St John USVI current conditions post hurricane recovery


It’s been over 6 months since hurricane Irma and hurricane Maria swept across the Caribbean and crossed St John, St Thomas and St Croix, US Virgin Islands. For several months, your evening news brought you some incredible footage of the destructive power of a CAT5 storm. And many islands including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the BVIs suffered some unbelievable damage. So, what can you expect when deciding to plan your next visit to St John?

The Good …

Over 99.99% of the island has power restored. Visitors will see lots of new power lines, poles and wires. A big thanks to the local WAPA lineman and a heartfelt thank you to the BBC Electric crews from Joplin, Missouri. Without their hard work the Island would not have recovered so quickly!

The Virgin Islands National Park beaches have reopened. Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Hawksnest Beach, Maho Beach, Waterlemon Cay … are open and welcoming beach goers with fewer coconut palms; but wider and flatter white sand beaches! Please note that Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Hawksnest Beach and Maho Bay all have damage to the Park infrastructure. At the time of this article, the Park had not announced a schedule for the infrastructure to be repaired. But, basic services are in place. And Trunk’s snorkeling gear and chair rentals  have resumed.

Many Cruz Bay + Coral Businesses have reopened. The basics … gas, groceries, Jeep rentals, bars and restaurants have, for the most part, reopened; and are eager for guests/patrons. The shops at Mongoose Junction are bustling with visitors going in and out of shops. The St John Brewers Tap Room is open, albeit much smaller, while they continue to work on their expanded bar. A fan favorite, Morgan’s Mango just reopened after months of repairs!

Hiking trails inside the VI National Park are cleared and passable. And the “clipped” vegetation affords some new vistas!

Moorings at the Park bays are repaired and accepting boats.

The Sad …

Visitors first glimpse of Cruz Bay will be the mostly closed shops, bars and restaurants of Wharfside Village. The infrastructure/buildings at Trunk, Cinnamon and Maho are, for the most part, in pretty poor shape.

Coral Bay is still in very rough shape. Mountains of debris are being sorted and trucked out. The dumpster area by Love City Market is still getting wood, metal, appliances dropped off. There’s still plenty of repair work that needs to happen. But, you’ll also find busy hands … businesses reopening, things being fixed and lots and lots of fresh, bright paint ; )


St John after hurricane Irma



It’s been over 6 months since hurricane Irma hit St John, USVI. In that time power has been restored to 99.9% of the island. The Virgin Islands National Park beaches are open. Cruz Bay and Coral Bay business have reopened in large numbers. Restaurants, bars, shops, grocery stores, services, activities … have reopened. While there are still some St John vacation rentals that have been deemed a completed loss – many villas suffered little or no damage … and resumed welcoming guests!

See current photos from around St John on our Facebook Page:

On September 6, 2017 at approximately 11:00 am EST HURRICANE IRMA barreled through the Virgin Islands. This CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE packed sustained winds over 150MPH and gusts over 185MPH! As you might imagine the islands of St John and St Thomas were heavily damaged. In the days since IRMA passed over the Islands, US Military, National Guard, FEMA and private organizations and citizens have supplied aid.

What does this mean for your existing St John vacation rental?

On-island managers and owners have done a great job getting their properties repaired. While some properties suffered a complete loss … the vast majority of rental villas have completed repairs … and some suffered no damage at all! That said, it will take some time for owners to get new photos up on their listings. In the mean time, please reach out to any owner/manager to confirm the property is accepting guests and what condition you can expect for your visit.


What does this mean for travel to St John during the coming 2017/2018 Season?

St John is ready for Tourists. Virgin Islands National Park beaches have reopened. Shops, grocery stores, gas stations, bars, restaurants, activities, Jeep and car rentals … have reopened for business.

“We have already heard from some of our Villa Owners – that their homes have only minor damage – while others will require extensive repairs.”

What Can I Expect? You’ll find that St John still has some visible “scars”. The number of majestic coconut palms that grew along the beach at Honeymoon Beach, Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Maho Bay, Gibney Beach and Hawksnest Beach have been greatly reduced. Maho, especially, lost most of the towering palms! Oppenheimer’s iconic Palm Tree rope swing is gone! Cinnamon Bay Campground is months and months from repair. Concordia may never reopen. The Westin St John is closed through 2018. Caneel Bay Resort is closed while they decide the best plan for reopening. One thing that hasn’t changed … everywhere you go you’ll find beauty. The beaches are wider, more white sand, and generally flatter. The island is green and lush from many months of rain. And the people of St John, they’ve weathered the storm and found a new strength and warmth!


Here are the two established and trusted St John aid organizations we recommend. Donate directly …and avoid the fees charge by sites like GoFundMe!

St John Community Foundation

The St. John Community Foundation is committed to collaboratively identifying and addressing community needs to enhance St. John; A True Paradise in which to live, work and visit!

Their website:


St John Rescue, Inc.

is an all volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives and building a better community through participation, education, and community spirit. St. John Rescue, Inc. was officially launched on November 30, 1996 when it was granted status as a 501(C)3 corporation by the United States Virgin Islands government.


Air BnB VRBO guest service fees

“Airlines do it. Car rental agencies do it. Online vacation rental giants do it.”

What are they all doing?

They all have “hidden fees” tacked on to your transaction that drive up your bill!

What “Hidden Fees” do the online vacation rental sites add?

Before you click that BOOK NOW button on VRBO, HomeAway, Air BnB, you should know that all of the major online vacation rental sites charge what they call “guest service fees” or booking fees. They range from 5% to 16% of your booking total. Some generously cap your booking fee at $399.00. Others aren’t so generous and the fee can exceed $500 or $600!

Why do they charge a fee?Air Bnb booking fees guest service fees

Great question. Here’s what VRBO/HomeAway says …

“The service fee is paid by the traveler when booking through the HomeAway websites. This fee helps cover the costs of operating the websites for owners and travelers. Some of the costs to run HomeAway include: facilitating secure transactions, developing our products and services, and providing 24/7 customer service.”

Now I don’t know about you – but that sounds like a lot of revenue from each booking just to cover their web site! I mean, really …! Hundreds of dollars from each transaction just to facilitate that transaction?

Where are the fees hidden?VRBO guest service fees - HomeAway booking fees

Another great question! The mega rental sites will tell you they aren’t hidden. And to some degree they are right. They’ve hidden them in plain sight. With HomeAway/VRBO you’ll need to click the details text link. Air BnB has them as a line item in your quote.

How can I avoid booking fees?

If you’re traveling to St John, US Virgin Islands, you can connect directly with St John vacation rental owners and on-island managers to get the Lowest Prices and avoid the “guest service fees” charged by the mega rental sites! In fact, browse our listings and you’ll be doing just that … because we don’t charge owners a commission on bookings. And we don’t charge guests a service fee or booking fee! So start browsing knowing you’re dealing directly with St John vacation rentals by owners and on-island managers! BAM! You just save 5% to 16%!

St Thomas airport to Red Hook taxi service

Let’s face it the worst part of any vacation is the travel to and from your destination. From the lines at the airline boarding gate to stuffing your luggage overhead to the taxi ride to your hotel or accommodations. Well, we’ve got a solution to the waiting and multiple stops and shoulder-to-shoulder taxi service out of St Thomas Cyril E King airport to Red Hook ferry to St John.

St Thomas airport to Red Hook ferry taxi service USVI

You can now book private airport transportation to get to the dock as soon as possible from St Thomas Airport to Red Hook Ferry or St Thomas Airport to Charlotte Amalie Ferry; so you can make your continued trip from Red Hook Ferry to St John or Charlotte Amalie Ferry to St John with minimal wait time. This service is ideal for individuals, couples, families, or groups. The number and type of vehicles are assigned based on the size of your party and availability, and all of our drivers and vehicles are fully licensed and insured. Best of all, unlike St Thomas airport taxi services that charge for bags and carry-on items, there are NO BAGGAGE OR LUGGAGE FEES with our service.

Use our easy online form to check availability and book your airport transportation now!

Book online to reserve your Private Airport Transportation from STT to Red Hook ferry

Services offered: One Way Arrival, One Way Departure, Roundtrip


  • Serving St Thomas Airport, Cyril E King International Airport
  • Private Airport Transportation
  • Quick Stop at Market or Convenience Store Upon Request
  • Non-stop Service
  • One-Way or Round-Trip
  • Service for Red Hook Ferry Dock or Charlotte Amalie Ferry Dock
  • No Baggage or Luggage Fees
  • No Waiting for Regular Shared Airport taxis to fill up
  • Perfect for Individuals, Families, Couples, and Large Groups
  • Type & Number of Vehicles Assigned Based on Party Size and Availability


  • One-way or round-trip service to or from St Thomas Airport
  • Vehicle for private transportation
  • Quick Stop at market or convenience store upon request


Gratuities not included


Service must be canceled within 24 hours of your scheduled pick-up. If your flight is canceled, please contact your driver to reschedule or cancel service and receive a refund. If you booked a roundtrip, you may only cancel 24 hours prior to the first leg of the trip. As a roundtrip is considered one service, you may not cancel any individual part of a roundtrip. All contact details provided upon confirmation of your booking.

Save on St John vacation rentals during low season

“Lets face it, St John Island is one of the more exclusive Caribbean destinations.”

St John vacation rental mapThe Virgin Islands National Park covers about 2/3rds of the island – leaving a fairly limited area for development. And that’s what makes it such a special, mostly unspoiled, tropical paradise. But that protection comes at a price; St John vacation rentals are more expensive than other Virgin Islands like St Thomas and St Croix.

Travelers visiting during peak season and holidays should expect to pay premium prices at Caneel Bay Resort, The Westin St John, Grande Bay Resort, Gallows Point and at the many beautiful vacation rentals villas that dot the island. Higher demand means higher prices. It’s the same across the planet …wherever tourism is seasonal.

You don’t have to pay premium prices to enjoy a St John island vacation.

There are ways to save – and save big! First, and foremost is lodging. Did you know that off season rates average 30% less during low season? That’s right, you can save thousands of dollars on many top rated villas when you book your stay between mid April to mid December ( everybody uses slightly different dates to qualify for low season / high season ). Many people use the savings to enjoy a villa that’s outside their budget during most of the year. So, for the same money you can enjoy bigger ocean views, more spectacular pools and amenities and choice locations! It may also be a chance to stay at one of the most popular villas – that often book a year or more in advance! It’s a great way to experience all that St John has to offer – without breaking the bank!

“Off season vacation rental rates average 30% less during low season”

How do I take advantage of the low season savings?
Most villa owners and managers have 2 sets of rates, high season and low season. On our Listings you’ll see rate details. Check the owner’s low seasons and high season dates to verify the start and stop of each rental season. Most owners and management companies follow roughly the same dates, mid April to mid December. Book a visit within those dates and you could potentially save thousands of dollars vs the high season rates on that very same vacation rental. When booking you should inquire about any specials, discounts or promotions the owner or manager may be running.

Want to save even more?
Of course you do! Who doesn’t want to save money and lower the cost of their Virgin Islands vacation?! Click our Discounts Page to find last-minute savings and incredible deals. Most of the discounts are limited to 2 months out. So if your travel dates are flexible it can be a great way to save even more money on a St John villa rental.

Check out our current St John villa discounts.

If I go during “Off Season” is the weather bad?

We get this question all the time. The answer is – no, you’ll likely enjoy the same great weather, beautiful beaches and snorkeling as you would if you visit in January! Average temperatures are higher in the summer months. And we advise guests to avoid Virgin Islands hurricane season – which historically runs August and September.

Another great thing about visiting during low season – there are fewer cruise ships in port in St Thomas. And that means fewer day visitors to the most popular St John beaches like Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay Beach, Hawksnest Beach and Honeymoon Beach.

Other ways to save on your St John vacation?

Just like your accommodations, many of the activities, water sports, happy hours and St John bars and restaurants run specials to attract the smaller number of visitors. One of our favorites is the Honeymoon Day Pass. Visitors get access to a kayak, SUP ( paddle board ), beach chair, snorkel gear, float and locker at Honeymoon Beach. They usually charge $49/pp ( even at this price it’s the best deal on St John ). But, book online for a Day Pass between May 15, 2017 and December 15, 2017, using promo code SAVE20 and you’ll save 20%! Book early because they do run out of passes! If you’re traveling between August 15, 2017 and November 15, 2017 you can save an amazing 50% by booking online using promo code SAVE50. Get more details on the Honeymoon Beach All Day Pass here.

Freediving classes St John US Virgin Islands

St John snorkel gearSt John is home to some of the best shallow water snorkeling in the Caribbean. Each year visitors of all experience levels take home memories and photos of sea turtles, rays, corals and tropical fish. Much of what they see and photograph is in as little as 4′ to 8′ of water! But there’s a world beyond 8′ or 10′. Down below 10′ you’ll experience the undersea as never before. The surface becomes your sky. The fish swim past like birds and butterflies. And the rocky reefs become islands and mountains with forests of sea fans and gorgonians waving in the current.

With over 2/3rds of St John island protected by the Virgin Islands National Park – the overall health of the reefs and marine ecosystems has faired much better than most other locations in the Caribbean. And it’s this quality that draws in avid snorkelers and active tourists.

Looking for a unique experience during your St John vacation?
Adventure tourism is the current rage! Skydiving, hangliding, rock climbing are awesome ways to see and connect with a place while you make memories! While St John may not offer any of the above adventures – it’s not without some unique experiences. One such experience is found on St John’s remote East End.

There’s confusion about WHY divers enjoy freediving.  It is not about how long you can hold your breath or how deep you can go, it is about being and feeling close to the universe that exists below the to the waves.  This is what freedivers around the world are discovering and why it is growing so quickly.”

Rob Tutton, founder of VITAL Freediving, teaches the sport of freediving to everyone from beginners to experienced divers. Rob’s spent a lifetime in and around the water as a commercial treasure hunter and naval architect. In 2015 he became an AIDA Certified Freediving Instructor.  When recreating his life after 20 years working for the US Navy, he wanted to help people to experience the beauty of tropical reefs with peace and harmony.  He was freediving while searching for treasure ships in the early 1990’s, but back then the formal education taught in freediving was still relatively new.  But freediving is now growing at a minimum of 25% per year globally.

VITAL Freediving Courses adhere to the highest standards of the AIDA International Freediving. For more information about AIDA please visit:  He will soon be teaching PADI Freediving courses as well.  So if you’re already a PADI SCUBA diver, you can easily take a PADI Freediver course.  More information on those courses can be found at

What makes freediving different from snorkeling?

VITAL Freediving St John static breath holdIf you’ve held your breath in the water then technically you’ve been freediving.  Snorkelers typically stay on the surface to view the underwater world, but freedivers focus on taking a deep breath and staying underwater.  Recreational freediving focuses around ways to safely maximize the time and depth for fun and relaxation.  Unlike other sports, freediving has many variations which confuses many newcomers.  Static breath holds focus on maximizing your breath hold and involves simply floating face down in shallow water (PICTURE OF STATIC from website?).  Dynamic freediving also occurs in shallow water but is about how far you can swim horizontally.  If you swam laps in a pool as a child, you swam a dynamic freedive.  There are also freediving disciplines that are about diving as deep as you can safely go, such as Free Immersion and Constant Weight freediving.  True purists perform Dynamic and Constant Weight dives without fins.

Do I need any previous experience to take a course from you?

The only experience required for freediving is the ability to swim a few hundred yards on the surface.  Since it is so different from SCUBA diving, some of the best students are those totally new to diving.

How dangerous is freediving?

Recreational freediving, performed with a trained buddy, is very safe.  The core of freediving training is to stay comfortable and pushing limits is discouraged.  This is the difference between recreational freediving and competitive freediving.  You may have watched videos of world record attempts.  Competitive freediving techniques are not taught by VITAL Freediving.  The safety standards required by AIDA has kept the organization relatively injury free and there has never been a student death.

I’m interested in taking a class. How do I register or signup?

Check out their website for information and class details:

Call  “Rob” at 340-690-5803
or email me at

Irie Pops, St John

Our pages are dedicated to bringing you information on things that are uniquely St John. Today’s post is about two young creative entrepreneurs that are bringing something pretty SAH-WEET to travelers, tourists and St John locals! Read on for the story of Irie Pops!

“Irie” (pronounced eye-ree) is a Jamaican term that is used to describe something nice, good or pleasing …

Like every small business it all began with ….?

Irie Pops Cruz Bay, St John cooler standA kooky, crazy idea and a big “why not?”
We moved to St. John from NYC with the sole intention of being successful small business owners.We lived our first year on St. John acclimating ourselves to island life, learning the island’s business industries and studying the needs and expectations of tourists. Having been tourists on St. John ourselves, we realized there was an opportunity for simple, fun, locally made refreshments that weren’t of the alcoholic nature 🙂

And so: who doesn’t love a refreshing ice pop on a hot summer day?

“Irie” (pronounced eye-ree) is a Jamaican term that is used to describe something nice, good or pleasing and is the perfect way to describe enjoying an artisanal ice pop on St. John.

 Irie Pops will cater to enhancing the Caribbean experience with a touch of nostalgia and whimsy by offering locally handmade artisanal ice pops from a vibrantly branded push cart throughout Cruz Bay, St. John.


What brought you both to St John?

Aside from the obvious reasons (hello, beautiful Caribbean island!), we loved what St. John cultivated: creativity, community, entrepreneurship, and opportunity. We felt we plateaued in our NYC careers and were looking for a new change of pace, new scenery and new challenges. Well, we found it!


Sweet Tea + Mint Irie PopsWho comes up with the interesting flavor pairings?

Laura is the flavor brainstormer/creator and William is the test subject. Tough job 😛

Where and when can St John visitors find you?

Right now, visitors can find us in Powell Park right across from the Cruz Bay Passenger ferry dock. We are currently operating 2 weeks of every month when Parks & Recreation hosts the vendor fairs. We post frequent updates on our location and operating hours on Facebook and Instagram (@iriepopsvi). We are working on securing a more permanent location in Cruz Bay; we hope to announce that exciting news soon!

Key Lime Irie PopsDo the flavors change – or do you have some pops that are always available? What flavors do you make?

Our flavor menu changes daily, but we always make sure to have a balance of coconut milk based creamy pops (i.e. chocolate sea salt) and fruity pops (strawberry mango swirl). We do have a couple signature flavors that we offer pretty consistently (i.e. cucumber coconut lime). All our pops are vegan and gluten free. Organic cane sugar is minimally added- most pops don’t even need the added sugar!

Strawberry Mango Pineapple Irie PopsWhat’s your background?

Laura Tawes is a Parsons the New School for Design Graduate with a BFA in Fashion Design as well as a Gold Thimble Award for design excellence. She is a concept-to-market fashion designer with a record of start-up success from her contemporary women’s clothing label DEULASS. Having achieved 10+ years of experience in the fashion industry, she has an acquired possession of a unique combination of creativity and analytical skill with the ability to assess both vantage points simultaneously for an effective balance of critical thinking, conceptual ability and compelling strategies for “client right” trends.

Laura Tawes will develop and plan the seasonal rotations of the ice pop menu and will assist in the production of ice pops. She will generate daily media content across all social platforms. Laura Tawes will communicate the brand’s vision and mission through media platforms, social engagement and push cart sales.

William Fernandez is a results-driven, customer-centered retail business graduate with 15+ years of experience in store management and supervisory positions, along with 3 years of fast-casual restaurant management experience. He is a verifiable talent for maintaining profitable retail operations, with success in capitalization on growth opportunities, implementing promotional and marketing strategies, and upholding fiscal integrity. William is an articulate communicator and effective trainer skilled in achieving employee organizational goals. He is a respected and trusted manager with an emphasis on sound business decisions.

William Fernandez will be responsible for daily operations by overseeing and managing vendor and distributor relations and order statuses. He will engage customers and grow customer loyalty with push cart sales. William Fernandez will also take part in brand development and marketing.

Having lived, worked and owned businesses in New York City, Laura & William bring a modern, metropolitan knowledge and sensibility to the Irie Pops brand. With their combined backgrounds, they will be able to successfully build Irie Pops with a creative blend of cool and casual with a nod to the island’s vibrant culture and heritage.

Check out their web site and be sure to LIKE them on Facebook!Irie Pops Cruz Bay, St John coconut pop

Salty Dog Singing Dog Charters St John USVI

Looking to add some adventure to your St John vacation? Then you’ll want to consider a sailing, snorkeling and sightseeing trip aboard one of the many charter boats based in St Thomas and St John. As you might expect, each boat, captain and crew have their own personalities. Some cater to adults – with stops at some of the famous beach bars and watering holes like Soggy Dollar, Willy T, and Foxy’s. Some boats are geared toward families and snorkeling/sightseeing. We’ll leave it to you to decide what type of day you’d like on the water.

“There’s nothing like discovering St John’s stunning beaches from the water!”

One of our favorite charters is Salty Dog Sailing. Captain Justin, Capt. Susan, Captain Stephen, Capt Kelly, crew Pepper, Cat and Admiral Jake and sailor Sandy have plenty of experience and time on the water! Guests can choose between a classic monohull, Selkie, or luxurious catamaran, Little Dog. Each boat offers guests a unique way to explore and discover the USVIs and BVIs.

Classic Monohull SloopSalty Dog Sailing Charter, Selkie, St John

If your idea of vacation memories includes the sounds of a classic sailing sloop under full sail – then Selkie is the perfect way to spend a full or half day. Selkie is a traditional classic monohull sloop that’s been painstakingly restored. Guests can see and visit snorkeling beaches and bays much as the earliest discoverers did – by sea.


Catamaran CharterSinging Dog Charter catamaran, St John

Looking for a full day or half day of snorkeling, sailing and sunbathing that includes luxury and comfort? Then their catamaran, Little Dog, delivers! Guests will enjoy the stability and comfort of a catamaran experience. From shaded seating and dining area for up to 12 guests to the 25′ swim platform and our new front trampoline netting for sunbathing – nothing compares to the comfort and space of Little Dog!


FULL DAY & HALF DAY CharterS1/2 day snorkeling charters, St John USVI

Salty Dog Charters offers half day St John snorkeling tours. Your Captain knows the waters surrounding St John and the Virgin Islands National Park. Depending on your experience, weather and conditions you might even explore some of the small cays that sit just of St John’s North Shore!

Full day charter adventures can be planned for the USVIs or BVIs. Your Captain will plan the perfect day depending on your interests, the conditions and weather on the day of your charter.


Sunset Sailing Charters

Celebrate the setting of the sun with Salty Dog aboard our traditional cutter S/V Selkie or sporty St. John sailing catamaran S/V Little Dog.  We offer an open bar of  beers, rum punch, sodas & water.  We also do a lovely spread of crudités/hors d’œuvres.  Trip times change seasonally.  Winter–normally 5:00PM-6:30PM. Summer: 5:30PM-7:00PM.  Think about adding a sunset to your day sail!

Give them a call and plan your day!

Call them at  (340) 244-7290


Check out their website:

Rum Drinks

Here on St John island ( US Virgin Islands ) tropical rum drinks are the adult beverage of choice. So we decided to sit down with an expert, Tom Westerhof of Beach Bar Bums , to find out what makes these drinks so popular. He also shares some rum drink recipes so you can make them once the vacation has ended.

“For me, a great tropical island drink has to be refreshingly cold, not overly sweet and it should look the part.”

rum bottles and brands like Pussers, Blue Chair Bay Rum and Cruzan

SJVR: You’ve probably “sampled” just about every island cocktail on the planet. What makes a great tropical island drink? And which ones are your favorites?

TOM: For me, a great tropical island drink has to be refreshingly cold, not overly sweet and it should look the part. It has to be able to cool you down without giving you an “ice headache,” not be too sweet to hide the flavor of the spirit(s) and look like it belongs on a beach. My favorite tropical drink (and my favorite cocktail) is a daiquiri – the real one, not the frozen version. I’ll also suck down a BBC, a bushwhacker and a painkiller if someone puts them in front of me.

SJVR: Can you run us through how to mix a Painkiller drink?

TOM: Mixing a painkiller is pretty easy and if you can, use Pusser’s rum. They did trademark the “Painkiller” name so it seems like it would be downright rude to use another rum, don’t you think? Add 2, 3 or 4 oz. of Pusser’s rum (depending on how much pain you need to kill), 4 oz. of pineapple juice, 1 oz. of orange juice and 1 oz. of cream of coconut to a shaker and sufficiently shake. Pour the ingredients into a goblet full of ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a pineapple wedge to it. For a frozen version, pour the liquids and ice from the goblet into a mixer, blend until desired consistency is reached and pour back into goblet. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and embellish away with your favorite fruits.

“Always use top shelf if you can – you’ll be a better person for it.”

SJVR: A definite favorite – can you lead us through how to mix a Bushwacker?

TOM: I love bushwackers but hardly every make them myself. There are so many variations of it but the best ones I’ve had were at the Beach Bar on St. John. I scoured the internet for their recipe and found this one from 2007: Take 1 oz, Bailey’s, 1 oz. Frangelico, 1 oz. Kahlua, 1 oz. Dark Creme de Cacao, 1 oz. Vodka, 1 oz. Light Rum and 1 oz. Coco Lopez and put in blender. Add a glass of ice and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and garnish with fresh ground nutmeg and maraschino cherry. Add chocolate syrup to sweeten or decorate glass.

SJVR: OK, so here on St John you can’t talk rum without including Kenney Chesney’s Blue Chair Bay Rum ( He owns a home on St John )

TOM: Blue Chair Bay Rum just came out with their newest flavor, Key Lime Rum Cream, and seeing as how Key Lime pie is my favorite dessert, I’m really excited to try it. They posted a recipe on their website for a cocktail they call the “My My My Key Lime Pie” and it’s pretty easy to make. Take 3 oz. of Key Lime Rum Cream, .5 oz. of Blue Chair Bay Vanilla Rum and 2 oz. of coconut water. Combine all of the ingredients into a shaker, strain into a martini glass, hit play and get ready for a virtual escape to the islands: “Tortola, a full moon, shining down on a blue lagoon.” Does it get much better than that? Now I just need Kenny’s peeps to send me a bottle of Key Lime Rum Cream!

Mutiny Rhum St John US Virgin IslandsSJVR: Did you realize there’s a rum distilled right here? Yup, it’s called Mutiny Rhum St John. They make a Virgin Light Rum, Mutiny Rhum Lemongrass, Coconut Liqueur and Mutiny Rhum Spiced Rum.

TOM: Local is awesome! I never miss a chance to savor the flavors of a place!

SJVR: How about the Island favorite, Larry’s Tourist Trap Drink Right Keep Left?

TOM: Who doesn’t enjoy a drink with six rums in it?! The Tourist Trap may be closed; but this refreshing rum drink lives on!

Larry’s Drink Right, Keep Left Drink Recipe:Drink Right Keep Left drink recipe
•    A short pour of each – Cruzan raspberry, mango, pineapple, banana, coconut and vanilla rums – 1.5 oz total
•    2 oz. of mango juice, lime juice, strawberry puree and cream of coconut
•    1 cup of ice
•    Pour ingredients into a blender and serve with a slice of fruit. Makes 1 BIG drink ; )

SJVR: I get asked a lot – “Why put top-shelf booze in sweet island rum drinks? You can’t taste the difference! I’ve got my standard answer. What’s your response …?

TOM: Always use top shelf if you can – you’ll be a better person for it. I don’t care how much they sweeten up your favorite island drink – you might be able to hide bad liquor to a point but you’ll never be able to hide a hangover. Plus, I’ll bet if you put people to a blind taste test and had them taste a sweet island cocktail made from cheap liquor vs. top shelf, they’d choose the top shelf version 9 times out of 10. And I’d be a willing participant, you know, for research.

SJVR: What are some of your favorite rums?

Plantation three stars rum bottleTOM: Favorite rum? Easiest answer yet – Plantation 3 Stars. If I see it listed as an ingredient on a menu, I’m ordering that cocktail. It has yet to disappoint and besides, it makes the best daiquiri. It’s a virtual vacation in a glass. If there’s no Plantation Rum available, I’ll go straight for one of Cruzan’s flavored rums. They make some great rums, served all over the USVI, and it’s hard to mess up a cocktail using great booze.

SJVR: Tom, thanks for taking the time to run through some island-favorite rum drink recipes!

TOM: Thanks for having me; and letting me geek out about rum and cocktails!

“Dream of owning your own beach bar?”

SJVR: For those of you with the money and the dream of owning your own beach bar – check out Beach Bar Bums “businesses for sale” pages [ link in Tom’s bio below ]. Who knows … you might end up finding the perfect spot to live a life in Paradise!

Tom is the owner and CEO of Good Times at Beach Bar Bums LLC and publishes the website, Started out as a blog to promote beach bars, it has morphed into a travel and lifestyle website offering stories about everything from rum to resorts. It also features a “Beach Bars for Sale” page where people can chase their dream of owning their own business in the tropics. He will never share a Plantation 3 Stars daiquiri; and yes, his plan is to eventually own a beach bar.

Private air charter service to US Virgin Islands, BVIs, Caribbean

Private Jet Charter | St John, USVI

America’s Paradise, the US Virgin Islands of St Thomas, St Croix and St John, attract luxury travelers from the US, Asia, Europe and across the globe! Some come for the world-class beaches, snorkeling, diving and saltwater fishing. Others have made these beautiful islands their second home! No matter whether it’s your first visit or you visit multiple times a year – there’s really only one way to get here. And that’s by air.

luxury villa Coco de Mer, St John, US Virgin IslandsSt John Island

The tiny island of St John doesn’t have an airport. Guests will arrive and depart from the neighboring island of St Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport (STT). The airport supports turbo prop, light jet, mid-sized jets or heavy jets. From there we can arrange for private shuttle service to Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook to meet your water transportation to Cruz Bay, St John. Many guests will be heading to the exclusive gated-community at Peter Bay. St John Villa Rentals lists some a select portfolio of truly amazing Peter Bay properties. Browse Peter Bay vacation villas.

“First class isn’t the highest level of luxury available.”

When First-Class isn’t enough!

Commercial airlines do offer first-class service to the USVIs and BVIs. But first class isn’t the highest level of luxury available. St John visitors or homeowners that want the extra comfort, convenience, privacy and security of flying by private charter – can now enjoy departure locations from almost any major metropolitan area like Boston, Miami, New York, Dallas, Houston, LA, and San Francisco, or upscale destination in the United States. And travelers can avoid the delays associated with large airports – since many jet operations leave from private aviation airfields!

“Fractional jet owners – Consider private jet charters and enjoy greater flexibility and access to a larger selection of aircraft – while lowering costs!”

Visitors wishing to arrange a private jet charter to the Virgin Islands and Caribbean should turn to Air Charter Advisors. This Florida-based boutique private jet charter brokerage caters to Fortune 500 firms, high-profile athletes and entertainers, and people just like you that want a higher level of service, privacy, security and transportation experience.

private air charter jetAir Charter Advisors hand selects air carriers that fit their stringent safety and maintenance requirements. They also do pre-flight checks to verify pilot worthiness and qualifications that meet or exceed the industry standards. They use FAR 135 air carriers, certified by the United States Federal Aviation Administration, or foreign equivalent. And, they’re a WYVERN Broker – an additional step that adds additional safety and security.

Advantages of Air Charter Advisors – Private Jet Charters

•    24/7 Customer Support and Aviation Consultation
•    On-Demand Availability to Private Aircraft *
•    Quick and Competitive Jet Charter Rates
•    VIP Concierge Services
•    Wyvern Certified Aircraft

Request a Virgin Islands Jet Charter Quote

Request a Quote or give us a call at 1-888-987-5387 to speak with one of our Virgin Islands Jet Charter service brokers for your next luxury vacation, business trip, or special event in the Virgin Islands or any destination around the world.

Guest wishing to visit other Caribbean islands like St Barths, St Maarten, Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis, Beef Island, Virgin Gorda, and Necker Island can arrange for additional flights and services.


Yacht Haven Grande, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Guests that have arranged a luxury yacht rental will be departing out of IGY MARINAS Yacht Haven Grande, Charlotte Amalie Harbor, or IGY MARINAS American Yacht Harbor, Red Hook, St Thomas.



Airports in the Virgin Islands for Private Charter Flights
St. Thomas Airport – Cyril E. King Airport (TIST, STT) via St Thomas Jet Charter Service
(Fly in a Turbo Prop, Light Jet, Mid-sized Jet or Heavy Jet)

St. Croix Airport – Henry E. Rholsen Airport (TISX, STC) via St Croix Jet Charter Service
(Fly in a Turbo Prop, Light Jet, Mid-sized Jet or Heavy Jet)

Tortola Airport – T.B. Lettsome International Airport (TUPJ, EIS) via Jet Charter Service
(Fly in a Turbo Prop, Light Jet, Mid-sized Jet or Heavy Jet)

Virgin Gorda Airport – Virgin Gorda International Airport (TUPW, VIJ) via Virgin Gorda Air Charters
(Fly in a Turbo Prop or Twin Engine )

Popular Private Airfields by Region


(KBED, BED) Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford – Massachusetts
Longest Runway: 7,011 feet

(KEWB, EWB) New Bedford Regional Airport, Bedford – Massachusetts
Longest Runway: 5,504 feet


(KOPF, OPF) Miami–Opa Locka Executive Airport, Opa-locka – Florida
Longest Runway: 8,002 feet

(KTMB, TMB) Miami Executive Airport, Miami – Florida
Longest Runway: 5,999 feet
Formerly known as Tamiami Executive

New York City

(KTEB, TEB) Teterboro Airport – Teterboro, NJ
Runway Length: 7,000 feet

(KHPN, HPN) Westchester County Airport | White Plains Airport – White Plains, NY
Runway Length: 6,549 feet


(KDAL, DAL) Dallas Love Field, Dallas – Texas
Longest Runway: 8,800 Feet | Distance to City Center: 8 miles

(KRBD, RBD) Dallas Executive Airport, Dallas – Texas
Longest Runway: 6,451 Feet | Distance: 10 miles

(KADS, ADS) Addison Airport, Addison – Texas
Longest Runway: 7,202 Feet | Distance: 14 miles

(KHQZ, HQZ) Mesquite Metro Airport, Mesquite – Texas
Longest Runway: 5,999 Feet | Distance: 19 Miles


(KHOU, HOU) William P. Hobby Airport, Houston – Texas
Longest Runway: 7,602 feet

(KTME, TME) Houston Executive Airport, Houston – Texas
Longest Runway: : 6,610 feet

(KDWH, DWH) David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, Spring – Texas
Longest Runway: 7,009 feet

(KSGR, SGR) Sugar Land Regional Airport, Sugar Land – Texas
Longest Runway: 8,000 feet

Los Angeles

(KVNY, VNY) Van Nuys Airport – Van Nuys, California
Longest Runway | 8,001 feet

San Francisco

(KSFO, SFO) San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco – California
Longest Runway: 11,870 feet

(KOAK, OAK) Oakland International Airport, Oakland – California
Runway Length: 10,520 feet

(KSJC, SJC) Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Jose – California
Runway Length: 11,000 feet