St John USVI, Trip Tips

GETTING TO ST. JOHN FROM ST. THOMAS:
After getting your luggage, head to the sign marked, “Taxi Dispatch.”  Tell the dispatcher that you are heading to St. John and he will put you in a van headed for the Red Hook Ferry Terminal. The ride will be approximately $15 per person, but can vary.  The vans will wait until they are completely full before leaving the airport and will often take people to hotel stops before heading on to the ferry terminal.  Keep in touch with us, so we can plan our day to be available when you reach Coral Bay.  Also, if you rent a car from St John, be sure to call the company when you know which ferry you will be on, so they have a representative to meet you at the ferry dock.

We can suggest a private taxi if you would like.  It is more expensive, but in our opinion, well worth the extra cost.

YOU MUST RENT A CAR:
We can help with booking a car.  We have a relationship with Courtesy Car Rental on St. John that extends a 10% discount when we book with them.  Minimum car rental age is 26, but they will work with younger at an additional cost.  Courtesy extends insurance if you don’t have your own.  Contact your insurance or credit card company before arriving to make sure they cover a four wheel drive vehicle and be sure to bring proof.

You can rent from St. Thomas and bring the car over to St. John.  Typically this is slightly cheaper and affords you the option of getting groceries at a larger store.  However, if you choose to rent a car on St. Thomas, bear in mind of few things:

  • You need a four wheel drive vehicle.
  • The car ferry doesn’t run all night.  Typically cutting off around 7:00pm.  If your flights are late or delayed, your car may be stranded on St. Thomas for the night. 
  • St. Thomas car companies do not provide any roadside assistance to cars taken to St. John.

GROCERY SHOPPING ON ST JOHN:
We suggest you shop at one of the Cruz Bay shops before coming out to Coral Bay.  We will give you directions with you arrival plan before you get to island. 

There will be some sticker shock when purchasing groceries here.  Most products are about a dollar more expensive here than mainland US stores, however, some products can be substantially more.

You do not need to purchase paper products and the house has most appliances you could need including a blender, coffee maker and grinder. 

We do not suggest you buy condiments on your first trip; rather wait until you get to the house and see what has been left by previous renters. 

The drive is going to take you about a half hour to get to the house, so wait to purchase ice cream and other frozen products for either the Coral Bay stores or another time when you can bring in a cooler.

Coral Bay has Calabash and Love City Markets, that are more of the convenience store style.

A FEW BOOKS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST:
Singer, G., 2006. ST. JOHN off The Beaten Track. Sombrero Publishing Co. ISBN # 0-9641220-7-3.  This source discusses the beaches, favorite snorkels, hiking trails, places of interest, etc. on St. John.  It and many other useful books and maps are available at the National Park Headquarters in Cruz Bay and at other stores on St. St. John.

Singer, G.  2006.  St. John Beach Guide.  Sombrero Publishing Co.

Griffin, Pam. 1994.  St. John:  Feet, Fins and Four-Wheel Drive.                                                                                                                                                                  

A SUGGESTION ON HOW TO MAKE INEXPENSIVE PHONE CALLS TO MAINLAND US: 
You may find that an economical way to make calls to the US is to purchase a phone card which provides various numbers of minutes for calls to the US.  Often, cell calls from our side of St. John go to the British Island Tortola and then are sent on to the US.  This entails an international transfer charge which is very high.  This can be avoided by calling from Cruz Bay or using the calling card from the house.

A TIP ON INTERACTING WITH OTHERS ON ST JOHN: 
St. Johnians are very friendly and polite.  They treat others with courtesy and respect.  You will notice that a “Good [Morning, Afternoon, Night], how are you today?” before stating your request will be met with a friendly response.

“Fair Winds and Following Seas”. This nautical term bids you a safe, comfortable, yet exciting trip. In this case, we hope that your stay at our home on St. John will be relaxing and pleasurable, and full of whatever you most like doing on your Caribbean vacation.