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Airfare to the USVI: As Low As $101 – It’s true!

STT airport

Hello everyone, and happy Friday! So many of you, like me, have probably seen the not-so-good airline/airfare news that came out this week. I awoke yesterday to not one, but two, text messages about American Airlines and its decision to cease morning flights out of St. Thomas this winter season. (Morning flights were originally scheduled to resume November 4th. That is no longer happening.) Afternoon flights out of STT will continue as normal on American, thankfully. Then there was the good ‘ole inflation news. Apparently airline prices are at near record highs currently. Well guess what? If you really look ahead at the calendars, there are still many deals to be had. And that’s exactly what we’re going to chat about today. 🙂

When flying back and further between the States and STT (which is the airport you need to fly into when visiting St. John), my best piece of advice is to buy one-way tickets. This allows you to jump airlines, if necessary, and that really helps to save some cash.

Tri-State Area – New York, Connecticut & Northern New Jersey 

Now let’s start with our friends in the Tri-State area. You all are super lucky, because I routinely see some of the best prices out of JFK. And this winter is no exception. Here’s what I found:

One way out of JFK on Delta is only $220 (main cabin seat) on November 26th, December 31st, January 1st and December 4th. Prices drop dramatically in January. You can fly for only $155 one way on Delta on most Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from January through March. Using miles, it gets even better! There are numerous dates through the end of March where it will only cost you 10,500 miles for a main cabin ticket. Again, these are one-way fares, but they’re pretty darn good! Don’t care about picking your seat? A Basic ticket costs just $110 one way or 6,500 miles for these same dates in January, February and March. Amazing!

Prices for basic tickets on Delta in January 2023.

Minnesota

I know we have a ton of visitors from Minnesota, and I have great news for all of you! Sun Country will resume its direct flights on Saturdays beginning December 17th. These direct, one-way fares are only $220 every Saturday from December 17th through April 1st. Sunday flights will be offered in March 2023, as well, for the low cost of only $220 one way.

Sun Country direct flight prices out of MSP in March 2023 – Info taken from Google’s ITA Matrix

Florida

If you live in or around the Orlando area, you are super lucky! JetBlue is offering daily flights from MCO to STT (with a layover in San Juan) for only $101 from November 25th through March 25th – every single day! Want to skip the layover? No problem! Spirit is offering flights starting at $138 one-way in November and December. That price increases to $188 one-way in January 2023.

MCO to STT January 2023 – Info taken from Google’s ITA Matrix

Massachusetts

We all know that New England loves St. John… and thank you for that! As you all probably know, JetBlue offers direct flights from Boston to STT on Saturdays only. Prices drop to $174 one way October 29th. That price increases to $189 one way on December 17th. Daily flights will be offered December 23rd through January 2nd, and again, for just $189 one way. That $189 is available for these Saturday, direct flights for the foreseeable future.

Boston to STT on JetBlue April 2023 – Info taken from Google’s ITA Matrix

Washington State

We’ve been getting a lot of visitors from the West Coast post-Covid, especially from the northwest corner. So thank you to all of you who don’t mind traveling super far to visit us! Now these prices are pretty unbelievable… Beginning on January 9th, you can travel from SEA to STT on Delta for just $179! Prefer to use miles? Well it will only cost you 11,500. That’s crazy! In a good way! These flights include a quick layover at JFK airport in New York.

Seattle to STT January 2023 on Delta

Texas

Now I can’t forget our friends over in Texas. I don’t have amazing news for you, but it’s also not terrible! I found a few dates in January, February and March for just $298 out of Houston. These prices are on Delta with a layover in Atlanta. Live on the Dallas area? I have bad news for you. American Airlines has clearly lost its mind. They want over $3,000 for a direct flight on December 17th. What??!! The price dips down to $1,774 for its direct Saturday flights after that. Ridiculous. Dear American Airlines, I hope you enjoy flying those empty planes. Love, America. Spirit, on the other hand, has some decent prices, but most have pretty long layovers in Ft. Lauderdale.

So as you can see, there are a good amount of deals to be had, folks. If you are looking for anything specific, please feel free to email me at jenn@explorestj.com. You can also post the question on our Facebook page here or on Instagram here. I feel like I missed my calling as a travel agent. 🙂

And when you are planning your St. John vacation, please consider taking an island tour with me. Explore STJ has an “Excellent” rating on TripAdvisor. I offer both full and half day island tours. Please email me at jenn@explorestj.com with any questions.

Thank you so much for reading Island Tidbits! Have a great weekend!

Island Tidbits: Updated Calendar including Halloween Happenings, Island Info & More

Hello everyone, and happy Thursday! Today’s story will be short, sweet and to the point. 🙂

I just wanted to let you know that I just updated the Island Tidbits Calendar to include several Halloween Happenings. This is a running list, and other events will be added, including the return of Halloween at the Parrot Club! You can check out the calendar at www.IslandTidbits.com/calendar or by clicking the Info tab at the top of this screen. On a mobile device? Click the three lines at the top of your screen to open the menu.

When you open that Info tab, you will also see that we placed information on how to get to St. John and details on the cruise ships under this tab too. This is going to be a handy spot for those of you planning a St. John vacation. Additional information will be added here in the upcoming weeks, so please check back often.

Island Tidbits navigation menu includes our calendar, info on planning a St. John vacation & more.

If you are checking out our main menu, you will also see a tab for my island tours. I’ve been offering island tours for more than six years, and I absolutely love sharing my love of St. John with all of you. If you are interested in familiarizing yourselves with the island during a first trip, this is a great way to do it. My island tours are also great for repeat visitors who want to see and do something new. I just received the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Award by TripAdvisor where I maintain an “Excellent” rating. Please email me at jenn@explorestj.com with any questions or to reserve your date.

(Click here to read my island tour reviews.)

Finally, you will see tabs for the Island Tidbits Webcams page and also our Videos page up in the menu bar. Keep these pages handy if you need to feel like you’re on the island when you’re unable to be.

That’s it, folks! Thanks for reading!

Offering full & half day island tours

It’s Like Being at the Beach Bar… When You’re Not :)

One of my favorite views on island…

Let’s be honest, we all love The Beach Bar. There’s something about strolling off of the ferry, walking down Cruz Bay beach, splashing your feet in the gentle waves and then parking yourself in a comfy barstool over at The “world famous” Beach Bar. Unfortunately we all can’t be there every day, but did you know that there is a way to feel like you’re at The Beach Bar while in the comfort of your own home or office, or both! It’s true!

So a couple of weeks ago, we posted The Beach Bar’s webcams over on our webcam page. Well today, I wanted to let you know that The Beach Bar also has its very own radio station… how fun is that??!!

The Beach Bar owners Reed and Sherry Compton launched the radio station earlier this year, because they wanted their friends and customers to be able to listen to the same exact music as those who are lucky enough to be lounging in a Beach Bar barstool. Not only can you log in to hear some great tunes, but you can also hear snippets from people on island including yours truly and our friends over at Palm Tree Charters.

You can currently listen to Beach Bar Radio online at www.beachbarstjohn.com/radio or by downloading the Beach Bar Radio app in the Apple App Store. (They are in the process of developing apps for Androids and Alexa.)

So, if you want to feel like you’re at The Beach Bar when you’re unable to physically be there in person, all you have to do is pull up The Beach Bar’s webcam and turn on Beach Bar Radio, and it’s almost like you’re there! Almost… 🙂

Happy listening! Cheers!

Tuesday afternoon view from The Beach Bar…




Keeping an Eye on the Cruise Ships

A ship docks at the Crown Bay marina on St. Thomas

St. John’s first cruise ship visit of the 2022-2023 season is scheduled for two months from today, so we figured this is a great time to start talking about the cruise ships.

The majority of the cruise ships that visit the USVI dock over in St. Thomas, either at the West Indian Company (Havensight) or at Crown Bay in Charlotte Amalie. St. John receives a small number of cruise ships each year, however these are much smaller ships that typically only carry a few hundred guests.

When a ship visits St. John, it anchors just off of Cruz Bay, and then it tenders guests ashore to the bulkhead area in the Cruz Bay creek. This is located between the Customs building and the National Park Visitors’ Center.

A cruise ship visits Cruz Bay (Pic from 2019)

Looking ahead at December, SeaDream2 is scheduled to make three stops (thus far) in Cruz Bay – December 11th, December 16th and December 28th. Roughly 110 passengers are slated to be on SeaDream2 each visit.

When ships anchor off of Cruz Bay, it doesn’t affect the island too much because of the small amount of guests onboard. When we have numerous ships visiting St. Thomas, we definitely feel the effects on St. John. On November 17th, for example, more than 20,000 people are scheduled to visit St. Thomas via a cruise ship stop. A good amount of those folks will likely venture over to St. John, often checking out Cruz Bay, Trunk Bay, Maho and more. These are great days to venture a bit further out if you don’t love crowds, like out to the East End or Salt Pond Bay, for example.

According to VINow.com, there will be more than 163,000 guests visiting the US Virgin Islands via 51 ships during the month of November. (St. Croix numbers are included in those figures.) Nearly 217,000 guests are scheduled to visit in December with similar numbers the following month. Click here to check out the current cruise ship schedule on VInow.com.

As of today, it looks like only the three Seadream visits have been added to the schedule for December 2022. It is very likely that there will be additional cruise ship visits in Cruz Bay for the rest of the winter months and into early spring.

So is today’s post exciting? Not really. But is it important when planning your St. John vacation? Absolutely. 🙂

Click the following links to check out the upcoming cruise ship schedules:

October 2022 USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

November 2022 USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

December 2022 USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

January 2023 USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

February 2023 USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

March 2023 USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

April 2023 USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

Reserve your island tour today at ExploreSTJ.com! Explore STJ island tours is rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.

Iconic Hotel Returning to Soggy Dollar Bar

Hello everyone, and happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I am ridiculously excited to share today’s story with you!

The iconic Sandcastle Hotel is returning to White Bay! How exciting is that?! For those of you who may not be familiar with the Sandcastle Hotel, it was the original hotel built over in White Bay on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands back in 1970. The hotel was destroyed, unfortunately, back in 2017 when Hurricane Irma rolled through the islands.

Our friends over at the Soggy Dollar Bar announced last week that the Sandcastle Hotel is expected to reopen in late 2022. I don’t know about you, but I think the thought of waking up at the Soggy Dollar Bar in picturesque White Bay sounds pretty darn good to me!

There isn’t too much other information to share at the moment,. You can, however, sign up on Soggy’s website to receive hotel updates. Click here to sign up.

Want to get over to Jost van Dyke sooner than later? Cruz Bay Watersports now offers per person trips  every Tuesday. Click here for the details on that. You can also take the Inter Islands Boat Services ferry over on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. (There are a handful of St. Thomas boats that are currently able to bring guests over to the BVI too.)

Want to see Soggy Dollar in real time? Check out their webcam plus more than two others on St. John over on our webcam page at IslandTidbits.com/webcams

The view from Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost van Dyke

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