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December Visit - Too Soon?

Travel discussion for St. John

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December Visit - Too Soon?

Postby thompson27502 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:51 pm

My family has noticed that the air fares are down as low as we've ever seen them and we are trying to plan something for 12/25 - 12/30 (dates are a little flexible, but those are our targets). I've been getting somewhat mixed messages between some of the locals I follow on Instagram and posts like I have recently read here.

How realistic is a December visit? I realize there will be some takeaways and we are far from the type of people that were bitching on the forum a while ago that the coqui's were too loud at night. :-/ I also realize that the motivations of those who live on island are to get an inbound income ASAP (and could lead to a bit of 'overstatement' of capabilities).

So - here's my major wishlist:
- Maho, Francis and Waterlemon are still snorkelable.
- St John Brewers is still making/selling Summer Ale.
- Island hasn't descended into some sort of 'Escape from New York' style dystopia.
- I can still rent a Jeep, drive and park in town. Probably Budget on STT and car barge it over.
- Car barge is running.
- Starfish/St John Market still open.
- St John Deli/Taproom/Ocean Grill and other restaurants still open.
- Villa with electricity (plus Satellite/cable TV and Internet is best case but fine if a not).

I understand that this week is traditionally very busy but I'm kinda hoping it'll be less so this year.
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Re: December Visit - Too Soon?

Postby PatrickMcc » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:38 pm

According to News of St,John only Trunk, Hawksnest, Honeymoon and Cinammon are open. MAho is,in very bad shape and has not been safe for,swimming in recent tests.
ST John Brewers is open.
I have seen forum reports that some Jeep rentals are open on STJ but News of St John reports that the car barge is very unreliable, not all are running.
Food markets are open.
MAny do not,yet have electricity but WAPA says 90 per cent by Christmas. I would not count on any TV or Internet although News of STJ reports satellite TV is working.
I doubt this will be a busy Christmas week .
GO and help the economy and have fun.
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Re: December Visit - Too Soon?

Postby scoob » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:46 am

We will be going and trying to help the economy..
Since Bluebeard's is out of commission, renting a condo near Cowpet Bay..
I know it's far from shopping.. but i hope it works for our gang..
Please tell me Fish Tails is open..
a lot of soul searching this year, toyed with all inclusive and a cruise..
but we are coming back to STT .. 19 out of the last 20 years
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Re: December Visit - Too Soon?

Postby thompson27502 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:12 am

Thanks PatrickMCC. I ran across that NOSJ post as well and was hoping to get some "boot on the ground" analysis from any recent visitors or on island locals like coconuts, pia, etc. Additionally, i messaged Jen from NOSJ directly, so, fingers crossed. I'll let you know what i hear (if off-channel).
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Re: December Visit - Too Soon?

Postby hoosierdaddy » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:36 am

From what I have read I think I would go if I had the opportunity. It definitely will be a different experience but that may not be bad. It seems like there are plenty of businesses open and they need customers. I think the main thing the tourist need to do is be patient and understanding. I hope we get a trip report in January! :D
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Re: December Visit - Too Soon?

Postby News of St. John » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:45 pm

Hello! I am super backed up on my emails, so I am happy to see this here!

It is not too soon. Please come! Just know that it's not perfect, but the island is in very good shape. Restaurants and shops are open. The beaches are beautiful nd they're empty!! Here are some specific answers...

Maho, Francis and Waterlemon are still snorkel able.***Yes. None are technically open so that means swim at your own risk. It may be because they haven't checked all of the moorings or there may be debris in the area. So just be alert and you should be fine. Mao tested clean the other day, which is great news!

- St John Brewers is still making/selling Summer Ale. ***They sure are!! And they have a full menu!

- Island hasn't descended into some sort of 'Escape from New York' style dystopia. ***I don't really know what that means, but I'd like to say no haha

- I can still rent a Jeep, drive and park in town. Probably Budget on STT and car barge it over. ***Like Patrick said, I'd highly suggest renting here. The barges have had crazy wait times. Also, there are no working street lights on STT. It's bananas. Rent here and avoid all of that nonsense.

- Car barge is running. ***Yes, but I am avoiding it like the plague.

- Starfish/St John Market still open. ***Yes, all of our markets are open.

- St John Deli/Taproom/Ocean Grill and other restaurants still open. ***Yes, they are all open. North Shore closes at 2 p.m. now though.

- Villa with electricity (plus Satellite/cable TV and Internet is best case but fine if a not). ***That's going to be tricky - the tv/internet part. Check out Grande Bay. They have both. The majority of neighborhoods near Cruz Bay are powered up. AT&T has worked well the past few days. I am actually tethering off it on my computer from my couch in Cruz Bay right now. So you can access internet that way. The TV part is trickier. Perhaps bring a laptop with movies for night. Or ask your villa if they have a DVD player.

I hope this helps!
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Re: December Visit - Too Soon?

Postby PatrickMcc » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:00 am

CHeck out the trip report posted this morning by Howard on the St JOhn forum on Trip Advisor. VEry encouraging.
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