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  #21  
Old April 13th, 2014, 03:47 PM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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Hi. We were there in early March. The car we got from Avis had the steering wheel on the left. It was a Kia Forte. My husband commented that he would have preferred right hand steering also, but he did fine with what we got. At least you can see how close to the curb you are!! I am guessing that St. Croix, being a U.S. territory, gets their cars from the U.S., hence the steering wheels are on the left! I suppose you could contact both companies to see if they have anything other than that type of car. Other than taking a bad, gutted route north to find a lighthouse that ended up not being visible from the road, we had a fairly easy time driving around the island, and enjoyed it very much. If you have a handheld GPS unit that covers the U.S. (although I see you're Canadian!), you might want to check to see if it has the USVI included on it. Mine did, which was helpful. We were able to get to Christiansted, which we loved, and also to a couple other places like the botanical gardens, and then back to Frederiksted by maybe 3pm. We did get confused once, and pulled over to look at a map, but then someone pulled up next to us and asked if we needed help. Their directions turned out to be excellent. Once again, in a town, we were looking dazed and confused and a gentleman called over to see if we needed help. There seem to be very friendly, helpful people on St. Croix!

If you get to Christiansted, you can go find the web cam, call your friends at home, and pose. It's a fairly good one - and should be able to find it by Googling.

Here are my notes (pre-trip) re car rental, etc.:

Car rental & gas reasonable. We have reservation for Avis (see p-o) for 9. They are in greenish, colorful building behind Custom House with “N2” sign. 70D King Street, in N2 Blue Diving Adventures building just 100ft from dock. Driving is on left and steering wheel on left. Signage on island stinks so ask agent for directions/maps. No bus service Sunday. Greetings are important. Say "good morning." There are self-guided driving tours that point out plantation ruins, Christopher Columbus' landing site from second voyage, etc. Speed limit 35 in rural areas 20 in towns, & 55 on open portions of route 66.

As to the "ask agent for maps" reference, we found a tourism rep at a table as we walked through the port area on the way out to the Customs House and town. When she heard we had rented a car, she went into the little building near by and came back with a good island map (had St. Thomas on back) and booklet. Look for her (or him if appropriate) to make your life easier while driving!

Sorry if I'm repeating stuff I wrote before...and good luck.

Last edited by roothy123; April 13th, 2014 at 03:59 PM.
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  #22  
Old April 13th, 2014, 05:51 PM
CoralReef CoralReef is offline
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We rented from Budget and the wheel was on the left. Also, we took a taxi in St. Croix once, and that vehicle's wheel was on the left, too.
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  #23  
Old April 14th, 2014, 07:26 AM
lovestx lovestx is offline
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All cars on St. Croix have the steering wheel on the left. Have never, in 16 years, seen one with the wheel on the right. But I still fine driving on the left side quite simple. Only right turns are a bit tricky!
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  #24  
Old April 15th, 2014, 06:34 PM
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monicajay monicajay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovestx View Post
All cars on St. Croix have the steering wheel on the left. Have never, in 16 years, seen one with the wheel on the right. But I still fine driving on the left side quite simple. Only right turns are a bit tricky!
Thanks to you and others for your answers. I have always rented with the wheel on the right when driving on the left (Jamaica, Barbados, Grand Caymen, Australia) and done OK. Having the steering on the right reminds me I have to be attentive and careful. Not sure if I can deal with it being on the 'normal' side and still staying on the wrong side of the road.
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  #25  
Old April 18th, 2014, 07:18 PM
dioxide45 dioxide45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monicajay View Post
Thanks to you and others for your answers. I have always rented with the wheel on the right when driving on the left (Jamaica, Barbados, Grand Caymen, Australia) and done OK. Having the steering on the right reminds me I have to be attentive and careful. Not sure if I can deal with it being on the 'normal' side and still staying on the wrong side of the road.
I think a lot has to do with the countries affiliation. Those in the British Commonwealth have the steering wheel on the right? All others on the left?

An oddity is Canada, in the British Commonwealth, but drive on the right with the wheel on the left.
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  #26  
Old April 19th, 2014, 08:37 AM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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Originally Posted by dioxide45 View Post
I think a lot has to do with the countries affiliation. Those in the British Commonwealth have the steering wheel on the right? All others on the left?

An oddity is Canada, in the British Commonwealth, but drive on the right with the wheel on the left.
I don't think Canada has been affiliated with Britain for a LONG time - but agree with you that a country's affiliation has a lot to do with what country rules them, or used to rule them. Perhaps Canada just gets a lot of their cars from the U.S. (Detroit?) and that explains the steering wheel position.

In any case, at least when you're sitting on the left, you have a better sense of where the curb is, which is some Caribbean countries, can be a big plus as the roads are small - and car insurance doesn't cover damage to the tires!
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  #27  
Old April 19th, 2014, 08:51 PM
dioxide45 dioxide45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roothy123 View Post
I don't think Canada has been affiliated with Britain for a LONG time - but agree with you that a country's affiliation has a lot to do with what country rules them, or used to rule them. Perhaps Canada just gets a lot of their cars from the U.S. (Detroit?) and that explains the steering wheel position.

In any case, at least when you're sitting on the left, you have a better sense of where the curb is, which is some Caribbean countries, can be a big plus as the roads are small - and car insurance doesn't cover damage to the tires!
I do think that Canada's geography and its proximity to the US and supply of US built automobiles does explain why they drive on the right with left wheel cars.

Canada is indeed a member of the British Commonwealth and in fact is a Realm, meaning that the head of the British Monarchy is considered the head of state in Canada. The Queen is on all Canadian currency.
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  #28  
Old April 20th, 2014, 09:03 AM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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Originally Posted by dioxide45 View Post
I do think that Canada's geography and its proximity to the US and supply of US built automobiles does explain why they drive on the right with left wheel cars.

Canada is indeed a member of the British Commonwealth and in fact is a Realm, meaning that the head of the British Monarchy is considered the head of state in Canada. The Queen is on all Canadian currency.
Thanks for the lesson in politics. All these years I thought it was totally independent. Guess I'm (almost) as clueless as the tech support person asking what state Washington, DC was in!
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  #29  
Old June 24th, 2014, 05:16 PM
vanbeachbunny vanbeachbunny is online now
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Hey there,

We rented a jeep for our stop in St. Croix on our Nov 22nd cruise. Just wondering about the safety of driving around the island? It seems like a lot of you have done it and had no issues but I guess I was just looking for some re-assurance that it is safe to drive around. I am usually not someone that is paranoid about that type of thing but I recently read an article that talked about how St. Croix had been a port that most cruises stopped going to, due to safety issues.

Any experience or advice would be much appreciated!
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  #30  
Old June 24th, 2014, 06:03 PM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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I really don't know for sure, but we did not feel the least bit unsafe at any point, except possibly when we ended up driving up a dirt road near the port, since there were few people on it and few signs of civilization. For the rest of the time, however, we traveled roads that had more people and I didn't even think about safety, running out of gas, or getting hopelessly lost. I suppose that, like many places in the Caribbean (or the world, for that matter) there are occasional problems, but they are just that - occasional. Therefore, I suppose it depends upon the amount of risk you're willing to take. We've rented cars/motorcycles in many places, including various Caribbean ports, and never had a problem (except for a flat tire once), so we tend to be OK with it.
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  #31  
Old June 24th, 2014, 06:23 PM
vanbeachbunny vanbeachbunny is online now
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Thanks roothy123. That's kind of what I figured. Like I said I am not typically worried about that kind of thing, just that one article I read kind of freaked me out. I appreciate your take on it.
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  #32  
Old June 24th, 2014, 06:33 PM
roothy123 roothy123 is offline
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Well, I vaguely remember reading something similar after coming back from the Caribbean, but I don't remember what happened and where. I think there was a weird attack on some tourists while driving a white car (all I remember) and there was also a woman who was beaten up or maybe even killed during a robbery in one of the Caribbean port towns, but now I can't remember where those things were. (Of course the woman was wearing expensive jewelry and carrying a purse - not something I do when out and about in port cities.) We once rented a motorcycle on on an island (name escapes me now- not one of the more common ones) and I read of problems after I got back. Apparently the cruise lines were getting a little nervous about that port, too.
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  #33  
Old June 25th, 2014, 04:27 AM
lovestx lovestx is offline
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You should have no trouble feeling safe as you drive around St. Croix. The places you would want to visit (Domino Club/rainforest, Point Udall and the East End, Christiansted, Cane Bay, Sandy Point) are all safe as long as you don't go looking for trouble. Do not lock anything in the car or the trunk. Take valuable things (camera, wallet, etc.) with you. Car break ins do happen but won't if your windows are down and car is unlocked.

The stories about the cruise ships not going to St. Croix for a while due to crime are unfounded. The reason they stopped going for several years had to do with politics--the St. Thomanians did not want to lose out on any cruise ship traffic. They were in power (Governor) for a while and he made sure that the ships did not dock in St. Croix.
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