Bought my ticket!!
Hi! Just wanted to say thank you for all your help on these boards. I bought my one-way ticket to St. Croix and am coming on Nov. 2. No job, no place to live, no car . . . Woohoo!!!
Of course, all my plans were originally for STJ, but you STX people talked me into changing my mind - not to mention, I have a couple of job leads in Christiansted. =) I had planned to stay at Tamarind on STJ. Is there a comparable place to stay while apartment hunting in Christiansted - or even cheaper? I figure I'll rent a car for the first week or two, and hopefully ship my car in early spring.
Because of the last-minute island switch, I'm also going to leave my cats state side until Christmas - which should make finding a hotel a bit easier.
FYI - just wanted to give ya'll a heads up. When comparing costs for my trip to STX, I looked at roundtrip and one-way fares. It's actually cheaper to buy one-way tickets than roundtrip. I had planned to do round trip (Nov. 2 - Dec. 21, then Dec. 27 - open-ended). Instead, three one-way tickets cost the same as one roundtrip ticket.
Good luck! I am here and its great : )
Thanks!!! I can't wait!!!
I will be moving to STX in about 8 months and just had a few questions for you. Did you make a premove trip at all since you dont have housing or employment set up? How much furniture and other things are you shipping down if any? Lastly what are you doing about your car (shipping or selling it and buying one on the island?) Any info/advice will be greatly appreciated.
I've been to all the US Virgin Islands several times. So, I decided not to do a premove visit to save money. Everything I've read and everyone I've talked to told me not to expect to find anything until I get to the islands - job or housing. My situation is a little unique, because I'm a graduate student and have some funding for the next few months. That takes some of the pressure of the move off. I will still need a part-time job to support myself as I write my thesis.
I know some people who recently moved back from St. Croix. They loved it, and are getting me a lot of information and putting me in contact with some people on the island to help me find a place. I plan to stay in a hotel while I apartment hunt. Ideally, I'll find a furnished apartment. If not, I'll get a futon or something and make arrangements to ship what I need. Everything I own is already in storage, so I will ship the bare minimum down. I want to get down there a spend a little bit of time to figure out what I really need before shipping it.
I'm getting quotes on shipping my car right now. I will likely not ship it until after Christmas, but after doing all my research, I think you are much better off shipping a car than buying one. Especially if you own the car outright.
I wish I could be more help, but until I actually go through this, I'm pretty much sailing on a wing and a prayer (and a lot of message board reading). Best of luck!!! Look forward to seeing you down there!
Thanks for the great advice. I have been to the islands before too so I was hoping to not make a premove trip and just get my one way ticket. I feel a lil more comfortable doing that as well because I have some extra funding too. I know what you mean about sailing on a wing and lots of message reading b/c i think I get caught reading this site more then I read stuff for school. Anyways, best of luck with the big move and keep me posted.
Hey guys here is a little of info from somebody who currently has three years experience in STX.
If you plan on being here forever then yes you may want to ship your car. On the other hand, if you just plan on chilling a few years and could leave your car in storage or bettter yet, with a family member, then just buy an island car. We bought our car for 5600 from Caribbean Auto Mart and although those guys are complete jerks and ripped us off from a previous buy, (long story) our car has worked great for us. And the crazy thing here is that no matter what the mileage is, if your car looks great then you can basically try to sell it very close to the original buying price. One thing to watch out for though is, even buying from a dealership: Ask if the car has any tickets on it. Everything in STX is a little ass-backwards. Down here if you get a parking ticket or even a speeding ticket, it stays with the car and not the person. ITs a real killer when you do the painful registration day and you get all the way throught the long excruciating line...to find out that you now have to either "track" down the previous owner or pay the fine yourself... Oh the joys of dealing with USVI government offices.
As far as housing goes, alot of places come furnished, nicely furnished. We moved to one of Big Beards houses when we first moved here. Our rent at that time was under 600 and it came with a bed, couch, lazy boy, great shelves to store stuff on, etc. Again, if you plan on being here for long then bring all your stuff. But most of the places have furniture or its really easy to get some makeshift furniture at the all important KMart that you will be spending most of your shopping time at.
There are several places on island to live at so keep in mind you do not just have to look at Chrisitiansted. There are nice places in Fredriksted too. I love the North Shore personally. A good place to network or ask about a monthly rate of stay would be Cane Bay Reef Club, thats what we did the first month we lived here. The owners name is Joe Scirto and is really friendly, get on his good side and he'll try to "put your name before" to anyone looking for renters or employees. The Waves at Cane Bay just got a new owner so that place might be a good spot to check out for a beginnning spot. John Macy, AKA Big Beard Buck Island trips, usually has a place to rent so stop by his office and ask about it or if he knows anybody whos looking.
Another bit of advice: If they demand an intense lease...think of these items. Does your place have good hurricane shutters as well as good screens? Is there a generator? Electric or gas stove and stovetop? (always better to have gas because power goes out frequently in the caribbean.) How nice is the neighborhood ? (there are alot of people who will have opinions on this...like myself I would NEVER rent at Club St. Croix or Smugglers Cove because you are literally in the heart of the ghetto yet becuase you live on the water you pay 1,000 a month...NO WAY) If you do get a place on the water, How bad is the salt blast? This is a biggie because if you are into having refrigerators or electronics, well then being right on the water is a sure way to not have those items for long. The salt corrodes everything including phone lines! So really look around a place before you sign anything and ask around for advice if your unsure of anything.
Cell phone service is sometimes sporatic depending on where you are on island. Cingular is currently the best on island, and the second is Sprint. Verizon sometimes work and you can bet T Mobile will definitly not work!!
I hope some of this helps and if anybody needs more info feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the tips. I've taken them to heart and may harass you for more advice as my travel date gets closer!