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Tickets Purchased! PMV Questions commence!  

 

MeaganCooney
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November 7, 2012 1:18 am  

Hello Everyone!

So, my husband and I officially have bought our plane tickets for our PMV!! We will be getting into STT around 2 pm on Dec 4th so we are thinking about staying in Red Hook for that night. We will then proceed over to St. John for the rest of our stay.

Are there any 'can't-miss' events going on in that time frame?

We are renting a car for our entire stay (as per your guidance).

We are going to stay at Maho Bay Camp for Dec 5th & 6th but we haven't figured out where we will go from there. Any suggestions? We wanted to stay there because its the cheapest I can find and I highly doubt that Ill be spending much time indoors anyways.

We are throwing around the idea of going over to the BVI for a night. What are your favorite locations on that island?

All suggestions encouraged and appreciated!

Thank You in advance!

~Meagan & Jeremy


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VIsnorkeler
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November 7, 2012 1:38 am  

How long is your PMV? You are aware that there are no *hotels* in Red Hook, right? And that Maho Bay Camps is on STJ? And that the BVIs are more than one island? :S


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ms411
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November 7, 2012 1:47 am  

Your PMV sounds more like a vacation to me. Are you thinking of moving to St John or St Thomas?


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MeaganCooney
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November 7, 2012 2:49 am  

Yes 'VI Snorkeler' I am aware of this:

By hotel, I was referring to a place of lodging. Our eventual destination is St. John we had just thought that it may be nice to spend a day on STT.

As far as the BVI's are concerned of course I know that it is more than one island. I am just fishing for ideas here.

ms411:

We are thinking of moving to STJ. It is more of a vacation, but we are going to spend alot of time scoping out different areas of the island(s). We're hoping this will give us a fair idea of whether or not we want to live there (though I know we will just get a taste).


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MeaganCooney
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November 7, 2012 2:54 am  

To all future viewers of this thread:

Sorry for my grammatical error. When asking about the BVIs, I meant:

"We are throwing around the idea of going over to the BVIs for a night. What are your favorite locations on the islands?

Thank You!!!

~Meagan


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terigay
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November 7, 2012 5:09 am  

Sent you a PM 🙂


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MeaganCooney
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November 7, 2012 6:45 am  

Thank you for bein so helpful Teri!!


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Alana33
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November 7, 2012 8:25 am  

Hard to find one night lodging for this time of year but it's possible.
If you are looking for a place to stay you can check www.starvillas.com
I think they have a 4 night min. during this time of yr.
Dec. is high season so prices are higher as well as tourist activity.
Most vacation rentals will have a min 4 - 7 night stay during Dec.- April.
There are some guest houses and boutique hotels in Cruz bay area you can check on.
Try to spend a couple nights in BVI/Tortola and visit Cane Garden Bay.
There are camp grounds over at Jost Van Dyke you can check out but remember it's the beginning of high season so try to make your arrangements in advance. That goes for car rentals as well.

As for Maho Bay, be ready to be going up and down lots of steps and bring bug spray.
I like the camp sites and cottages at Cinnamon, much better than Maho.
Be sure to check out all the beaches as well as Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins.
There's lots to do, see and explore so you won't be bored.
Be sure also to check and see what activities the National Park Service may have lined up during the time you are there.
Go by Connections and check out their bulletin board and get the local STJ paper.

How long will your PMV be?
Have a great time!:@)


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MeaganCooney
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November 7, 2012 2:17 pm  

Alana33:

Thank you for your reply! I have emailed starvillas regarding their studio apartment. Hopefully that will work out for part of our stay. We have tried our best to plan this trip before high season but life's been too hectic :S From what I've seen rates will go up drastically on the 15th of December so hopefully I can still get a decent deal.

As far as the Cinnamon/Maho comparison, what are your pros & cons to both? Honestly we are wanting to check it out to see if we would be interested in participating in their work exchange program for the summer of 2013. If bearable, this would make moving to the island so much simpler with a smoother transition. Do you know anyone who has taken advantage of this either for Maho or Concordia?

We will definitely check out the bulletin board as soon as we get to the island. We've already booked our car rental so we will have access to all of the beaches. We plan on seeing pretty much everything on island (gonna be amazing & exhausting). And we will definitely make our way over to BVI! It would be a shame to be so close but to not take advantage of it!

Our visit is a week long!

Thank you once again!!!

~Meagan


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jostvandog
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November 7, 2012 2:55 pm  

Take a ferry to Jost Van Dyke in the BVIs and go to White Bay. Try Ivans Campground for lodging and go to the best bar in the Virgin Islands...Seddy's One Love....


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Alana33
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November 7, 2012 3:37 pm  

I agree, Ivan's is cool!
Try to make it over to Great Harbor to check out Foxy's and Ali Baba's.
So much to do, so little time!


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VIsnorkeler
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November 7, 2012 4:08 pm  

Excuse me for insulting your intelligence, "MeaganCooney." I truly didn't mean to come across that way. I, like ms411, wondered if this was a vacation disguised as a PMV.

Do you have a place in Red Hook lined up for that first night?

I have been to Maho Bay Campground, Cinnamon, and Concordia. We stayed at Concordia for a weekend in July. While I have never stayed at either of the other two, I know several people who have. Cinnamon is part of the National Park. The drawback there would be that it will be more crowded than Maho or Concordia. Maho and Concordia have A LOT of stairs. Be prepared for that and it won't be a big deal. All three are gorgeous and have plenty to do. And all three will probably have you reaching for the bug spray, too.

As for the BVIs, if all you can do is one day, go to Jost. Tortolla is really fun, too. We took a vacation there this time last year, spent a couple of days on Tortolla and took a day trip to Virgin Gourda and The Baths -- so amazing!

Try to make time to go about the normal business of living otherwise you won't really get an idea of what it's like to LIVE here. Go grocery shopping? Take your garbage to the nearest bins? Stand in line at a bank, just for fun? Try to call someone at the cable company, maybe?


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MeaganCooney
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November 7, 2012 4:11 pm  

Seddy's One Love & Ivans will happen! Thanks for the tip!

I'm so excited about this trip! & I love that whatever I don't get to do I can do when I live there 😀


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MeaganCooney
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November 7, 2012 4:28 pm  

VISnorkeler:

It's no problem, its my bad for posting too quickly with too much excitement haha.

I think we've actually ruled out RedHook altogether.

When you stayed in Cinnamon Camps, did you stay in the tent or the cottage? I think I'm going to split things up pretty evenly between several different locations in order to get a fuller experience. Moving around wont be too difficult considering that we are travelling with only a backpack each and we have a rental car already lined up.

I wish we could've planned a trip for 2 weeks+ but we figure we should save the funds for the actual move. I think that as far as the BVIs are concerned we will most likely only get to visit Jost Van Dyke on this trip (if we get to visit it at all). Exploration of these islands might have to wait for our actual move.

We plan on grocery shopping in St. Thomas before heading over to STJ on the ferry. We will definitely explore the local shops & get a feel for the items that are too overpriced for our budget. I'm looking forward to scoping out P.O.'s & Banks etc. I know that life & lines are much slower down there but that's honestly what I'm looking forward to! 😀 We need a change of pace.

Thanks to all for the input so far!


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Alana33
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November 7, 2012 5:37 pm  

In the past, I have stayed at both.
I liked the cottages better out of the 2 choices at Cinnamon but that's my personal choice.
I'm not big on the stairs at Maho.

If in a tent be sure not to leave any foodstuff unattended on picnic tables (anywhere you stay) as you'll be robbed by thrushies (birds), iguana's, mongoose, etc. Best to leave your cooler in tent and keep tent zipped. You may want to put a big rock on the lid, just in case.

Any market you go to in STT, you will have sticker shock. More so in STJ.
If you have a special brand of coffee you like, bring enough for your week's visit.
It's light and won't take much space in your back pack.

And bring lots of $$$ so you can enjoy all that you want to do!


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OldTart
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November 7, 2012 5:37 pm  

You do realize that Maho will be closing in the Spring of 2013 so you won't have the option of joining their work program? Concordia will continue to operate but the number of applicants for the work program is huge.

In the probably limited time you have available for a PMV it's (in my opinion) counter productive to take any side trips to the BVI. If you're seriously here for the purpose of deciding whether or not living here would suit you there is way too much to do involving sheer practicalities to basically waste time going on extra curricular jaunts. You can do all of that if and when you decide to move here.

You say where STJ is concerned that, "I think I'm going to split things up pretty evenly between several different locations in order to get a fuller experience. " Do you realize how small the island is? Ditto for STT where your chances of finding employment are much greater than on STJ while on neither island are the prospects anywhere near as good as they were several years ago before the recession.

I agree with others who expressed their concern that this PMV as you describe it sounds more like an inexpensive vacation than a real PMV. One short sortie around the supermarkets on either STT or STJ isn't going to mean a whole lot. What's more important is finding your way around both islands and investigating job opportunities/wages and rental locations/prices on both. "Life and lines" being much slower may sound appealing but for many eventually prove to be major negatives when combined with the high COL and the frustration involved in trying to find suitable employment to cover it all. Good luck!


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VIsnorkeler
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November 7, 2012 6:22 pm  

When you end up spending all day long running errands, grocery shopping, doing your banking, stopping at the post office, blah blah blah, because of island time and long, slow lines on your day off, INSTEAD OF going to the beach, you will find that just a smidgen less than enjoyable. Of course, even if you get to the beach by, say 3 o'clock in the afternoon, you are still here instead of there!


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DonExodus
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November 8, 2012 12:50 am  

Check out 2 sandals by the sea in redhook- good place, cheap, close.


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fdr
 fdr
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November 8, 2012 5:09 am  

So, my husband and I officially have bought our plane tickets for our PMV!! We will be getting into STT around 2 pm on Dec 4th so we are thinking about staying in Red Hook for that night. We will then proceed over to St. John for the rest of our stay.

Congratulations, Meagan! You must be excited. Here's my two cents from the other side of having moved down here:

If you really want to move to STJ, you need to experience getting there the way those of us who live there do. It sounds like you are renting your vehicle on STT, not STJ. So you will want to get your groceries as quickly as possible before zipping to Red Hook to catch the next car barge. Always get on the next available barge; you never know if the one after it will be running!

If you like living on STJ, you won't enjoy spending much time on STT. I wouldn't waste time with an overnight in Red Hook, especially if my PMV was also a vacation.

To really get a sense of what it's like to arrive on island as a local, you're not doing it right without a mad dash from the airport in a taxi to make the next ferry! An experience not to be missed. 😉

Are there any 'can't-miss' events going on in that time frame?

Read the Tradewinds online (stjohnnews.com, download the current issue as a PDF - you have to be a member) to find out what's coming up with events.

We are going to stay at Maho Bay Camp for Dec 5th & 6th but we haven't figured out where we will go from there. Any suggestions? We wanted to stay there because its the cheapest I can find and I highly doubt that Ill be spending much time indoors anyways.

Why stay in more than one place? You're only going to be here for a short time; no sense in wasting it on transitioning from one lodging to another. The St John Inn and Tamarind Inn are two other less expensive lodgings, both in Cruz Bay.

Maho is lovely but not representative of what STJ living is like for most of us in terms of a commute. As someone else pointed out, if you do get accepted into the work exchange program, you will be at Concordia, not Maho, which is in the boonies in a totally different direction.

We are throwing around the idea of going over to the BVI for a night. What are your favorite locations on that island?

Even for people who come here for a week's vacation for the first time, it's suggested that they skip the BVI thing. There is plenty to see and do right on STJ. Especially if you are trying to get a sense of the island and what it's like to live here, again, doesn't seem like a good use of time. You can always go to the BVIs after you move -- seems you can usually find about a third of STJ at White Bay on any given Sunday!

Good luck to you. Let us know how it goes!


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piaa
 piaa
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November 8, 2012 12:16 pm  

I suggest that you "live" like a local during your PMV (which I agree sounds like more of a vacation than a true PMV)

Figure out you income, how much of that would be spent on groceries and then for the week you are here rent somewhere - maybe Samuel Cottages where you have a kitchen - and go shopping and cook all breakfast, lunch, dinners on your allowance like you would if you lived here (sounds ridiculous I know but money for essentials does not go as far on St John - OK allow yourself one day of splurging) don't bring deodorant, sunblock, toothpaste, shampoo etc and go shop for it here and see the prices.

Look at rental apartments during your stay - see how far (or not) $1,000 per month goes - remember if you use AC in your rental (only in the bedroom) that you can expect a monthly bill anywhere from $300 - $400 per month !!!!

Go to the PO and mail a letter (or even a package back to yourself) to see how long it can take standing in line - wile you are there ask them the process for opening a mail box.

Just some things to think about.

Pia (on St John)


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VIsnorkeler
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November 8, 2012 2:56 pm  

I suggest that you "live" like a local during your PMV (which I agree sounds like more of a vacation than a true PMV)

Figure out you income, how much of that would be spent on groceries and then for the week you are here rent somewhere - maybe Samuel Cottages where you have a kitchen - and go shopping and cook all breakfast, lunch, dinners on your allowance like you would if you lived here (sounds ridiculous I know but money for essentials does not go as far on St John - OK allow yourself one day of splurging) don't bring deodorant, sunblock, toothpaste, shampoo etc and go shop for it here and see the prices.

Look at rental apartments during your stay - see how far (or not) $1,000 per month goes - remember if you use AC in your rental (only in the bedroom) that you can expect a monthly bill anywhere from $300 - $400 per month !!!!

Go to the PO and mail a letter (or even a package back to yourself) to see how long it can take standing in line - wile you are there ask them the process for opening a mail box.

Just some things to think about.

Pia (on St John)

I 100% agree with you, Pia! You can live like you are on vacation when you actually LIVE here. A PMV is for figuring out if you *can* live here. Now, I gotta get off the laptop and go do that stinkin' grocery shopping and errand-running so I can get in a few hours on the beach today (my day off.)


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blu4u
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November 8, 2012 4:47 pm  

I don't neccisarily 100% agree.
PMV and be a combo of Pre-move-Visit and pre-move-Vacation. I think it's imporant to explore and have some fun. I would assume that your obective in moving is to enjoy life in the VI not stand in line. I rarely go to the post office or the bank, especially now with electroinc bill pay. DMV is a once a year event, at best. Taking a side trip to JOST sounds like a good idea... why not? Since you seem to budget minded I assume you'll be cooking in and purchase gorcercy. I like your idea of spending the night on STT before hand. Rent a car in STT. It will give you chance to stop at KMART and the grocey store and take the car ferry. You may not want to stay directly in Red hook. Other places for one night are better and less pricey. Depending upon your arrival time, you could actual get the car, run the errand and make the barge.Making the barge is good practice for when you actually do move. Mahoe is slated to close so staying there for two nights on your PMV may be your last chance. I've camped at cinomon. Not bad at all. Pack a flash light. Purchase 2x as much off as you think you'll need at KMART on stt. Same for SFP 50+. you may want a citronella candle too. Don't forget a hat. Or try to find a cheep place to stay in Cruz bay. STJ is very small, you'll see. Nothing is more 25 minutes away.


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MeaganCooney
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November 14, 2012 4:17 am  

Thank you all so much for your comments and suggestions!! It is so greatly appreciated and I have considered all of them!

We have actually joked between ourselves that this should be classified as more of a Pre-Move Vacation. Despite this, we truly think that we will learn enough to know if we are interested in & capable of living there (or not). We aren't going to be completely irresponsible with our planning. We will be scoping out living areas and possible work prospects. I am moving down with a previously established business so that will definitely assist us with the move. I will immediately begin work to establish clients on Island once we make our move (and possibly before). We have worked for years to establish a nice little nest egg to support us while we get set up. And if we fail to set up successfully, we also have a backup plan to move us back to the mainland.

As far as our PMV goes (Visit/Vacation - however you would like to see it), we have rented a sweet little cottage from Marlene & Bob @ Starvillas for the last four nights... so the first three are the only un-planned nights (we would've rented the entire stay however, it was unavailable). We are either going to stay in one of the Maho tents or at Cinnamon Bay Cottages. We have heard mixed opinions on both of these so we are having the hardest time deciding! We have rented a car and have booked our flight with timing that will allow for a visit to K-mart for some cheaper (yet still expensive) grocery stocking options. We will do this as cheaply as possible

I believe we may have ruled out STT and Jost all together simply because we do want to spend as much time on STJ as possible. However our opinion may still change on this.

We are so looking forward to running into as many of you as possible!

Thanks Again!

~Meagan


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