St. John Strong

The tropical breezes and sandy beaches
are calling your name!

6/22/28 – 2:00 pm – It’s Friday!  We hope everyone has a great weekend!  We thought we would post the ferry schedule, on a back drop of St John – beautiful!  Do you know this beach?  It’s Lime Tree Cove and yes, we have a villa right on this gorgeous beach!  Can you guess the name? Almost too easy!  It’s called the Beach Cottage!  Check it out!  We have summer & winter availability!

06/21/18 – 2:00 pm – Happy First Day of Summer!  We hope everyone is having a warm and sunny day!

We wanted to share an update on Cafe Roma.  The restaurant has a new owner!  The menu is pretty much the same but they are now open for lunch!  If you’re not around for lunch check out their happy hour and why not stay for for dinner!  The food is fabulous plus you can dine in air-conditioned comfort!

Don’t you wish you were here…walking in to
the warm, Caribbean ocean, ready to let
your stress float away? I do!

6/19/18 – 12 noon – It’s hard to believe it’s already the middle of June!  Kids are almost out of school and for those wondering where to go on vacation – St John is waiting for you!  We have availability this summer and we have some great specials being offered!  Make your reservation and come enjoy our beautiful piece of heaven!

We want to highlight a beautiful home called Dream Come True!  This home has everything – pool, hot tub, a/c in the bedrooms, stairs down to the pebble beach in Devers Bay AND the home has cable TV, wifi and landlines now!  You can get away but still stay plugged in!  Dream Come True is a 3 bedroom 3 1/2 bath home – the views are incredible and there is nothing more relaxing than sitting out on your deck, listening to the sounds of the surf lapping the waters edge below you.  If you can travel between June 30 and July 16th you can save 10%!

Imagine yourself on vacation,
looking at this evening sky…
with a cold drink in hand…
You could be – St John is
just waiting for you!

6/15/18 – 12 noon – Happy Friday Everyone! We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

6/13/18 – 9:00 am – Some good news!  The National Park Service is again offering its Garden Tours at Annaberg!  Charles is offering the tours Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The gardens are located up the hill and to the right when you enter Annaberg.

The Virgins Island Port Authority announced they will begin processing pleasure boats and charters at the Victor W. Sewer Marine Facility located at “The Creek” in Cruz Bay.  Custom Officers will be available daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  They will operate out of the trailer near the black fence on the bulkhead at the Creek until the damaged Customs Building has been replaced.  Passenger Ferries cannot be cleared at this checkpoint and will continue to be cleared at the Customs Facility in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas.

Come Celebrate
with us!
Make your reservation
now!

06/07/18 – 2:00 pm – In just a few weeks it is Carnival on St John!  This is such a fun time on the island!  On July 4th there is a parade which you will not want to miss!  It’s time to pack your bags & book a trip to St. John!  We have availability and we have deals!!  If you want to be in Cruz Bay so you can walk to everything, we have Bougainvillea Villa available.  This beautiful home can be rented as a 5 bedroom or as 2 – 2 bedroom & 1 – 1 bedroom condo!   If you want to be close to town but outside all the activities we have Tennis Cottage available.  This is a 3 bedroom 3 bath home with a pool.  It’s only a 5 minute drive to Cruz Bay.  These are just a couple of homes that are open!  Check them out and make your reservations now!

Do you want to know which villa
this picture was taken from?
Call us to find out – 800 338-0987!
You too could stay here!

06/06/18 – 1:00 pm – We heard a new Day Spa will be opening up at the Palm Plaza complex, which is right down from our St John Office!  We don’t know the name yet but they have a tentative opening date of July 1st!  If you want even more pampering when on vacation, you can get a facial, manicure and pedicure!  We are very excited!  We read last night on line that the Captain Awesome Food Truck has to find a new home.  They were parked at Hansen Bay but their contract negotiations are not going well.  The owners are very disappointed as they have worked hard to get it back up and running.   We hope they find a new home soon!  We will keep you updated as we hear more!

06/04/18 – 2:00 pm – It’s Monday and the week is just beginning!  Instead of working, you could be on St John staying at one of our beautiful villas and then swimming, snorkeling or doing absolutely nothing while the stress of every day life just melts away!  Doesn’t that sound wonderful!?  We all think so – 🙂

And we heard this weekend the Willy T is officially open!  Just another example of Caribbean determination!  Don’t forget – they are no longer at Norman Island but are now anchored off Peter Island.  If you feel like a day trip excursion, it’s a fun place to boat to and have lunch and drinks!

06/01/18 – 1:00 pm – Happy June 1st Everyone!  The summer months can be beautiful on the island and you can save money by traveling during the Off Season!  We have availability and for those of you who can travel at the last minute – we always have specials!  It’s time to come back to St John!

We want to highlight one of our beautiful homes.  Bombalassy is an upscale 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath private villa with a pool.  When you walk through the front door, the picturesque harbor views will immediately draw your eye, while the serene and tranquil setting will instantly relax you.  Any stress you have will be left outside the door. Come enjoy this amazing home and take advantage of the 10% discount being offered for travel this summer!

Bombalassy awaits you….

….make your reservation now!

5/29/18 – 9:00 am – We wanted to share the photos sent to us by one of our guests who just returned from the island.  They had a wonderful time and we thank them for sending us their pictures!  We love hearing from our guests before, during and after their stays!  If you want to share your pictures with us from your vacation, we would love to see them!!

Come snorkel & see some turtles…

….and fish at Maho Bay!

You should be laying under a palm tree on St. John!

5/25/18 – 10:00 am – Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and thank you to everyone past and present for serving in our country’s armed forces!

5/23/18 –  We have great news about one of our beautiful villas that is ready for rentals!  Rainbow Beach House, which is located in Coral Bay sustained roof damage from the hurricanes last fall.   The renovations and repairs have been completed!  The home has all new furnishings, new vanities, a brand new kitchen, new appliances, new outdoor furniture, new railings on the pool deck and all new split a/c units in all of the bedrooms plus more!!  As an incentive, the owners are extending rates from the 2016-2017 time period.  Below are photos reflecting  some of the improvements.  Once our photographer is on island we will have all new photo’s of this beautiful, beachfront home!  Make your reservation now!!

5/22/18 – 3:00 pm – Good Afternoon Everyone!  I was on vacation last week and am a bit behind updating some of our island news!  On May 9th,  I mentioned the Willy T was on her way back to the BVI’s.  She made it, but Norman Island would not allow the owners to use the same anchorage.  We could not believe this news when we first heard it!  But rest assured, the Willy T is moving to a new location.  She will now be located in Great Harbour on Peter Island.  They are now working with the government to get the necessary permits so they can resume operations.  As I hear more, I will post additional information!

Lucky Chops is now open – they are located where the Fish Trap Restaurant used to be in Cruz Bay.  Go check it out!

Little Switzerland has officially reopened.  They are located at Mongoose Junction!  I have purchased several items from them!  Their jewelry and designer watches are beautiful!

You should be sitting here!

5/9/18 – 11:00 am – We have guests asking about volunteering on St John.  There are many ways you can contribute to our beautiful island.

a.  The Animal Care Center – They always like help walking dogs and giving all their animals attention.  Personally, there is nothing better than giving love to an animal.  What you give to them, they give you back double!  All you have to do is look in their eyes.  Their phone number is 340 774-1625.  And don’t forget, their animals are always looking for their forever home.  Maybe you will add an addition to  your family when you are on vacation!?

b. Friends of Virgin Islands National Park – they can always use a hand with beach clean-ups and trail cleaning.  Please go to their website to check on volunteering.

c.  The St John Community Foundation – this is a great resource for the island and volunteering opportunities.

And for those that love the Willy T – she is finally on her way home!  If you are around at the end of this month, she should be back!  The new Willy T will be bigger and better than ever.  The replacement vessel is almost an exact replica of the original.  For those of you that have not heard of the Willy T.  She is a floating bar and restaurant and has been a popular tourist attraction in the BVI’s for the past 35 years.  She is located on the southwest corner of the Bight off Norman Island!  If you want to go, be sure to bring your passports!!

5/3/18 – 11:00 am – There is going to be a new restaurant opening where the Fish Trap Restaurant used to be in Cruz Bay.  St John Catering took over the space and the new restaurant is being called Lucky Chops!  Though the restaurant is not open yet, their catering services have been up and operational since December.   For complete information visit their website to find information about their catering services and their new restaurant venture!

For everyone who LOVES Miss Lucy’s in Coral Bay – their Sunday Brunch is coming back!!  On Mother’s Day, May 13th they will be serving their Sunday Brunch from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  Definitely go enjoy!!

5/1/18 – 3:00 pm – Can you believe it is May 1st?  Summer is on its way!  Don’t count out a vacation to St John though – the summer months can be beautiful on St John!  We have availability so why not book your vacation now!  Check out our vacation homes….we have something for every budget and if you don’t see it, ask us!  800 338-0987 and info@caribbeanvilla.com

4/27/18 – 11:00 am – If you are going to be on island on Saturday, May 5th head over to Hansen Bay Beach on the East End.  They are having their grand opening of the Captain Awesome Food Truck!  Go relax on the beach, do some swimming and snorkeling and enjoy some snacks from the food truck!  It is cash only right now but they hope to be able to take credit cards in the future!  Enjoy everyone!!

4/25/18 – 3:00 pm – We wanted to share some links to live webcams on the island.   Grande Bay Resort Webcam.  We have Grande Bay – Memory Maker and Grande Bay – Buena Vida ready for rentals!  Walk to Cruz Bay from these beautiful condo’s!

Bordeaux Mountain Webcam.  We have Summerwind and Orchid Knoll which are located on Bordeaux Mountain.  Both are currently under repair but will be ready for rentals later this year.  Keep them in mind for the future!

The Beach Bar Webcam – watch the rebuilding take place!  We can’t wait for one of our favorite hangouts to reopen!  We know many of you agree!!

The Ferry Dock from St John Spice webcam.  Don’t you wish you were arriving now!? You can … book your dream vacation to St John!  We have availability in our beautiful homes and condo’s!

And last but not least – for everyone who LOVES the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, check out their webcam.   You too, could be on this beach – boat charter companies are up and running, ready to take you on an adventure!

4/20/18 – 9:00 am – Happy Friday everyone!  We thought we would share pictures of some of the tropical flowers you could see when on St. John.  They are so beautiful, especially the ones with the blue Caribbean sea in the background!  Come to St John and photograph your favorite!  We have availability and our homes, views and tropical flowers await you!  If you can travel last minute we always have Specials!  Be sure to check with us as we are here to help you plan your vacation!  Then once you are back home, you can frame your favorite photo or better yet, have it printed on a canvas and then hang it on your wall!  Every time you look at it, you will remember your St John vacation!!

4/13/18 – 9:00 am  – Good news everyone – the new parking lot at Maho Bay has been completed and is now open!  Thank you to the National Park Service!

Below are some photo’s my co-worker, Dolores took on island.  She relocated to our St John Office shortly after the hurricanes.  Many of you will have talked with her in our sales office in Maine.  Next time you are on island be sure to say ‘hello’!  She is there to assist you during your stay!

4/10/18 – 12 noon – We have some guests who are asking about a private water taxi between St Thomas and St John.  If you are interested – Dolphin Water Taxi is back up and running!  They can arrange for a private taxi from the airport to Red Hook and then a private water taxi from Red Hook to Cruz Bay, St John.  When you get to St John you arrive at the National Park Dock.  And your island greeter is happy to meet you at this dock!  So, instead of waiting in lines, why not splurge! For more information contact them directly.  Dolphin Water Taxi

4/6/18 – 9:00 am – A big shout out to WAPA – they said St John would be re-energized last night and it was!  Such a relief!  Thank you, WAPA!

4/5/18 – 2:00 pm – As many people heard there was a fire on St John last night and power has been out since yesterday afternoon.  WAPA, the water and power coming for the USVI have completed there initial assessment of the electrical substation.  They have determined the fire to a power transformer outside the substation has only a minor effect on the facility.  The facility suffered no fire damage although the smoke penetrated the building.  Personnel are cleaning the various components inside the substation in preparation for its being re-energized.  Service restoration to customers on St. John is expected by this evening.

04/03/18 – 10:00 am  – We wanted to share some pictures taken before September, 2017 and then pictures taken in 2018.  Though the island is changed, these pictures show how truly amazing and restorative Mother Nature can be.  It is time to come back and replenish your spirit with the love that can only be found in ‘love city’!

3/28/18 – 11:00 am – As many of you already know, Wharfside Village in Cruz Bay took a hard hit from the hurricanes.  Everyone’s favorites – the Beach Bar, Joe’s Run Hut, Parrot Club and Waterfront Bistro are still closed.  The buildings they are located in suffered damage.  Each business is rebuilding and many are taking this time to make improvements.  There isn’t a definite reopen date…but they are coming back!!  The businesses located along the street front at Wharfside – Island Cork, Bamboo’s Studio are open.   Vibe’s in the Blue and Now and Zen are planning to open within the next few weeks.

3/22/18 – 10:00 am – We have been getting questions about Honeymoon Beach and the access to it.  There are a couple of ways to get there.  One way, which is free is to take the Lind Point Trail hike.  The hike is about a mile each way (20-30 minutes)  The trail begins on the east side of Cruz Bay by the VINP Visitor Center.  Once at Honeymoon Beach you can rent water sports equipment and snorkel gear! If you prefer by boat, Ecotours is operating a shuttle/tours  from Cruz Bay to Honeymoon Beach.  Their website is www.viecotours.com   For $24 per person,  you get round trip boat service, lounge chair on the beach and snorkel equipment! They have additional packages too – go to their website to read about them!

If you feel like a drink or a bite to eat while at Honeymoon – Bikinis on the Beach has officially opened!

03/20/18 – 1:00 pm – It’s the first day of spring!  This day always brings a smile to my face, as it means winter is almost over…..and better and warmer days are coming!  Of course, I am in Maine in our sales office but even on St John, each day is better than the last.  Everyone is looking and moving forward!  For all of our wonderful guests that have or will be staying with us, we thank you!!  “You” are our Spring – letting us know better days are here and more are coming!!

3/19/18 – 9:00 am – For everyone who has been waiting – Aqua Bistro in Coral Bay opened last night!  I have enjoyed lunch and dinner here many times!  The outdoor setting and the food- Scrumptious!!  Definitely order some onion rings….love, love, love them!!

3/13/18 – 1:00pm – If you are going to be on island this Saturday be sure to go to the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade taking place at noon time in Cruz Bay.  It’s a short parade so be there on time because you won’t want to miss it!!

3/12/18 – 2:00 pm  Happy Monday everyone!  We here in Maine are gearing up for another snow storm!  I think I can comfortably say – enough already, we want spring and summer!  For those that don’t want to wait and are tired of snow – Book  your last minute trip to St John!!

We have guests asking about the barge service between St Thomas and St John.  I saw an updated schedule for the two barge companies.

Global Marine Departs Red Hook, St Thomas to Cruz Bay St John at 6:15 am, 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.   They depart Cruz Bay to Red Hook at 5:30 am, 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

Love City Car Ferries departs Red Hook to Cruz Bay at 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  They depart Cruz Bay to Red Hook at 6:15 am, 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

3/9/18 – 2:00 pm  –  For everyone out there who is tired of snow, or just tired in general… Are you dreaming of warm weather and waiting for summer to arrive?  You don’t have to wait!!  St John is warm, the beaches are ready and it is the perfect time to plan your vacation.  If you can travel last minute, we have availability in March!  If you need to plan ahead, spring and summer are beautiful on the island!  The tropical breezes are year round, the beaches are just as beautiful and restaurants and shops are open!!  Plan your vacation now!!

We would love for you to send us your favorite picture from St John!  We love this one taken at Maho Beach.  The shades, the flip flops, the beach bag…..beautiful!  It makes you want to be there….right!!!  Send us your favorite St John picture!  info@caribbeanvilla.com 

3/2/18 – 1:00 pm – If you were lucky enough to be on island this past Wendesday, Kenny Chesney was singing at Open Mic Night by the Sun Dog Cafe!  Locals and tourists were “wowed” and who wouldn’t be!  Kenny’s love of St John is well known and his foundation has been instrumental in the islands recovery!

2/26/18 – 2:00 pm – We heard Morgan’s Mango in Cruz Bay is opening today!!   This has been one of my favorite restaurants for the past 25 years!  From their burgers to their fresh fish, I have always had a great meal here!  If you like fish, they have different sauces they can serve it with.  My favorite is the Chimichurri – it is a garlic, parsley and olive oil sauce and it is oh so good!!   They also have fun frozen drinks – which are a must when on a Caribbean Island!!

2/23/18 – 2:00 pm – I was just reading some information from T.S.A. regarding your departure from St Thomas.  They are asking guests to remove all electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry on bags.  These electronics need to be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below them.  This is the same procedure used for screening laptops.  Stateside this is pretty much the norm but for some this may be new so we thought we would share it, just in case!   We hope everyone has a great weekend!!

2/21/18 – 3:00 pm – More good news keeps coming in!  Miss Lucy’s Restaurant in Coral Bay is now open!  I have enjoyed many meals here – love the burgers and the margarita’s are pretty good too!! 🙂  They have a very limited menu right now but well worth a visit!

2/21/18 – 1 pm – Good News everyone!  The Columbo’s Smoothie stand is open!  It is located at the junction of where the Centerline Road meets the Northshore Road heading towards Coral Bay (King Mountain Intersection).  If you haven’t stopped here before, you have to!  They are delicious!  You can have them ‘virgin’ or add some rum to them!  The choice is yours!

For those on island, on Saturday February 22nd there is going to be a ‘canceled 8 Tuff mile run’ taking place.  If you feel like running, you can meet behind the National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay.  The run will start at 7:15 am.  Please keep in mind, this is not a scheduled event and once you get to Coral Bay, you will need to make your own way back.  Also there will not be water stations along the route.  The roads are also not closed for the run so be aware of the traffic.  If you want to join in, all are welcome and if you want to lend your support, just park and cheer the other runners along!!

2/13/18 – 11 am – Are you trying to think of the perfect Valentines Day gift?  Why not give the gift of travel and bring the person you love to St. John!!  We are the island of LOVE after all!  We have some Last Minute Specials being offered for travel in February and March.  If you can do a quick getaway – this might be perfect for you!  Or if you want to travel this summer – we have availability!  A beautiful private villa is Elysium, perfect for 1-2 couples or a family.  If you prefer a condo in Cruz Bay we have Grande Bay – Buena Vida – its the penthouse condo and is just beautiful!  We have vacation rentals that will fit your price point!!

If you are going to be on island this coming Saturday, February 17th, Mongoose Junction is have their 1st ever Mardi Gras Celebration.  It starts at 8:30 pm and goes to …whenever!!  There is be music by Ish!  Masks and Beads provided!!  Come be part of the festivities!!

2/8/18 – 1:00 pm – We had another snow storm in Maine yesterday and I was dreaming about St John.  I looked at flights for early March on Travelocity and Jet Blue had an amazing price out of Boston, with a short connection in San Juan on to St Thomas!  $396 round trip!  I was shocked as flights have been expensive and hard to find with so many airlines cutting back on their schedules in to St Thomas.  The dates I checked were March 1 -8.  I don’t know if this is a special for the day, but I had to mention it!  If you are dreaming of getting away this winter, St John is calling your name!  Come be part of our wonderful community and see the amazing spirits of our local residents!!  We have availability March 1-8 – Angelica,  Aqua Gem, Ciellodonna and Le Lapin!  We have more availability later in March!  Call – 800 338-0987 or email us at info@caribbeanvilla.com   Check your flights and let us know your dates – we want to make your last minute vacation happen!!

2/5/18 – 10:00 am – It’s another Monday!  And if you are a football fan, it is either a good day or a sad day, depending on which team you were rooting for!!  For us in Maine, and for alot of our friends on St John, it’s a sad day, as the Patriot’s lost. 🙁  But putting the game aside, it’s time to concentrate on some good news about St John!!

As of February 8th the ferry from Red Hook, St Thomas to Cruz Bay, St John is expanding their hours of operation.  They will now be operating every hour on the hour up until 10 pm from both locations.  This is great news as it mean more people are arriving!  The cost for the ferry is now $8.15 per person each way.  They say this increase will last one year.

High Tide Restaurant in Cruz Bay has officially reopened!  They are right near the ferry dock.  Stop in for a drink and a meal!  It’s a favorite spot for many!!

VINP announced they will be temporarily closing the parking lot across the street from Maho Beach.  The parking area will be closed from Feb. 5 – April 5, 2018.  The park will be upgrading the parking area in an effort to reduce the runoff in to the bay.  Their plan is to create 33 parking spaces, as well as have clear signage as to where to enter and exit.  During this construction, roadside parking that impedes traffic or emergency vehicles at Maho will not be allowed.  If you are not able to go to Maho, there are several other beaches just down the road.  My favorite is Francis Bay beach!!

2/2/18 – 9:00 am – Happy Friday!  A guest of ours who just returned from the island took their son snorkeling for the first time in Chocolate Hole.  This is a nice calm cove and a great spot to learn!  The father reported there was a ton of new growth on the coral reef plus the fish were every where!  His son loved it!  If you are an avid snorkeler and go to the more open snorkeling spots on St John, you will see the damage that occurred because of the storms.  It is very sad to see but what Mother Natures damages, she can also repair.  These repairs will happen over time, bit by bit.  It makes one realize how much we need to slow down and appreciate everything nature offers to us before it is gone.

And, for those who are going to be on island during the months of February and March – it is whale watching season.  The humpback whales are on their migratory journey to South America.  Wouldn’t this be an awesome site to see!!??

1/31/18 – 11 am – Good Morning Everyone!  A family who is staying with us this week sent us some photo’s while they have been exploring the island.  They wanted to let us know they are having a great time!!  They OK’d us posting their pictures and sharing their experience!!  They are a family of 5 with children ages, 10, 9 and 5.  Like a lot of guests, they were concerned about the island and with the villa not having cable TV and internet.  With 3 children, this is certainly understandable however, they wanted us to know, this is so not an issue!  From the minute they stepped off the plane in St Thomas the kids have had ‘wide eyes’ and are just absorbing all that they see and hear!  When they arrived on St John, the kids could not wait to take off their shoes and run in to the water in Cruz Bay.  Then yesterday, as they were driving around the donkeys came up to their jeep.  The kids were ecstatic to see this happen!  The parents mentioned they were saddened to see Maho as it is now, but looking out to the view is still beautiful, and having their children sit together at water’s edge made it all the better!  Check out this photo – it is definitely “frame worthy”!  The parents have been to St John before, but this is the first trip for the children.  They mentioned, being able to see the island through their children’s eyes has brought back so many memories from their first time on the island.  They have slowed down and are appreciating each moment and memory they are creating together!   We want to thank this family for sharing some of their thoughts, their photos and their first few days on the island.  We feel honored they have chosen to stay with us!

  • Our guests running in to
    the water in Cruz Bay!
    They couldn’t wait!

  • The donkey’s welcoming
    them to St John

  • All wanted to say “hello”

  • A common site as you
    drive around St John

  • You might even see a deer!

  • Shelling in Klein Bay!

  • Some of their shells!
    A great activity to
    do with your children!

  • A photo op!

  • A beautiful rainbow!

  • A “frame worthy” photo
    taken at Maho!

  • At the end of the day
    the parents enjoyed a
    yummy bushwacker!
    If you haven’t had one
    before, make sure you
    order one on your next
    vacation to St John!

1/29/18 – 1:00 pm – We hope everyone had a great weekend!  We have some more great news on Coral Bay.  Two stores have reopened –  Pottery in Paradise Gallery and the Dancing Rooster.  Just the name, Dancing Rooster makes you want to check it out!!  Stop in and check out their pottery and local artwork!!  Find something unique to bring back home with you!

1/26/18 – 1:00 pm – Another restaurant in Coral Bay, Pickles in Paradise Deli has opened!  Stop in for a sandwich or salad – they are delicious!!  At the same time you can surf the web as they have free WiFi!!

We have guests asking about renting their vehicle on St Thomas and coming across on the barge.  Prior to the hurricanes we had some guests who would do this and in most cases it worked well for them!  We always advised them to make sure their flights worked with the barge schedule and if they were thinking about doing this, then there were a few things to keep in mind. #1 – You want to make sure the St Thomas Vehicle Rental Company will allow their vehicles across on the barge to St John.  Not all of them will.  #2 – You want to make sure you ask the question – what happens if your vehicle breaks down on St John?  Will the St Thomas company come to St John to repair the vehicle or is it your responsibility to get the vehicle back to St Thomas?  Since the hurricanes, the largest barge company has been grounded and only 2 barge companies are operating at this time.  This means there can be some long delays waiting in line for the next barge and if you do not make the last barge you are stuck.  On your arrival day, if you miss the last barge coming across, it would mean you would have to go back the next day to get your vehicle.  On your departure day, it means you could miss your flight.  We are not trying to tell you what to do, we just want to make sure you take these things in to consideration when making your decision about renting your vehicle.

If you have any questions about our villa and condo rentals, about St John or any information we have shared in this blog we are happy to answer them!  We want your vacation to be everything you want it to be and we will help you in any way we can!!  Our sales office phone number is 800 338-0987 and our email is info@caribbeanvilla.com

We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

1/24/18 – 2:00 pm –  I just heard the St John Arts Festival is on!  If you are going to be on island during the time period, Feb. 17 -21 be sure to check it out!  With the devastation from the hurricanes they were not sure it would happen.  This is just another example of the resilience of the St John Community!  There will be music, food, arts and crafts and more!!

1/22/18 – 9:00 am – It looks like Jet Blue will be adding a 2nd daily flight from San Juan in to St Thomas beginning on February 15th.  This is good news!  The airlines currently flying in to St Thomas are:  Delta – 1 flight daily, American – 2 flights daily, Spirit – they have Wednesday and Saturday schedules now- starting February 16th they will add Monday and Friday schedules, United is only offering flights to San Juan and then you can take Cape Air or Seabourne from San Juan to St Thomas.

And for those wondering about the National Park because of the government shutdown – our beaches are OPEN!

Are you tired of the snow and cold?  If you are – call 800 338-0987 or email us – info@caribbeanvilla.com to make your reservation now!  Come enjoy the beauty of St John and be part of our amazing community and island!!

1/17/18 – 3:00 pm –  Some good news to share!  For all of those that love Longboard Restaurant, they have officially reopened!  I have not been lucky enough to eat there yet but I heard the food is fabulous!  Plus everything they did in helping feed the community right after the hurricane was amazing!  When I think about how so many people and businesses gave of themselves to help others,  it truly brings tears to my eyes.  Thank you!

There is a new store open at Mongoose Junction – Lulee – they are located by the Sun Dog Cafe!  You can do some shopping before or after lunch or drinks!!  LuLee was located at the Marketplace Complex but recently moved to Mongoose!  They have beautiful clothing and accessories!  Stop in today and treat yourself to something new!

For Internet, Cable TV and Land Lines – we have been trying to keep up to date with Viya, the company that provides these services on the island.  They are bringing in additional crews and trucks to help with the restoration.  On each of the islands they are breaking up the work in to 4 phases.  On St John,  it looks like Cruz Bay and heading out the Centerline Road to Pastory they are in phase 3.  From Contant point out to Boatman’s Point and up part of the Gift Hill area they are in phase 2.  From Rendezvous Bay/Klein Bay, North Shore and further out on the Centerline Road they are in phase 1.  Pretty much – it is all work in progress with the Cruz Bay region being the furthest along to being up and running!

We know it is frustrating to think you will not have these services when vacationing, but look at this as an opportunity to unplug and just enjoy the sights and sounds of our beautiful island.  You can pretend you are back in the time before there were cell phones and internet.  I know some will never of had this experience but instead of looking at your phone or watching TV – look up and out to the beautiful turquoise waters.  Try something new like kayaking or paddle boarding.  Go out on a boat excursion – there is nothing like being out on the water in the Caribbean!  Go for a hike – there are plenty of trails open!  Let this be a new experience for all!!

1/11/18 – 9:00 am – For all those who know about Josephine’s Greens, Starfish Market received their first delivery from her on Monday so you can now buy her salad greens at the store!  Supplies are limited as they are still rebuilding!   For those of you who have not heard of her, Josephine and her husband are local residents on the island.  The began farming on the island 27 years ago and the majority of restaurants on the island used her greens for their salads.  Hurricane Irma and Maria destroyed their retail center and fencing around their gardens.  After the hurricane they had volunteers who helped with the cleanup at the farm but they could not start replanting until power was restored.  On Christmas Eve, power was restored and on Christmas Day, they started replanting.  Their retail center and gardens are still work in progress but they are staying positive and are determined about moving forward!  Josephine and her husband are the perfect example of the resilience of all the island residents.    When you are vacationing on St John, look for her salad greens in the grocery stores and if you are out to dinner, check the menus to see if there is a salad using her greens.  Everyone from Caribbean Villas of St John has enjoyed many salads that used her salad greens and they were delicious!!

1/8/18 – 9:00 am – We have some updates on additional power in the Coral Bay region.  The linemen were out at far as Haulover which is great news.  They are that much closer to the East End being powered up!!

In Coral Bay we heard Aqua Bistro Restaurant will be opening in the next few weeks!  I have enjoyed several lunches and dinners at this restaurant and am very excited it will be reopening!  In Cruz Bay – Wharfside Village had quite a bit of damage.  They are in the process of making repairs.  We have heard the Beach Bar and Joe’s Rum Hut are making repairs and hope to open by March 1st.  From what we hear High Tide is also working towards reopening but there isn’t an estimate on when this will happen.   Long Boards will be reopening this coming Friday, Jan. 12th. They will have a new menu!  If you are on island be sure to go enjoy a delicious meal!!

We would love you to share your favorite restaurants, beaches, snorkeling spots on our Facebook page!  A guests first hand experience is always welcomed and appreciated!!

1/5/18 – 9:00 am – For everyone on the Eastern Seaboard we hope you have successfully ‘dugout’ from all the snow.  Our sales staff in Maine are back in the office today and bracing for the frigid cold to return.  All are wishing they were on St John right now!   If you feel the same way and are tired of the snow and cold, it’s time to make your reservation and come to St John.  It is a balmy 81+ degrees on island – the sun, sand, restaurants, shops, grocery stores, gas stations, boat charter companies are all awaiting your return!!

A great way to explore the island is by taking an island tour.  We recommend contacting, Jenn from “News of St John“, she knows the island well and offers a fantastic tour.  The tour is about 5 hours long and she works with you on what you want to see and do!  You decide the starting time and she will pick you up and you will be on your way!  Reserve your tour with her now!  You may email her – jenn@newsofstjohn.com or call/text her – 203 376-3786.

1/2/18 – 10:00 am – Happy New Year Everyone!  We hope 2018 is a great year for everyone!   We have a lot of guests asking about which homes are available for rental.  Our online calendars are up to date.  If you have any questions on our homes, please call or email us – 800 338-0987 or email us – info@caribbeanvilla.com

12/26/17 – 3:00 pm – Another restaurant in Cruz Bay has opened – The Terrace!  I have enjoyed several wonderful meals at this restaurant.  The food is fabulous!  You can sit outside on the ‘terrace’ or if you prefer air-conditioning they have tables inside.  Both are great spots to enjoy a delicious dinner out!!

We want to give a huge “Thank you” to Wapa and all the linemen from MO who have worked tirelessly to get power back up and running on St John.  A few months back they said 90% of the islands power would be restored by the Christmas holiday and they met their goal!  They are still working to restore power in some areas but this is such a major accomplishment!!

12/22/17 – 11:00 am – We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!  What is going to be your favorite present this year?  Mine is knowing our beautiful island of St. John is coming back to life and being able to witness first hand the outpouring love and support from so many.

12/21/17 – 10:00 am – Another restaurant has opened in Cruz Bay – Ocean 362!  This restaurant is located at Gallows Point.  It is such a beautiful setting!  There is nothing like enjoying a delicious meal, staring out at the views and being lulled by the warm tropical breezes.

Today is the  first official day of winter — for those of you in cold weather….sit back, relax, close your eyes and envision yourself being there or better yet, maybe it is time to think about making your vacation plans to come to St John.  If you don’t like the hustle and bustle of In Season travel, this coming winter will be quieter on the island, so it could be the perfect time to get away!

Internet, phone and cable is pretty much non-existent on the island right now.  Viya is working to get these amenities back up and running.  Originally in October, Viya had reported these services would be about a week behind power but when they started the repairs they found more damage than was originally expected.  Currently, the Market Place Complex in Cruz Bay has phones, internet and cable.  Viya will be working on the Mongoose Junction and Lind Point area next, with other areas on the island to follow.   (For internet there are hot spots in Cruz Bay.)

12/13/17 – 10:00 am – Maho Beach is officially OPEN!  Are there some changes at this beach, yes,  the structures that were damaged  have been removed.  They are building a platform/barrier around the restrooms now.  The parking lot across the street from Maho has been cleared.  The NPS had divers in the water to check and remove debris.  They have inspected the buoys used for the moorings.  Some have been flagged for additional work to be done on them.   It sounds like the NPS will be working on Francis Bay beach next!  The NPS is doing an amazing job cleaning up our beautiful park!

12/11/17 – 3:00 pm – We have guests asking about hiring a chef when they are on island.  If you have never had a chef come to your vacation villa, it is truly an amazing experience!  The food, the presentation, the service is outstanding!  I have had St John Catering prepare a scrumptious dinner one time.  The filet mignon they prepared melted in your mouth!  It’s making my mouth water now just thinking about it!  They are back up and running so if you are interested in hiring a chef, definitely reach out to them.  The best way to contact them is by email.  office@stjohncatering.com 

Another fabulous chef is Julie from East West Catering.  We just heard from her and she is back up and running.  I do not have first hand experience with her, but our guests have hired her and she is wonderful!  Her email address is zenchefs@eastwestcatering.com

12/11/17 – 11:00 am –  We recently had a guest who traveled to St John, they arrived on November 29th and departed on December 7th.  The original home they were to stay in did sustain damage and we moved them, with their approval to Bombalassy.  Right up until the last minute we were updating them about the power situation, with a back up plan in place, just in case.  However, the linemen worked their magic and power was restored at Bombalassy, just in time.  We have been in contact with the guest and they gave us permission to share their experience on the island.

“Hello Kris,
Let me start-off by thanking you, Diane, Curtis & Myrtle Penn for going the extra mile to provide me with a first-class experience on St. John, 11/29/17-12/7/17. I have always been impressed with the properties, level of service and ease of planning/booking with Caribbean Villas, you have never disappointed me. My latest trip was no exception.
Despite being pummeled by hurricane Irma only 3 months earlier, the villa I rented (Bombalassy) was in tip-top shape, as if nothing ever happened. I am amazed by this. I had mixed feelings about taking my “pleasure” trip to St. John so soon after she experienced such devastation and hardship. But Curtis and Myrtle assured me the time was right to begin bringing the tourists back. They were correct. Local folks were warm and welcoming. Everything I needed was available in the Cruz Bay area: drinking water, food markets, electricity, gasoline, cell service… even satellite TV. Restaurants and shops were reopening. The beaches and weather were exquisite, as usual! Island recovery was at the point where I feel my presence didn’t take away from those still suffering. I had a wonderful trip!
My favorite place in the world has taken a beating and is bruised, but she and her people are as beautiful and inviting as ever. Thank you for making this happen for me, I will be back again as soon as possible. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!”

We wanted to share this guest’s experience with you, to let you know, the island is ready for you to come back. Our guest could not have said it any better – “My favorite place in the world has taken a beating and is bruised, but she and her people are as beautiful and inviting as ever”

We have had guests asking about doctors and the clinic on St John. The Clinic has moved in to Cruz Bay and it is now located by the dock. The Doctor’s rotate their schedule and their names are – Dr. Elizabeth Barat and Dr Joseph DeJames. There is also a Doctor’s office at the Market Place Complex – Heath Care Connections.

Skinny Leg’s and Pizzabar in Paradise, both located in Coral Bay have POWER!

12/8/17 – 6:00 pm – Indigo Restaurant in Coral Bay has POWER!! We are ecstatic!   This is such a positive step forward!  When you are on island next be sure to go to Indigo and have their appetizer “tater tots”! They are so good!  My favorite were the garlic and parmesan cheese tater tots.  I went back 2 nights in a row just for them!

Salomon Bay beach is recovering nicely!  Right after the hurricanes, this beach was all pebble.  As predicted, the pebbles are disappearing with each passing tide and rain storm.  The beach is returning to the beautiful sand beach it was before.

12/8/17 – 11:00 am – Have you missed checking the webcam from St John Spice?  We certainly have!!  We are so excited to be able to tell you their webcam is back up and running!  If you have been dreaming about returning to St John, shopping at St John Spice and just seeing the beautiful Caribbean blue waters and sunshine…check on the webcam now!!  You can also do some online Christmas shopping from their store!!

When you look at the webcam you can also see the boats that had washed up by the ferry terminal have been removed!  This is just another step forward for our beautiful island of St John!

12/7/17 – 12 noon – A lot of our guests may already read this online blog but for those who do not, I thought I would share the link.  News of St. John is a blog about what is taking place on St John.  Prior to the hurricanes, it was a great place to find out what was ‘happening’ on the island.  Since the hurricanes, she has shared her opinion on the islands recovery.  Today, she posted “it is time for visitors to come back to the island”.  She shared some great information about the beaches, restaurants, airlines, ferry schedules etc. Some of this information we, Caribbean Villas have mentioned in our updates but I thought reading this information from another source could be helpful and informative.