HELP!!! MOVING LAST...
 
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HELP!!! MOVING LAST MINUTE TO ST. JOHN OR ST. THOMAS  

 

Darbydale78
(@Darbydale78)
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November 18, 2018 9:50 am  

Hello there!

My name is Darby, and my fiance Michael just received a job offer to move to the Virgin Islands - either St Thomas or st. John, though it sounds like it will probably be st. John - at least initially. We received the offer only about 2 weeks ago and his boss wants us to be there by December 3rd. So as you can imagine, we are going a little crazy trying to pack up our entire house , move everything out, and get everything ready and hopefully not lose our sanity in the process LOL! Hence I have been doing a lot of research and that's how I came across this blog which has been very helpful but I still have a ton of questions and concerns as I myself have never even been out of the continental US! So even though I am very excited about this opportunity I would greatly appreciate any advice and answers to the questions I have. Hopefully some of the kind people who live on the island can help me out, and hopefully before I pull out all my hair out haha... J / k... kinda LOL????. So here goes!

1. Our current phone carrier is Cricket which my fiance's sister said she also has it and when she was there a couple years ago her phone worked fine. Is there anything we need to call Cricket about or do so that our phones will work if the service is still even available over there?

2. My boyfriend's boss will be putting us up in a small one-bedroom apartment all utilities and rent covered but I'm curious if there are any other unexpected expenses like water or trash that we may have to pay for. And I'm also curious as to what kind of condition it might be in because I know there's a lot of hurricane damage seeing as that is why he is going there to work in the first place. From the sounds of it it's a beautiful condo overlooking the water but I can't help but wonder if it's too good to be true... also, in general, what are the sizes of one bedroom condos or apartments out there? I wish I knew more about where exactly we will be staying but I know the island is pretty small so maybe someone might have some info or thoughts.... I figure it doesn't hurt to ask.

3. I am bringing my 18 year old cat Whish who I've had her entire life and she is still very active and healthy but we aren't sure how long we will be over there (4-6 months at least) and after a lot of careful consideration we think it's best I bring her with me as she has a tendency to be how should I put it - ummmm - well, a bit of a brat when she's not with me lol. And I would hate for anything bad to happen to her if I left her here on the cape (as in Cape Cod Mass where we currently reside) so we've decided it's better she come with us. I have researched everything I need to do to be able to bring her with me but any additional advice on dealing with the airport or when I get to the islands would be greatly appreciated. Also, she is an indoor cat and i intend to keep it that way - so she should be pretty safe i would assume...?

4. While I am on the subject of animals, a lot of the things I have read have said it's a good idea to get a dog as to deter any Intruders and I figure I could take it with me whenever I go out seeing as my boyfriend will be working 7 days a week so I will be on my own a lot. I know not to go out at night at least not by myself, and my cat has been around many dogs and raised pitbulls and Rottweilers with no problem, she's definitely the boss LOL! So I'm not worried about the cat and the dog. Also, I am a huge animal lover so either we would bring the dog back with us or I would make sure I found it a good home when we left . But any recommendations on where to get a dog, a shelter maybe? And any other thoughts on the subject are appreciated!

5. How is the crime on St John and St. Thomas? I've read a lot about that also but there's a lot of conflicting thoughts on it and it generally sounds like you just be as careful as you would be anywhere else. I've lived in New Jersey for many years as well as in Providence Rhode Island so I have plenty of Street smarts, I'm not just some ignorant girl from the cape which by the way has plenty of it's own crime too and plenty of places I would not go out at night either.

6. Recommendations on what to bring with us that's expensive down there and what not to bother bringing with us that we can get when we move there and doesn't cost a ton. And the prices on Cape Cod aren't exactly the best either so you have to be a pretty Savvy Shopper here as well but advice on where to buy stuff like furniture, food, clothes and stuff for the cat and possible dog would be nice to know ahead of time.

7. What pharmacies are available on the islands? I tried Googling them and didn't come up with much. I have medications I have to take everyday and pick up once a month and I usually go through CVS Walgreens or Rite Aid. Are any of them available on the islands?

8. Is there anything we may need passports for? I have one but it literally expired almost exactly a month ago...but sadly it didn't have a single stamp on it?. But i plan on changing that ASAP!! Haha ???? My fiance on the other hand has never had a passport. So does anyone know if we can renew mine and get one for him when we get down there or do we have to do it while we are still here in the states?

9. What banks are down there and which one would you recommend? I have an account with an online bank Capital One and i know they are world wide..

10. How is the postal service there? Are there any of them locally and convenient? Can you get your mail sent directly to your home in most areas? Or do you hsbevto get a p.o. box or would you reccomend a p.o. box due to safety concerns?

11. I am prone to seizures (which have GREATLY decreased due to the medical marijuana) so I have a medical marijuana card...what are the policies down there on the subject? Are there shops where i can purchase any with my medical card and will they even accept it being that its issued from out of state?

12. Lastly, I have been in the restaurant business for 20+ years, mainly as a bartender and i also have a lot of fine dining experience as well as working on speed bars, night clubs and other very busy establishments and settings. I've also worked independently catering private events at people's homes and for weddings etc etc. Are there many restaurants, bars, night clubs, or fine dining establishments such as golf clubs or sailing clubs where I might find work? If so any recommendations? I also have a Bachelors Degree (BSBA In interdisciplinary business with a focus on marketing and advertising )from a very well-renowned School - Suffolk University out of Boston Mass.

If you took the time to read this or any of this at all and respond to any of my questions I GREATLY appreciate it! Any and all help and or advice on anything at all is welcome and would be truly appreciated and totally awesome, thank you ahead of time and i look forward to possibly meeting some of you!!


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Exit Zero
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November 18, 2018 4:13 pm  

First of all to get the answers you really need you must find out which island you will be living on.
1 - ATT is the preferred carrier by far, Cricket? might work?
2 - ask the employer which island the apt. is on today
3 - cat - no problems, make sure condo allows
4 - wait a while to settle in before you decide on a dog
5 - I do not find a safety concern
6 - depends on what island again
7- Walgreens on STT, fair amount of other pharmacies as well
8 - passport office on STT Nisky Center , no problem
9 - online bank should work fine
10 - postal service is good, same prices as States, not much home delivery, PO box or private mail services are your choices
11 - No legal sales of medical MJ
12- plenty of restaurants on both islands
Good Luck with the move!


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East Ender
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November 18, 2018 8:13 pm  

I wish you luck also!

If you are being put up in a condo overlooking the water, I suspect you will be living on St Thomas. You will need to find out if your cat is allowed. Dogs are probably not going to be allowed. If all utilities are included, you are very lucky. Electric is expensive. Water is typically 5-6 cents a gallon if metered at a condo. You will either take your trash to a bin on the road or there will be a place to put it at the condo. Does the place have generator back-up? Lots of power outages these days.

If you have seizures, you may want to make an appointment with Dr. Weisher, our neurologist. No medical marijuana. If this is important, you might need to stay put until your fiance gets done with his tour. Do you have medical insurance?

P. S. No golf clubs and the St Thomas Yacht Club is not upscale.Very few upscale anything recently. More middle of the road restaurants that charge upscale prices. LOL


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Alana33
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November 19, 2018 1:13 am  

DON'T get a dog unless you plan on a forever one.

There are a lot of hoops to go thru bringing pets in and out.

Have you checked airline regulations for bringing your 18 yr. old cat?

No medical marijuana that I am aware of on island.

Is company providing healthcare coverage? For how long?

Where are they putting you up?
Are they providing transportation while here? You're gonna need it!


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Alana33
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November 19, 2018 1:51 am  

Both STT and STJ are still in hurricane recovery.
Your fiancee needs to whittle down details.
Seriously!
Basic would be what island,
what accommodations, for how long, is transportation included, healthcare, etc.for how much?

Power outages still happening, roads turn into rivers when we have downpours, some completely missing sections of roads, no sidewalks, road markers, streetlights gigantic potholes, no functioning hospital.

Not trying to deter you but these are realities.

There will be challenges.
You'll either take to it like a dolphin in the open ocean or one caged in a pen.


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fdr
 fdr
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November 19, 2018 12:17 pm  

Good morning! Adding on to everyone else's great responses:

1 - Cricket is part of AT&T, so it will work great. We cannot purchase Cricket plans from the USVI, but if you arrive with one, you can keep it & will have AT&T service on it.

2 - Size varies for 1-br places, but thank your lucky stars you have this issue arranged ahead of time. Finding housing on STJ is incredibly expensive and competitive right now with limited supply. Whatever the condition, you are probably very very lucky with that deal.

3 - Lots has been written on this topic; search the archives. Keep in mind that on St John we do not have 24/7 veterinary care available. If you have an issue on a Friday that does not merit an emergency call, you will not get help until Monday morning at the earliest.

4 - Do not get a dog for the reasons you describe. Our shelters are full of animals that people couldn't keep due to housing or moving back to the states. It is hard to find housing that will take a dog should you ever have to leave that divine condo.

5 - Aside from some places where break-ins happen with a bit too much regularity, St John has little crime. St Thomas has more.

6 - You're way ahead of yourself here. Search the archives of this board for when you actually need this information.

7 - There is a Walgreens on St Thomas and several smaller local pharmacies that will have what you need. You can also order 90-day supply through mail-order if you are well stocked up ahead of time (at least a month). Chelsea Drug Store is the only place on STJ for prescriptions.

8 - It is possible to get your passports done here, but way easier in the states, so do it before you leave if you can. If you ever want to take a boat trip to the BVIs, as many people enjoy doing on weekends, you will need a passport.

9 - Online banking works great. I would recommend Merchants Commercial Bank as a local bank (they do personal accounts as well). All local banks charge a fee if you do not keep a certain minimum balance.

10 - Postal service works the same way as anywhere else in the country. Get a PO box when you arrive and have proof of address. You can ship packages ahead of time to a mail service like Connections or The Mail Center (both on St John), who will hold them (for a short while, they both have very limited space!) for a fee.

11 - No medical marijuana is available. Plenty of regular marijuana is available for sale approximately half a block from the police station on STJ.

12 - There is plenty of work available; the bigger challenge is housing. If you have that wrapped up, you're golden! Best wishes for the move.


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Afriend
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November 19, 2018 1:39 pm  

You've received some excellent advise so heed it carefully.

Your boyfriend should clarify which island the rent free apartment is located on and on which island he will actually be working. To some it may sound obvious but you DO NOT want to live on one island and work on the other. Commuting between islands can get old really fast and has it's own set of challenges.


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mtdoramike
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Posts: 955
November 20, 2018 11:43 am  

Alana33 wrote:
DON'T get a dog unless you plan on a forever one.

There are a lot of hoops to go thru bringing pets in and out.

Have you checked airline regulations for bringing your 18 yr. old cat?

No medical marijuana that I am aware of on island.

Is company providing healthcare coverage? For how long?

Where are they putting you up?
Are they providing transportation while here? You're gonna need it!

Yes, please do not ever get a pet because it's the suggested thing to do, get an alarm system is stead. Get a dog because you want something to love and cherish for the rest of it's life, which could be 15 years.


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East Ender
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November 22, 2018 10:55 am  

Re: marijuana use... https://stthomassource.com/content/2018/11/21/green-thumb-sideline-puts-parks-worker-in-the-weeds-with-feds/

"Just trying to make a little extra money, your honor."


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Apants11
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November 26, 2018 7:54 pm  

Hello, my name is Angie. I’m moving to St. Thomas in February to start a new exciting chapter in my life. I just turned 40 and raised my child ( who is out on her own) I fell in love with St. Thomas the few times I was out. I came out in September and decided that this is where I’d like to spend the second part of my life. I’ve been bartending for 19 years. I’m selling all of my Stuff and I want to start over. I’d love any advice I can get before I get on the plane with my one way ticket and suitcase. I work hard and I’m loyal. I’ve been with my current job for 11 years. It’s scary to start over but exciting. If anyone could suggest or recommend a small safe place to live in the beginning of my journey I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m clean and quiet. Also, job suggestions would be appreciated. I have a new car that I bought before I decided to go on this journey. I was thinking about selling it as well. Can I get around without one for a few months? Thank you for any help in advance.
Sincerely, Angie


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East Ender
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November 26, 2018 10:33 pm  

Angie: You might want to start your own thread as you have different needs than the OP. And welcome to VInow!


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