US Virgin Islands: May 2003

2003.05 25.stjohnferry

After a lousy stay at the Orange Beach Holiday Inn in which we were triple-charged, we were rewarded with 2 complimentary nights at any Holiday Inn world-wide. Since they tied up funds in my checking account for over 2 weeks (I used a debit card), I was determined to stick it to them. So we pulled up Holiday Inn''s website and searched for their most expensive rates. Enter St. Thomas. We arranged for a couple of Skymiles rewards tickets, courtesy of my dad, and we were off to the Virgin Islands on a college student budget.

We stayed in St. Thomas our first 2 nights, free of charge, at the Holiday Inn in Charlotte Amalie. We found the hotel itself adequate and conveniently located, but were turned off by rude staff members and a non-functioning air conditioner. There are too many unique and charming places to stay on the island to waste your time here. I will give props to the bartender at the pool-side bar - he was top-notch!

On St. Thomas we really had time only to hit the highlights: Magen''s Bay, a walking tour of Charlotte Amalie, a night out at Duffy''s Love Shack. After 2 days on St. Thomas, we had our fill of the cruisers and were ready for something a little more laid back.

St. John was a polar opposite from the busy port town of Charlotte Amalie. A short ferry ride from St. Thomas, St. John is far more laid back and secluded - at least at the time. It''s since become much busier as cruisers are ferried over for day trips from St. Thomas. We rented a Jeep (a must on St. John) and headed to the other side of the island to Concordia Eco-Tents.

The Eco-Tents are an absolute must-experience. Perched on stilts overlooking Salt Pond Bay, the Eco-Tents were built to avoid impacting its environment. Not a twig was broken during their construction. The Eco-Tents have everything you need, including electricity. They draw power from generators that give you use of lights, a refridgerator, and a limited number of other supplied electrical appliances. There are no conventional electrical outlets, so you''ll need to charge your laptops, batteries, etc. in the office during business hours.

We spent our time on St. John going from beach to beach, snorkeling, eating, while enjoying the occasional rum drink. Our favorite snorkeling spots were Trunk Bay (crowded but the underwater trail was unique), Cinnamon Bay, and Leinster Bay. We were fortunate enough to be on the island for one of Miss Lucy''s Full Moon Parties. Held on full moons, the restaurant offered up a plate of local favorites with live music. We also had our first order of Conch Fritters from Shipwreck Landing - they were terrific!

Thanks to the imcompetency of the Holiday Inn Express in Orange Beach, we caught a bug for traveling the Caribbean. We''ll keep going back as we continue to cross all of the islands off our list!

Add comment

Security code

Category: Stabler Vacations
Back to Top