Steve is here and done
Tropical is at least an hour to 90 minute drive north of Miami.
We decided to spend a few days visiting South Beach (never been). We drove our two cars down from KY and got settled in our hotel. Monday morning, we drove the cars to Tropical. We left one car, drove to the Ft. Lauderdale airport, (fairly close) where we picked up our rental. Drove our car and the rental back to Tropical, finished the paperwork and kissed our cars goodbye for a week. We then used the rental to go back to South Beach. Whole thing took almost all day.
We vacationed on South Beach unti Friday. I am anal and wanted to make sure there was no trouble getting the cars on the ship. On Friday morning we dropped off the rental at the Ft. L airport and flew out of there.
I will say our cars were ready for pick-up on STX the following Monday morning.
We were not familiar with distances and were unpleasantly surprised at the distances and the traffic. It was a pain in the butt. I'd suggest anyone shipping out of Tropical plan on flying from Ft. Lauderdale.
Tropical is just a freight forwarder/consolidator. They handle the shipping of the car only. I don't believe they handle the customs/registrations when the car gets to VI (They might provide the service, but I used Managed Freight.) That is what I used Managed Freight to do. Managed Freight really did not having anything to do with Tropical with the exception of getting me their info and procedures. When/if you call Tropical, the people there will e-mail you all the forms/procedures that you will need to have filled out prior to bringing your car to them. Generally, Tropical is paid for seperately. Since there was a little confusion with my shipping, Managed Freight arranged my payment for me. The only thing I had to do for Managed Freight was to give them the Bill of Lading # so they could track the car and a credit card. They picked up the car, did customs/duties/taxes/registration. Tony, the person on island actually did all the leg work when the car finally arrived here. The other option is to do it all yourself. I just preferred not to have my first dealings on island to be a hassle, so I paid to have everything done. I honestly should have done it myself, because it is one of the experiences of moving to STT, albeit a challenging one (from what I am reading.)
Hi Steve. My name is Jay Miller, I live in Florida and am trying to move to the Islands. I just finished college with a degree in marketing and one in international business. I also have been bartending for 4 years through school. I just found this website yesterday and read your story. That's great! Much luck to you. I wanted to know what company you worked for and If there are any other companies in you feild that may be looking to hire someone with a degree. Mostly, I'm just looking for hints or leads or just anyhting that you think would help in finding a job and moving to the islands.
Thanks for your time
I spoke to Managed Freight and they wanted my Social Security Card, US Driver's Licence, and thensome to clear the car for me on arrival. Is that normal?
It's all normal. Remember you are not going to personally being there standing in line. They have to have all the back up to provide to the counter people. The other item is car insurance. You can pick that up at whatever agency you choose. Just remember that one stays with the car for your proof of insurance. For the car insurance you will need your title again so they can set you up.
Jay I'll send you an e-mail.
FYI on banking. I opened a checking account at Banco Popular on June 2nd. I brought a cashiers check from Bank of America as well as a paycheck to open the account. The funds just became available today June 17th. I am still using my BofA account for my bills so it wasn't an impact on me, but just be prepared to have whatever money you open the account with to be locked up for a while. I would hope opening up a account with cash would be faster, but I would ask before I deposited all my available funds.
Any good advice on what car insurance goes for in STT and what are good, reputable companies?
I went with Guardian Insurance. I am paying $277 for the most basic coverage. For $50 more I could have included coverage for passengers. For $1350 I could have received full coverage. That is all based on the cars value of $23000. I think that the cost was actually fairly reasonable. Driving here is rather easy and the roads (main raods) are actually fairly good. My car loves the hills and turns (so do I.) FYI there were a lot of options in the phone book here. I just went with them since they had multiple offices and they have an actual office complex under their name. (In Havensight.)
Just a follow up on my move, the boxes that I shipped from Key West on the 28th of May arrived here the 25th of June. I tried to ship my computer and monitor (in seperate boxes,) however both showed up DOA. No external damage but the insides had been shaken apart. There were pieces rattling inside of both. Just something to think about when paying to ship electronics.
i was thinking of sending my computer down what do u think what was broken in the tower also i will be in ststhomas on the 17th of aug if u could email me a copy of the island trader that would be cool firstname.lastname@example.org
The monitor was rattling and didn't power up so I didn't really vest any time trying to see what happened to it. The front panel wasn't even getting any power up so not worth the effort. The cpu must have been hit with something with a corner to it because it had hit it square in the front pushing my cd burner into the case. One of the ram chips was laying on the bottom of the case, the main fan was dislodged and loose in the case, and a few wires had been pulled out from the drive being pushed into them. It was an old cpu and had no value, but I wanted it so I could keep my laptop stored away (in case of break ins.)
I did pack it up fairly well, but not good enough to compete with the brutes at the Post Office. Maybe your luck will be better.
I'll see if I can pickup a new Island Trader. The only thing I am needing now is a stereo and even that is not a biggie for me. I'll take a look at the place down the street and send you an e-mail with it.
thank u steve i have two friends that live on the island one told me not to get a place in c.a. the city he said the crime is crazy there i really want a place in town or close my friends found me and my girl a place next to them but we dont have a car and they live on the northside im trying to find a cheap car like in the 500 doller range just to get bye for a couple monthes any help u can do would be awesome we will be down there on aug 18 so maybe we could take u to dinner or something thank you
Loved reading about your adventure of settling in. Could you Please add me to your list when you email a picture of the weekly Island Trader. I am arriving down there on Sept 1st or 2nd and have no clue where I will sleep! I have a job on St John at the Nat Park and although I posted a message on both this board and the one at vinow.com, but I haven't even had one reply so figured either no one is willing to share info or maybe I did something wrong in the posting?? I'm a bit nervous about all this, but excited just the same.
Thanks so much ;-)))
Wow. What an adventure for you! My fiance and I are also relocating to VI (St. Croix) in about a month or so. I don't know if we'll ever be ready! I have heard a lot about the Island Trader and saw your offer to e-mail a copy...would you be so kind as to add us to your list of recipients? We have 2 great dogs that are making the move with us and we need to find someone to us rent long term. Do you know anything about renting furnished vs. unfurnished places? We are trying to come with as little as possible, but we aren't sure that anyone will rent a furnished place to us with dogs? Any insight is greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the info on your move ~ It has been phenomenally helpful!!
John, Denise, Michelle, check your e-mails. The pictures should be there. Let me know if they didn't come over very well.
I'm sorry, but I don't have too much input on the rental market. I got lucky with mine. I have a feeling that most of the long term rentals are furnished. From what I have seen in the classifieds the larger percentage have been furnished. I think because of the distance and hassle/cost of shipping household goods, it is better for rentors to have furnished places. Plus, if they can't/don't want to do the long term route, they can make a bunch of money as a vacation rental.