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Considering a trip 2015

Schaumburg, Illinois
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255 posts
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Considering a trip 2015

Hi,

We are beginning to research our next vacation and are hoping we can get some advice.

I've been doing some reading about the island and about some of the resorts. What are your opinions regarding the best places to stay? We are divers and will probably want to do a few dives, however, we do not mind driving to a dive shop if necessary.

Your advice on condo rentals and resorts? What about proximity to restaurants?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Gardnerville, Nevada
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1. Re: Considering a trip 2015

All of the hotels, villas and condos in St. Croix are located relatively near restaurants as it's a small island. One magazine described St. Croix as having the best food in the Caribbean and it's well worth trying a variety of restaurants. There are restaurants located on the west end, east end and North Shore which includes both the Christiansted and Cane Bay areas.

As for where to stay, there are those who recommend villas for the privacy, others who recommend hotels such as the Buccaneer for the amenities and personally, as a home owner at Gentle Winds, I recommend condos for a home away from home experience on the water at a reasonable price. The Palms at Pelican Cove is also located on the north shore and consistently gets good reviews. Divers will probably want to stay on the west end or the north shore as that is where the dive boats are located.

Recently I researched the various dive shops on line and found that each has something unique to offer. If you scroll down the "Question and Answer" page at www.CalypsoCondoatGentleWinds.com you will find an analysis of what each has to offer. It varies from calm water, walk directly into the water, go on a Lion Fish hunt, to explore the drop-offs and canyon walls that St. Croix is famous for.

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Schaumburg, Illinois
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2. Re: Considering a trip 2015

Thank you so much, this gives me a good start. Do you know if any of the condo rentals have an outdoor shower?

Thanks also for the dive information, I'll pass that along to my husband! So may things to consider.

boston
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for Christiansted
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3. Re: Considering a trip 2015

Donna

You need to consider budget, travel style (no fuss vs DIY), and time of visit. There are places on STX that will work for all sorts of vacations.

If you want to dive, I wouldn't stay too far out east ( although we love the east end)

Gardnerville, Nevada
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4. Re: Considering a trip 2015

I'm sure all of the condo rentals have pools and therefore outdoor showers by the pool. I assume you want to rinse off your diving gear which can also be done at the dive boats.

Wake Forest, North...
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5. Re: Considering a trip 2015

Here’s a brief dive summary-

Anchor dive is no more.

N2TheBlue dives the calm waters on the west side with small boats, 6 divers, real personal service. Wrecks, reefs, pier but no wall there. They also dive the wall at Salt River from the marina but only when the waves are under 3ft due to small boat. Sweat Bottom at Carambola rents gear and does guided shore dives there. The wall at Carambola is a short swim out and is just about as good as any boat dive on the North Shore wall. Cane Bay Dive shop does shore and rubber boat dives at Cane Bay and boat dives at the wall from Salt River marina. SCUBA and Dive Experience also dive the Salt River wall but boats leave from C’sted.

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St. Croix
Schaumburg, Illinois
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6. Re: Considering a trip 2015

Thanks so much, this is awesome!

As for our budget regarding resort....I guess at this point we are more concerned with what you guys would recommend since you've been there before. We don't need the most expensive, but not the cheapest either. Something clean, on the beach, preferably adults only, not remote but not in the city. Does that help? I also read that one of the resorts host cruise line passengers, we would definitely avoid anything like that.

Thanks,

Donna

Wake Forest, North...
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7. Re: Considering a trip 2015

Cruise ships are sparse on STX and they don't show up much in off season. You can check the cruise ship schedule. At most there might be one day a ship would be in port during your stay. I was at Carambole once on cruise ship day. Took me a while to figure out why the beach was mobbed compared to the usual emptiness. I wouldn't put that issue on the top of your pros and cons list for making a decision.

boston
Destination Expert
for Christiansted
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8. Re: Considering a trip 2015

Most of us who are regulars on this board have only stayed in one resort or hotel or are partial to condo/villa rentals. The latter group have usually sampled a few of those so they can give you some thoughts on different options. Personally, I like to be treated a bit on vacation (have my bed made, not have to go grocery shopping, etc.) but that's not for everyone.

I think one of the big issues is considering where on the island you want to stay. It's not that big as you know, but if you are thinking that you may want to go to different restaurants each day, for example, you might want to base yourself a bit closer to C'sted.

In no particular order, if I were in your shoes with what sounds like a comfortable budget, I would take a look at:

The Buccaneer - totally hassle free but the most expensive option

The Palms at Pelican Cove - it's in a convenient location and people seem to love it

Tamarind Reef - the location is great, close to C'sted and it appears they are sprucing it up. Deep End Bar is fun

Condo at Pelican Cove or Gentle Winds (Gentle Winds' pool/beach area are lovely)

Condo at the Reefs or Villa Madeleine (love the East End location especially the views of Buck Island)

Villa on the East End

I know virtually nothing about the hotels on the West End so I will let others like Bassman comment.

Happy Planning!!

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St. Thomas
South Bend, Indiana
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9. Re: Considering a trip 2015

Donna ... we have always stayed in a condo at Pelican Cove and love it so much we recently purchased one. It is right next door to The Palms Resort which are nice units... the beach directly in front of Pelican Cove and the Palms Resort is not a swimming beach however you can walk 5 minutes down the beach to The Palms restaurant and bar and there is great swimming and snorkeling. We like this location because we are about a 10 minute drive from Christiansted ... we can walk to a grocery and the Palms Restaurant/Bar has entertainment almost every day/night ... Caribbean Night - Trivia Night - Steel Drums for brunch on Sunday ... Surf n Turf Night Prime Rib night ... so on the nights you don't want to have to drive you are near food and entertainment. Gentle Winds is a very nice area and has a beautiful beach and beach bar but is a little remote from restaurants .. after you have visited you will find your "sweet spot" whether it is on the West end or the East end.

Happy Planning

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St. Thomas
New Britain...
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10. Re: Considering a trip 2015

I guess ccrosner left it to me to pitch the west end. We love Cottages and have stayed next door at Sandcastles. You can have the full kitchen of a condo and have someone make your bed for you. There are also some nice apartments on the beach north of the pier that can be found on VRBO. WE stayed a few times in the down stairs of the orange house north of Rhythms. It was sold last year and the new owner will only rent the whole place for one price. It's more than we need and too much money for me.

The west end has the best swimming beaches, calmest water. Diving the pier is one of those bucket list things for scuba divers.

If there is a ship in port we jump into the car and head for the east end or just go into C'sted. for the day.

There are good places to eat in F'sted too. Try Rose's Dream Cuisine, Turtles deli, Coconuts, Rhythms, Lost Dog Blue Moon cafe and the cart lady across form the fort for patties and her homemade juices.