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drake2014

St. Croix Local

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Good Afternoon,

 

I just joined and thought I would introduce myself. My name is Darrin and I live on St. Croix, not too far from the cruise ship pier. I thought that an unbiased local's opinion might be useful to everyone here since I don't work in the tourism industry. Feel free to ask questions.

 

Thanks,

Darrin

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Thank you for your help. Will be in St Croix first week in February. Can you recommend a private tour guide or is there enough to do within walking distance of the port?

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Cool. We'll be there in mid-January.

 

1. I am also looking for a reliable island tour. I tried emailing Sweeny’s Safari Tours but got no reply. Their website says they offer a 4-hour tour for $40. I'm looking for something like that.

2. I understand you have $2.50 taxis too. Where can you board these taxi's near the pier and what routes do they take and how often do they run?

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@Thepoint: CHANT is the local walking tour group here and they are amazing. I really recommend it if you enjoy history! If you have the kids with you though I would suggest you head down to the beach at Freedom City Surf and enjoy all their activities, or just relax on the beach.

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Hi,

 

Thanks for your assistance.

 

We are arriving on a Sunday, thinking about the Cruzan rum tour, then head over to a beach for the rest of the day. Looking for a beach recommendation, Buck Island looks good, but my sister does not snorkel. Looking for a good stretch of beach. Sandcastle looks rough and large rocks not good for swimming, rainbow is small and crowded.

 

Thanks for any ideas you may have.

 

Laurna

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@caribbeanbound:

1: How big of a tour are you thinking? If you want to stay in town I would again suggest CHANT, if you want to cover more of the island Gecko's Island Adventures does an awesome atv tour of the rain forest but you really need reservations. I've never heard of Sweeney's so I can't help you there.

2: The taxi buses gather at the pier when a ship is in town. Each taxi is independent so routes are going to vary considerably but costs are generally cheap to most places. I've never spent more than $10 to go anywhere.

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@Laurnat: To be honest Sunday cruise ship days mean every beach is going to be crowded. If you guys aren't big snorklers skip buck island and save the money. I personally love sandcastle/dorsch and don't find it too rough but you might enjoy Freedom City Surf's beach more. When you're facing away from the ship turn left and go past the fort. It's between the fort and rainbow beach.

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Drake... thanks. Gecko's is a solid recommendation. We did it last year and enjoyed it. This year we are looking for a whole island tour with stops that include Christiansted, Cane Bay Beach, and Cruzan Rum Factory.

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@CaribbeanBound: I had to google it but now I know why I'd never heard of Sweeney's, locally we just call them the Safari Tours. I've never tried them personally but I have heard great things! CALL THEM. Locals rarely use email, even for business.

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Thank you for your help. I have emailed Safari Tours. Looks like a great option.

 

They may eventually answer you but if you really want to make things work you need to call them.

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Drake2014, thanks for sharing.

 

I am visiting in about a month and plan on walking up in the "rainforest" area and along the west coast. Just wondering if there is anything in the northwest I should definitely check out - without breaking my neck.

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They may eventually answer you but if you really want to make things work you need to call them.

 

 

Thank you. I did call and had a short conversation. For all others trying to reach Safari Tours ---- He prefers a tex message - so I have send a tex message. We will be there on Sunday, February 1st. We are on the Celebrity Summit, if anyone else is interested in contacting him. We asked for a small group tour or a private tour, if he doesn't have a small group.

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Drake2014, thanks for sharing.

 

I am visiting in about a month and plan on walking up in the "rainforest" area and along the west coast. Just wondering if there is anything in the northwest I should definitely check out - without breaking my neck.

 

I prefer to ride ATV's with geckos myself lol but if you want to go hiking I have just the thing. I was recently given a walking/hiking guide to St. Croix and it includes this snippet just for you:

 

The Rain Forest Hike Walking time: 2½ hours, one way To reach this hike, follow Route 631 north out of Frederiksted to the intersection of Routes 63 and 76. Continue north on Route 63 and make a right turn onto Creque Dam Road (Route 58). Have your driver drop you off here and begin the walk. Follow the road through the Sprat Hall Plantation and gain altitude as you enter the rain forest in approximately one mile. Technically, the area does not receive enough precipitation to be classified as a rain forest, yet it does have the look, feel, and much of the vegetation of a true rain forest. Soon, you’ll pass by 150-foot Creque Dam, whose lake has now been drained. You are passing through the grounds of a private estate; please respect the owners’ wishes by staying on the road. While keeping a sharp eye out for a darting mongoose or two, enjoy the yellow cedar, wild lilies, and other enchantments of the forest. Continue on the road through the kapok, cocoa, monkey pistol, and turpentine trees and arrive at an intersection; keep to the right. Open meadows permit views onto central St. Croix as you bear right onto Annaly Road (Route 765) and descend. Gradually lose elevation and, three miles into the hike, keep left on Annaly Road when Route 763 comes in from the right. In a landscape almost reminiscent of rural Virginia –wooded mountain ridges rising above green fields dotted with cattle and swine – you will come to the end of your four-mile hike. Have your shuttle car pick you up at the intersection of Annaly Road and Mahogany Road (Route 76). Mahogany Road through the Rain Forest The Rain Forest Hike follows roads that are passable by car. However, they see very little traffic, are unimproved for the most part, and the forest is better explored on foot. The gradual changes in elevation make this a moderate hike.

 

I hope this helps!

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Hi drake2014 - Thanks so much for providing info on your island. Wish we had one of you on every island we will visit.

 

My question - We will be spending most of the day in Christiansted and then to the beach on Protestant Cay. When we return we might want to spend some time in Frederiksted. Have not seen any info on the town and wondering what I can expect there and the pier area. Thanks.

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Hi drake2014 - Thanks so much for providing info on your island. Wish we had one of you on every island we will visit.

 

My question - We will be spending most of the day in Christiansted and then to the beach on Protestant Cay. When we return we might want to spend some time in Frederiksted. Have not seen any info on the town and wondering what I can expect there and the pier area. Thanks.

Haha thank you very much! My friends and I often joke about the unprepared tourists that come through so I thought I would help.

 

Frederiksted is my home and I hope you get to spend some time here, west is best after all! I have posted quite a bit about my favorite beaches and restaurants but here's the condensed version for you: when you get to town follow king street north past the pier and out past the carnival grounds. You'll see the baseball fields on your right and Freedom City Surf on your left. GO TO FREEDOM CITY. Say hi to Pi (the owner) in the shop on your left and maybe get a t-shirt, then go to the bar. Get a rum punch from Erica and some shrimp tacos. Relax on the patio or the beach until it's time to leave. An easy 10 minute walk up the beach will put you back on the ship.

 

Enjoy!

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Thank you. I did call and had a short conversation. For all others trying to reach Safari Tours ---- He prefers a tex message - so I have send a tex message. We will be there on Sunday, February 1st. We are on the Celebrity Summit, if anyone else is interested in contacting him. We asked for a small group tour or a private tour, if he doesn't have a small group.

I'm so happy to hear that! They really are nice guys. Enjoy your trip!

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Haha thank you very much! My friends and I often joke about the unprepared tourists that come through so I thought I would help.

 

Frederiksted is my home and I hope you get to spend some time here, west is best after all! I have posted quite a bit about my favorite beaches and restaurants but here's the condensed version for you: when you get to town follow king street north past the pier and out past the carnival grounds. You'll see the baseball fields on your right and Freedom City Surf on your left. GO TO FREEDOM CITY. Say hi to Pi (the owner) in the shop on your left and maybe get a t-shirt, then go to the bar. Get a rum punch from Erica and some shrimp tacos. Relax on the patio or the beach until it's time to leave. An easy 10 minute walk up the beach will put you back on the ship.

 

Enjoy!

 

Freedom City sounds like a great idea. I think north is walking to the left of the cruise pier toward Fort Frederik?

What is the rest of the downtown like, shops, markets etc., worth a walkabout?

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Freedom City sounds like a great idea. I think north is walking to the left of the cruise pier toward Fort Frederik?

What is the rest of the downtown like, shops, markets etc., worth a walkabout?

Correct, up the beach past the fort. Left if you're facing away from the ship.

 

Truth be told if you've spent most of the day in Christiansted you're going to see more of the same. There is a nice market set up at the base of the pier on ship days that you'll enjoy, lots of little independent booths of local artists and craftspeople.

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I prefer to ride ATV's with geckos myself lol but if you want to go hiking I have just the thing. I was recently given a walking/hiking guide to St. Croix and it includes this snippet just for you:

 

....

I hope this helps!

 

Thanks much. Just the ticket. I'll do that and hit some beaches going or coming.

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thepoint... what phone number did you text to make your reservation? How long is your tour and what is the quoted price?

 

CaribbeanBound -

Here is the info he sent back and his telephone number. I am booking the tour. We have never been to this island before, so it sounds reasonable.

 

 

"Thank you for your message. Our tour on cruise ship days cover the Cruzan rum factory, the town of Christiansted and Columbus landing. The cost is $40.00 per person and Cruzan rum will charge you $8.00 per person by credit card for entry.

 

To meet us you would need to make your way to the dock entrance (street) were a tour rep will be holding a sign that reads "Sweenys Safari Tours". We depart at 10:30am and return by 2:30pm. To confirm booking please reply to this email with confirmation and group size.

 

Andre D Toussaint

St.Croix Safari Tours

3405138290

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Thank you. He also just replied to my email from a few days ago. We too have booked this tour. It's a very good deal, especially when you consider taxi fare to the Cruzan Rum Tour alone is $20pp roundtrip. This is $40pp you get a 4-hour tour which includes Cruzan.

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Caribbean Bound - Do you have anything planned for Grenada? I wrote to Mondo tours, but not reply as yet. I guess it is the island way. I've read so much about the spices that i would like to do that type of tour. If all else fails, we will do the ship tour. Just wondered if you had any other private tour information on Grenada. Thanks for your help.

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I give up on Safari tours. I just got a text this morning saying they can't confirm my reservation, but I should call back on January 25 th. My guess is they are waiting to see if they can book a larger group and don't want to be bothered with just two. Whatever their reason, I don't want to wait unti the last minute, so I will go with a ship tour. At least I know it will be reliable.

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