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Lookingtobuy

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hi guys

Just booked St. John's for next July. Any tips. Says I have a premium studio villa but when I called the resort they said I have a studio on hotel side in coral section? Any tips on getting there from st Thomas? Westin ferry? Public ferry? What food should we bring or where to buy? Any idea which floor I will get? Any tips on car rental or should I use taxis? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. Four of us going. Two kids, wife and myself

Thx

Kt
 

DeniseM

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Just so you know, it is St. John (no s.)

Calling the resort directly often generates incorrect info., because they haven't even received your reservation from central reservations yet, and won't for awhile.

If this is a Vistana reservation, you will get more accurate info. by calling Owner Services.

If this is an exchange, the resort can put you in any unit that matches the description of the exchange (unit size/occupancy.)

However, Vistana's policy is not to reveal where you will be placed until check-in - even owners aren't told until check-in, so you are unlikely to get anything more than a general description of the type of unit.
 

Lookingtobuy

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Just so you know, it is St. John (no s.)

Calling the resort directly often generates incorrect info., because they haven't even received your reservation from central reservations yet, and won't for awhile.

If this is a Vistana reservation, you will get more accurate info. by calling Owner Services.

If this is an exchange, the resort can put you in any unit that matches the description of the exchange (unit size/occupancy.)

However, Vistana's policy is not to reveal where you will be placed until check-in - even owners aren't told until check-in, so you are unlikely to get anything more than a general description of the type of unit.

Hi Denise

This is a vistana reservation. They had the name last night. I will confirm with owner services. Any tips on other stuff. Ie ferry. Public vs westin?

Thx

Kt
 

lizap

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That's a lot of people for a studio, even with 2 kids. We rented a car in St. Thomas with Amalie, used the car ferry to St John. Highly recommend doing this.
 

Helios

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+1 for Amalie and Ferry.
 

Lookingtobuy

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That's a lot of people for a studio, even with 2 kids. We rented a car in St. Thomas with Amalie, used the car ferry to St John. Highly recommend doing this.
Thx for the info. Does westin charge for parking? Are there lots of parking stalls? Also what is the cost of the ferry?

Thx

Kt
 

lizap

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The cost of the car ferry is $50 round trip plus $4 port fee. We were there off-peak; there was plenty of parking places and no charge.
 

DavidnRobin

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Really depends on what kind of vacation you and family are looking for - kids ages? comfort with water? (e.g. snorkeling)
money to spend on charters? resort or island (2 different experiences)
comfort with driving on left in a car with driver-side on left?
lay on beach? lay next to pool?
read WSJ thread (starting at end) to get some ideas of what to expect - St John is not Hawaii
 

LisaRex

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I agree with David. How old are your kids and what's your budget? Generally, when I plan vacations, I read a lot of Trip Reports (I've posted some here, as has DavidnRobin) and then I start browsing on TripAdvisor for advice on what to do. I'll often book several excursions before I arrive and come armed with a list of restaurants/activities that folks recommend.

For St. John, depending on the ages of your kids, my #1 recommendation aside from cold chilling is a day trip to The Baths, with either a private charter or The Bad Kitty. It's a really neat place to visit. You'll need your passports, but totally worth the trip IMO.

A full-day private charter will set back several hundred bucks, but once again, worth it.

Whether to take the private ferry or rent a car depends on your budget, what you want to do, and how adventurous you are. I usually recommend the Westin ferry for couples on a romantic trip because it sets the mood. For a family of 4, I'd much less likely to recommend it because $220 seems doable, while $480 seems ridiculous.

Personally, I'd opt to rent a car if I was traveling with my family. The advantage of renting on-site is that you can tailor your trip to minimize the days, as there is no discount for renting by the week. It's ~$85 a day. So assuming a Saturday arrival, I'd rent it from noon on Sunday to noon on Friday. On Day 1 and 7, I'd just hang around the resort or rely on taxis.

If you rent a car on St. Thomas (Amalie is a great convenience), however, a great advantage is that it allows you to stop at a reasonably priced grocery store to stock up on food/drinks on the way to the car ferry. You'll save a ton of money doing that vs. eating out all the time.

No wrong way to go, really. It just depends on your personalities and budget.
 
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