With the New Year right around the corner, we could all use some new horizons and good news to gaze upon, right? Well, there are some exciting things happening on St. John in the near future. So, I thought I would dedicate a little time in these dwindling hours of 2021 to share some random and exciting tidbits with you all!
First off, (and this one is big) Cinnamon Bay Beach and Campground has officially released their official opening date! On January 22, 2022, the only campground in the Virgin Islands National Park will host its first over night guests since before the damage and destruction of Hurricane Irma in 2017! After many roadblocks and setbacks in their path, the team of local hires at Cinnamon Bay have overcome the odds and will be successfully inviting guests back to enjoy on site accommodations, shopping, dining and water sports rentals once again.
You can now make reservations on their website for an overnight stay in a comfortable eco tent with beds, fans and all of the bells and whistles or on economical bare tent site where you provide your own tent, bedding, etc. Or, you can opt to rent your tent for the bare site and save on packing AND on expenses. The cottages are not quite ready yet, but I’ll be providing you with a full update on that as soon as I hear! This is great news for all of us and I am VERY excited about heading out to check out the new amenities and grabbing a bite at the Rain Tree Cafe.
Another fun announcement from St. John’s Northshore is that, beginning this weekend, ZoZo’s at Caneel Bay will be starting lunch service on Saturday and Sundays! They re-opened on December 15 for their spectacular dinner service and will be adding some lunch time hours starting this weekend. Lunch will be served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30AM-3:30PM and lunch reservations will be accepted via their website for parties greater than six people.
In addition to their elegant four-course dinner dining experience in the dining room, they have opened the lounge and bar area where guests may order off of the sunset dining experience menu ala carte style. Reservations are required for the four-course dining experience and can be made on their website within 30 days of your anticipated reservation. I would HIGHLY recommend reservations for the bar & lounge or lunch (for larger parties) at this coveted St. John dining establishment. Seating is limited and the experience unparalleled.
Oh, and speaking of news from Virgin Islands National Park, the baseball field, located across from Mongoose Junction underwent a complete transformation over the past few months.
In no time at all we will be sitting in those bleachers, watching the kids (and adults!) play once again under the lights in Cruz Bay!
Additionally, Friends VINP is embarking on fundraising efforts to expand and rebuild the children’s playground at the VINP dock, adjacent to the ball field. And they just received a generous donation of $350,000 from Jann and Steven Paul to launch this campaign. The playground, which has sat in disrepair since the 2017 storms “is the ideal location for integrating natural landscapes, cultural history, trail guides, community meeting areas, and play structures with multiple opportunities for learning because of its location and established value as a play area for island youth and a community meeting spot.”
As of now, plans have been approved and the Friends intend to move forward with this amazing development for the kids and the community! “Approved plans include a landscape of shade-bearing native plants, a playhouse inspired by the past and modeled after the first VINP ranger station; and a range of equipment like swings and slides.” You too can support the playground project and get more information on this exciting project for the betterment of Cruz Bay on the Friends VINP website.
Oh, and one more thing for today! I promised you I would give you an update when the barge rate increases were released. Well, I now have that information for you!
So, a $15 increase on both one-way and round-trip tickets shouldn’t break the bank right? The car ferries have been at the same rate since 2010 and, with the increased costs of labor, fuel and maintenance, I do not one bit blame them for a price increase!
However, given the rising costs of fuel, insurance, labor, etc, it is not only necessary but inevitable that we must raise our prices, in order to be able to continue serving the general public. – Love City Car Ferries
That’s it for today! I’ll be doing a little update on New Year’s Eve Festivities first thing tomorrow morning so, if you’re on island, you can plan your entry to 2022 accordingly.
Cheers to the last hours of 2021!