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donkey_jaw
(@donkey_jaw)
Active Member

Ok I visited St. Thomas in July for just one day. All I can say is WOW. I had a great time and loved the crystal clear water. Me and my cousin are thinking about moving .I've done some research but I've still got plenty of questions I hope you guys can help me out with.....

1. How much does it cost to have a crate shipped to the Virgin Islands from the mainland?
2. I figure I'd like to live on St. Thomas or St Croix but what are the main differences between the two?
Is one island cheaper than the other?
Does one have better beaches?
3. Do cruise ships visit St. Croix also?
4. How do the snorkeling tours go? Im thinking of buying a boat and offering 2-3 hour snorkeling tours?
Is the market for that already saturated or is there room for more?
Do they make enough income to compensate for their expenses?
How much does it cost to dock your boat?
etc....

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again

Jason

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Topic starter Posted : September 20, 2010 2:09 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

My answers are shown > LIKE THIS
Read this forum for a bit. Lots of these questions are discussed frequently. Then ask us for specifics.

1. How much does it cost to have a crate shipped to the Virgin Islands from the mainland?
> BETWEEN $10 AND $10,000. TELL US THE SIZE AND ORIGIN, AND MAYBE WE CAN ESTIMATE IT FOR YOU
2. I figure I'd like to live on St. Thomas or St Croix but what are the main differences between the two?
> STT IS MORE CROWDED, HAS MORE EXPENSIVE REAL ESTATE, HAS MORE DIRECT FLIGHTS TO THE MAINLAND, IS EASIER TO GET TO OTHER ISLANDS LIKE STJ AND BVI. STX HAS MORE COURTEOUS DRIVERS.
Is one island cheaper than the other?
> STX HAS CHEAPER REAL ESTATE AND GASOLINE. OTHERWISE ABOUT THE SAME.
Does one have better beaches?
> NO
3. Do cruise ships visit St. Croix also?
> ONE PER WEEK
4. How do the snorkeling tours go? Im thinking of buying a boat and offering 2-3 hour snorkeling tours?
Is the market for that already saturated or is there room for more?
> I'D SAY SATURATED, DUE TO LACK OF DEMAND
Do they make enough income to compensate for their expenses?
How much does it cost to dock your boat?
etc....
> SEE THIS RECENT POSTING/THREAD WITH SUBJECT "Yearly boat slip rental" https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,143356,143418#msg-143418

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Posted : September 20, 2010 3:37 am
donkey_jaw
(@donkey_jaw)
Active Member

It would be a crate big enough to ship all of our clothes, some furniture like 2 beds, desk, chairs, kayak, etc. i guess a pretty large crate. Not the size that a 18 wheeler carries. Right now the main thing holding us back is finding the right boat.

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2010 7:21 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Don't take this the wrong way, donkey, but -- Gather your expense estimates and then double them, as you may well find you have to ship it all back, when you find out things here aren't what they look like from a one-day vacation.... Starting a business down here is not like starting one stateside, either. It might work out for you, but from what you've written, it sounds like you'll need to do a ton more research if you're going to keep from making a very expensive mistake.

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Posted : September 21, 2010 7:29 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

It would be a crate big enough to ship all of our clothes, some furniture like 2 beds, desk, chairs, kayak, etc. i guess a pretty large crate. Not the size that a 18 wheeler carries. Right now the main thing holding us back is finding the right boat.

OK, I can give you an estimate now: Thousand(s).

You want a container, not a crate. They come in 10-, 20- and 40-foot lengths. It also depends on where you're coming from. Florida? Alaska? And you might have to pay duty on some of the contents.

In 2005, we paid about $9000 to ship a 40-foot container from NJ to STX. It had a car and household goods. The price included movers who loaded and unloaded the goods at each end, out of the old house, and into the new one.

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Posted : September 21, 2010 8:27 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I would say you "don't want a crate/container at all" ...not until you know more about the islands, get here, find a place (which may come with some furnishings), are sure you want to stay, and are sure of what you want to bring down.

Buying a few things once you get here is a lot cheaper than shipping your stuff down and shipping it back if you decide you made a mistake. (The assumption here is based on your basic set of questions which indicates you haven't been here and/or learned enough to make an informed decision. This isn't a slap, it's just a friendly caution.)

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Posted : September 22, 2010 12:21 pm
donkey_jaw
(@donkey_jaw)
Active Member

If we moved down the only things we would bring would be clothes, a few personal items and maybe some big electronics devices ( TV, computers, etc.) So the crate wouldn't be that large. We are from NC by the way. I've found several houses that are already furnished so moving would not be that big of a deal. We're thinking of buying scooters to get around the island with. For those of you who already live there is that a good practical way to get around the island? I know getting caught in the rain sucks but I'm used to that. I drive a jeep with the doors/top off regularly while at home.

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2010 10:54 pm
lovestosail
(@lovestosail)
Advanced Member

In 4 weeks I've never seen a scooter on STT. I drive 30-45 minutes everyday, to and from work.

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Posted : September 23, 2010 11:04 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

A scooter is a good way to get yourself killed. Too many blind curves, vegetation growing over the edge of the road, fast drivers, drunk drivers, sudden stops, etc.

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Posted : September 23, 2010 11:11 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

One day in St. Thomas. Hmm.

You might ask yourself, "Why do I want to move to the VI?"

If it's climate and clear water, any place in the Caribbean will do.

If it's lifestyle, it depends on what you are looking for. I hate crowds, so I chose St. Croix instead of St. Thomas.

Jobs may be more available on St. Thomas, but no place is good for jobs at this time.

"...buying a boat and offering 2-3 hour snorkeling tours"? Definitely saturated with companies who have been here for a long time.

My advice: Plan to come for a longer visit, a "pre-move visit," or PMV. Definitely come to St. Croix.

Good luck!

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Posted : September 23, 2010 11:59 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

All of Edward's advice is very sound.

Search the archives for "scooter" (make sure to set your search limit to include all posts; it defaults to last 30 days). The short answer is, no; and practical considerations aside, if you're not a very skilled and experienced motorcyclist, this is noplace to become one.

For what you are considering shipping, come with a bunch of suitcases and buy a TV here. Ship a few boxes by USPS if you have to.

If you move down without doing a pre-move visit, store your stuff stateside so it is there waiting for you when you move back to Carolina -- because with a one-day look, the odds are definitely against you wanting to stay here permanently. Not impossible, but lots of people have already worn those shoes you have on right now.

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Posted : September 24, 2010 12:14 am
donkey_jaw
(@donkey_jaw)
Active Member

Thanks for the comments guys. Yes we would definitely do a pre-move visit before hand. From what I've learned St Croix Sounds like the the best place to suit us. The hard part is finding the right boat for us.

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Topic starter Posted : September 29, 2010 9:13 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Suggest you move down and work for others for 6 months or a year until you get a feel for the opportunities here.

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Posted : September 29, 2010 9:23 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Donkey: Read the thread "I lived in St Thomas for 4 years and heed this advice:

DON'T DO IT!

There, don't say I didn't warn you.;)

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Posted : September 29, 2010 9:49 pm
donkey_jaw
(@donkey_jaw)
Active Member

East Ender, I've already read your post a few days ago and I can see why you're upset. However no matter where someone lives they either hate it or love it. If you love the big city but live in the country you're unhappy. If you love the country but live in a big city you're unhappy. I can see the Virgin Islands as a place that qualifies "to each his own".

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Topic starter Posted : September 30, 2010 8:35 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I am not upset. Guess I didn't use enough emoticons...;)D

Just want to make sure you hear the message that this place is really, really different, so you don't say no one told you! 😉

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Posted : October 1, 2010 12:50 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

Hee hee! Can't win, can ya? I was surprised to read that someone thought that people 'sugar coated' living in the VI. I always thought that this board 'poo coated' it. 😀 Life here isn't for everyone, but I think if you are thinking about giving it a go, the GO FOR IT. Just make sure you have a plan B in case things don't work out. I don't recommend doing what I did.... selling everything I had, buying a round trip ticket, have no place to stay, no job, and almost no money, and crossing your fingers. I always had that ticket back to the states...but it was rough going for the first few months! I just got really lucky and happen to love it here. After 11 years, I couldn't even imagine living stateside again. I get overstimulated every time I visit 😀

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Posted : October 1, 2010 6:18 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

I don't get overstimulated when I go back stateside but I do gain at least 10 lbs. 😉

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Posted : October 1, 2010 12:09 pm
donkey_jaw
(@donkey_jaw)
Active Member

So I guess we're going to try to come down for a few week(s) in a few months to check things out. I'll keep you guys updated on which island we decide to come to.

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Topic starter Posted : October 3, 2010 5:01 am
cayennita
(@cayennita)
Advanced Member

Before you decide on a snorkeling business, check with DPNR for business permits to Buck Island. I believe that there is a moratorium. Need a boat with a capacity to take at least 6 maybe 10. Need a Coast Guard license. There are 6-7 cat/tri boats doing the snorkel tours as well as 5-6 power boats.
For dockage email Jones Maritime. Right on the board walk. I lived there on my 51 footer and paid $650.00 including water and electricity. Has refrigeration and 2 16,000 BTU a/c's. Very reasonable. Old age forced me to put it up for sale. There are deals in STT for powerboats and also sail boats. Look up the various boat broker companies.
Even though you might not get a permit in STX for Buck Island, there is still a lot of reef to snorkel at. Check about permits before taking the plunge. Contact VI Cargo for shipping, around $3.00 per cubic foot.

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Posted : October 3, 2010 8:16 am
jickes
(@jickes)
Advanced Member

Glad to hear you're going to visit for a few weeks, did you decide stt or stx? If you chose STT then be sure to take at least one day to visit St John. It is by far the prettiest and most natural island of the three. It is also the most expensive to live, but worth going to. Hope you find the niche you're looking for when you get there. Just wondering why you only got to spend one day in the first place, cruise ship? If so then you'll see the island in a whole different lighting by spending a few weeks...good luck!

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Posted : October 3, 2010 9:28 am
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

It seems that every week there is at least 1 posting from somebody looking to relocate to VI. Its always the same questions - enough already read prior postings

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Posted : October 3, 2010 9:44 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Maybe it would help to address this in the "Message for new board users, please read" thread at the top of the page. I've certainly asked my share of questions, and I've been grateful for the answers I've received. There are always questions that haven't been asked, and there are new twists on the same old issues, but seeing the same questions and the same answers all the time does detract from the usefulness of the board. Maybe we could all direct more time and attention to new and different topics if the old ones didn't keep coming up all the time.

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Posted : October 4, 2010 2:15 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Among the rules at the "Board Rules & Help" at https://www.vimovingcenter.com/info/messageboard.php is the following. I added the bold for emphasis. Because of this rule, I either answer the question (sometimes with links to relevant threads), or ignore the question and let others do the drudge work. But I don't usually just say, "Go search for the answer."

QUOTE
Follow basic etiquette for written communication: DON'T USE ALL CAPS (its hard to read and is the equivalent to shouting), don't use an excessive amount of abbreviations and do use punctuation. Welcome new members. In response to a question, provide an answer; do not respond solely with instructions to use the search feature. Do not correct other participants' spelling or grammar. Keep sarcastic comments to a minimum. No critical comments about other board members. Limit the use of 'bump posts', members will assume its something new to read only to find out its not. Try to respond to and ask questions on the board, this insures that all participants benefit from the information being shared. When comments are of a one to one nature or private, use private messaging or email. One last tip, if you post a question or comment come back to check the answers and acknowledge that other board members have taken the time to respond.
UNQUOTE

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Posted : October 4, 2010 12:16 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

It seems that every week there is at least 1 posting from somebody looking to relocate to VI. Its always the same questions - enough already read prior postings

I agree. But in fairness, this the "relocation" board, not the "have relocated" board.

So we really need another board.
One for those who HAVE RELOCATED, and don't want to keep going over the same 'relocation issues',
and one for those who are THINKING OF RELOCATING.

Islander?

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Posted : October 4, 2010 1:56 pm
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