DAY 1 – Getting There:
Travel day! We woke the kids at 3:30 am to arrive at the airport by 5am. Most of the evening prior was spent packing. Due to various medical equipment, diving/snorkel gear, and other essentials we ended up with 4 checked suitcases, 5 carry on bags, and a beach tent that is light, yet too long to fit in our luggage. We also made room for a few bottles of wine for Mom & Dad to enjoy..
The flight to St. Croix was around 5 hours total with a quick layover in Atlanta. What a long day! We arrived at the condo around 5 pm after retrieving our luggage, the rental car, and stopping by the grocery store for dinner. Day one was all about getting to St. Croix. Both flights were smooth and everything went off without a hitch. I am happy with how well the kids traveled on so little sleep.
Tips on Getting to St. Croix: Delta offers seasonal non-stop flights from Atlanta on Saturday only. Throughout the week Delta offers service through San Juan, in conjunction with Seaborne Airlines. American Airlines offers non-stop service from Miami several days per week as well as service through San Juan in conjunction with Seaborne Airlines. Alternately, if you fly to San Juan via any airline, Seaborne and Cape Air offer several hopper flights almost daily to St. Croix.
DAY 2 – Getting our bearings, exploring St. Croix.
Our first full day in St. Croix USVI started out a little rough. Dave woke up with severe ear pain and the weather was cloudy and rainy. We contacted our local car rental company, Judi of Croix, and Dennis was a wealth of knowledge regarding all things local, including options for medical care if necessary. We also learned that the fisherman we purchased fish from on our last trip to St. Croix was no longer fishing commercially. Dennis was able to connect us to a few other local fisherman to purchase fresh fish and lobster from this month. I cannot say enough about the great service we have received from Judi of Croix car rentals both times we have rented from them.
We spent the day driving around getting our bearings and activity ideas for the week. Throughout the day we stopped at a few stores and talked to locals to get ideas on great restaurants, shopping, and sights. The best way to travel is to eat and enjoy the Island like a local.
Late in the afternoon there was a break in the weather and we were able to explore the pool, grounds, and beach area at our condo. There has been a drought in St. Croix for several months so the Island is more brown than usual. We are used to seeing lush plants and greenery. Water is also expensive so a few of the local farms have taken a hit to their crops. We generally purchase from local farms whenever possible, but the produce yield is down considerably this year due to the drought.
DAY 3 – A trip to the Urgicare in St. Croix
We began our third day with a visit to the local Urgicare. Dave’s ear pain got worse over night and in order to dive during this vacation he needed to have it checked. The St. Croix Urgicare clinic, located near the Hospital, is a walk-in clinic run by the Acute Alternative Medical Group. Dave was seen by a local physician, Dr. Campbell, who was super nice and provided excellent care. The staff was outstanding and offered additional advice on the best places to snorkel and dive on St. Croix. We were in and out in less than an hour. They sent his prescriptions directly to the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy which were ready for pick up within a few minutes. Because St. Croix is a US territory, our primary insurance covered the visit as a regular medical visit. In addition, we have purchased Travel Medical insurance that will likely pick up our copay for the visit and Medications. Best of all, Dave should be ready to dive in 2-3 days! If you find yourself in need of medical care while visiting St. Croix, I highly recommend the Acute Alternative Medical Group.
After getting our Medical needs taken care of, we stopped for lunch at Victor Mencho’s. Recommended by Dennis from Judi of Croix, who says this sandwich shop offers “the best Cubano on St. Croix.” Victor Menchos is small, filled with locals, and open for breakfast and lunch only. The owners are nice and gave me contact information for their brother, an independent licensed tour guide, offering guided hikes on the Island. Oh, and the sandwich was excelente!
We spent the rest of the afternoon Swimming and Snorkeling at Rainbow Beach in Fredricksted. This is a nice calm, sandy beach next to a beach bar and restaurant. We also met Bobby, a local fisherman, who will contact us when he has fresh fish and lobster available. We are finally beginning to feel like we are on Vacation!