do we get to Notre Ciel?
Never been to the islands or St. John? No worries.
Villa Notre Ciel is easy to get to. There is no airport on St.
John so you fly into St. Thomas, USVI which is right next
door. Many commercial airlines provide service to St.
Thomas. A short taxi ride from the
airport in St. Thomas will provide scenic views of St. Thomas and
bring you to the Red Hook Ferry that takes you to Cruz Bay on St.
John. We will meet you as you step off the ferry in
Cruz Bay, take you to your rental car and then on to Villa Notre
Ciel where we will show you around, answer all your questions and
suggest places to go and things to do during your stay. When
you book your stay, we will answer any additional questions you may
have about how to get here. While
you are here we will respect your privacy but remain just a phone
call away should you need us.
Ferry Dock at Cruz Bay
should I bring?
Beginning December 31, 2005, a PASSPORTwill be required for any
person wishing to enter the USVI. Depending on
where you are coming from, other requirements might apply.
recommend that you check with your airline or travel agent to
determine what other forms of ID required or valid for you.
you are planning a side trip to the British Virgin Islands be sure
to determine their entry requirements as they could be different.
light for your vacation on St. John.
We are truly a casual Caribbean island.
Day time attire is usually a comfortable shirt, shorts, and
walking shoes or sandals. Beach
clothes, including an appropriate bathing suit cover-up when walking
in town. It is not
appropriate or legal to walk the streets in town in your bathing
walking shoes – walking is part of your island experience and
there are many great hiking trails for the more adventuresome.
attire on St. John is “casually elegant”, there are no
restaurants on the island that require coat and tie for men.
December through April evenings can be cooler so substituting
long pants or dresses for shorts may be more comfortable.
In sum, a few
pair of shorts, swim suit, shirts, sandals and walking shoes are all
you need to enjoy your vacation on a relaxed St. John.
If you have forgotten anything there are great shops to buy
some new island wear!!!!
& Sunglasses (The sun
is strong the year round!)
medicines (There is only
one pharmacy on St. John and availability is limited.)
(A disposable underwater camera is a good idea)
Bring your own gear (sans weights and tanks), or rent the whole kit
from the local dive shops. Be
sure to bring a CURRENT DIVE CERTIFICATION CARD.
Bring your own or rent it from a local shop for approximately $7-$10
are the people like on St. John?
John is a friendly island. We greet each other with
"Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon" and a smile.
As a visitor, you will find that using this greeting to start
each conversation (before you launch into what you need or are
looking for) will go a long way in making your visit more enjoyable.
A friendly attitude in the shops, restaurants or anywhere on
the island will usually elicit a friendly smile and response.
75% of the local residents of St. John are West Indian.
They are friendly and proud, and will welcome you to their
island with open arms. Many
West Indians speak a dialect of English mixed with a local Creole or
Patois which most visitors find charming but sometimes
difficult to understand. After a few days, you will become
accustomed to the melodic tones of the dialect and understand most
of what you hear.
As a new visitor to our island one of the most difficult but enjoyable
adjustments you will need to make is accepting our "pace of
life". Few of us
on St. John are in a hurry… relax Mon!
Expect to spend a little more time in restaurants and shops
than you would at home. Take your time, relax, stop looking at your
watch and enjoy your vacation!
do I pay for things?
Many of the restaurants and shops on St. John accept credit cards
however some only accept cash or traveler checks.
A few of the excursion and charter companies accept credit
cards, preferring cash or traveler checks.
We suggest you limit the amount of cash that you carry.
There are two banks on the island, each with ATM’s.
The official currency of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the
British Virgin Islands is the U.S. Dollar.
my electrical/electronic appliances work?
Electricity on St. John is 110 volt and uses the same outlet format
as in the United States. Notre Ciel has hair dryers (2).
about driving on St. John?
Driving on St. John is a different experience for visitors and
"locals" alike. We drive on the LEFT! Our cars are
left-hand drive, like those in the US mainland, but we do drive on
the left. After a few days, you will get comfortable with the change
from driving at home. However, just like life … laid back &
relaxed … on St. John, we do not drive very fast.
The speed limit on St. John is a maximum of 20 mph with a
limit of 10 mph in the towns of Cruz Bay & Coral Bay. The roads
are very winding (some 90 degree turns) and they have steep hills.
It is important that you keep your vehicle on your side of
the centerline! In addition, be prepared to stop for the wildlife
(donkeys, iguanas, cows, pigs, goats, and chickens) which have the
right to roam freely about the island. Another important item to
remember when driving on St. John is SEAT BELTS, as in the states
and most of the modern world they are required for the driver and
passengers whenever the engine is running. The local police find it
a favorite pastime to issue $25 fines for seat belt violations to
tourists. Be sure to bring a valid drivers license.
We recommend that you rent your car on St. John at Courtesy Car
www.courtesycarrental.com for more information.