Reviewers Rating: Great
located on a hill above Nazareth Bay to one side & Red Hook to other
iguanas amble about freely, an extraordinary sight. Alisha's eyes would light up seeing iguanas
water was too shallow & reefs were too close to shore
good for kids b/c best fish viewing was close to the beach in thigh deep water, farther out fish vols were less
paddleboating was great, one day Alisha, Brianna & Linda; one time Sonia, Brianna & Alisha & another day me & Alisha and Sonia, Alisha & Natu. Sonia ended up going round & round b/c Natu was hard to manage & squirmy. She finally managed to beach the paddleboat & switch w/me.
Alisha snorkeled by using a rented boogie board w/ a window that kept her above water.
We enjoyed the hammocks & Alisha had fun hoppinq in & out of it. Natu also lied in it.
the beach was a small sandy area of lots of hotel deck chairs & shady trees but the part that led to the ocean was too reefy w/ a steep dropoff into the ocean. The reefy shallows & presence of nearby sea urchins made wearing water shoes a must.
There were boats anchored in the Bay close to shore which were a pretty sight
Bldgs 3 & 4 have the best views since you can see the twinkly lights of the homes across the bay
The pool is a must see, manicured w/ beautiful gardens, a breathtaking cliffside view of the ocean
We ate well throughout our stay w/ tasty veg food easily avail
The Marina Market in Red Hook was cheaper then the Food Market store.
We had a refrig & Ernest, the hotel mqr, lent us his microwave so we'd have cereal & bagels for brkfst & a veg-cucumber sandwich for a few dinners.
Hotel was a hybrid between a posh resort & a bed & breakfast. It had lovely cliffside rooms in a cluster of adjacent bldgs & a beautiful pool & beachfront. It had a functional, not a grand lobby & no concierge.
St. Thomas trip
4/2/02 - 4 /9/02
It was like visiting heaven - a trip to paradise. This trip vied w/ Hawaii for best ever & we really miss it since coming back.
The daily weather was 85 w/sun & mixed clouds
Crystal clear, turquoise blue water w/ 100' of visibility
water temp was ok, cold when entering but you warm up after awhile
Take pictures of snorkelers from an elevation like the upper deck of a boat for unreal pictures which make snorkelers seem to be floating in the air due to the crystal clear water
We found a car rental to be well worth it with 2 small kids as we could leave strollers & the like in the car. We also saved money by being able to see St. John's by car via car ferry instead of taking the expensive Limnos tours which charge $95/adult & $85 for a 4 yr old.The outbound airport terminal for American Airlines had an excellent carpeted childrens toys & play area
Places visited in order of best snorkeling:
Coki Point Beach & Coral World,
underwater ocean trail with signs posted on the ocean floor describing the reef & fish
reef: brain corral
swarms of tropical fish near the rocky rt side of beach closest to Coral world
tropical rain storm - seeing water drops hit the ocean surface from under the sea while snorkeling, car nearly getting stuck due to road flooding
Alisha excitedly yelling: "Mama, look at the smiley fish!" while snorkeling using a boogie board with window in it
Fish seen: Angelfish, Parrotfish, Sargeant Major, shark, baracuda, porcupine blowfish, stingrays, groupers, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, tadpoles & starfish.
Coral World is an aquarium opening up to the sea
sea trekking, wore pressurized 70 lb. helmets to the ocean floor and walked along a trail
green iguana eating from same dish as turtles
Caribbean reef sharks
Tarpon, a scary, 5' green moray eel
Sea Turtles - not on display when we went
A touch tank to touch star fish, sea cucmbers & conchs still in their shells
Trunk Bay St. John
snorkeled to far tip of island in the bay
a lifeguard was floating nearby on a surfboard & even dove under water to take Sonia's pix
Alisha/Natu loved running in & out of the water along the rt side of beach & throwing sand in the water. Natu kept calling the birds "baa, baa" and kept trying to squirm free from us to approach them.
One of the world's top 10 photogenic beaches per National Geographic magazine
Annaberg Sugar plantation ruins
saw a stone windmill used to turn a rotor which squeezed juice fr sugar cane
vats the heated sugar juices were poured in
Surrounded by green mts.
long, soft, sandy beach
used water mattress to float on the tranquil waters
snorkeling was ok, some fish but not in large packs
One of the world's top 10 most beautiful beaches per National Geographic magazine
Sapphire Beach Resort
a romantic, awesome setting w/ large outdoor patio , restaurant & full host of in-resort activities like beach volleyball
beach was nice & water looked calm altho it's reputation is that the waves & surf are rougher here.
Blackbeard's Castle had spectacular views & fascinating history
Paradise Point Tramway - be sure to go at a time when you can catch the 10:30am or 1:30pm parrot & tropical bird show at the top where the birds ride a bike & play bsketball & sit on your arms for pictures plus great pix taking views fr the top
The Vendor's Plaza 1 block west of Fort Christian is a colorful, open air tent city for shopping on the main rd w/ low prices
Cheap parking was avail at the Main Lot at the east side of Fort Christian
Drake's Seat has a good view
Saw lots of cruise ships docked at the marina
Nearby places worthy of visits that we want to plan a separate trip for are the BVI (British Virgin Isles). Boulders & Porta Gorda seemed great.