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rotorhead
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October 18, 2012 7:08 pm  

You can go somewhere like the DR and go anywhere and it's dirt cheap and they're happy to have you.

Have you been there?

I have several times. Punta Cana, Samana and Puerto Plata. As he says very cheap and very friendly people. They did have armed soldiers in many places who were very visible, but they never hassled the tourists. While driving around we passed through several check points with armed soldiers who just waved us through when they saw we were in a tourist rental car. The people in all of the towns were very friendly.

Cheap, cheap. But we stayed in conventional hotels, not all inclusives. I hate all inclusives. We like to drive around and explore.

Presidente's were 50 cents a piece and very cold. Rental car was $20 a day. Prices for hotel were better if priced on island. The rooms we booked online cost twice as much as the one's we booked there.

Edited to add: My last visit was three years ago.
Edited to add: The last place we stayed was here. http://www.villaserena.com/ We booked on island off season for $60 a night.
Two hour horseback ride to waterfall including lunch $9.50 per person.
Watch out for the Topes.


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IslandHops
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October 18, 2012 7:43 pm  

Let's face it, in less than 10 years we face a huge loss in tourism due to Cuba opening up. Unless we have something to offer besides being a US territory then that alone could be the near-death of tourism here.

The Cuba tourism issue has been ongoing for the last 20+ years and, with all due respect, logistically doesn't affect us where cruise ships are concerned, where "Western" versus "Eastern" Caribbean cruises are concerned. There are way too many islands in our chain to affect the current routing of cruise ships to our ports. Cruise ship principals work on the fiscal issues of port to port calls. Any cutback if and when Cuba opens up is going to possibly but not probably affect their Western routes but not the route of which we're a part.

No offense OT, but cruise ships don't do too much for us over here in STX. I'm talking about real tourist revenue for our hotels, shops, resturants and bars. These folks arrive via plane.

We currently don't compete with Cuba. US citizens are still restricted but that will change in the comming years. When it does a lot of tourist dollars will be going to Cuba instead of us. Much out of initial curiosity, but longer term we have to compete based on proximity and price. This will be a real challenge.


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IslandHops
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October 18, 2012 7:50 pm  

ps iamconfused as to why this is not on the original relocation forum and what constitutes the difference between where posts are located.

Anything not directly related to 'moving here' was strongly discouraged on the other forum. Hence the need for this little piece of digital paradise.

Seriously? Despite the fact that the "relocation" forum is described -- very clearly -- as being about relocating to AND LIVING IN the Virgin Islands? I can't think of a topic more on-topic to "living in" the Virgin Islands than rampant crime and economic collapse.

Maybe you missed the fact that when any 'living here' thread became remotely controversial it was either shut down or comments were made that the thread didn't pertain to 'moving here' and therefore those items of discussion didn't belong in that forum.


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lily1025
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October 18, 2012 8:53 pm  

Yes, our level of hospitality and promotion is way behind the Jam's. My post was more in reference to the fact that with increasing crime, it is conceivable that tourists will be discouraged from venturing out at night by the hotels themselves. Heck the Buck is a gated property already, Divi has all-inclusive packages. And I have the feeling that we are facing an increasing us-v-them attitude among some locals which all leads toward a more 'within the walls' mentality toward tourism. This is NOT what I want to see happen so instead of driving away customers, we need to look at what St. Croix can do to promote a more tourist friendly and hospitable environment. (Not to mention being more business friendly - but that's a much bigger topic).

Let's face it, in less than 10 years we face a huge loss in tourism due to Cuba opening up. Unless we have something to offer besides being a US territory then that alone could be the near-death of tourism here.

i couldn't agree with you more!! the unfortunate thing is, i feel we have more to promote as far as nature{better reefs}and history. i think christiansted{despite the ongoing closings of shops and resturants} is on of the prettiest towns in the caribbean.


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lily1025
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October 18, 2012 8:54 pm  

Yes, our level of hospitality and promotion is way behind the Jam's. My post was more in reference to the fact that with increasing crime, it is conceivable that tourists will be discouraged from venturing out at night by the hotels themselves. Heck the Buck is a gated property already, Divi has all-inclusive packages. And I have the feeling that we are facing an increasing us-v-them attitude among some locals which all leads toward a more 'within the walls' mentality toward tourism. This is NOT what I want to see happen so instead of driving away customers, we need to look at what St. Croix can do to promote a more tourist friendly and hospitable environment. (Not to mention being more business friendly - but that's a much bigger topic).

Let's face it, in less than 10 years we face a huge loss in tourism due to Cuba opening up. Unless we have something to offer besides being a US territory then that alone could be the near-death of tourism here.


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Isle Tell Ya
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October 18, 2012 9:01 pm  

Ashford Avenue in Condado, PR is a perfect example of how you blow away tourists with safety, fun and class within a town that is otherwise crime infested. Ashford Avenue is about a 1 mile
Long strip of restaurants, bars, hotels and casinos. The PR cops keep that stretch littered with police vehicles. They are all over - in their cars, on bikes, on foot. The criminals stay away - period. It hasn't solved the rest of PR'a crime epidemic, but this area is thriving and it is completely safe. STT and STX have stretches that could do this. Creates jobs, keeps business and tourism climbing. Not a cure for all evils, but I'm pretty sure F-sted and C-sted residents wouldn't complain. Same idea with Main St. on STT if some of the jewelry stores are replaced with some bars and restaurants and even hotels and casinos.


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Jamison
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October 18, 2012 9:38 pm  

You can go somewhere like the DR and go anywhere and it's dirt cheap and they're happy to have you.

Have you been there?

I have not, but I have had a couple different groups of friends go and this is what they've told me.


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curran17
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October 20, 2012 1:54 am  

What is the deal with the cruise ships? I thought F'sted was a pretty nice town for tourists??? STT really packs them in and looks like everyone is making a profit. When I lived on STX there ws Martin Marietta AND Hess Oil and they had the " we don't need no stink in tourists" attitude back then. I actually had that attitude too. The NAVY ships would come in both British and American and the local pubs made BANK back then.


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speee1dy
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October 20, 2012 10:13 am  

frederiksted could be nice for tourists, but there is not much down that way. the only time frederiksted has anything is when it is cruise ship day and they have the vendors. other than that, not much going on. seems christiansted is getting just as bad


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JahRustyFerrari
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October 21, 2012 10:19 am  

You can go somewhere like the DR and go anywhere and it's dirt cheap and they're happy to have you.

Have you been there?

😀

For real, OldTart...a lot of their "tourism" product consists of sex tourism. Things are dirt cheap because DR is dirt poor.

STX is probably not going to become a major tourist destination anytime soon. Besides, STT does not want any additional competition.
What we need here are strong measures to reduce crime, improve our roads, schools, hospitals, and power generation, renovate or remove the eyesores that are uglifying Christiansted and Frederiksted, and get people to develop a sense of pride in this island.

Unfortunately, this won't happen in my lifetime...we're way too far gone. It doesn't matter what any senatorial candidate's "platform" is. The VI Senate, no matter who comprises it, will never come to any kind of consensus about really important matters.

I am usually a positive person, but our situation appears to be pretty hopeless...nothing will get done. I say that with conviction, because in order to get anything done, in my estimation, you would need a protest march on government house and the senate that was comprised of about 25,000 people...probably about the same number that attended Chucky's party.

You can get them to go to a party, but they won't leave their houses to march for better government.

Where there is no vision, the people perish.


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gparrot
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October 31, 2012 10:20 am  

Engagement ring stolen from locked glove box of rental car at Salt Pond

This $4,000 engagement ring was stolen from a vehicle in the Salt Pond parking lot.

Christine Settle and her fiancé were thrilled to celebrate their engagement on St. John earlier this month.

The North Carolina couple had heard wonderful tales about the beauty and serenity of St. John. The two were having a great time, until they spent an afternoon at Salt Pond Bay.

Settle and her fiance were at Salt Pond Bay between 2 and 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 18. When they returned to their locked Jeep in the parking lot, however, her $4,000 engagement ring had been stolen from the locked glove box inside.

While the ring has obvious sentimental value, the item also signifies the last few years of the couple’s life, Settle explained.

“I am extremely upset at the loss of this sentimental item that my fiancé and I worked very hard to purchase,” she said. “We do not have a lot of money and we saved for years to purchase this engagement ring.”

Quickly, the couple’s dream vacation turned into a nightmare.

“I was so excited when we chose to vacation in St. John to celebrate as I have heard wonderful things about your island,” said Settle. “However, we are terribly upset that our belongings were stolen while in a national park on St. John.”

Settle reported the incident to V.I. Police Department officers and she is waiting to receive a copy of the report.
In the meantime, Settle is offering a $1,000 reward, no questions asked, to anyone who can retrieve the ring.

Anyone with information about the location of Settle’s ring i

Quote from the ST John Tradewinds

Another example of the few, destroying tourism on the islands...... These kind of incidents, will keep people who are already afraid of coming to the islands, away. The damage is far greater than $4,000.


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vicanuck
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October 31, 2012 11:59 am  

A $1000 reward for a $4000 ring.

Really?


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OldTart
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October 31, 2012 12:58 pm  

I feel badly about the ring being stolen but who in their right mind leaves a $4000 ring in a glove compartment of a rental car or any car anywhere in the world? No, it's not, "another example of the few, destroying tourism on the islands." It's another example of visitors leaving their common sense on the tarmac when they board the 'plane.


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JahRustyFerrari
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October 31, 2012 2:40 pm  

People act like the VI is the only place in the world where they are to expect no crime. It is very strange.

A man kills a dozen people in a theater in Colorado...that doesn't stop people from wanting to go skiing in Vail.

A man kills over seventy people with an assault rifle in Norway...that doesn't stop tourists from wanting to visit Norway.

A man in Australia kills fifty tourists with a rifle...that doesn't stop people from wanting to visit Australia.

...but just let a tourist lose a ring in the VI...


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IslandHops
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October 31, 2012 4:50 pm  

A 'brain fart' tourist losing an important and expensive ring is sad.

One woman, possibly two murdered last night on St. Croix is a very real tragedy.


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gparrot
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October 31, 2012 9:49 pm  

This is what islanders do not understand...When people come to the islands it is for the fantasy, the illusion, the escape from everyday reality. NOW, when this person, no matter if they should not have left there jewelry in the car , will go home and tell their friends, neighbors, relatives, co workers, and anyone who will listen about how there dreams were crushed by the crime inflicted upon them. This is why Carnival and Disney are buying islands and compounds on islands like Grand Turk to give the people the fantasy, illusion, escape, without having to deal with this type of crime...or worse yet murder. The cruise companies realize that they need to shelter people from crime, and they can do exactly that by controlling who comes to their islands and compounds. Eventually, the cruise companies will stop coming to all the Virgin Islands because there is rampant crime here.... You think things are bad now....take away the money that cruise ships bring to these islands...and see what happens. Carnival is building cruise centers around the Caribbean.....so they will not have to stop in crime ridden islands with the cruisers. When the Grand Turks cruise center opened they had very few ships....look at the number of ships landing there now.....WAKE UP The time to turn this around is now....

http://www.grandturkcc.com/Port-Information.aspx


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JahRustyFerrari
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November 1, 2012 9:12 am  

This is what islanders do not understand...When people come to the islands it is for the fantasy, the illusion, the escape from everyday reality. NOW, when this person, no matter if they should not have left there jewelry in the car , will go home and tell their friends, neighbors, relatives, co workers, and anyone who will listen about how there dreams were crushed by the crime inflicted upon them. This is why Carnival and Disney are buying islands and compounds on islands like Grand Turk to give the people the fantasy, illusion, escape, without having to deal with this type of crime...or worse yet murder. The cruise companies realize that they need to shelter people from crime, and they can do exactly that by controlling who comes to their islands and compounds. Eventually, the cruise companies will stop coming to all the Virgin Islands because there is rampant crime here.... You think things are bad now....take away the money that cruise ships bring to these islands...and see what happens. Carnival is building cruise centers around the Caribbean.....so they will not have to stop in crime ridden islands with the cruisers. When the Grand Turks cruise center opened they had very few ships....look at the number of ships landing there now.....WAKE UP The time to turn this around is now....

http://www.grandturkcc.com/Port-Information.aspx/blockquote >

This is the correct wake-up call...well done, qparrot (tu)


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speee1dy
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November 1, 2012 2:14 pm  

well said qparrot.

Rusty, they did not lose it-it was stolen.

The illusion is that in the vi's where we have a population of 120,000-150,000, crime should not be as high as it is. Murder should not have reached 49 ( i think ). People who live here should not be affraid to go to isolated eateries for dinner thinking they are going to get pistol whipped for just being there. people should not be deciding they are only taking their drivers license and money for dinner, i have heard of people having "fake wallets" for just the purpose of getting robbed-Really, what kind of society do we live in when these are normal every day thoughts?

Rusty, bad things happen every day to good people, BUT WE DON'T LIVE THERE, WE LIVE HERE and the goings on here affect us more than the goings on in the states. Thats the point


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IslandHops
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November 1, 2012 2:49 pm  

Years ago before we moved down permanently we had rented a jeep on one trip. We had planned on meeting someone but they were running late, so we took a side trip to cane bay. It was a typical busy weekend day and the only parking spot was at the very end of the beach - closer to off the wall. Jeep was broken into, despite several folks who were sitting on the beach nearby, but 'saw nothing'. Cost me my wallet, cell-phone, camera, all of which were locked in the glove box. Called cops, no help. Told to drive to basin triangle to file a report. Not courteous nor concerned at all. Just another 'tourist' getting ripped off. The experience nearly turned us off moving here. Unfortunately it was a very real lesson in island life. Don't leave anything anywhere you aren't prepared to lose. Heck, even bags of trash are stolen if left in unlocked vehicles!


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OldTart
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November 1, 2012 5:49 pm  

Years ago before we moved down permanently we had rented a jeep on one trip. We had planned on meeting someone but they were running late, so we took a side trip to cane bay. It was a typical busy weekend day and the only parking spot was at the very end of the beach - closer to off the wall. Jeep was broken into, despite several folks who were sitting on the beach nearby, but 'saw nothing'. Cost me my wallet, cell-phone, camera, all of which were locked in the glove box. Called cops, no help. Told to drive to basin triangle to file a report. Not courteous nor concerned at all. Just another 'tourist' getting ripped off. The experience nearly turned us off moving here. Unfortunately it was a very real lesson in island life. Don't leave anything anywhere you aren't prepared to lose. Heck, even bags of trash are stolen if left in unlocked vehicles!

On international visitors forums throughout the world it's continually rammed home in response to visitor's questions what you should and should avoid doing as a visitor to keep yourself out of harm's way. Same as here, same old story and I simply don't understand all this major fuss. You can carp on this forum 'til the cow's come home about the possibility of the cruise ship lines avoiding any number of ports of call because of onshore problems but thus far this isn't an issue where they're concerned as the statistics amply prove.

With all due respect, many posters here who have nothing but negatives to talk about might find that if they really get involved in their community, follow the news and become involved in community activities which encompass EVERY ethnic group here (and obviously they're not all in the same place at the same time for the most part) their viewpoint might just change.

How many of you have actually met and got to know a police officer?


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gparrot
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November 2, 2012 3:54 am  

[

On international visitors forums throughout the world it's continually rammed home in response to visitor's questions what you should and should avoid doing as a visitor to keep yourself out of harm's way. Same as here, same old story and I simply don't understand all this major fuss. You can carp on this forum 'til the cow's come home about the possibility of the cruise ship lines avoiding any number of ports of call because of onshore problems but thus far this isn't an issue where they're concerned as the statistics amply prove.

With all due respect, many posters here who have nothing but negatives to talk about might find that if they really get involved in their community, follow the news and become involved in community activities which encompass EVERY ethnic group here (and obviously they're not all in the same place at the same time for the most part) their viewpoint might just change.

How many of you have actually met and got to know a police officer?

Miss Tart
The cruise ship companies plan things years in advance....that is why they are spending millions of dollars developing private islands, and private compounds. When they tell the USVI that they are going to no longer land here or are going to cut way back on ship landings it will already be too late. They will already have an alternative, and you can bet that alternative will be largely crime free. So, they will have no interest in promises to clean up the crime in the islands. The Coki Point incident almost pushed ahead the agenda of the cruise lines to quit crime ridden islands. Read this article in USA Today about the Coki Point killing and the aftermath of how cruise customers reacted to the killing of a 14 year girl.

http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/post/2010/07/todays-discussion-how-safe-a-cruise-ship-destination-is-st-thomas/99683/1

http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/post/2010/07/report-unusual-calm-settles-over-st-thomas-after-murder-of-cruise-ship-passenger/99828/1

In this matter, the USVI has to be proactive, meaning that the cruise lines will continue to come here because people will request to come here. How many people do you think call up Carnival and say .....when is the next cruise to Haiti? This is an issue that needs to be discussed, and the people of the Virgin Islands need to get behind a program of ending crime on these islands. Or one day, everyone is going to be sorry they did not address this issue now instead of after the fact. Because once the cruise ships decide that this is not the place for there customers.....it will take years to get them to come back....if that could even be done...

You said that ", many posters here who have nothing but negatives to talk about might find that if they really get involved in their community, follow the news and become involved in community activities which encompass EVERY ethnic group here". You might consider me one of those people....but if I did not care about this community, I would not take the time to speak out....about this issue.
My company has the option and for that matter we are pursuing the sale of our products on every island in the Caribbean. So, I am not limited to the USVI. It is only my love for the USVI that makes me speak out and hopefully persuade enough people to rise up and educate people to the fact that crime will absolutely kill the Virgin Islands as you know them to be today. Because without tourism.....the USVI becomes Haiti.


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rotorhead
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November 2, 2012 4:08 am  

People on here always make excuses. They say "there is crime everywhere". But the USVI has more murders than the worst city in the U.S. why would an informed tourist want to come here?

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news/homicides-in-v-i-1.1089794

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate


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speee1dy
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November 2, 2012 12:44 pm  

agreed


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OldTart
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November 2, 2012 1:13 pm  

Miss Tart
The cruise ship companies plan things years in advance....
My company has the option and for that matter we are pursuing the sale of our products on every island in the Caribbean. So, I am not limited to the USVI. ... Because without tourism.....the USVI becomes Haiti.

Master Parrot
Having worked closely with the cruise ship principals for 10 years and still with regular contacts in the field I don't need to be educated on the market ...

I believe you have lived or did live here only very briefly so it's not likely that you've been around for the many economic ups and downs over the last many years. You're certainly entitled to your opinion but I disagree most strongly that the USVI would ever become another Haiti.


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IslandHops
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November 2, 2012 3:35 pm  

With all due respect, many posters here who have nothing but negatives to talk about might find that if they really get involved in their community, follow the news and become involved in community activities which encompass EVERY ethnic group here (and obviously they're not all in the same place at the same time for the most part) their viewpoint might just change.

How many of you have actually met and got to know a police officer?

With all due respect back at ya, you have no idea what community activities I'm involved in, nor the ethnic groups I interact with. I find your response condescending and short sighted.

Whatever your viewpoint or perspective, we have real problems here that need real solutions. The status-quo is resulting in an ongoing deterioration of our community. Poverty, lack of education, lack of opportunity, failing (near non-existent) family structure/values, violence portrayed in media - all these things are factors resulting in increase in crime and a lack of common respect. Wagging your finger at folks for telling it as it is won't do much to help. Do you want to stop publishing reports of crimes in the newspapers too?


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