Trip Report St Croix Mid-May 2021

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Regulatrix

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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.

Hey, thanks for the reply. Okay, now *here's* an embarrassing question to ask-- I should have antibodies if I'm fully vaccinated, right? That's what I'm hoping, because I haven't actually had COVID, to my knowledge.
 

mwall04

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St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
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Hey, thanks for the reply. Okay, now *here's* an embarrassing question to ask-- I should have antibodies if I'm fully vaccinated, right? That's what I'm hoping, because I haven't actually had COVID, to my knowledge.
Not a doctor, but that is my understanding.

One of my neighbors who hasn’t had the virus to her knowledge, but was vaccinated took the antibody test (it came back positive) and used the results successfully travel to the mainland (wasn’t needed) and back to St. Croix.
 

Regulatrix

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Not a doctor, but that is my understanding.

One of my neighbors who hasn’t had the virus to her knowledge, but was vaccinated took the antibody test (it came back positive) and used the results successfully travel to the mainland (wasn’t needed) and back to St. Croix.

Thanks again--and, yes, absolutely, I realize you're not a doctor. Quick research on the web (which admittedly I should have done before asking the question) suggests that I may or may not test positive on an antibody test. Welp. I'll probably just suck it up and get the PCR test. :).
 
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St. Croix, USVI
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Hey, thanks for the reply. Okay, now *here's* an embarrassing question to ask-- I should have antibodies if I'm fully vaccinated, right? That's what I'm hoping, because I haven't actually had COVID, to my knowledge.

Greetings from St. Croix Regulatrix,

I know maaaaany residents who are vaccinated and have gotten the antibody test to travel. Our results show two test resuts on the paperwork IGM and IGG. The way the technician explained it to me was:

You want the IGM to be negative - if it's positive then it may be actively fighting the virus or if you had the vaccinations very recently it could have spiked because of that.
and
You want the IGG to be positive - It is designed to detect IgG antibodies specific for the virus spike protein that develops once a person has received the COVID-19 vaccination.

There are saliva swab PCR tests as well. Maybe you can call around to find out who's offering those in your area.

Have a wonderful visit. Happy to help if you need any assistance.
 

Regulatrix

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Greetings from St. Croix Regulatrix,

I know maaaaany residents who are vaccinated and have gotten the antibody test to travel. Our results show two test resuts on the paperwork IGM and IGG. The way the technician explained it to me was:

You want the IGM to be negative - if it's positive then it may be actively fighting the virus or if you had the vaccinations very recently it could have spiked because of that.
and
You want the IGG to be positive - It is designed to detect IgG antibodies specific for the virus spike protein that develops once a person has received the COVID-19 vaccination.

There are saliva swab PCR tests as well. Maybe you can call around to find out who's offering those in your area.

Have a wonderful visit. Happy to help if you need any assistance.

Awesome! Thanks for the reply and the info. We're really looking forward to the trip!
 

Queen Triggerfish

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I just got back from my first St. Croix trip on Sunday. I was there for six days, staying at an Airbnb in Frederiksted. We wanted to be walking distance to dinner/drinks options (as to not have to drive on the left after drinking!) and close to the pier for diving.

Yes, I agree with the above posters: the airport was packed, the floor and ceiling are currently torn out, there were three flights' worth of people waiting, a long line for the snack bar, and no AC. But that shouldn't really be a deterrent to travel - just a heads up to dress cool, bring something to do, (especially something that may calm your nerves.), and don't assume you will get an outlet to charge devices. It's not the worst airport experience I've had. On the plus side, the women's bathroom was better than expected. If you bring your passport instead of just a drivers license, you may get to bypass to a shorter line by security. I thought that was a great deal, until I saw the area I'd be waiting in once I got through security anyhow.

We rented a small SUV from Centerline, and I would use them again. Their prices were comparable to others, and we had a good experience. When you arrive, if you have a checked bag to pick up but there's no line at the rental window, you might consider going to the rental window first. I got my bag first and then ended up behind quite a few people. Our Airbnb host said that some car rental places charge $150 for sand in the vehicle. We did vacuum ours out just in case, but they didn't seem to be overly picky and drop off was fast. They shuttled us to the airport after drop off.

Driving on the left wasn't an issue for me. I have quite a bit of experience in Grand Cayman, but it was a long time ago. This was a lot easier than that with significantly less traffic than by Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach.

Do bring a face mask (like, the covid type, not just the diving type). As of Sunday, stores and restaurants were still requiring masks. For restaurants, you need to wear it when walking around but not once you are seated.

We used Adventures in Diving in Frederiksted. Like a couple other shops right by the pier, they were very conveniently located for walking to/from the pier. Because we stayed just a few blocks away, we could easily go back to our place for lunch in between dives, etc. We ONLY did shore diving, and decided to stick to the easy sites, so stuck to the pier and Cane Bay. A few others were mentioned to us, but we were enjoying these enough that we stuck to them. Every tank we received was over 3000 psi and they also double-checked them before sending us off with them. They have a nice bench with tank loops in the courtyard for gearing up.

We got lots of different dives out of the pier, and could continue to get more. Unfortunately, the vis was terrible the last day - fortunately, we had seen it when it was good, but if that was our first dive there I'm not sure we would have repeated it. We entered both from the small wall to the left of the pier and also giant striding off the platform on the right (north) side of the pier by the "Fish Sustainably" mural. We would check out the pillars, the wall of the pier, the rubble, the "dolphins" (old tie-ups) and the rocks.

Speaking of the pier, we enjoyed walking it at night, but it was closed the last couple nights, so maybe take advantage of it early in your trip in case you can't get out there later. We got a kick out of watching people fish without fishing poles (even though they sometimes had poles lying right next to them!)

We ate at Nacho and Louie's (twice), Lone Dog Pub (or something like that), Tap Deck, the restaurant at Sandcastle resort, the restaurant across from Cane Bay, and I can't remember where else. (Lunch was typically PB&J in our rental.)

We did have to take a Covid test and upload it to the "USVI travel portal" before the trip. Apparently it's usually pretty fast to get approval after uploading, but mine took more than 48 hours to come back as approved (AFTER uploading my results) so I wouldn't save it until the last minute.
 

Regulatrix

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I just got back from my first St. Croix trip on Sunday. I was there for six days, staying at an Airbnb in Frederiksted. We wanted to be walking distance to dinner/drinks options (as to not have to drive on the left after drinking!) and close to the pier for diving.

Yes, I agree with the above posters: the airport was packed, the floor and ceiling are currently torn out, there were three flights' worth of people waiting, a long line for the snack bar, and no AC. But that shouldn't really be a deterrent to travel - just a heads up to dress cool, bring something to do, (especially something that may calm your nerves.), and don't assume you will get an outlet to charge devices. It's not the worst airport experience I've had. On the plus side, the women's bathroom was better than expected. If you bring your passport instead of just a drivers license, you may get to bypass to a shorter line by security. I thought that was a great deal, until I saw the area I'd be waiting in once I got through security anyhow.

We rented a small SUV from Centerline, and I would use them again. Their prices were comparable to others, and we had a good experience. When you arrive, if you have a checked bag to pick up but there's no line at the rental window, you might consider going to the rental window first. I got my bag first and then ended up behind quite a few people. Our Airbnb host said that some car rental places charge $150 for sand in the vehicle. We did vacuum ours out just in case, but they didn't seem to be overly picky and drop off was fast. They shuttled us to the airport after drop off.

Driving on the left wasn't an issue for me. I have quite a bit of experience in Grand Cayman, but it was a long time ago. This was a lot easier than that with significantly less traffic than by Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach.

Do bring a face mask (like, the covid type, not just the diving type). As of Sunday, stores and restaurants were still requiring masks. For restaurants, you need to wear it when walking around but not once you are seated.

We used Adventures in Diving in Frederiksted. Like a couple other shops right by the pier, they were very conveniently located for walking to/from the pier. Because we stayed just a few blocks away, we could easily go back to our place for lunch in between dives, etc. We ONLY did shore diving, and decided to stick to the easy sites, so stuck to the pier and Cane Bay. A few others were mentioned to us, but we were enjoying these enough that we stuck to them. Every tank we received was over 3000 psi and they also double-checked them before sending us off with them. They have a nice bench with tank loops in the courtyard for gearing up.

We got lots of different dives out of the pier, and could continue to get more. Unfortunately, the vis was terrible the last day - fortunately, we had seen it when it was good, but if that was our first dive there I'm not sure we would have repeated it. We entered both from the small wall to the left of the pier and also giant striding off the platform on the right (north) side of the pier by the "Fish Sustainably" mural. We would check out the pillars, the wall of the pier, the rubble, the "dolphins" (old tie-ups) and the rocks.

Speaking of the pier, we enjoyed walking it at night, but it was closed the last couple nights, so maybe take advantage of it early in your trip in case you can't get out there later. We got a kick out of watching people fish without fishing poles (even though they sometimes had poles lying right next to them!)

We ate at Nacho and Louie's (twice), Lone Dog Pub (or something like that), Tap Deck, the restaurant at Sandcastle resort, the restaurant across from Cane Bay, and I can't remember where else. (Lunch was typically PB&J in our rental.)

We did have to take a Covid test and upload it to the "USVI travel portal" before the trip. Apparently it's usually pretty fast to get approval after uploading, but mine took more than 48 hours to come back as approved (AFTER uploading my results) so I wouldn't save it until the last minute.


Thanks for the trip report! We're heading there soon, so I especially appreciate it. Question: you're the second person I've seen who recommends getting the rental car first, and then any checked baggage. Actually, the suggestion I first received was for one of us to go get the rental while the other stays and gets the checked luggage. The only problem I see with that is if we both want to drive. Thoughts? I'm wondering if one of us heading to the rental car place with both drivers' licenses and proofs of insurance would be adequate for both of us to be listed as authorized drivers.
 

seeker242

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Never been but question for those that have, better to stay in Frederiksted or Christiansted?
 

mwall04

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St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
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Never been but question for those that have, better to stay in Frederiksted or Christiansted?
I live on St. Croix (Christiansted) and can confirm that is an ongoing debate even among locals will never be decided. There really is no right answer. From a divers point of view, both offer access to multiple dive shops. Frederiksted does have shore dives on the pier, but if I'm boat diving, I prefer the wall diving closer to Christiansted. I feel Christiansted has more to offer topside (restaurants, bars, proximity to Buck Island, more shopping choices, etc.). Christiansted has recovered quicker from the damage of Hurricane Maria, but both areas are finally seeing lots of renovation, rebuilding, and revitalization.
 

mwall04

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Update today from the Virgin Islands Port Authority on our airport renovations: The Henry E. Rohlsen Airport Terminal's hold room is being transformed! We are happy to report that we are ahead of schedule and it should be completed by September 2021. We thank travelers for their continued patience as we work to improve and modernize our airport terminals.
 
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