Trip Report St Croix Mid-May 2021

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Messages
21
Reaction score
22
Location
St. Croix, USVI
# of dives
5000 - ∞
I am thinking about a trip to Saint Croix in July as our usual destination of Cayman Brac doesn’t seem to want to open up anytime. So a couple of questions for you,
How was the airport situation? Easy, Hard etc
Where did you rent the car from?
Any other advice for first timers?

Thanks for your help. Be safe
Greetings from St. Croix Brackafish,

All good info above. May I suggest, if you've had COVID or been vaccinated you can get an antibody test done. 1- it's cheaper than a PCR test (at least here it is) and 2 - the results are valid for 4 months (so you don't have to worry about getting it back in time to upload within the USVI 5 day portal window.

Sadly, our airport departure lines can be long. We do have priority lines at check-in so if you are a priority member you can usually breeze through that portion. If not, if you do online check-in most airlines offer a priority check-in add-on and/or a TSA expedited add-on. These still won't help you with customs but that will get you through 2 out of 3 lines faster.

Give us a holler if you need any assistance or want to hear about any island specials.

Wherever you decide to go ENJOY!
 

mwall04

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Scuba Instructor
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84
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Location
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
# of dives
1000 - 2499
I am thinking about a trip to Saint Croix in July as our usual destination of Cayman Brac doesn’t seem to want to open up anytime. So a couple of questions for you,
How was the airport situation? Easy, Hard etc
Where did you rent the car from?
Any other advice for first timers?

Thanks for your help. Be safe
We've had 3 groups of friends/family visit us in the past couple months with no airport or travel issues. The COVID travel portal is still in place requiring the uploading of a test, but none of our guests had any issues. Some went with the "negative" COVID test which requires a shorter time window between test and travel (5 days) while others went with the "positive" antibody test after vaccinations which are good for up to 4 months.

Travel outbound had no issues, but we typically drop our guests off 3 hours before their flight. While it does get them there an hour earlier than some recommend, they breeze through customs/TSA with no lines. Then they can grab a drink/snack in the waiting area before their flight home. Small price to pay for a trip to paradise. We've heard stories that guests who were dropped off within 2 hours of their flight didn't make it.

We've personally used Centerline, Hertz, and Budget here. No issues with any of them, but prefer Centerline due to the quality of their autos and local, easy to reach customer service.

Other than that, my only advice is to book your trip quickly. I'm sure it is everywhere that allows travel, but tourism has definitely picked way up in recent weeks. The weather is nice, we've been blessed so far with very little sargassum that has been extensive through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico already this year, and things are starting to feel a little more normal in regards to COVID. We finally opened up bar seating again this week and it was so nice to finally sit in my bar stool having a cold one overlooking the water again.
 

Janie88

Contributor
Messages
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Location
Columbus OH
# of dives
200 - 499
We've had 3 groups of friends/family visit us in the past couple months with no airport or travel issues. The COVID travel portal is still in place requiring the uploading of a test, but none of our guests had any issues. Some went with the "negative" COVID test which requires a shorter time window between test and travel (5 days) while others went with the "positive" antibody test after vaccinations which are good for up to 4 months.

Travel outbound had no issues, but we typically drop our guests off 3 hours before their flight. While it does get them there an hour earlier than some recommend, they breeze through customs/TSA with no lines. Then they can grab a drink/snack in the waiting area before their flight home. Small price to pay for a trip to paradise. We've heard stories that guests who were dropped off within 2 hours of their flight didn't make it.

We've personally used Centerline, Hertz, and Budget here. No issues with any of them, but prefer Centerline due to the quality of their autos and local, easy to reach customer service.

Other than that, my only advice is to book your trip quickly. I'm sure it is everywhere that allows travel, but tourism has definitely picked way up in recent weeks. The weather is nice, we've been blessed so far with very little sargassum that has been extensive through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico already this year, and things are starting to feel a little more normal in regards to COVID. We finally opened up bar seating again this week and it was so nice to finally sit in my bar stool having a cold one overlooking the water again.

This is all good information to know. My husband and I are traveling to St. Croix next Feb/March for the Juliet. We'll be staying one night prior to the trip at Victoria House, and leaving the same day we get back from the Juliet, but our flight is not until 4:00p. This airport sounds a lot like the one in St. Kitts which was miserable. Everyone stuffed together in one room, no AC, etc. We'll definitely get there 3hrs ahead of departure. I'm hoping by next year the requirement for testing will be gone, but if not, we'll look at getting the antibody test. We've both been vaccinated since March. Who knows, by then maybe they will have other rules like everyone needs a booster shot or something. LOL.
 
Messages
21
Reaction score
22
Location
St. Croix, USVI
# of dives
5000 - ∞
This airport sounds a lot like the one in St. Kitts which was miserable. Everyone stuffed together in one room, no AC, etc. We'll definitely get there 3hrs ahead of departure.

Greetings from STX Janie88,

Our airport and the departure area (among other areas) is under construction and expansion. It's a mess but I've found that they've always had a/c and plenty of seating. It's scheduled to be completed by Dec 2021 or early 2022, so hopefully, they'll be on (or close too) schedule and you'll be fine. I understand part of the project is a new 250 ton air cooling system!

Have a fantastic cruise!
 

living4experiences

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Location
Tigard, Oregon
# of dives
200 - 499
Having just left St. Croix on May 21st, here's the state of construction. There was no A/C working, and by the time boarding was started, three airlines had flights leaving at the same time. It was standing room only, shoulder to shoulder, and extremely hot. The line of people shown in the picture is waiting for the snack bar, which serves only junk food, beer, water, and soda. It was a cluster f***.
 

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Janie88

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Messages
273
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Location
Columbus OH
# of dives
200 - 499
Greetings from STX Janie88,

Our airport and the departure area (among other areas) is under construction and expansion. It's a mess but I've found that they've always had a/c and plenty of seating. It's scheduled to be completed by Dec 2021 or early 2022, so hopefully, they'll be on (or close too) schedule and you'll be fine. I understand part of the project is a new 250 ton air cooling system!

Have a fantastic cruise!

Oh that is great to know, thanks so much! But honestly, the situation at the airport is not enough to stop me from going on a great trip. It's just more of an inconvenience/kind of miserable last few hours to the trip lol.

The worst part was the no AC in St. Kitts. We were all stuffed together with sweat pouring down our faces. Nice image right?! But I will say that the trip - Explorer Ventures liveaboard St. Maarten-Saba-St. Kitts was FANTASTIC.
 

Jake 10

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Thank you for the report. Is good to know there are few good DC in the USVI's
 

Regulatrix

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Location
Texas
# of dives
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I am thinking about a trip to Saint Croix in July as our usual destination of Cayman Brac doesn’t seem to want to open up anytime. So a couple of questions for you,
How was the airport situation? Easy, Hard etc
Where did you rent the car from?
Any other advice for first timers?

Thanks for your help. Be safe

We're scheduled for the end of July. Having some of the same questions. Also trying to gauge what test to get for entry. And making sure the lab is CLIA-compliant.
 

Regulatrix

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Messages
86
Reaction score
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Location
Texas
# of dives
50 - 99
I saw that now St. Croix is apparently accepting positive antibody blood tests for entry (so says the St. Croix tourism website)? Anyone been recently that used that for entry? Or anyone know anyone who has entered that way recently? Planning to take a PCR test, but I have issues with my nose and confidence is high that it will bleed profusely with a nasal swab. If I could just do an antibody test, that would be a huge relief. But I'm reluctant to trust that a positive antibody test will get me in. Any thoughts?
 

mwall04

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
Messages
84
Reaction score
98
Location
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
# of dives
1000 - 2499
I saw that now St. Croix is apparently accepting positive antibody blood tests for entry (so says the St. Croix tourism website)? Anyone been recently that used that for entry? Or anyone know anyone who has entered that way recently? Planning to take a PCR test, but I have issues with my nose and confidence is high that it will bleed profusely with a nasal swab. If I could just do an antibody test, that would be a huge relief. But I'm reluctant to trust that a positive antibody test will get me in. Any thoughts?
I know several people who have successfully used their positive antibody test to arrive on St. Croix. Some
friends used it to visit us. They previously had Covid and developed the antibodies. Also, a lot of my friends here on St. Croix use it as they have to frequently travel away from the island and it’s a lot easier to get tested once every 4 months than every time we have to travel off island and return.
 
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