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Mitsugirly just returned from 2 week stay in St Thomas


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Hi Kim!  I was just thinking "I wonder what Kim is up to now that cruising is cancelled" and then I stumbled upon this thread!  Last summer, I posted a thread in the Paris forum where I wrote it up like my usual journal-style day-by-day cruise reviews even though I didn't take a cruise on that trip.  No one seemed offended that I was posting a review like that without taking a cruise.  I justified it because Paris is a cruise port (well, sort of... it's a few hours drive from Le Harve... close enough!), and many cruisers stay in London before/after cruises leaving from Southampton, so I thought my review could help their planning.  Anyway, I'm sure people would appreciate it if you posted your review here on Cruise Critic in the St. Thomas forum so they can plan their future port days when cruising finally does resume.  It's not like we're getting any other sources of cruise reviews nowadays!  I can't wait to start reading and see how your vacation went 🙂

 

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8 hours ago, deladane said:

Hi Kim!  I was just thinking "I wonder what Kim is up to now that cruising is cancelled" and then I stumbled upon this thread!  Last summer, I posted a thread in the Paris forum where I wrote it up like my usual journal-style day-by-day cruise reviews even though I didn't take a cruise on that trip.  No one seemed offended that I was posting a review like that without taking a cruise.  I justified it because Paris is a cruise port (well, sort of... it's a few hours drive from Le Harve... close enough!), and many cruisers stay in London before/after cruises leaving from Southampton, so I thought my review could help their planning.  Anyway, I'm sure people would appreciate it if you posted your review here on Cruise Critic in the St. Thomas forum so they can plan their future port days when cruising finally does resume.  It's not like we're getting any other sources of cruise reviews nowadays!  I can't wait to start reading and see how your vacation went 🙂

 

 

 

Hi there! Thanks for thinking of me and what I might be up to. 

 

So was your report as lengthy as mine are? I had thought about doing one over here but was unsure. Maybe I'll just do individual reports to the different beaches only or something. I wish they had a spot for land vacation reviews to the cruise area's. That would be perfect. 

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13 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

I agree, the timing couldn't have been better. Well, I guess it could have...we could have went in June when they first opened and there were no restrictions on the beach time. But, I'm happy we made it. 

 

Yea, I just knew it was coming soon. I'm glad we were in before it happened. Whew!

Unfortunately it appears tourists are the cause of the surge, and that does not bode well for others wanting to vacation there anytime soon...Really sucks for all the businesses who rely on the tourism industry and of course those who were infected. One poster on the TA STT forum actually attributed the spike to locals, but her premise was very faulty and just shows the ignorance out there. With so many Americans just not admitting this pandemic is real it looks like the only thing we have to look forward to is a vaccine. I hope there is a sea change soon but am not optimistic because of this arrogance we see everyday...
 

I’ve probably mentioned we have a home in Mexico near Playa Del Carmen, and the impact on  the tourism industry here has been even more disastrous. Thousands of workers are out of work with no gov’t subsidies, and tens of thousands have left the Riviera Maya and Cozumel to return to their family homes in the interior. Just a very sad time everywhere...At least your report gives folks a chance to look forward to a visit, hopefully in the not too distant future!

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2 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

 

 

Hi there! Thanks for thinking of me and what I might be up to. 

 

So was your report as lengthy as mine are? I had thought about doing one over here but was unsure. Maybe I'll just do individual reports to the different beaches only or something. I wish they had a spot for land vacation reviews to the cruise area's. That would be perfect. 

 

 

Yup, it was just like all of my other looong cruise reviews... It was 18 pages in total, but probably would have been more if it was in a cruise line forum instead of a Europe forum so more people could have seen it and replied.  Here's a link if you want to take a look (or if you are bored and looking for something entertaining to read!)

 

 

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The old hotel on Lindbergh was the Island Beachcomber. It was an iconic place- you would stop for  drink on arrival and before you left the island. Yes, it was destroyed in Hurricane Irma. Very sadly, the VI government owns the land and has not seen fit to do anything (kinda their day to day m.o.).

 

I'm glad you enjoyed John Brewer's. It is actually part of the University of the Virgin Islands- you can see some of the research and teaching boats in the background of one of your pictures. They have a fine marine biology program, in case your kiddos are interested in the future. 😉

 

P.S. Emerald Beach Hotel caters to cruise ship passengers. I'm not sure if it is because everything is so empty right now, but it isn't that much of a hell hole...

Edited by O2B@Cagain
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On 8/17/2020 at 10:30 AM, blue_water said:

Unfortunately it appears tourists are the cause of the surge, and that does not bode well for others wanting to vacation there anytime soon...Really sucks for all the businesses who rely on the tourism industry and of course those who were infected. One poster on the TA STT forum actually attributed the spike to locals, but her premise was very faulty and just shows the ignorance out there. With so many Americans just not admitting this pandemic is real it looks like the only thing we have to look forward to is a vaccine. I hope there is a sea change soon but am not optimistic because of this arrogance we see everyday...
 

I’ve probably mentioned we have a home in Mexico near Playa Del Carmen, and the impact on  the tourism industry here has been even more disastrous. Thousands of workers are out of work with no gov’t subsidies, and tens of thousands have left the Riviera Maya and Cozumel to return to their family homes in the interior. Just a very sad time everywhere...At least your report gives folks a chance to look forward to a visit, hopefully in the not too distant future!

 

I do believe that opening up the boarders for tourism again plays a major part in the spike in STT. However, I will tell you that a lot of times we seen locals without face mask, many that took them off or wearing them below their chin. I seen people at the restaurant at Sapphire that had them below the chin, servers at the beach with them below their chin or not at all, a few grocery store workers also not wearing them properly. We went to coral world and found a few people that worked there without them (out in public) and various other places. It takes everyone to do their part to prevent the spread and I know a lot of the locals are scared of contracting this virus due to limited health resources, but many did not seem to care. 😞  We were sure to wear our mask everywhere we went in stores, restaurants, when servers came over and we stayed clear of others when out on the beach. 

 

I didn't know you had a home in Mexico. How cool. I can't wait to do a land vacation over in Cozumel and visit Playa Del Carmen. The last time I was over at Playa Del Carmen was in the 80's!!! I'm well over due. 

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On 8/17/2020 at 10:41 AM, deladane said:

 

 

Yup, it was just like all of my other looong cruise reviews... It was 18 pages in total, but probably would have been more if it was in a cruise line forum instead of a Europe forum so more people could have seen it and replied.  Here's a link if you want to take a look (or if you are bored and looking for something entertaining to read!)

 

 

 

 

Well that's awesome! I guess I didn't realize that a long review on the destination area would be allowed. I don't know why. Maybe I'll start one then. As soon as I get done with mine, I'll read yours. I did scroll down it and seen some pretty neat pictures. What camera do you use and what settings to make the cool pictures? 

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On 8/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, O2B@Cagain said:

The old hotel on Lindbergh was the Island Beachcomber. It was an iconic place- you would stop for  drink on arrival and before you left the island. Yes, it was destroyed in Hurricane Irma. Very sadly, the VI government owns the land and has not seen fit to do anything (kinda their day to day m.o.).

 

I'm glad you enjoyed John Brewer's. It is actually part of the University of the Virgin Islands- you can see some of the research and teaching boats in the background of one of your pictures. They have a fine marine biology program, in case your kiddos are interested in the future. 😉

 

P.S. Emerald Beach Hotel caters to cruise ship passengers. I'm not sure if it is because everything is so empty right now, but it isn't that much of a hell hole...

 

Brewers was one of my favorite beaches this time. We loved it there. I did notice something over there and wondered what it was. I thought maybe it had to do with the University but wasn't sure. How cool. Who knows what my pre-teen will end up doing. She loves animals so much. 

 

In defense of Emerald Beach...we didn't walk down that way and it was probably better than we thought. I was just going by a lot of the reviews I read on TA. There's seems to be a lot of complaints. We stayed on the beach right across from the airport and there were a lot of run down places (buildings) there. It just wasn't a pleasant looking place in the area we were. Definitely not a place I would return to. 

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8 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

 

 

Well that's awesome! I guess I didn't realize that a long review on the destination area would be allowed. I don't know why. Maybe I'll start one then. As soon as I get done with mine, I'll read yours. I did scroll down it and seen some pretty neat pictures. What camera do you use and what settings to make the cool pictures? 

 

Since it was a land vacation with no need for an underwater camera, I left my TG-5 at home and used an old Cannon point and shoot for most of my photos.  It was the camera I bought for my Mediterranean cruise in 2013 so definitely not the most current technology but it did the trick.  I also took a bunch of photos on my iPhone 8 (especially towards the end of the trip when we were in England) because I actually thought the photos came out better on the iPhone. 

 

For my last few reviews, I've included some sneak peaks of the photos that will be part of the review, but in an effort to not have them be completely duplicates, I use an app to edit the photos and make cool effects (so it's not a setting inside the camera itself).  The app is called Sketch Master (the icon is tan in color and has a bird sketch on it).  Hope that helps! 🙂

 

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Yes we will miss the Beachcomber, that was always the “we’ve arrived” spot when flying in for many. We were usually heading to the BVI so we only visited the Beachcomber when we returned to STT before flying out. Lindbergh Bay is a nice bay and convenient to cruisers docking in Crown Bay. Brewers is a nice change from the East End beaches.

Yes I’m sure many locals do not heed the proper mask requirements, we see that in Playa and of course all across the US. It’s just introducing so many visitors from hot spots in the US into that situation didn’t help...In contrast, the BVI is not allowing leisure visitors until possibly November, and as land owners and residents are allowed back, they all are required to do a 14-day quarantine. But not a self-quarantine - they are in a secured location and are not allowed to leave (at their cost)...They are one of the few areas with these stringent testing and quarantine requirements in place...

The mayor is opening 3 public beaches (one near our home) on Aug 20 to see if people comply with the social distancing requirements, and we’re hoping the numbers support going from Orange to yellow soon. And yes,  if you get to Playa or that area it would be cool to meet! Another great area to take a land vacation with the gorgeous beaches, cenotes, culture, Mayan ruins, and the wonderful people!

Edited by blue_water
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>> The mayor is opening 3 public beaches (one near our home) on Aug 20 >>
Sorry, wasn’t clear that this is in Playa Del Carmen...If all goes well Playa and other areas including Coz will move to Yellow...

Edited by blue_water
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On 8/19/2020 at 12:19 AM, deladane said:

 

Since it was a land vacation with no need for an underwater camera, I left my TG-5 at home and used an old Cannon point and shoot for most of my photos.  It was the camera I bought for my Mediterranean cruise in 2013 so definitely not the most current technology but it did the trick.  I also took a bunch of photos on my iPhone 8 (especially towards the end of the trip when we were in England) because I actually thought the photos came out better on the iPhone. 

 

For my last few reviews, I've included some sneak peaks of the photos that will be part of the review, but in an effort to not have them be completely duplicates, I use an app to edit the photos and make cool effects (so it's not a setting inside the camera itself).  The app is called Sketch Master (the icon is tan in color and has a bird sketch on it).  Hope that helps! 🙂

 

 

I'll have to look that app up. It looks pretty neat although I don't usually take many photo's with my phone since I always have my camera with me.

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25 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

 

I'll have to look that app up. It looks pretty neat although I don't usually take many photo's with my phone since I always have my camera with me.

 

Whenever I travel, I take a few minutes every night to load all the photos from that day onto my iPad.  I have an adapter that connects my SD card to the lightening port on my iPad, so I upload the photos each night in case anything happens to my camera or SD card so I don't lose my photos from earlier days in the trip.  Once it's on the iPad, I can use any app to edit the photos if I want to 🙂

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On 8/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, O2B@Cagain said:

The old hotel on Lindbergh was the Island Beachcomber. It was an iconic place- you would stop for  drink on arrival and before you left the island. Yes, it was destroyed in Hurricane Irma. Very sadly, the VI government owns the land and has not seen fit to do anything (kinda their day to day m.o.).

 

I'm glad you enjoyed John Brewer's. It is actually part of the University of the Virgin Islands- you can see some of the research and teaching boats in the background of one of your pictures. They have a fine marine biology program, in case your kiddos are interested in the future. 😉

 

P.S. Emerald Beach Hotel caters to cruise ship passengers. I'm not sure if it is because everything is so empty right now, but it isn't that much of a hell hole...

We have been to that hotel/ beach many times when have docked at Crown bay. We like it a lot. It is a clean decent place.....that is the reception area, bathrooms, and area near the small pool and fountain, the restaurant and bar area. (no idea about the room interiors). But the "blue" hotel is done up and refurbished from what was there before. Not 5 star, but not a dump and would consider if staying on the island. Used to be the Best Western Emerald Beach ???

We have never ventured towards the right hand side (facing the ocean/bay) because that looked a little "haggard".😁

Edited by Arzeena
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The Emerald Beach Resort (formerly the Best western EBR)  is a nice spot, we’ve toured the property and had drinks at the beach bar but have not stayed. Nice little pool area...Popular with cruisers who want to rent a room for the day to have private showers, etc for the family...

 

The Beachcomber was very popular with repeat visitors (those who return to STT for decades). We liked that more than the EBS just because of its character and history...again sorry we’ve lost that place...

Edited by blue_water
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Mitsugirly

I know your daughter is a kid and kids naturally want to touch and sense things. All the turtles in the VI are endangered. It is illegal to touch them or to swim along after them. That is considered pursuing.

 

I get it that this is really hard for kids because they are so enchanted with wildlife and nature.

 

edited to add: I would recommend removing the photos showing her touching them, especially the ones of while they are eating. That is super bad and you shouldn't leave evidence on the public webpages. IANAL

Edited by MNgardens
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Hi Kim, I’m so glad your family got to go on such a cool vacation. What a great idea! The condos look really nice. I’m pretty sure all of us who are reading this would love to be at the beach (or anywhere). Cheers! 

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Hey Kim!

 

Yeaaa!!!  So glad I just happened to hop on Cruise Critic today and see you post that you're doing a review of your trip to St. Thomas!  I haven't started it yet, but I'm definitely going to start some of it as soon as I finish commenting. 

 

As expected, our Magic cruise scheduled for this past May was cancelled as were all the others.  We received and email from Carnival about a month ago that our Fascination cruise, which was scheduled for 10/31/2021 has now also been cancelled.  Seems Carnival is pulling Fascination and putting her and another ship (Inspiration, I believe) "on hold", with many now believing they will be scrapped.  We were really looking forward to that one and were hoping they'd get Covid under control so cruising would resume by then.  The itinerary was one of the alternate ones, going to St. Thomas; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada; Barbados; and the sea day at the end.  Oh well, not much we can do.  Two other couples we'd gotten to know on our last cruise (now 5 years ago) were going to be on it and the third were also thinking of booking. 

This year we're just going to go to the beach in NC for a few days just so we can get our toes in the water and arses in the sand.  It's only about 5 hours from here, so easy peasy and looking forward to it. 

Been thinking of you and your ankle and hope to be reading that you're well on your way to being 100% again.  A friend of mine also broke her ankle (both bones) and dislocated it as well.  Forget when it happened (May, June???), but a few weeks ago she was given the green light to put weight on it again.  Luckily for her, she did not have the complications you had and I didn't even tell her.  So...on to read about your trip to St. Thomas!  Thank you, as always!

Holly

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On 8/17/2020 at 12:08 AM, deladane said:

Hi Kim!  I was just thinking "I wonder what Kim is up to now that cruising is cancelled" and then I stumbled upon this thread!  Last summer, I posted a thread in the Paris forum where I wrote it up like my usual journal-style day-by-day cruise reviews even though I didn't take a cruise on that trip.  No one seemed offended that I was posting a review like that without taking a cruise.  I justified it because Paris is a cruise port (well, sort of... it's a few hours drive from Le Harve... close enough!), and many cruisers stay in London before/after cruises leaving from Southampton, so I thought my review could help their planning.  Anyway, I'm sure people would appreciate it if you posted your review here on Cruise Critic in the St. Thomas forum so they can plan their future port days when cruising finally does resume.  It's not like we're getting any other sources of cruise reviews nowadays!  I can't wait to start reading and see how your vacation went 🙂

 

Hi Deladane!  I have not been  on CC for a few months but logged in today just to see if there was anything interesting going on over here.  I'll definitely have to check out your review of Paris.  Last time we "talked", you hadn't gone yet but were thinking of posting somewhere here on CC when you got back.  Good, I'll have another good read.  🙂 

We were actually supposed to cruise again this past May, on Carnival Magic, going from Miami to HMC, GT; sea day, Aruba, Curacao; 2 sea days and back to Miami.  Friends we'd gotten to know here though our Valor reviews and who we got to sail with on Liberty out of San Juan were also to be on that cruise that wasn't.  Back in January, I took advantage of a Carnival $50 deposit special and booked Fascination out of San Juan for 10/31/2021, which was an alternate itinerary (STT; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada; Barbados; sea day).  Our same friends were booked and one of the other couples we met on Liberty was also going to book.  The 3rd couple were also considering it, so it would have been a "reunion cruise".  That was also cancelled.  We received notification from Carnival last month that it was cancelled, but same benefits apply.  It appears they are pulling Fascination out of San Juan and have her "on hold", and there has been a lot of speculation that she will eventually be scrapped.  I think Inspiration is the other on the "on hold" list.  There is also speculation that Carnival is going to stop sailing out of San Juan, but I hope that is just temporary.  We think we're going to take the full refund for the Magic cruise since we'd have to book by end of Dec. and take the cruise by end of 2021 and even if cruising resumes, it may not be what we would want.  I've seen MSC's restrictions - Yikes!  With the Fascination, we have till the end of next May and we'd have to take the cruise by the end of 2022, I think, which definitely gives us some time to think about it.  We're thinking Mexican Riviera on Panorama. 

Did you have any cruises/other vacations that were cancelled?  I will say I can't complain about a cancelled cruise.  Definitely a bummer but things could be so much worse for us.  If a cancelled cruise this year and next year are the worst that happens, I'm definitely good.  🙂  Hope all is well with you and happy to see some CC friends again!  

Holly
 

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Hi, Kim! I'm so happy to see a new review from you! I hope your ankle is doing much better. It sounds like you are able to do most of the things you enjoy, even if you have to watch it carefully. It's great to read along and see what your family has been up to!

Edited by TravelGirlinDallas
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Hello and sorry for the extended delay on the next segment of my review. Sadly, my youngest son lost his baby due to premature delivery. They (and our family) have been devastated. I have most of the next day completed when I got the news and just couldn't concentrate after. 

 

It is now published. 

 

DAY 10: ST JOHN

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