St John: New Beginnings & New Special Discounts (4th Couple Stay Free!) at Great Expectations

Enjoy our July newsletter:

st john villa great expectations

New Beginnings 

sea turtles baby

sea turtles baby

Steve Simonsen captured these amazing photos as baby turtles emerged
to see their new surroundings for the first time on a Virgin Islands beach
I can count 16 baby turtles (which coincidentally is the same number of beds as at Great Expectations). What an amazing event! Just as amazing is planning a vacation, especially to St John, with a large group (of people, not turtles). It can – but, does not have to be – daunting! We found a blog thread recently which you might find fun, relevant, and reassuring, if you have ever traveled with a large group. RickG, a regular visitor to St John and a USVI-on-Line contributor to their forum, posted his ‘Group Travel Rules for St John‘. As interesting are the comments by other experienced travelers who added to Rick’s list.RickG’s ‘How to Plan a Vacation to St John with a Large Group’:
1. Don’t invite a whiner. Don’t invite anyone that you would not spend a week with 1-on-1.
2. I pick the villa and the week and people get to decide if they want to come. It’s OK if no one wants to come with me.
3. You get to pick your room in the order that you pay. I’ve already paid the deposit, so I go first. This deals with the equal room problem and #1 deals with whiners (Note – @ Great Expectations all 4 Main Villa Master bedrooms are ‘equal’).
4. One vehicle per two couples. Expect there to be an early group and a late group each morning. This is not a problem I get my own vehicle and my lover is in the late group.
5. Pick a beach each day you want to visit. 11 AM is a good rendezvous hour.  The late group can usually make it and the early group will have done a hike and another beach already. It is OK if no one else shows up (you do not have to be joined at the hip all week!).
6. Do some happy hours at the villa. It’s cheap and 6 -8 + people is a party.
7. Do some dinners at the villa (you can even have them catered for no more than the cost of a meal at one of St John’s nicer restaurants) and do some date nights. Dinner out for 6 – 8 + people is a pain in the a$$. Meet for drinks before and after dinner.

8. Expect to spend a day without leaving the villa. Start the blender at 10 AM, put sunscreen on all exposed skin first.
9. Put $100 in the food kitty for initial food/drink provisioning. If someone is concerned that they won’t spend that much and want differential treatment, that breaks rule #1 – they don’t get to come. $800 will cover food and booze for a week.Some of RickG’s lessons learned:
-If someone whines at home, they will whine on St John (STJ).
-If someone pitches in at home they will pitch in more on STJ.
-The herd moves at the speed of the slowest beast.
-Don’t be afraid to say “I’m heading out. I’ll be back for sunset.”
-Newbies will assume the villa is on the beach, even if you tell them otherwise and show them pictures. If they can’t get over this, they stay at the Westin.
-#1 takes care of almost every possible problem.

Some additional ‘rules’ added by others were:
1.  Let everyone book their own airline tickets.
2. Some people assign the days to have a different person responsible for each dinner (or planning the activities for the day).
3. Don’t feel as though you have to be joined at the hip. It is OK to go off on your own to explore STJ.

The most important common thread was the ‘no whiners’ aboard. We know that it can be hard to do the planning for a large group but, we also know how much fun it can be to vacation with a group of friends.

st john vacation

This is why Great Expectations has just added a new discount to our family of ‘specials’ (Bride & Groom Stay Free!, Grandparents Stay Free! Active Military Stay Free!). The new special is specifically for groups of couples traveling together. See our website for details:

                             4th Couple Stays Free!
when accompanied by 3 or more couples
We hope that this will make the planning for your St John vacation a bit sweeter (and more affordable) for all.
July St John news flashes & fun St John clips:

  • St John’s 2013 Carnival was a great success again this year. This year’s Festival Parade was colorful as usual. The winners, by category, were detailed in the St John Tradewinds and captured in this video by Virgin Islands Source.
  • Delta and Jet Blue are expanding service to the US Virgin Islands. This winter Delta will have more direct flights to St Thomas including a daily flight from JFK to St Thomas. In addition both Cape Air and Seaborne Airlines are expanding their service from Puerto Rico to St Thomas.
  • Fodor’s Travel Guide published its ‘Top Reasons to Go to St John‘ including: beach hopping, hiking Reef Bay, Snorkeling at Trunk Bay, Relaxing at a Villa (we like this one the best and have a great villa to recommend!), and exploring Cruz Bay.
  • caneel bay zozos restaurantPopular Cruz Bay restaurant ZoZo’s will serve its last meal at Gallows Point this coming Saturday. Fret not though it is not closing but, rather, as of November it is just changing its vantage point for fabulous sunsets and panoramic views of Pillsbury Sound to the enchanting Sugar Mill Restaurant at Caneel Bay. We are now all waiting to see what will take its place at Gallows Point.
  • virgin fire bar & grillEver season the restaurant scene changes on St John and this year is no different. The successful Sun Dog Cafe owners are branching out and will open the Virgin Fire Bar & Grill Restaurant this fall in the Mongoose Junction space that housed the former LaPlancha del Mar restaurant. The owners promise to feature foods that are grown or inspired locally, hence the name.
  • st john villa lap poolGreat Expectations has a few openings during 2013 (summer and fall) and we are offering them at great savings so take a look our last minute specials. If winter time is your preference to be on St John, do not dilly-dally since our calendar is already filling up for next winter (and spring).Contact us today to secure your week on St John.

Best,

Kristin & Chuck 
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