More Signs of High Season: Cruise Ship in Cruz Bay

More Signs of High Season: Cruise Ship in Cruz Bay 1
Seadream arrived in Cruz Bay Sunday morning.

There’s a few telltale signs that high season is either pretty darn close or here… The mega yachts arrive and so do the cruise ships. Back in October, we told you about a pretty impressive 380-foot yacht that stopped along St. John’s East End. And today, we’d like to tell you that the cruise ships have arrived in Cruz Bay for the season.

But before you get a bit nervous at the thought of cruise ships overrunning Cruz Bay, the ships that stop here are very small. And this isn’t a new occurrence. Each winter, beginning in October or November, Seadream anchors just off of Cruz Bay. The boat is 355 feet long – smaller than the mega yacht that visited last month – and carries 112 passengers. Guests are ferried from the ship to the island.

Seadream first visited St. John back on November 10th. According to the USVI cruise ship schedule, it will return again on December 8, 11, 22 and 29. It has four visits planned in January, two in February and one in March. The Silver Shadow cruise ship will also make a handful of stops on St. John. It can carry up to 382 passengers. The largest cruise ship to visit St. John will arrive on Monday, December 23rd. That ship is called the Volendam and it can carry 1,432 passengers. That’s a lot of people to spill onto the streets and beaches, so keep that in mind if you are on island that day.

Want to know which ship is visiting when? You can check out the USVI Cruise Ship Schedule at www.vinow.com.

Want to know what’s happening on island right now? Then check out our webcam page at www.newsofstjohn.com/webcams

That’s all we have for your today, folks. Off to guests this beautiful island! Learn more about our island tours at www.newsofstjohn.com/islandtour

More Signs of High Season: Cruise Ship in Cruz Bay 2

Mongoose Sets Date for Annual Island “Prom” Event

Mongoose Sets Date for Annual Island "Prom" Event 3
The annual island prom event will be held at Mongoose Junction next month.

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner! This means that lots of fun events are happening soon, including the prom! Here are the details straight from the organizers…

The 22nd Annual All Island Holiday Party will take place in Mongoose Junction Saturday, December 14 from 9:00 pm. The event is hosted by The Sun Dog Cafe, Paradise Lumber and the Mongoose Merchants Association.

The All Island Holiday Party (aka “the prom”) has its roots in trying to rebuild the community after Hurricane Marilyn in 1995, and through the years has become a social highlight for many full time St. Johnians and a homecoming for many seasonal residents. It’s an opportunity to dress up and celebrate the holidays in the gracious courtyards of Mongoose Junction, with friends new and old, amid holiday cheer and festive decorations. The party celebrates diversity and unity as it brings together St. Johnians of all distinctions, reminds us of the many of blessings we have, and of the special qualities of our community.

Music will be performed by St. John’s own In the Sand Band, featuring Shimika Jones-Sprauve, performing in the center courtyard from 9 pm to 1 am. Abundant appetizers are served. Cash bars will be available. Adults only, please. No pets, please. Island Fancy Attire, please.

I’m sure this will be a great event as always! I hope to see you all there! Have a wonderful day everyone, and remember… In a world where we can be anything, be kind. 🙂

A New Barge Is On Island & Will Hopefully Run Soon… Hopefully.

A New Barge Is On Island & Will Hopefully Run Soon... Hopefully. 4
The Big Red Barge

So as you all know, our barge situation has been precarious since the 2017 hurricanes. We have three barge companies – Global Marine, which runs the General II; Love City Car Ferries, which runs the Grand Vic; and Boyson, Inc., which used to run the Mister B. The Mister B, the largest of the barges, was heavily damaged during the 2017 hurricanes and was taken to the States for repairs in late 2017. That barge has never returned, and we recently learned the company lost the barge due to the company’s legal issues pertaining to unpaid debts.

We currently have two barges that are running – the General II and Grand Vic. The General II has been down for a few days, leaving us with just one. But guess what? We have a brand new barge that is here on island and ready to transport passengers between St. John and St. Thomas. This could greatly alleviate the barge mess. But it’s sitting at the dock. And it may continue to sit there. So we’re asking that you voice your opinions and help us change this.

Delbert Parsons is a businessman here on island. He owns Seashore Allure along with Delrise Varlack. The Virgin Islands Port Authority contacted Delbert after the 2017 hurricanes and basically said they needed help to fix the barge situation. So he met with the Port Authority board, and they told him to move forward with procuring a new barge for the islands. He followed all of their instructions and brought his new barge, the Big Red Barge, to the islands late last month. He was told all he needed to do was pass a Coast Guard inspection, and he would be added to the schedule. He did just that, yet the Big Red Barge continues to sit at the dock. Delbert blames island politics.

“It’s kinda crazy to see the public suffering every day ‘mon,” Delbert told me yesterday afternoon. “The competition say they don’t want it, but the public want it.”

(Random side note: The Big Red Barge has firefighting abilities too. How cool is that?! That in itself is a huge asset.)

According to Delbert, the three barge companies – Global Marine, Love City Car Ferries and Boyson, Inc. – went straight to the governor and asked that Big Red not be added to the schedule.

“They went to the governor to stop the barge from running. Why is the governor getting involved? It’s crazy,” Delbert said. “How can a company with no barge go to the governor to stop me? But they did!”

According to Delbert, Varlack Ventures – one of the two companies that runs the passenger ferries – tried to enter the barge game three years ago, but were stopped by the three companies. They told the Port Authority they could “get the job done,” Delbert said. But clearly they could not. Three years later and the barge situation is still a mess. The General II goes down from time to time, and people get stranded at both docks.

The Port Authority board is scheduled to meet today and Delbert believes his barge will be discussed. If it goes in his favor, Delbert hopes his barge will run on the half hour. Currently, one barge leaves each dock on the hour.

So we’re curious about your thoughts? Do you think we need another barge here on St. John? Please answer the poll below.

We removed the poll from the website. We had well over 1,000 votes that originated from an IP address located in a specific US city. The IP address was not a shared IP address, but one linked to a specific user; therefore negatively affecting a simple poll. 

If you’d like to express your opinion to the governor, please click this link to send him a message. 

And if you’d like to express your opinion to the Port Authority, please click this link to send a message.

We will keep you all posted on this.

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 5

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! Well yesterday’s poll showed how much you all love the island of St. John. We will run the poll a few more days, and then we will post the results. Have you ever given thought to potentially owning a property here on island as opposed to simply visiting every then and again? Well today, we have a nice piece of St. John real estate to share with all of you.

Nestled among the trees in tranquil Fish Bay, this cozy home has been successfully short-term rented for the past 10 years with the owners in residence. The upper level has a master bedroom and bath, as well as kitchen, dining, living areas and a screened-in breakfast room. Stone paths lead to charming sitting areas around the property, to the downstairs bedrooms, hammocks and decks. There is an 8,500 KW Kubota diesel generator with sound proof enclosure and 80 gallon manual fuel tank – a great added feature here on the island.

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 6

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 7

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 8

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 9

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 10

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 11

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 12

St. John Real Estate: Successful Short Term Rental with Owners in Residence 13

You can opt to continue this as a successful short term rental or convert it back to a traditional home to live in. This property is being sold as is.

Ready to own a piece of St. John real estate? Treetops is being offered for $770,000. For more information, please contact Tammy Donnelly of 340 Real Estate Co. at [email protected].

340 Real Estate Co. will donate a portion of the proceeds it receives from the sale of this property to the St. John Cancer Fund.

Cruz Bay Ferry: Take a Quick Ride with Us!

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Who wants to take a quick ride on the Cruz Bay ferry with me?! I recorded the following video yesterday morning as I was traveling over to St. Thomas. I  know you all prefer to be taking the Cruz Bay ferry to St. John as opposed to St. Thomas (which usually means you’re heading home – boo to that!), but I still thought you’d enjoy seeing the beautiful scenery and turquoise waters. It’s just over a minute long. Enjoy!


Someone on St. John Can Win a Trip to Necker Island! And You Can Help!

Someone on St. John Can Win a Trip to Necker Island! And You Can Help! 14
Maho Bay Wednesday morning

Well this is pretty exciting “news” to share… Someone on St. John is going to win a trip to Necker Island! Not familiar with Necker? Well it’s a pretty swanky private island over in the British Virgin Islands, and it happens to be owned by Sir Richard Branson. Its hosting a concert as part of the 2019 Necker Cup, and someone here on St. John will perform at it. How exciting is that?! Here are all the details straight from Maho Crossroads…

Maho Crossroads will host a contest for musical artists Thanksgiving Week resulting in one Virgin Islands-based act going on to play the main stage at the Legends Music Experience on Necker Island. This year, performers at The Legends Music Experience –  which again is part of the 2019 Necker Cup, a pro-am tennis event – include Florida Georgia Line, Skip Marley, Zia Victoria and Jewel. Kenny Chesney performed at the 2018 Necker Cup.

On November 27, 29 and 30, locally-based artists will compete at Maho Crossroads – the new tiki bar across the street from Maho Bay – for the opportunity to open for one of these national acts. The first place musical act will win an all expenses paid trip to Necker Island to perform. Artists already scheduled to play in the competition include Jon Gazi, Mother Goat, IslandGirlMusic- Erin Hart, Chasing Hues, Mark & EVA, Lauren & Bo, Jared Courter and RainDance.

Maho Crossroads is currently accepting submissions for additional artists. Interested parties can fill out the application at www.mahocrossroads.com/blog. The deadline for submissions is November 20.

Musical acts interested in competing that week should meet the following criteria:

1. 4 pieces or less
2. No electronic music or djs
3. Based in the Virgin Islands for at least 6 months of the year
4. Willingness to promote the event and your presence on social media
5. Must be on St. John and available to perform November 27 – 30
6. Must have availability to travel to BVI December 6 – 9

Crowd participation during the event, both on site and virtual, will weigh heavily on the competition. In person attendees have the opportunity to vote once daily for their favorite act performing that day. Online viewers will have the opportunity to vote as well. Online voting will conclude December 1st at 11 p.m. In person and online votes will be tabulated, and the winner will be announced on December 2nd.

The winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Legends Music Experience on Necker Island to perform on the main stage in front of very special guests. Although only one band will be able to take part in this amazing experience, winners in other categories will be named as well. These categories include People’s Choice Winner, Acoustic Artist of the Year and Rising Star. Prizes for these additional categories will be announced shortly.

VI Music Prize is free to attend and will take place November 27, 29 & 30 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Maho Crossroads will be open on Thanksgiving as well and will have Thanksgiving lunch available, live music, and free gifts for kids provided by Aqua Helios.

If you are unable to attend, check in at Maho Crossroads’ Facebook page for a live stream of each musical act.

I’m not sure about all of you, but I am pretty excited about this opportunity for our local music talent. Be sure to watch online if you’re not on island, and vote, vote, vote!

That’s all we have for you today. Have a great day everyone!

New St. John Restaurant Opens

New St. John Restaurant Opens 15
The view from The Danforth on Tuesday afternoon

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday! We have so many wonderful things happening here on island! Not only is the weather nearly perfect – it’s going to be 84 and sunny all week – but we have lots of new places opening up just in time for season to kick in. Today we’d like to tell you about a new St. John restaurant that recently opened in Coral Bay – The Danforth.

Earlier this year, we told you how Wok on the Beach sold in Coral Bay. It briefly became TBD while the owners Sarah and John Joyce worked on its new concept. Well after months of preparing, the Joyce’s new restaurant, called The Danforth, opened at the Isola Shoppes on November 1st.

The Danforth is a Caribbean-inspired restaurant that’s located on the waterfront in Coral Bay. The name The Danforth comes from a common boat anchor and fits perfectly with the vibe of the restaurant, which combines the quality of fine dining, with a casual, family friendly setting. Its vibrant menu features seafood and Caribbean-influenced food made from fresh, local ingredients. At the bar, refreshing cocktails are curated using local liquors and local craft beer is served ice cold from the tap.

The restaurant has been receiving rave reviews from both residents and guests to the island. It is currently open every day but Thursday. Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and features 25 percent off appetizers. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Danforth will serve brunch starting this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beginning December 1st, brunch will be served daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please check out The Danforth’s menus and a few pics:

New St. John Restaurant Opens 16

New St. John Restaurant Opens 17

New St. John Restaurant Opens 18
Caribbean lobster
New St. John Restaurant Opens 19
Pork belly tortas
New St. John Restaurant Opens 20
Tostones trio – shrimp, pork & lobster

Looks great, doesn’t it?

And as a thank you to the community for its support, the Joyce’s are offering a free Thanksgiving dinner on November 28th. Dinner will be served at 2 p.m. and will continue until the food runs out. The bar will open at 1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving for the Lions vs. Bears game and will stay open through the Cowboys game (which starts at 5:30 p.m.).

There’s a lot happening at the Isola Shoppes in Coral Bay, so stay tuned for more fun details… In the meantime, have a wonderful day everyone!

New St. John Restaurant Opens 21
The Danforth

St. John Villa Auction Starts Soon!

St. John Villa Auction Starts Soon! 22
Mare Blu is one of the villas being offered for auction.

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! We’re back from a little weekend off island, and we have a story today that will certainly put your vacation planning into overdrive. We’ve been checking out the temps up north, and it looks like many of you are quite chilly at the moment. So why not bid on a St. John villa stay while supporting the Virgin Islands National Park? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park is launching its annual St. John villa auction this Friday, November 15th. This auction raised more than $60,000 for the park last year, and fingers crossed that they surpass that number this year. As of this morning, there are more than 30 St. John villas or hotel stays listed on Friends’ website. More may be added this week. As of this morning, the following St. John villas/hotels stays are up for bid, according to Friends’ website:

  • Villa Bismarkia
  • On a Clear Day
  • Cruz Bay Hotel
  • Hillcrest Guest House
  • Treetops
  • Fiddlewood Cottage
  • Coral Bay Vista
  • Estate Lindholm
  • Calichi Guava Villa
  • Gallows Point Villa
  • Garden By the Sea
  • Reef Madness
  • Southern Exposure
  • Sun Flower Villa
  • Sunset Ridge
  • The Hills St. John
  • Hummingbird Seacret
  • The Other World
  • Three Mangos
  • The Cottage at Battery Hill
  • Kiddel Bay Cottage
  • Turtle’s Nest Villa
  • Little Tortuga
  • Satinwood
  • Mare Blu
  • Love Palace
  • Great Expectations
  • Papaya Suite at Sunset Serenade
  • Paradise Carest
  • Villa Bombalassey
  • Oceanport Villa
  • Dream Come True
  • Little Petit Bijou
  • Sea Stone

Bidding opens this Friday, November 15th at 9 a.m. EST and will continue until November 29th at 3 p.m. EST. Please click here to view all of the St. John villas and hotel stays up for bid and also to register to bid.

Good luck everyone! Stay warm up there! And thank you for all of the birthday wishes!

St. John Webcams: Please Check Them Out!

St. John Webcams: Please Check Them Out! 23
This morning’s view from the News of St. John webcam.

Hello everyone! So yours truly is having a BIG birthday this weekend… the big 4-0. I’m off island for a few days celebrating, so I am going to take a few days off from the “news.” I know all of you enjoy your daily St. John fix, so today, I’d like to remind you about all of the wonderful St. John webcams we have here on the site. And even better, I just added a new one from Gifft Hill this morning.

Our first cruise ship of the season arrives this Sunday. So be sure to check out the Spice Cam Sunday morning and maybe you will catch a glimpse of Seadream anchored off of Cruz Bay.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. See you all next week!

Great Cruz Bay & the Westin presented by News of St. John:

news of st john tours webcam

Bordeaux Mountain – Courtesy of David Silverman. This webcam also includes current weather conditions.

Peace of Bordeaux

Coconuts & Plumeria – Vacation rentals on Gifft Hill 

CocoPlum Webcam

Coral Bay Views – Two vacation rentals in Coral Bay

coral bay views webcam

Island Abodes – Vacation rentals in Cruz Bay:

Sunset Serenade Webcam


Island Abodes – Down Yonder Villa in Chocolate Hole

down yonder webcam

Cruz Bay and Pillsbury Sound presented by Sunset Ridge Villas:

sunset ridge webcam

South Shore and Rendezvous presented by Mare Blu: 

mare blu webcam

Bordeaux Mountain and Coral Bay presented by Esprit Villa: 

esprit st john webcam

Gifft Hill presented by Starstruck Villa: 

St. John Webcams: Please Check Them Out! 24

St. John ferry dock presented by St. John Spice:

Spice Cam

Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke

soggy dollar webcam

Great Expectations – South Shore St. John 

great expectations webcam

Calichi at Picture Point – Coral Bay & Beyond 

Calichi Webcam

Peter Bay Gatehouse – Peter Bay

Peter Bay Gatehouse Webcam

St. John Vacation Rental Spotlight: The Other World

Other World View Toward Westin (1)
Looking Out Toward the Westin from The Other World

You have several options when looking for a place to stay when vacationing on St. John. But every then and again, something truly special and unique pops up. Today we’d like to tell you about one of those places. Please check out today’s St. John vacation rental spotlight…

The Other World is so relaxing, you’ll never want to leave. You’ll first enter the private lush grounds through a security gate. Next you’ll discover an open-air living space that features native stone columns and archways, as well as eclectic/global furnishings and artwork. A true couples retreat, the villa has two air-conditioned, enclosed master suites, each with its own bathroom, television and french doors that open up to the stunning views outside. For those of you traveling with children, there is also a room on the lower level equipped with bunk beds.

The entrance to The Other World
The Entrance to The Other World
The Open Air Living Space
The Open Air Living Space
Dining with a View
Dining with a View
One of the Three Bedrooms
One of the Three Bedrooms
Beautiful Stonework Detail Throughout
Beautiful Stonework Detail Throughout

A fully-equipped kitchen/bar area combined with a large patio with immaculate views as far as the eye can see make for a perfect happy hour spot. The villa also features a dipping pool, a great feature after a long day hiking or at the beach. Need to cool off? No problem. With a convenient location just 10 minutes from downtown Cruz Bay, this villa has everything you need for the ultimate St. John experience.

Please check out a few more pics…

View Toward the Open Kitchen
View Toward the Open Kitchen
Video Games Too!
Video Games Too!
Lush Landscaping
Lush Landscaping
Large Outdoor Lounging Area
Large Outdoor Lounging Area
The Other World Looking Southwest - Perfect Sunset Views
The Other World Looking Southwest – Perfect Sunset Views

Rates for The Other World start at $500 per night and vary based on season. To learn more, please visit TheOtherWorldVilla.com