamon Suite and we loved it, would stay there again in a minute. The view was to die for and the spaciousness was appreciated. We ate at the upstairs Leverick Bay restaurant twice as it was exceptional. Had a Yellow Fin Tuna with lemon burre sauce that was to die for! Leverick told us if we called Saba Rock they would retrieve us in their free ferry which they did . Saba looks amazing and quite an upgrade, not that the old Saba wasn't lovely. We had the lunch buffet which was really exceptional and just lazed the day away from different spots around this little slice of heaven. Caught Michael Beans show, not too crowded on the night we were there. We also booked the nature tour with Gumption and this was a highlight for us. We hiked all over Necker Island learning about the sustainability of the Island and also, of course, meeting so many of the little creatures that call the island home. Definetely recommend and I am glad so many on this site advised to do this tour. Thanks TTOL.

Second stop was Columbus Sunset Apartments in Cane Garden Bay. We love it here as it is the best value on Island if you are not fussy and it is so easy to just hang out in CGB each evening and have some great music options. We arrived on Super Bowl Sunday and watched the game from Myett's with only about 6 to 8 other people at any one time. I know many were at the Elm, but being Eagles fans we had to watch the slow decent to a loss ( sad face) , but it had been a great season!! Had a great meal at the Elm, at Omars Fusion in Sopers Hole and ,again, did not make it to De Coal Pot although I recommended them to everyone we met. We met great people during our stay in CGB including fellow TTOL member CapeCod Fisherman , Hello A. I do wish the chair vendors would take up some of the chairs on light cruise ship days though, this is the first time I did not see them stack chairs on off days so that the beach would not be quite so scarred. Also Myett's had steel drums playing two days beginning the morning for the cruisers which was new and I sort of liked it to be honest. I used to resent the hoards immensely but I know it is good for the folks who live and work on CGB and if you just manage your expectations and days it is not so bad. A big shout out to Jeff who played at the Elm so many happy hours during our stay.
Also did a daysail with Aristocat Charters which was excellent, our third time with them.

Last stop was a hop over to St John which we love , stayed at a condo just out from Cruz Bay, The island was OVER crowded IMHO. I was quite shocked, compared to what we had seen in BVI. I know it is high season but if you were not at the beaches by 8 am you would be hard pressed to get a parking spot. This island is so magical though, glad we worked through the crowds ( although at two beaches I felt like I was at the Jersey Shore, wall to wall people) . Spent our first afternoon at Miss Lucys down on the east end of the Island, such a magical spot and great Buckwhackers!! Ate a supurb dinner at Mogan's Mango, think it's my favorite restaurant , as well as great lunches at SunDog Cafe in Mongoose Junction. Was a wonderful two weeks that went too fast. Retiring this summer so maybe a month next year!!

Pros- beaches , food is better each time we go for those with gastro standards. The people who travel there and who live there, we meet such great people and it is the only place we would pick up a hitchhiker, met a nice young man from South Africa working at Voyage Yachts.


Cons- winter winds seem to be bad the past few years, and the FERRY PRICES are outrageous, we will be flying into and out of Beef Island next time even though it is a multi flight route. One way for two of us from STT to Tortola $180 ( with bag charges) and from Tortola WE to St John was close to same. Within the BVI was still priced how it has been but going between USVI and BVI is way up and the routes are not convenient. This was our 20th year going to the BVI and St John, BVI has not improved their infrastructure to same degree at St John.
Why do we come back time and again, we keep asking oursevles and I think I fgured it out- this is Authentic Carribbean without mega resorts and manicured landscaping. You get to interact with the culture everywhere you go. Is it for everyone, no, there are many friends who I know would not appreciate it but for those of who do, it permeates our blood and our soul,,,,, until next time , we go to come back.
I will try to edit and upload some photos later

Attached Files IMG_1084.jpegIMG_9039.jpegIMG_2751.jpg
Last edited by toast; 02/26/2023 12:13 PM.

Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane
BVI Sponsors
Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: toast] #296525
02/26/2023 09:10 AM
02/26/2023 09:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
“Why do we come back time and again, we keep asking oursevles and I think I fgured it out- this is Authentic Carribbean without mega resorts and manicured landscaping. You get to interact with the culture everywhere you go. Is it for everyone, no, there are many friends who I know would not appreciate it but for those of who do, it permeates our blood and our soul”

This is exactly what my wife and I say every time we go down there. It is not for everyone. But for us it is perfect.

Thanks for the very detailed report. Glad you had a great time.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: toast] #296527
02/26/2023 09:28 AM
02/26/2023 09:28 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,178
M
MIDiver Offline
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MIDiver  Offline
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M
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,178
Thanks for the report. St John is indeed very crowded now. What has happened at Maho makes me want to cry…. The winds have been crazy this year - I must admit that I wished we had been on land during portions of our Jan/Feb trip.

Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: toast] #296532
02/26/2023 10:03 AM
02/26/2023 10:03 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...
You captured the feeling so many of us share for the BVI perfectly. Our best memories come from the people and stories we have accumulated over the years. It always feels like coming home when we return. We have so many friends and family we would love to share it with but I am just not sure they would "get it" like we do.

The last time we stayed on STJ was probably our last. It is a gorgeous island that has been descended upon like locusts. If I wanted my vacation to feel like that I would just go on a cruise. I will carry my fond memories of 20+ years ago with me and that will be enough.

I am SO glad you loved Leverick. We always say it doesn't get the love it deserves. When land based, the N. Sound really ends up being a fantastic location for so many things.

Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: skipdastraw] #296540
02/26/2023 01:48 PM
02/26/2023 01:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 304
Perdido Key, Florida
C
cbinparadise Offline
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cbinparadise  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 304
Perdido Key, Florida
I lived on St. John 1079-1984...the good ole days. There were no condos, rental villas, hotels of any sort other than Caneel. There were only a handful of restaurants, maybe one car rental place....just a completely different vibe. I've continued to go back several times a year ever since as I have friends who still live there. We just spent 2 weeks last June and won't go back. Everything was just a hassle...restaurant reservations a month in advance...no thanks. Parking problems...traffic jams....not being able to get to a beach....on and on. I think if we went and stayed maybe in Coral Bay and didn't go into Cruz Bay it might be ok. But since we have young adults with us that want to go out at night it just doesn't work for us. It's still a beautiful island and the kids love it. We live in a resort area of Florida and want to get away from all that. I still have a lot of great photos from 40+ years ago....and my wonderful memories.

Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: toast] #296541
02/26/2023 03:29 PM
02/26/2023 03:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,697
Memphis, BVI, CT
R
RatmansWife Offline
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RatmansWife  Offline
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R
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,697
Memphis, BVI, CT
We are going to St. John next week. It will be Ratman's first trip back since 1965. He remembers three shops and a couple restaurants. Think it will be different?

Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: toast] #296542
02/26/2023 03:30 PM
02/26/2023 03:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,178
M
MIDiver Offline
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MIDiver  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,178
Oh boy RW - culture shock for certain.

Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: RatmansWife] #296558
02/26/2023 08:41 PM
02/26/2023 08:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 67
Knoxville, TN
L
Laserking Offline
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Laserking  Offline
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L
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 67
Knoxville, TN
Sadly, your friend will not recognize the place, and not in a good way. Coral Bay is the place to be. Still gritty and quiet. Cruz Bay has become just like Epcot Carribean. Avoid like the plague. We’re here in Coral Bay now, and I think this is probably our last trip. My first visit was to Cinnamon Bay for a month in 1980, and while I have fond memories of that time, that St. John is sadly gone forever.


Doc
Re: Trip Report- 3 Islands 2 weeks [Re: toast] #296638
02/28/2023 12:36 AM
02/28/2023 12:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,347
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,347
USVI
St. John \ on land* these days really should just be called St. Marthas -- extremely ruined by big money investors.
St. John is sadly gone forever.

Last edited by LocalSailor; 02/28/2023 12:38 AM. Reason: spell

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