Frequently Asked Questions
To our wonderful Star Villas guests:
We are happy to help you with any question you may have regarding St. John and all it has to offer! Here is a brief overview of the most frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, please just ask. – Marlene and Bob
St John General Information – No Passports Needed to Visit the USVI
The US Virgin Islands (USVI) are a United States territory, which means we have the same laws and passport guidelines as the United States. Passports are not needed to enter the USVI, but if you plan on going over to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on a day trip, you will need a valid passport.
FYI, we post our mail at the local US post office in Cruz Bay; postcard and envelope stamps cost the same as in the US.
What to Bring
We recommend warm weather clothes, bathing suits, comfortable footwear, and sunscreen. Flip flops and other sandals are fine. Dinner attire is anything from t-shirts and shorts to “island fancy,” which is normally a flowered shirt and shorts for the guys and a sundress for the ladies. Flip flops are appropriate any time of the day or night. (Note that cover ups are necessary in town, after you leave the beaches) If you are planning on doing some day hikes, tennis shoes or trail shoes are fine. Most guests find the heavy duty hiking boots are not needed. Just so you know, most people bring too much clothing!
Internet and Cell Phones
Each individual villa has wireless Internet access. Most cell phone carriers work on St. John, as long as your phone can capture the signal from St. Thomas. We know ATT, Sprint, and Verizon work here, and others may also. Some cell phone companies may charge you a roaming fee. Also, if you travel to the north side of St John you may incur a roaming fee from Tortola CTT Boatphone.
What and Where to Eat
There are numerous places to eat in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. Restaurant prices range from $6-12 for breakfast, $10 – 15 for lunch and dinner $15 and up, especially when fine dining. Yet another good reason that our full kitchens are a great added value on your vacation! There are three large grocery stores and two “superettes” in or near Cruz Bay. Each rental has its own gas grill as well. Reservations are not required but we highly recommend making reservations during “high” season.
As we are a part of the United States, we use US Currency (the BVI use US Currency as well). There is one ATM in Cruz Bay and one at The Marketplace, and they work pretty well most of the time. We recommend not getting too low on cash, because there might be a whole day where both machines are down. Also note that 90% of the shops and restaurants on St John take credit cards.
Parking in Cruz Bay is very limited, and our close proximity to the village makes it easy to stroll around. Also each rental has an off street parking space, which is a plus on St John! Jeeps, cars and scooters are available for rent in Cruz Bay. We drive on the left here, and since the maximum speed limit is 20 and all roads or two lanes (or less!) so it’s not hard to adjust. If you decide not to rent transportation for your entire stay, public transportation (bus, taxi, ferry) are all in Cruz Bay.
Frank Bay is just a quick stroll from Star Villas, and is a wonderful little stretch of peaceful serenity. The snorkeling is fantastic at Frank Bay.
Since St John’s most prominent attraction is our National Park, the Virgin Islands National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay is a highly recommended first stop.
The closest beaches within the National Park are accessible by a trail just behind the Visitors Center and the rest are a short taxi or car ride away. There are many hiking trails around St John, and can take between one to 5 hours to complete, depending on whether you go “one way” and have a ride at the other end or “round trip”. The best map is the “Trail Bandit’s Map of St John” which is available at the Visitor’s Center and online at www.trailbandit.org. There are also public tennis courts nearby, and of course.
Watersports activities around St. John are abundant! Kayaking, sailing, diving, and snorkeling are all great sources of fun, and rental gear and half or full day trips are available. If you are coming in “high” season, you may want to book in advance.
Most of St. John’s shopping is right in Cruz Bay, and there is something for every taste and every budget. Mongoose Junction and Wharfside Village are at either end of Cruz Bay, and then there are smaller shops in between. Since all of Cruz Bay is no longer than two football fields, you will find strolling through town shopping to be quite relaxing.
Some of our other favorite links:
A great blog of the history of the Virgin Islands and West Indies www.vintagevirginislands.com
You can’t beat ST JOHN SPICE for tropical coffees, teas, and treasures to bring home.
Photos provided by Bob Schlesinger
For a sail around the islands visit www.sailsafaris.net
For information about our local rescue squad visit www.stjohnrescue.com