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Author: Jenn Manes

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

I started doing this on my old blog back in 2014, and I’m excited to be doing it here on Island Tidbits today. I hope you enjoy this St. John-version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Cruz Bay,
Smiling faces filled the streets, we love it this way!
The koozies were hung by The Beach Bar with care,
In hopes that a cold beer soon would appear.
So here in St. John, we do things our way,
We do not have reindeer or even a sleigh.
When Santa comes here, he comes in by ferry,
He strolls through the town, and always looks merry!
And as the crowds waited, we all heard a clatter,
I sprang from my barstool to see what’s the matter.
I ran past High Tide, I flew like a flash.
Arrived at The Landing when I heard a big splash!
The moon on the bay with the St. Thomas lights,
Giving a luster of midday to something in flight.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a cute little driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than mongoose, his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
Let’s head out to Mongoose, I’m glad there’s no mall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!
To the top of St. John, to Bordeaux we must fly,
With a quick stop at Tony’s, we need to say hi!
Then out to the East, the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of swag, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the palm tree St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was wearing flip flops, had a drink in his hand,
He looked very happy to have swapped snow for the sand.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
Which beach should I go to, he wanted to know,
Want to see turtles? Then check out Maho!
With sunscreen in hand and a snorkel in tow,
Santa was ready. Get on with the show!
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
He grabbed his swim shorts, took a sip from his drink,
Santa picked up a map, then gave me a wink.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he flew toward the Bight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Caneel Bay Beach Club Now Open at Honeymoon

This article was originally posted on Dec. 22, 2022. Food and beverage is now available at the beach club. 

It took a little bit longer than expected, but the Caneel Bay Beach Club at Honeymoon has finally opened! And I have to say, the place looks great.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Honeymoon beach, it’s located within the Caneel Bay property on St. John’s north shore. Caneel Bay was a beautiful resort that has been closed since Hurricane Irma back in 2017. Since then, the future of Caneel Bay, the resort, remains in limbo. The Caneel Bay Beach Club is not affiliated with the resort. It is simply leasing the space from its current operators. Ok, now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s get to the details!

The Caneel Bay Beach Club is now offering upscale services to guests visiting Honeymoon beach. Guests can choose the full day beach experience which includes round-trip shuttle service from the entrance of Caneel Bay to Honeymoon beach, a lounge chair, a luxurious terry velour beach towel, unlimited drinking water served in a reusable cup and a personal beach attendant. The beach club attendant will assist in getting food and beverage, and they will also offer cold towels a la the old Caneel days. The cost of the full day beach experience is $150 per person. Children 12 and under are free.

Guests can also opt for a full day cabana rental. Cabanas includes four chaise lounges and a living room-like setup, beach towels, a bottle of wine and an ice chest, unlimited drinking water served in a reusable cup and a personal beach attendant. The cost of a cabana rental is $800 for the day for up to four guests. Each cabana has a seven guest limit, and each additional guest costs $150. Groups of eight or more will have to rent additional cabanas.

A cabana beside the beach
A closer look at one of the six cabanas at the Caneel Bay Beach Club

Want to experience the Caneel Bay Beach Club, but you don’t want to commit to a full day? You can purchase hourly concierge services – a lounge chair, beach towel, unlimited drinking water and a beach attendant – for $25 an hour up to six hours. If you opt for the hourly option, but choose to stay longer than six hours, the beach club will honor the full day rate of $150. The hourly option does not include the shuttle transportation.

Now I know that many of you probably want to know more about the shuttle service. The shuttle from the entrance of Caneel Bay is available to everyone, even those who choose to visit Honeymoon, but do not want to partake in the beach club’s offerings. The only caveat here is that if the Caneel Bay Beach Club feels that it has reached its capacity for the day, it will no longer offer shuttle services to new, non-beach club guests wanting to visit Honeymoon. Transportation to and from Honeymoon can be reserved in advance by non-beach club guests.

Now let’s chat about food and beverage. The food will be provided by ZoZo’s, which is also located on the grounds of Caneel Bay. They will begin serving food “soon,” and here is a sneak peek of the menu:

Mark Snyder – the owner of the Caneel Bay Beach Club, not to be confused with Mark Snider, the owner of the Lovango Resort & Beach Club – is proud to offer a robust beverage program at the beach club, which will include organic, local fruits and a great wine list, among other things. They will even have a coconut cart onsite where guests can enjoy fresh coconut, fresh coconut water or perhaps even a cocktail or mocktail inside of a coconut. Here is a sample of their beverage offerings:

The beach club will offer additional wines by the glass, as well as bottles of wine and champagne. Bottles are also available to go.

For those of you who would like to enjoy Honeymoon beach without being involved in the beach club, you are more than welcomed to do so. You can purchase food and/or drinks, use the restrooms and showers, or shop in the new gift shop. You can even pop in for a sunset drink or two at the end of the day.

The new gift shop at the Caneel Bay Beach Club

“All of the beaches are public. People are welcome to come and use the beach,” owner Mark Snyder said. “We aren’t trying to force people to spend a lot of money if they do not want to. That being said, like any beach club experience, we are trying to keep the environment a classy, calm, curated experience. People are welcome to come and not partake in the beach club experience.”

The Caneel Bay Beach Club is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until sunset. For more information or to book a full day beach experience, a cabana or the shuttle, you can do so online at

(End note: This is not a paid post. I simply write about things I find to be fun & interesting. I hope you’re enjoying Island Tidbits.)

Spending the Day at Trunk Bay

One of the prettiest views on island, the Trunk Bay overlook.

Last week, I told you all about the beach bar and snack shack at Trunk Bay. Well today I’m going to tell you about all of the other amenities that are available at St. John’s most popular beach.

Let’s start with the location: Trunk Bay is located on St. John’s North Shore, which is Route 20 on the map. It’s about 15 minutes from Cruz Bay and about 25 minutes from Coral Bay. The parking lot at Trunk Bay is on the smaller side, so it’s best that you get there early if you want a parking spot – by 9:30 a.m. to be safe. If you are staying in Cruz Bay or over at the Westin, it’s easier to taxi to Trunk Bay. The cost recently increased to $12 per person, per way for single riders, and $9 per person, per way for groups of two or more. St. John taxis are cash only. (Click here to see all of the rates.)

There isn’t a ton of parking at Trunk Bay.
The taxis are always waiting in this section of the Trunk Bay parking lot.

Trunk Bay is the only beach in the Virgin Islands National Park that has an entry fee because it has showers and restrooms. The cost is $5 for adults. Children 15 and under are free. All National Park passes are accepted with the exception of the “red” annual pass.

The entry booth at Trunk Bay
Trunk Bay fees

Once you enter Trunk Bay, you will see a rental booth to your left, and showers and restrooms to your right. The rental hut offers chair, snorkel (masks and fins) and life vest rentals. I implore everyone to wear a life vest or bring a noodle when snorkeling the underwater snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay. The rental booth is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.

Walking into Trunk Bay
The rental hut at Trunk Bay offers chairs & snorkeling gear.
There are three different types of chairs available for rent.

The showers and restrooms are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There are separate buildings for men’s and women’s restrooms.
The showers building

And as I mentioned in a previous post, Trunk Bay has a full bar and snack shack on site. They food is not only tasty, but it is very affordable. Click here to read a detailed post on Trunks food and beverage offerings.

The snack shack at Trunk Bay
The beach bar at Trunk Bay

Now let’s chat about the reason we all visit Trunk Bay – the beach. Trunk Bay is easily one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and perhaps the most beautiful beach on St. John. It has bright white sand and turquoise blue water. It is absolutely stunning.

You will notice three small cays toward the eastern side of the beach. The underwater snorkeling trail is located to the left of these cays if you are looking toward the water. The trail was replaced earlier this year, and now discusses the fragility of the world’s coral reefs. The signs are located down on the sand, and you can snorkel above them, reading about the world’s coral reefs along the way. There are some fish and corals near the underwater snorkeling trail, but there isn’t an abundance of fish and the coral isn’t in the best condition. But it is still a very cool thing to check out.

The underwater snorkeling trail is located to the left of this cay.
Stairway to heaven
Be very careful when snorkeling at Trunk Bay. There are no lifeguards on the beach.

Trunk Bay is a great place to spend an entire day when visiting St. John. Want to see more? Click here to watch a quick video we recently posted from Trunk Bay.

Want to learn more about St. John beaches? Please visit for additional information, plus more pictures and videos of several St. John beaches.

Spend a Minute in Cruz Bay…

I just looked at the weather, and it looks like a good chunk of the country is going to experience cold temps, and potentially a blizzard or a bomb cyclone, over the new couple of days. (What the heck is a bomb cyclone anyway??!! All I know is that I want zero part of it!) So I figured everyone could use a little warm up right about now.

I was having lunch with friends at High Tide about a month or so back, and took this video for all of you. Crank the heat. Throw on some of your favorite island music, and enjoy a minute on Cruz Bay beach.

Want see more beach videos? They’re now all in one place. Please visit to see them all.