My wife and I arrived in Dominica aboard the Celebrity Summmit. We both enjoy taking cruises as a vacation and this was a great one. We had a seven night cruise that sailed out of San Juan hitting the following ports: St. Croix, St. Thomas, Grenada, Dominica and St. Kitts.
St. Croix was not a favorite of our out of all of the island we visited.
I thought driving on the left side would be very difficult but since the cars are the same as in the States (left-side driver) it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be (don't try to convince the locals that I scared to death by my abrupt lane changes). The hard part is that almost all the roads are unmarked and directions given by the locals were on the order of " turn left two intersections from the corner where the market used to be....). And little street lighting so you are often "driving in the dark"! But a car is necessary if you want to go into town or explore a bit.
Cape Air flight is pretty cheap from San Juan Puerto Rico to St. Croix. (approx 1 hour flight time)
It's a 10 seater plane (including the pilot). So sometime usually has to sit up in the cockpit next to the pilot. Since it's a smaller plane they fly pretty low altitude, and the views from the flight are amazing!
Those with a weak stomach / fear of heights should probably take American Eagle which is more representative of a normal plane.
St. Croix is much less visited by cruise ship than St. Thomas. Our ship left St. Thomas at 1800 for the 42 mile trip to St Croix. I don't know what they did from then to the next morning as they certainly didn't need that much time. There is a long dock for cruise ships in Fredricksburg - it is about a ten minute walk from the ship to get into town.
When driving in St. Croix, it is not uncommon to see an unsupervised horse on the side of the road or even in the median. We even saw two horses who had stopped to chat with each other right in the middle of the road. All the cars just stopped until the horses were ready to proceed- contribute it to a slower pace.
St Croix has a lot of beauty that can only be appreciated by renting a car and exploring.
Be careful though, they drive on the same side of the road as the British, but use American style cars. Basically you drive with the driver hugging the curb. As far as I could tell there was nothing bigger than a 2 lane road on the island, so it's a bit easier than it sounds. Watch out for the turns though.. that's where you forget :)
For some reason, we didn't reserve a rental car ahead of time. When we got to St. Croix, there were none available. The big names (Avis, Hertz, etc.) were booked solid; a local company (Olympic) seemed the best bet but we were waiting on people to return cars, they said, but not with much hope...
So we were stuck with taxis. Very pricey, because we were traveling the length and width of the island, several trips a day.
The drivers were very friendly, loved to chat. If you're going shopping, ask if they know of any good places. Many of them have business cards for a shop or two in the touristy areas, which give you a discount. I bought $100 worth of jewelry in a shop because of the discount, and paid less than $70.
Verify the rate before you get in the taxi. We were charged $12 for a trip, and the taxi back was $24 - our fault for not asking first. Also, taxis in the center of the island are a bit harder to get. You call, they don't show...but that can happen anywhere.
We should have reserved a rental car, though...I like driving on the left.
Thought about renting a scooter, but the locals laugh. Tourist rent them, then bang them up. When they get home they find a $5000 replacement charge on their credit card bill (for a $3500 scooter).
The cost of a Taxi is reasonable here, due to cheap gas prices maybe??
Let me give you the name and number of the reliable man that we always use:
Mobile Phone: (340) 690-0853
Expect to pay about $6 per person to get into town...
This is a unique experience: you can fly one of these floatplanes from Old San Juan, Puerto Rico or from St. Thomas to the harbor here at Christiansted....
I went to purchase a round-trip ticket to St. Thomas for the afternoon after seeing a sign advertising a $75 round trip. But they pulled the old "Bait & Switch" and attempted to charge significantly more..... so they had another empty seat....
I love this airplane, I hope that the company vision can be as strong.
They drive on the left, but in left hand drive vehicles
Photos taken through the rear window of the bus
Another photo, as the Canadian made Twin Otter flies past.....
This is one of my favorite airplanes.
4126 La Grande Princesse, (formerly Cormorant Beach Club and Hotel), Christiansted, 00820, Caribbean
Good for: Families
Group of 15 staying 10 days. Our rooms were as far apart as you could get them on this large, hilly...more
442 Strand St., Frederiksted, St. Croix, 00840, Caribbean
Good for: Couples