Another first timer's experience – St. John Forum

bed of white daisy flowers

Just got back. My family of four had a wonderful week in St. John. This has been on my running list of destinations for years, and finally got bumped to the top because of the relative ease of access during COVID times. Taking the place of our cancelled trip to Peru, we were ready for something to work out travel-wise, and fortunately everything went smoothly.

The airport arrival and STT was a breeze, but we also are from NY, so didn’t have the hassle of the testing requirement. We flew Delta specifically because of its responsible COVID-related policies and weren’t disappointed. Blocked out middle seats and staggered boarding/deplaning for distancing made us feel less exposed flying in a tin can with scores of strangers. From a COVID standpoint, where we had some real disappointment was on the ferry to and from St. John. Apparently, many mainlanders don’t get that USVI requires a mask. I don’t like wearing one either, but I don’t appreciate you breathing down my family’s necks (literally) because you can’t be bothered. COVID is real, and that’s a violation of USVI mask rules and plain inconsiderate. Almost the entire Crown Bay top deck this morning thought it was appropriate to start off maskless before being corrected by the crew. Let’s all do a bit more to keep St. John and everyone who lives and visits safe. No one is asking for you to wear a mask on the beach, just when you are a foot away from other people in a confined space…

Now for our trip. We rented Sapphire Sunset way up on Bordeaux Mountain. The view was spectacular. I mean, truly freakin’ amazing. Tortola. Virgin Gorda, etc. Went on forever. Next Virgin Islands trip needs to be a bare boat charter. I would highly recommend this villa.

We spent the week beach hoping. Cinnamon was my kids’ favorite. My wife and I liked Gibney best. But really, every north shore beach was perfect in its own way. We swam with multiple turtles, saw nurse sharks and rays, and enjoyed snorkeling all over the place. The island was great fun to explore, too.

So, we thought the food scene was a bit disappointing compared to other places we’ve been in the Caribbean, especially special dining on the water with a view. We love Anguilla, Provo, and Aruba for the food and beach bars. Even Eleuthera has St. John beat in our view. But we easily got over it because of the awesome natural environment which those scrubby desert islands don’t really have.

We don’t usually travel to the same place more than once, and I can’t see us going back to St. John any time soon, but we did have a fabulous time and are so glad to have gone!

As for recommendations, James Miller (Marc) runs a terrific villa management company. Check them out. Also, we provisioned with Landlubber and it worked out very well.

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