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St. Thomas since it reopened?

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Has anyone been to St. Thomas since it reopened? Specifically how is St. John? Deciding on an excursion for two weeks from now

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I was there in early December. The island is recovering. I did not go to St. John, but spent the day downtown. The safari taxis were running to downtown, and the beaches. We docked at Crown Bay. I would estimate that 65%-70% of the shops were open, but I also saw a lot of rebuilding.

 

Regards,

Mike

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The National Park has officially declared all beaches on St John open. Fewer taxis because fewer visitors. Beach bars close to ferry dock mostly closed but Cruz Bay Landing and Mongoose Junction mostly open. No food concessions at any beaches but limited beverages at Honeymoon.

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We were the first Carnival ship to return to St.Thomas last week since the hurricane. If I remember correctly the

excursions, with the ship, to St John were canceled. I don't know if is was because of the weather or something else. The weather seemed to be fine. We went to Megan's beach which was beautiful. We did see a lot of damage as far as building roof damage and washed out roads, broken trees, etc. There were utility trucks from Texas working on the lines on the roads. Paradise Point was closed the day we were there.

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Also curious about the state of various beaches around the island - I noticed that on some websites it is clearly indicated 'closed for renovations'. I have sent an email to Emerald Beach Club with no response - but did get a response from the dive shop at Secret Harbour indicating they were 'open for business' and beach/restaurant/bar were all operational.

 

Would love to hear from anyone who has recently visited any of the beaches on St Thomas and their experience?

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I've read on other threads that emerald beach is open and that you can buy drinks from the hotel. no chairs or umbrellas though. We travel to St.Thomas next week and are planning on going to Emerald beach.

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I've read on other threads that emerald beach is open and that you can buy drinks from the hotel. no chairs or umbrellas though. We travel to St.Thomas next week and are planning on going to Emerald beach.

 

Would love to hear back from you on your 'visit' (altho we would need chairs/umbrellas) - please find out what you can and hope you can report back!!! thanks!

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Megan's beach was open and beautiful. You can rent chairs, loungers and umbrellas. Open air bus ride to beach is $8.00 each person/each way if more than 2 people. We asked the driver to come back at a certain time and he did. He gave us his business card in case we needed to call him if we left earlier or wanted to stay later.

The entrance fee to beach is $5.00 per person

beach chair $8.00

lounger $10.00

umbrella $ 8.00

deposit (which is refundable when you return all items) $20.00.

also picnic tables (free) if you get there earlier enough to get one.

There is some shade from small palm trees.

There is a bar (no frozen drinks) and a grill. The bar was destroyed so they are under a pavilion. Good burgers $11.00 (comes with lettuce, tomato, pickle spear and bag of chips) good size burger, worth the $11.00. They also had chicken sandwiches, salads, ham & cheese and other things. They have planted a lot of new palms and trees. We had a great day at the beach!!!!

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Megan's beach was open and beautiful. You can rent chairs, loungers and umbrellas. Open air bus ride to beach is $8.00 each person/each way if more than 2 people. We asked the driver to come back at a certain time and he did. He gave us his business card in case we needed to call him if we left earlier or wanted to stay later.

The entrance fee to beach is $5.00 per person

beach chair $8.00

lounger $10.00

umbrella $ 8.00

deposit (which is refundable when you return all items) $20.00.

also picnic tables (free) if you get there earlier enough to get one.

There is some shade from small palm trees.

There is a bar (no frozen drinks) and a grill. The bar was destroyed so they are under a pavilion. Good burgers $11.00 (comes with lettuce, tomato, pickle spear and bag of chips) good size burger, worth the $11.00. They also had chicken sandwiches, salads, ham & cheese and other things. They have planted a lot of new palms and trees. We had a great day at the beach!!!!

 

Thanks for the update. Just one question. I know that this beach isn't really known for snorkeling but perhaps after Irma things changed. Did you happen to see anyone snorkeling? We are going there after a morning excursion and didn't want to drag our snorkeling gear if we didn't have to.

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Please explain open air bus ride vs a taxi. Why does a bus charge for how many people? Where do you catch it?

 

A taxi is a normal car. Open air bus ride is like a Converted pick up truck with about five rows of bench seats. No windows. It has a top on it to protect from Sun or rain.

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Actually, most taxis are vans. And the "open air bus" is what people call a safari, a converted pick-up truck like mrpayroll says...

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A taxi can be almost any type of 4 wheel vehicle and they're identified by a dome on the vehicle and a taxi license plate. They're all supposed to honor the govt set taxi rates.

 

I don't think I've ever seen busses used as taxis on St Thomas, but there is a very limited public bus service.

 

The converted pick up trucks can be taxis or public transportation, but both are called safaris.

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Thanks for the update. Just one question. I know that this beach isn't really known for snorkeling but perhaps after Irma things changed. Did you happen to see anyone snorkeling? We are going there after a morning excursion and didn't want to drag our snorkeling gear if we didn't have to.

I did see people snorkeling to the far left of the beach (about 20 or so of them). I don't know how it was or if the people I saw were on an excursion. I did not snorkel.

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Please explain open air bus ride vs a taxi. Why does a bus charge for how many people? Where do you catch it?
They look like this. You follow the crowd past the shops and you will see them and a lot of commotion trying to get people going to the same place on the same truck.

TaxiThomass.jpg

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Only the taxis go to Magens Bay, and the taxi vehicle may be a converted, open air pick up truck, a van, or a sedan.

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Reno posted a photo and that is what St Thomians refer to as a safari taxi. It gets called a lot of things: jitney, shuttle and maybe a few other names. If you ask about a bus at the dock you will probably be told there isn't one (the public VITRAN bus doesn't go directly to either cruise port, but even if they did they only run every 2 hours at best if at all.

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They look like this. You follow the crowd past the shops and you will see them and a lot of commotion trying to get people going to the same place on the same truck.

TaxiThomass.jpg

 

 

Sorry for all of the confusion.....This is what the "vehicle" looks like that we took to Magens beach. It only made one stop to drop people off in town and than straight to Magens beach. I assume it would make other stops but the rest of the people that were on it were going to Magens beach. It was kind of hectic trying to get on the right vehicel. There was a person trying to coordinate but it was just a lot of yelling....they would yell out who is going to Magens beach (or another stop) and people would just yell out if they were going there and the person would tell them which vehicle to get into.

Edited by reno3

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We were there on New Years Eve. The downtown area had just gotten power back a few days before. Some businesses had generators so they were running off of those before the power came back on. We walked from the ship to downtown. Took a taxi on way back. Our driver said he still did not have power back at his home. He told us if we wanted to go to the beach Magens Bay would be best. On the ship I spoke with the tour desk to find out where to go if we wanted to go to the beach. They also said Magens Bay, most of the other beaches still had lots of stuff in the water. They might not be safe for swimming. We decided not to go to the beach. We love going to Paradise Point but it was not open, we just went back to the ship spent the afternoon there.

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Thanks for the update. Just one question. I know that this beach isn't really known for snorkeling but perhaps after Irma things changed. Did you happen to see anyone snorkeling? We are going there after a morning excursion and didn't want to drag our snorkeling gear if we didn't have to.

 

I brought my snorkeling gear and gave it a shot on 24 Jan 2018. Megans Bay doesn't have coral and the water clarity wasn't great. I did see a ray, there were very few fish. I'd suggest Sapphire Beach - we've enjoyed our time there. The snorkeling is nice, the grill and bar is open, and there hasn't been a crowd when we've been there. Megans Bay is best for hanging at the beach.

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Two weeks ago we went from St. Thomas to walk around in St. John to walk around in Cruz Bay. Not much at all was open.

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Reno posted a photo and that is what St Thomians refer to as a safari taxi. It gets called a lot of things: jitney, shuttle and maybe a few other names. If you ask about a bus at the dock you will probably be told there isn't one (the public VITRAN bus doesn't go directly to either cruise port, but even if they did they only run every 2 hours at best if at all.

 

 

HI, just for clarification - I thought the Safari buses were the local bus transportation that did a figure eight around the island. I also thought they were only a $1 or 2$ per loop. Am I confusing this with something else? $8 pp seems a lot for a bus. Almost on par with taking your own taxi to a beach. Could someone cfm this for me as we were going to just take the local bus to the beach (one of the snorkling ones). Thank you

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According to law, if someone wants to take people in a vehicle and charge for it, they have to have a license issued by government.

 

The government in VI doesn't care what kind of vehicle you use to transport as long as you have a taxi license.

 

Legitimate taxis have government issued taxi plates. They are different from private vehicle taxi plates.

 

Many licenses taxi do both services.

:evilsmile:

 

The subsidized by federal funds public VI transportation is a VITRAN bus that does not stop/pickup at cruise docks and does not take you directly to any beach. You have to walk from the stop to the beach which can be anywhere rom 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

Edited by Ms411

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