St. Thomas and St. Johns Cruz Bay, Cinnamon Bay Virgin Islands
When we landed from JFK into the St. Thomas Airport and arrived at the beautiful newly renovated Marriott on the ocean we knew that this trip to Paradise was going to be a dream come true. The lobby of our hotel The Frenchmen’s Reef was spectacular. In every direction there were Terraces and verandas overlooking the harbor, affinity pools, sunsets, and a reception desk that offered anything from sailing to island excursions, harbor tours, parasailing and dinner reservations.
We started in with dinner a Pina Colada and cold beers at their poolside restaurant looking over the bay. (Photo of girl taking sunset pic) Look to the east and the view was the beach and the Havana Blue Restaurant, An elegantly designed open air space of candle light tables. The lighting in the room was a reflective sea of ocean blue with billowing white drapes that drew you out to the sea. We had dinner here on the last day of our vacation very nice. We were there as a family because it had been ten years since our last trio to in Maui, Hawaii together. The best day we had as a family was our trip on the ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay about a 20 min ride. In the harbor of Cruz Bay there were many restaurants and shoppes with treasures from all over the world.
Here we took an open air Island Taxi to Cinnamon Bay, National Park. The water is an aqua shade of blue and there is a large reef for snorkeling with equipment available. They also rent kayaks, stand-up Boards with paddles, sunfish sail boats and catamarans. There is also a campground with tent platforms, bathrooms, and showers for those who want to stay on the island in the natural surroundings and save money. While we were swimming in the bay a large Clipper Ship sailed into the harbor. (See Pic of Clipper Ship)
Back on St. Thomas later in the week my husband and I took a water taxi into town for lunch and shopping. We decided on the Calypso a Mediterranean Restaurant. It was a very hot day 85 degrees so we cooled off with their frozen drink Kahlua and vanilla ice cream. Our son decided to take a scuba dive refresher course with some other vacationers. When they were on the real dive a large nurse shark was sleeping on the bottom and woke up. The shark swam right towards him and scared him so that he was breathing too fast and used up most of his air so the Dive Master brought him to the surface. One of the divers caught it all on a video camera and sent him a copy to show friends.
One of our favorite places we had for a romantic and delicious dinner was “Room with a View”
On St. Thomas at “Blue Bird’s Castle”. You enter a room with about 12 tables with linen covers on them you notice very large glass ceiling to floor windows with a spectacular view of the lights of Charlotte Amalie Harbor. The dinners we had were amazing a delicious Seafood Bouillabaisse and perfectly prepared filet. The whole place was intimate and charming and made us feel part of the island and it’s appeal.
The Marriott was great at having entertaining shows for its guests. A crowd favorite was the outdoor Parrot Show where everyone had a chance to hold a Parrot. They roller-skated and played basketball and sang for everyone. The kids and adults loved the show, which was very cool to watch.
The flight to JFK airport to St. Thomas was very comfortable at about 3.5 hrs. With the latest technology on board you are able to watch just about and TV, Video, Movie or News Program
which makes the trip fly by. They have good meal and snack choices and offer the best customer service. We traveled on Delta Airlines and it was about $330 each way in February 2014.
I would highly recommend these islands for a vacation you will want to return to every year.
You won’t be disappointed.
By Sandra Ward
US Virgin Islands Territory Facts
- Official Language: English
- Approximately 4,600 hotel rooms
- Located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean (between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea). For a location map, please see Virgin Islands maps
- Comprised of approximately 50 islands and cays (pronounced "keys"), the largest of which are , and
- Honeymoon Beach.
Temperature and Time
- Average temperatures range from 77°F in the winter and 82°F in the summer
- Atlantic Standard Time zone, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (except during daylight savings time)
- The majority of present-day indigenous people are West Indian of African descent
- Tiano and Carib Indians inhabited these islands for nearly 3,000 years, but most were killed off during European occupation
- Today's native populations include people from Europe, North America, India, the Middle East and the Orient
- Constitution of the Territory: the 1954 Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands, amended in 1968-1972
- Three branches: executive, legislative and judicial
- Political parties: Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands, Independent Citizen's Movement, and the Progressive Republican Party of the Virgin Islands
- Johnny cake (fried dough)
- Pates (fried or baked turnover filled with seafood, chicken or beef)
- Kallaloo (stew of spinach, okra and seafood)
- Fresh local fish (steamed or fried)
- Fungi (cornmeal blended with okra similar to polenta)
- Conch (pronounced "conk," seafood from mussel family made into fritters or steamed)
- Bush Tea (herbal tea steeped from aromatic leaves of plants indigenous to the Virgin Islands)