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First Vacation Here

3 posts
First Vacation Here

Hello! My husband and I are planning a vacation for our anniversary. First of all, we have asked a lot of people and have heard wonderful things about Jost Van Dyke! Is it worth it or are there other islands you would recommend? We want to make sure before we book our first big trip since graduating physical therapy school last August. We are planning to stay 4 days on the island and another 4 on St. John. I was wondering if you recommend renting a car while on Jost Van Dyke? Also, we would be flying in to St. Thomas, and I was wondering where we should stay the night we fly in to be close to the ferry. Are there any excursions we should take while on the island? Also, how much would you budget for food, etc. while there? Thanks so much!!

9 replies to this topic
Charleston, South...
Level Contributor
74 posts
93 reviews
1. Re: First Vacation Here

Hi Hallie,

You will love JVD. You do not need a car on JVD. When you get off the ferry there will be taxi's waiting to take you to your destination. Our first trip to the VI, we stayed for a week on St John and then several days at JVD.

If you are traveling to St John on the first leg of your trip you will not need a hotel in St Thomas. Just get off the airplane gather your bags and get a taxi to Red Hook for the ferry ride to St John.

Are you cooking or eating out on the trip? We stay at the Perfect Pineapple which has grill, stove and refrigerator, we do both.

Things to do....RELAX, take a good book, get a drink from every beach bar. We have taken a snorkeling trip and loved it. Bubbly pool is nice when t he waves are up.

I gathered all my information from here and TTOL before my first trip to the VI.

Spencerport, New...
Level Contributor
722 posts
37 reviews
2. Re: First Vacation Here

Another vote for JVD. We liked the island so much we purchased a villa on the East End of Jost.

We travel through STT to get to Jost. We typically ferry from Charlotte Amalia to Tortola and then take a private water taxi to the dock at Sandy Ground Estates. We rent a car for a day or two when on island, but never for the whole time. Depending on where you stay you truly can get away without a car.

If/when we stay on STT for a night we like the Emerald Beach Hotel or the Lindbergh Bay Hotel, both are walkable with luggage from the Airport.

While on Jost, check out what JVD Scuba has to offer for excursions. Colin is great to work with. We also like to take our dinghy for the day and explore Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit. You can rent dinghy for full and half days.

We budget a minimum of $100 for two people for Jost. Some days we don't spend that much and other days we do. This includes alcohol. You can get some staples for lunch and breakfast at Rudy's Market in Great Harbour.

Happy Planning!

Elgin, Illinois
Level Contributor
327 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: First Vacation Here

JVD is wonderful. We usually fly into St Thomas and get a ferry from either Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook (depends on timing of flight in) over to West End Tortola, and then take the ferry from West End to Jost. Check out http://bestofbvi.com/info/info_bviferry.htm to get info on ferry schedules.

If you stay in Great Harbour or White Bay and are in good shape, you won't need a car. If you think you will be taking cabs quite often, it might make more sense to rent a car. Paradise Jeep in Great Harbour is who we go through.

Grand Rapids...
Level Contributor
314 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: First Vacation Here

island girl_june2005 - may I ask why do you take a ferry from either Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook over to West End Tortola and the another ferry to Jost? Do you stay overnight in Tortola? If not, why wouldn't you just take a ferry from St. Thomas directly to Yost? I'm asking because I am trying to plan our first trip and am a little confused by all the ferry schedules.

Thanks!

New Paltz, New York
Level Contributor
954 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: First Vacation Here

Welcome to the forum and congrats on finishing PT school (my husband and I are both PT's too!) !

What time is your arrival?

I think where you stay depends on which ferry you think you will take. The direct leaves from Red hook at 8AM and I think, 2:45. If you go via Tortola you can stay in Charlotte Amalie. In Charlotte Amalie there is the Windward passage hotel which is basic and clean. Added bonus of being within walking distance to the ferry the next morning. You can just drag your luggage across the street and have breakfast at the petite pump room while waiting. If you get in early enough on day of arrival you can also walk to the main shopping district.

Keep in mind, if you go the "direct" from STT you still have to clear customs in STJ. If you go to Tortola, you will clear it there. So no ferry is truly "direct" from STT to Jost!

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
2,381 posts
96 reviews
6. Re: First Vacation Here

We found the easiest way to do the split trip was to go to STJ first. You can get there via ferry all day so no need to use one night in STT (unless you just want to.) Then on JVD day just take the morning ferry from STJ to JVD. Final departure day we took the morning ferry from JVD to STT and had plenty of time for a leisurely lunch before checking in at the airport. Just note: no ferry to/from JVD to STJ/STT on Thursdays.

Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
3,662 posts
52 reviews
7. Re: First Vacation Here

also, take a look at Sandcastle on JVD (at Soggy Dollar) for a great beachfront location that is very calm and peaceful in the mornings and late afternoons when the day sailors have gone.... go exploring in the middle of the day but I am not sure (others chime in here) how busy September would be as I have not been to the area in September myself.

Graduating from PT school is quite a huge feat and you should be so very proud of yourselves! You have valuable, helpful and important careers ahead of you. I say that with the utmost respect as a PT pushed me hard to a perfect recovery from knee replacement surgery a couple of years ago and I am so grateful- I know other people who gave up too easily and do not have their active lives back like I do.

Also, so agree with klfkathy- head straight to SJ and do not stay overnight in St Thomas when you only have a certain number of nights in paradise!

Happy anniversary to you, too! Happy travels-

Warner Robins...
Level Contributor
11 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: First Vacation Here

You absolutely need a car on JVD. Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

I stayed five days in White Bay last year and you will get bored being stuck there at some point. The island is much too mountainous to be walking into town for dinner or groceries. Rent a Jeep 100%.

Elgin, Illinois
Level Contributor
327 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: First Vacation Here

I just saw the response asking why I take the ferry from St Thomas to Tortola to Jost. We have never been lucky enough to get into St Thomas early enough to take the direct ferry from St Thomas to JVD.

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