How to avoid the tourists

Beach 8578The dreaded daytrippers.  Folks who arrive on St. Thomas by cruise ship at 9 in the morning and pursue a whirlwind itinerary to St. John, a beach, lunch, and another beach. 

How to avoid them?  That’s what folks on TripAdvisor's St. John forum want to know.

“From what I’ve read, said MartinSpartan, “the best way to avoid the cruise ship crowds (at the north shore beaches) is to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon.”  What, he wanted to know, is ‘early' and ‘late’?

STJ4ME said forget about timing the sunbathers’ movements.  Forget the popular beaches and head to Maho, Francis, Dennis Bay, and Gibney. “Since you're (staying) in Coral Bay,” they added, “go to Vie’s and Lil Lameshur.”

Mindehankins said it is a matter of timing: avoid the beaches the days the cruisers are in. And she pointed to VINow.com’s schedule for ships.

NCsyracuse said one visit to Trunk and Cinnamon was all it took for them to swear off those spots. “Our favorite beaches are Maho, Francis, Salt Pond, and Lameshur

“By 2 p.m., when we consider the beach ‘crowded, we head back to the villa.”

17 thoughts on “How to avoid the tourists”

  1. Low-Lifes? Wow! Not everyone can afford to come to St John and stay in a villa. While it may be a bit crowded when the tours come through, I would never lower myself to name calling….

  2. Eh. Francis Bay covers the tourist avoidance strategy. Salt Pond, too, but watch your valuables in the car – it’s one stop shopping for the local theives. Just watch out for the beach nettles, and take a walk over to Drunk Bay for an entertaining look at the art created over decades of visits making “watchers” out of coral, coconut and flotsam and jetsam. Locals generally don’t go to Trunk or Cinnamon.

  3. I agree with Tim. Though the cruisers do not help your bank account they do help the local economy. Also, they may return as villa renters.

  4. It really isn’t very nice to be classifying other folks in this manner. However; I did work in Cruz Bay for nearly six years, and there is no denying certain patterns…No pun intended, but it goes with the Territory. One of my favorites from a person visiting from a ship, “Where’s the beach?” Me, “There are quite a few, which one are you looking for?” Tourist, “The closest one I can walk to.” Me, “Solomon”…then give detailed directions. Tourist, “How long will it take me to get there?” Me, “About 25 minutes.” Tourist, (visibly upset!), “That takes too long!”

  5. We would never have found St John if it wasn’t for a cruise. Mind you we had an awful time on it. Us “low-lifes” will be spending around 8K to come for 2 weeks in April (dog kennel stay, parking at airport, flights, villa, car rental, dinners, lunches, boat excursion, groceries and booze). We must be awful people.

  6. Hey Frank; Maybe you have been on island to long. Low Life’s??? Go to any beach in the world and put your towel or chair down on the first piece of sand you come to and it’s crowded. But walk a little in either direction and not so bad. Even Trunk Bay. We’ve been coming to STJ. 2 weeks in January every year. Sometimes a week in May or June also. We go to Trunk several times each year. LOVE IT. As someone already mentioned. Where does the money come from that you pay your bills with so you can live on STJ.????? Would guess a big chunk comes from the tourist low life’s that visit. It is time for you to get off your high horse Frank. Or should I say donkey???

  7. If you are staying on St. John, go to the beaches early. Read the cruise boat schedule and stay away on those days. Or do as we did; realize the laid back island of St. John is no more, and buy a rental unit on Viequez. This island off the coast of Puerto Rico reminds us of what Key West or St. John would have been like 50 years ago. Ours is in Esperanza, where you can see the ghost of Hemmingway at the beach bars at night.

  8. Well said Paul, couldn’t have said it any better myself. We visit St John annually in may or June, and compared to beaches back in the mainland these are never crowded. Frank you have a nice site, and I appreciate reading it, but even if your comment was done tongue in cheek, it’s not very funny. As others wrote, the people of St John depend on these so called low lifes, and if I’m not mistaken you do own a villa that you rent out…to lowlifes like us?

  9. Now THAT’S funny! We’ve been going on “vacation” from the V.I. to Vieques for years. There was an exodus from St. John around 10-12 years ago to Vieques. Vieques is O.K., limited, and certainly not for everyone. Duffy still alive? He ran from St. Thomas decades ago and opened the Chez Shack.

  10. Thanks, Art.
    I hope it’s clear the item was written about folks on Trip Advisor who wanted tips on how to avoid day trippers from St. Thomas who make a beeline for Trunk and Hawksnest because they are short on time. Which is no way to experience St. John.
    Yes, our villa is Blue Tang(http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g147409-d1445612-Blue_Tang-St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html) – a perfect place to enjoy the island in a laid back, comfortable fashion.

  11. Frank,
    I understand, we always make a bee line to St John for our entire stay in the USVI, and always rent a villa as well.Since 1981 I’ve made it there just about every year, and have never even spent a night in either St Thomas, or St Croix, we too try to avoid the day trippers.I guess not everyone is as fortunate as you and I, and may only get to do this once in a lifetime, and want to squeeze in everything they can, I’m sure it wasn’t meant the way it sounded, but lowlife was not a very good choice of words…thanks for your response.

  12. I think some folks (who pay a LOT of money to get away from it all) are just overwhelmed by the sheer numbers that arrive on ships. A beach can quickly go from deserted to packed. Though cruising is a great way to get a quick glimpse of a lot of places, these floating cities also create problems. Cruise ships generate an astonishing amount of pollution: up to 25,000 gallons of sewage from toilets and 143,000 gallons of sewage from sinks, galleys and showers EACH DAY.

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