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keysmama Charlotte Amalie - A travel report by MaxiStarr
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Charlotte Amalie,  Virgin Islands - flag Virgin Islands
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keysmama's travel reports

A VERY brief stop in St. Thomas, USVI

  9 votes
We could not catch the last ferry out of St Thomas, USVI to our final destination in the British Virgin Islands, so we stayed the night on the East end of St Thomas on the picturesque Sugar Bay. We were greated by a band of drunk Americans. (sigh. why??)

The view from our hotel room overlookig Sugar Bay
The view from our hotel room overlookig Sugar Bay
This is a mini-report. Please see my "Best of Tortola Beaches" for a bigger look at the British Virgin Islands. I do hope to return to the USVI sometime, but will be heading for St. John.

So, what to say about St. Thomas?

St. Thomas is a casino, nightlife and party town and a non-stop cruise ship stop , so we had no intention of staying. We read many horrible things about the island including their dislike of Americans ( we can see why, see Intro...) and the prices.

That aside, it is a really pretty place with all the modern wants and must have's- which is what we were trying to escape, so it was not for us.

But if it is your style, it is easy to get to and an English speaking island.

Flights go in directly to St Thomas from Miami and other airports as well. It is also a popular cruise ship stop.

You will still need your passport if you are a US citizen, and all throughout the US Virgin Islands such as St Croix and St John, you will need your passport at the ferry docks to clear customs at each stop.

Favourite spots:
Charlotte Amalie travelogue picture
Sugar Bay is really pretty! We took a van from the airport to the hotel. You stand in a line at the airport and the taxi director man asks where you are going and directs you to a line. They try to pack as many people as possible into the vans, and charge anywhere from 10-20 per person ...the rates varied- we could hear the driver quoting different prices to just about everyone, with no rhyme or reason ( women travelling alone definitely got charged more..) so ask your hotel what it should cost and mention it to the driver. Warning, they charge what they want, but you can always try to get them to stick to a price. Our party of 4 paid about $16 per person for the 20 min ride across the island in a croweded van. But we met fellow travellers and even shared a flight back to Puerto Rico with one family that shared a van with us.

The Wyndham Sugar Bay is very high on the hill overlooking the bay, and we enjoyed hiking down hill after breakfast to enjoy the little beach area.

What's really great:
Leaving Red Hook on the ferry and enjoying the spectacular views- St Thomas is a busy busy island. Great for people watching and meeting your fellow travellers.

View from the catwalk bridge across the creek to the ocean
View from the catwalk bridge across the creek to the ocean
Walking down the mountain from the resort, there are winding wooden staircases, catwalks across creeks ( see photo) and plant life galore. If you are a botany fan, there is much fauna to behold. We looked at cactus, flowers like hibiscus, bouganvillia, buttonwood trees, mangroves and bromiliads ( my spelling could be horrible here. I know the plants,just not all the spelling...).

Wyndham, Sugar Bay Resort. An all inclusive so it is somewhat of a party style resort. In searching for a room, we usually look for hotels as we travel with children. We found that Emerald Bay Beach Resort came up most often. We were glad that we stayed on the east side as it was away from the busy airport and near the Red Hook ferry docks which will take you to the Brisitsh Virgin Islands, and St John in the USVI which is a very short 10 minute ferry ride.

You can buy ferry tickets right before you board, and the prices were $44 per person round trip to the BVI from Red Hook. There is no food or drink at the ferry docks, and there were only a few places to sit that were taken up by locals. Don't arrive too early, we did and were standing in the heat with luggage and kids for far too long.

The ferry boats are open air, with a cabin to sit in and hold about 50 or so people.

The ferry boat , leaving Red Hook , looking at St John
The ferry boat , leaving Red Hook , looking at St John
Since our stop was 1 night, we ate at the hotel, Wyndham. The dinner food was lacking, but the next morning we were treated to a grand buffet of fresh fruits, and other breakfast items including made to order omelets. The staff was very friendly, and the views from the dining area spectacular.

Published on Monday July 16th, 2007

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Thu, Jul 19 2007 - 03:20 PM rating by terje

Nice photos from paradise!

Tue, Jul 17 2007 - 04:12 PM rating by mistybleu

Nice report with some nice pictures

Tue, Jul 17 2007 - 08:13 AM rating by marianne

Nice read. I canunderstand that it is difficult to write a full reports about this place

Tue, Jul 17 2007 - 05:22 AM rating by rangutan

Very brief but you have submitted the first reports on both British and US Virgin Islands, many thanks!

Mon, Jul 16 2007 - 05:38 AM rating by adampl

Nice pics. Try to add some more. It seems to be an interesting and beautiful place. Would you like to add some more details about Virgin Islands?

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