St John

Oh, that coconut water tastes so good!

We have plenty of coconut water to keep our great staff going to get the Villa back up and running! Thanks #lovecitystj for pix and Steve and Erickson (and crew) for an amazing job clearing up the debris scattered around our property as the result of not one but two Category 5 hurricanes, first Irma and then Maria, in as many weeks !

Blue skies are here again!

Steve Butcher, our extraordinaire Webmaster, took the photo (above) earlier this week showing that the blue skies and sea of the Caribbean has returned to Cruz Bay.  Steve has been attending the daily 'Town Meetings' held each morning to brief any and all about the latest recovery activities. He reports that Love City is truly that -- St. Johnians are working tirelessly with representatives of the federal government such as FEMA,  the National Park Service and the military. They are working side-by-side with the Red Cross who are overseeing the distribution of food and managing the shelters for those who lost their homes. Equally important are volunteers from the private sector who are providing incredibly important health, technical, and communication services. Standing out in particular are the folks from Mike Bloomberg's organization and Kenny Chesney's Foundation folks.  All these groups are working together to help St. John rebound to the special jewel it is. To keep in touch with the rebound of St. John follow LoveCitySTJ and Great Expectations Hurricane Rebound pages.

What a difference a bit of time makes!

Author and long-term St John home owner, Homer Hickam, has a great way of helping us remember just how quickly our now brown landscape can rebound -- in a year's time brown hillsides turn into to lush, lush green. His example, while not St John, is similar to our environmental conditions. We will let his words and pictures speak for themselves:

I sort of went through this in 1998 when the island of Isla de Guanaja [in the Caribbean] was hit by Mitch, similar in size as Irma. Here are before and after photos, a year between. My friends standing in same spot with exactly one year between photos. Islands do recover (left photo right after Hurricane Mitch and the photo on the left just one year later: 

Guanaja hurricane mitch

 Guanaja hurricane mitch 1 yr later

As we brace for Hurricane Maria and make every effort to stay safe, know that the future can and will be bright and the island green again as shown in the above photos!

St John -- Post Irma status report (Sept 18)

Thanks for all your messages and good wishes!  There have been numerous press reports of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma to St. John, unfortunately flamed by an effort to draw attention to the Virgin Islands so that the Federal government did not forget us in the midst of the wider spread damage in Texas and Florida (the Governor of the Virgin Islands told everyone last week that President Trump called him and said he would visit, but that has yet to happen). To the best of our knowledge, the damage is no worse than the last major storm to strike the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Hugo, in 1989. As has just occurred, the islands back then looked bare and awful, the result of the high winds denuding all the green, leaving just brown trees and bare earth. Wooden houses were badly damaged with FEMA blue tarps served for months as roofs. Being the tropics, the landscaping grew back within weeks. New building codes prohibited building any new structures out of wood. We bought our property in 1990, one year after Hurricane Hugo. Will St. John recover as quickly this time? We do not know for sure, but we fully expect it to! Our Webmaster and friend extraordinaire, Steve Butcher, arrived on St. John on Saturday (he had to fly from Vermont to San Juan via JFK, then take a supply boat from Puerto Rico to Cruz Bay). He has confirmed what we have seen from FEMA aerial photos and the initial report a week ago from Kristen Cox, our property manager, that Great Expectations survived Hurricane Irma incredibly well. Our thanks to our architect, John Sloan and our contractor, Bill Osborn and his construction crew, who designed and built the Villa to withstand hurricane-force winds with 8 inch thick reinforced concrete walls, no overhanging roofs and hurricane clamps to hold the roofs on, and hurricane shutters over all the glass sliders! We expect to be open for business within 2 weeks after power is restored to the island, however, we still do not know when that will be and there is yet another hurricane, Maria, bearing down on the Virgin Islands!

To help rebuild St John, please make a contribution to St John Rescue and keep St John on your ‘bucket’ list for the beauty of our island is amazing!

Many thanks!

Kristin and Chuck

Our hurricane shutters secured pre-Irma:

hurricane shutters

Our Webmaster and friend extraordinaire, Steve Butcher, enroute the airport last Friday:

butcher on way to Burlington airport

Saturday night, after inspecting the Villa, Steve got to watch the sun set:

butcher pool post irma

Great Expectations and St John is braced for Hurricane Irma

Great Expectations should be okay; the Villa is constructed of 8-inch thick reinforced concrete and all our outdoor furniture, hammocks, pool floats, hot tub covers and 21 hurricane shutters have been secured, thanks to our great staff, for Irma's arrival tonight! [button title="Live Webcams" icon="" icon_position="" link="/webcam" target="" color="" font_color="" large="0" class="" download="" onclick=""]

building 3 closedclosed room closedpools closing uppool closing up

Here are a few ways to help those on St John who will need assistance after the hurricane passes:

St John Rescue: An all-volunteer non-profit organization on the small island of St. John donatein the U.S. Virgin Islands dedicated to providing emergency rescue and medical support services to the St. John's EMS, Police, Fire, National Park and Health Clinic personnel.

St John Community Foundation: Created in 1989 after the devastation of Hurricane Hugo, the St. John Community Foundation has successfully been carrying out the mission of providing services and supporting programs that positively engage people, build resources and strengthen the St. John community since 1989. donate st john foundationThey continuously look for ways to fill service gaps and cultivate community assets including people, organizations, programs, and resources to effectively respond to changing needs of the community now and for future generations.

St John Animal Care Center: The Animal Care Center (ACC) of St. John is located in Cruz Bay, near the library. donate animal care centerThe ACC addresses the problems of cruelty to, neglect and abuse of the island animals. The shelter provides kennels for homeless dogs and inside cages for a limited number of homeless cats. The ACC has volunteers across St John who establish and maintain feral cat feeding stations. At these locations, feral cats are trapped and taken to the local vet who tests for disease and if clear spays or neuters the cat.

Another perfect 'St John Day'

Our webcam overlooking St John's Rendezvous Bay shows another perfectly beautiful day. However, behind the camera our property manager and her staff are scurrying around the property bringing indoors all the hammocks (and we have plenty), outdoor furniture (again, ditto the previous comment!), sunshades and everything else that could end up on our neighbor's property if this upcoming storm (Hurricane Irma) does as she is forecasted to do and 'visits' St John sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.  Luckily, we have hurricane shutters on all openings (the bad news for our property manager is that we have a lot of shutters to close. So, it will be a busy day for them. You, though, can relax and enjoy the webcam.  We will keep posting pictures during the storm, as long as we have WiFi and electricity.  For any of you weather Gods out there, please put this storm way north of us! Here are some good websites we have found and use to keep tabs on the approaching storms.

 

St John tours: self-guided or guided so you can kick back

The New York Times article posted March 28, 2017 nails it about the beauty and wonder of St John! Entitled Slowing Down, Finding Hidden Paradise on St. John the author urges all those visiting St John to learn the lesson he did -- to slow down and soak in the beauty of our island.  The article gives great advise of how to explore St John to see all of its wonders but, also, how to relax and slow down to actually enjoy it.

News of St. John Tours

If exploring on your own is not for you, News Of St John's Jenn Manes just starting a touring company called (not surprisedly) News Of St John Tours.  She will pick you up at 10 AM and take you just about wherever you want to go on St John; returning you safely by 3 PM. Tours include a private guide (Jenn, of course), a cooler stocked with ice and water, beach chairs and noodles (for those of you who’d like to stop at the beach), gas and photos.  Have no idea? Let Jenn develop an itinerary for you -  all you have to do is sit back, relax, and take in the sights!

 

 

Fun things to do with kids on St John

Stand-up Paddle Boarding is a fun activity for kids as well as adults shellsShell and coral collecting -- St John has more than 30 beaches most of which are readily accessible and safe for children to explore the unlimited amount of sea creatures or sand crabs or lizards or make sand castles.

Trunk Bay underwater trail is a well marked which depicts several types of sea coral and shells

Reef Bay Trail, swim on the beach, and boat ride back to Cruz Bay and the good news is that the trail is downhill to the beach!

Drive to the East End  - and get up close to the goats, donkeys, and chickens that roam free.

Sloop Jones Art Class is a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon. Everyone has talent and can paint a shirt to remember St John by.

Friends of VI National Park Seminar Series -- offers guided kayak tours, hikes through the Virgin Islands National Park, bird watching tours, seashore walks with park rangers to learn about St John's wonderful sea creatures, eco-systems, reefs and more.

Day sail or power boat or rent a dinghy and explore the waters around St John and nearby cays.

Volunteer at the St John Animal Care Center  -- The Animal Care Center is alway appreciative when people come in to volunteer to walk one of their dogs.

Take a taxi tour around St John.  Safari bus (taxi) drivers offer two-hour or three-hour guided tour of the Island, including the Park. These tours usually begin and end at the public ferry dock in Cruz Bay. They stop at overlooks for panoramic views of beaches and surrounding hillsides and at remnants of Annaberg and other sugar plantations.

bubbles on tennis court with kidsOr, just hang out at our kid friendly St John villa, Great Expectations, which has multiple pools (3 and a wading pool for the littlest ones), 2 hot tubs, a basketball and tennis court (a great area for kids to play safely), lots & lots of hammocks, plenty of games and we are only a 5 minute walk to two different beaches (Chocolate Hole harbor with great snorkeling and paddle boarding) and Hart Bay beach which is known for great shell and coral collecting.

 

Great Thanksgiving Day Topic --- Plan your next St John vacation & we suggest you skip the politics!

Start the New Year on St John where green magically becomes red fireworks!

Hawksnest beach (above) captured by Yelena Rogers

st john fireworks Cruz Bay Fireworks captured by Steve Simonsen

We have another special:

Great Expectations is available for New Years Eve. The Villa is available from Saturday, December 31 through Sunday January 22nd for 20% off our standard weekly rates.

Let us know if you want to end the 'old year' and start the new one by enjoying the beauty of St John.

Contact us directly to start 2017 on St John


Get on Board with our newest Charter Boat Partner

island girl The owners of Island Girl, a well equipped 35 foot power catamaran, are offering guests of Great Expectations a fabulous discount of 20% off their published rates. Island Girl has the capacity to comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests in shaded or sunning areas. They are stepping it up and adding in some nice extras that most of the other power boats in the area do not provide. This will include an Open bar, light breakfast, snacks and a gourmet lunch cooked onboard for local waters full day trips! St John Boat Tours offers sunset trips as well as either 1/2 or full day trips to the British Virgin Islands or locally around St John. You decide for you are 'the Captain' for your trip!


st john beach

To mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, The Boston Globe is highlighting some of the most beautiful ones and recently published 'St John, where you'll want to park it'. The article is definitely worth the read. St John is fortunate to have 2/3's of its land mass and the waters around those areas earmarked as part of the National Park and, therefore, will be forever green and protected.


ZoZo's on 'Best Fine Dining in the Caribbean' list

zozos

Taking the second spot on the top 10 list is ZoZo’s Restaurant in Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I. the beautiful island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. This restaurant is just minutes from Cruz Bay and located within the ruins of a sugar mill built in the 1800’s. Among the stone walls and high-timbered ceilings, you will be able to watch the sun sink into the Caribbean as you enjoy some of the most highly rated food on the island. Chef Michael Fortino draws influences from recipes of his own Italian family and from the regions of Northern Italy, as well the Caribbean. Chef Michael offers fresh local fish and produce, and imports cheese, meat, spices and ingredients from around the globe to ensure all flavors are best expressed. The most popular dishes are the Fresh Pappardelle, Pistachio Crusted Local Mahi Mahi, or the Osso Buco.


We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and hope that you will let us make memories for you this coming year by visiting St John and Great Expectations!

Warm Island Regards, Kristin & Chuck, owners Great Expectations

St John -- Always Something to Do?

Enjoy our September Newsletter: A lot of people ask us what there is to do on St John. If you are an active person and always need to be on the move well, fret not, there are lots of Things To Do on St John from boating to fishing to hiking to snorkeling to paddle boarding to kayaking to...well, you get the point. Most all of our 'activities' involve the great outdoors and why not, since St John is such a beautiful island to explore.

Or, you can spend your entire St John vacation right at Great Expectations floating in our pool watching the clouds float by or reading while floating around our pool, or enjoying one of our many hammocks and private patios giving you your own piece of paradise to enjoy: pool float with a book

Contact the Owners of Great Expectations to reserve your time on our pool float!


skippers brit pubThe Brits Have Invaded St John (and brought plenty da rum with them!)

We welcome the ‘Brits’ to Coral Bay with the opening of Skipper’s Brit Pub. They pride themselves in carrying more rums — 60 + different rums! — than any other St John restaurant or pub and great local beers (St John Brewers and Drunk Bay Brown). Located in the waterfront site of the former Sweet Plantains, get ready for a casual pub experience with great pub food.


Great Expectations Partners with Paddle Board & Power Boat Charter Companies SUP St John

We are always looking for great new partners who will provide great service for guests of Great Expectations and this month we would like to introduce you, at least virtually, to an outfit -- SUP St John -- that offers Paddle Board rentals delivered directly to Great Expectations (lessons, if desired, including Paddle Board Yoga in our pool at Great Expectations!), and Power Boat Charters, Rockin Hoppin, on their pretty spiffy Regulator with Twin Yamaha 250s (yes, this is a fast boat!). It is 32 foot long and has forward-facing, cushioned seating and provides a comfortable, stable, usually dry ride from rock to rock. Their powerboat has plenty of space and extras like colored exterior lights, sound system with iphone connector, GPS, chart plotter etc. They offer great discounts for guests of Great Expectations which makes a great day on the water even sweeter.

rockin hoppin


We have had a wonderful summer on St John at Great Expectations celebrating marriages, 50th anniversaries, and significant birthdays. Let us make memories for you this coming year!

Warm Island Regards, Kristin & Chuck, owners Great Expectations

St John's Cinnamon Bay beach on exclusive New York Times list

beach chairsSt John's popular Cinnamon Bay beach  recently made the exclusive New York Times Travel list of one of '6 Caribbean beaches to Visit Before You Die'.  The wide silky white sandy beach is wide and long enough to walk, play games, or just place your chair under one of the sea grape plants that line the beach providing wonderful shade. The swimming is wonderful and its gentle entry and sandy bottom is the perfect place to introduce the little ones to swimming or snorkeling. And, the snorkeling is great, especially around the cay directly in front of the beach. If you would rather just hang out on your beach chair, there is a treat for you with wonderful vistas of the British Virgin Islands in the distance. If you are into hiking or checking out some of the old ruins on St John check out the very neat Cinnamon Bay ruins right across the road.

We know why and to really understand just how beautiful Cinnamon Bay beach is you need to visit it as well.

St John -- How to Lend a Helping Hand (Volunteer, Donate or Fundraise)

Over time, we have experienced that people who visit St John become passionate about St John. We have often been asked how people can help give back to an island they have grown to love. There are lots of ways to connect and help St John organizations (and people) whether you are on island or back home and just longing to be here.  Here are a few ways of helping either by contributing to one of the many St John organizations or by volunteering while you are on island:

St John Animal Care Center (SJACC)

The St John Animal Care Center has done a wonderful job of rescuing and caring for the island dogs and cats (and sundry other creatures).  They maintain feral cat feeding stations and manages a no-kill shelter with indoor kennels for dogs and a limited number of cages for cats.  They have developed a foster care program as well as programs to transition their charges to forever families both on island and stateside.  If you are coming to St John as you pack your suitcase tuck in some pet supplies (food items, leashes pet toys) which are always a welcome donation.  If you are already on island and want to help head on over to the Animal Care Center and volunteer to walk a dog or help with the feral cat feeding program.   And, if you are back home longing for St John, you can donate to some of the SJAAC fundraisers which happen every year.

Friends of the VI National Park

Our National Park is very fortunate to have the Friends of the VI National Park (FVINP) as their advocate whose mission is to: advance the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park and promote the responsible enjoyment of this unique national treasure while educating and inspiring adults and children to be stewards of the environment. And, boy, do they do it well!

The Friends supports environmental education, natural resource protection, cultural preservation and scientific research. Their accomplishments and goals are clearly detailed on their website. Each initiative shows how much money was raised, or is needed to fund the initiative. So, find an initiative you are interested in and feel free to donate on-line.

Great Expectations is proud to be a Preferred Partner of the Friends.

St John Rescue

One of the most wonderful, all volunteer, organizations on St John is St John Rescue.  It is a bit like insurance, you hope you never need to use it but, if you do, you want it easily accessible. St John Rescue's mission is: dedicated to providing emergency rescue and medical support services to the St. John's EMS, Police, Fire, National Park and Health Clinic personnel.  They have the capability to help out both with land and water based emergencies and over the course of a year respond to over 150 emergency situations. If you live on island consider volunteering and if you are an occasional St John visitor, please consider donating to this very important life-saving organization.

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!  This is an 'umbrella' not-for-profit organization that supports all sorts of good causes that benefit St John residents such as supporting St John's recycling program, Dial-A-Ride which helps St John seniors, disabled residents & visitors, St John Film Society, and Using Sport for Social Change. We (Great Expectations) were privileged to support a wonderful initiative, through the St John Community Foundation, to teach St John school children with disabilities (or in their case -- super-abilities) tennis. They are currently organizing fundraising initiatives to buy: supplies for the homeless, home repair supplies, shredder/chipper for our community parks, a vehicle for the St John Animal Care Center, and equipment for our recycling program. If you are interested in donating to a specific project or just to support this amazing organization, you can do donate online.

St John Cancer Fund

Unfortunately, many St John residents do not have health insurance and, even if they do, they often need to go 'off island' to get health care.  Many times their travel expenses, or even basic health care expenses, are not covered by insurance.  The St John Cancer Fund is often a lifesaving organization since their support of individuals can make the difference for people to receive necessary medical care.

Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station

Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station (VIERS)VIERS camp was established to, as its name indicates, promote environmental educational activities and scientific research. VIERS is a biology field station, an eco-camp, located on the remote southern shore of St. John at Lameshur Bay. They operate a wonderful summer eco-camp and science camp for young residents of St John. Kids experience hands-on activities which give the campers a better understanding of the wonderful environment of St John.  As an adult, if you have the time of spending a couple of weeks (or even a couple of months) volunteering might consider helping with the youth camps during the summer or helping out to provide staff support.  Donations are, of course, always welcomed and appreciated. Or, if you are interested in volunteering with an organized group consider the trips to St John that are planned through REI Adventures to the VIERS Campground.


Giving back to St John, the island we love, will help ensure it thrives for decades to come.

 

St John makes the New York Times list of '52 Places to Visit in 2016'

 

St John's Coral Bay

St John is listed in the #4 position on the New York Times list of the '52 Places to Visit in 2016'. And, no wonder. Here is what they say about St John:

 
St. John
Visit the U.S. Virgin Island’s quiet corner before big development. The beaches are less crowded, the emphasis is on local over commercial, and the people share a friendly sense of neighborhood pride. Among the town’s attractions: monthly full-moon parties at Miss Lucy’s, and a Thanksgiving “Thankspigging” pot luck pig roast hosted by the community at Skinny Legs, where the eating often swells into a singalong. But this quiet community may soon change. Visit before a proposed outlet mall and megamarina, expected to engulf the bay, transforms the laid-back atmosphere of this little corner of the United States Virgin Islands.

Santa Should Bring You a St John Villa Trip for Christmas

No Reindeer required to get Santa to St John

We hope Santa brings you a trip to St John 

Play Santa yourself and give as a present to thoseyou love a vacation at Great Expectations. Take a look at our calendar and let us know when we can host you next!  We have only one week still available (April 8 - April 16, 2016) between now and August so plan now for a 2017 holiday on St John (Christmas, New Years, Presidents week, 4th of July Carnival are all still available). It is 85 degrees year round on St John so no time is a bad time to come for a visit!

December St John news flashes & fun St John clips:

  • Caribbean Journal highlights the '9 Best Beaches on St John' listing Maho Bay, Trunk Bay, Oppenheimer, Denis, Hawksnest, Cinnamon, Francis, Salt Pond, and Lameshur as their picks.
  • Some of these beaches offer great snorkeling opportunities, but since they are all within the National Park where shell and coral collecting is prohibited, if shell and coral collecting is your thing you might want to head over to Hart Bay beach. Hart Bay is on the western most side of Rendezvous Bay and is accessed only by a couple of trails (one being only a 5 minute walk from Great Expectations).  The other day our son-in-law found this beauty while taking a walk along the Hart Bay beach.
  • Ready to retire to someplace warm and laid back? Here is an article for you: The 10 Coolest Places to Retire in the Caribbean. The #1 spot went to St John: A haven for artists, creative types, beach lovers and sailors, St John is an eclectic place with beautiful beaches, a massive national park system and a very artsy, funky vibe. It’s also in the US, meaning Americans simply have to buy a plane ticket and find a house. It’s not cheap, but you’re paying to be a part of a very unique community.
  • Now that TSA and the airlines are requiring people to be at the airport 2 - 3 hours before departure (American is requiring people checking bags to check in at least 90 minutes before departure), there is something to do other than mill around, buy liquor or perfume, or have one more west indian meal and that is to take advantage of free WiFi at the St Thomas airport!  This is thanks to the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. All you have to do to log on to the free WiFi is to complete a short survey about your stay in the Virgin Islands.
  • Contact us directly and we will help make your vacation a trip to remember!

The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Table Conversation Topic -- St John!

Winter 'Soon Come' to St John

Your beach chairs await

What better topic to have during Thanksgiving with friends and family than 'when do you want to go to St John?' It is a great time to plan your next trip to Great Expectations. Take a look at our calendar and let us know when we can host you next!

November St John news flashes & fun St John clips:
  • The Crucian Contessa recently posted a great write-up about salt harvested from St John's very own Salt Pond which produces salt crystals due to its proximity to a windward bay and its distance from any rainwater runoff.  The posting tells of how salt forms and is harvested. The salt actually grows from the bottom of the pond and has a pinkish hue that comes from the brined shrimp in the water.
  • Roaming around Cruz Bay is getting a bit easier with a new, convenient parking lot coming in the former location of First Bank on the corner across from Connections and Woody's.  Island drums (aka, local rumor) has it that a paid parking lot will be available on the same space, until permanent plans for the space are determined.
  • We look forward to hosting your family reunion, birthday or anniversary celebration, wedding celebration, or your friendly get-away. Contact us directly and we will help make your vacation a trip to remember!

Preparing for Fall & Winter - You compared to St. John

How do you want to prepare for Fall and Winter?

 

snowblowers and rakes or  paddle boards and pool floatsWhat's your choice?

Fall has officially arrived and sweaters are at the ready. We have noticed that Christmas decorations are already for sale at the stores so the winter's snow cannot be far behind! Fear not, there is relief available -- plan your next trip to St John. Just having a reservation 'in your pocket' will warm your hearts and help get you through those long, cold nights. Contact us today to find out about availability at Great Expectations, rated the #1 villa on St John. We only have 3 weeks available this Winter and 4 weeks available next Summer. If you are planning to come with a large group you might also want to schedule time now for 2017! It is never too early to reserve time at Great Expectations.

October St John news flashes & fun St John clips:
  • The federal government is making flying out of the St Thomas (STT) airport a tad bit easier. We understand that passengers are no longer required to fill out Custom Forms when going through US Customs. Mind you, passengers still have to go through Customs and the Customs official will ask you the same questions that are on the form. We guess the Government just wants to save a few trees in the process.
  • Having saved a moment or two by not filling out a form, American Airlines is taking it from us! We understand from the same source (On-StJohn) that if you are flying American Airlines and are to check a bag departing the St Thomas airport, American Airlines is advising all their passengers to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to departure.  Starting this month their ticket counter will reportedly close 90 minutes prior to the flight departure time! Bring that good beach book with you so you can occupy your time waiting for your plane to depart and try some of the great local dishes available at the restaurant in the airport waiting room or do some last minute duty-free shopping for liquor, perfume, or jewelry in the waiting area shops.
  • Speaking of great eating and shopping, News of St John reports that two new restaurants and a new store have opened in Cruz Bay on St John. They are:
    •  The Dock - Located at the former Cafe Livin' and will be operated by the popular High Tide Restaurant
    •  Extra Virgin - Located at the location of the former Fatty Crab Restaurant. Extra Virgin will offer small plates, salads and entrees ranging from $32 - $38. They will also emphasize fresh herbs and ingredients.
    • Just Beach - Located in Mongoose Junction Just Beach has all your 'go to' beach items including snorkel gear (to purchase or rent), sunscreen, sunglasses and, of course, practical beachwear. The owner is a long time St John resident who also owns and manages several other successful retail outlets including Island Fancy and Bougainvillea Shop.

7 Nights on St John for the Price of 5 and Hundreds of Dollars of Gift Certificates (for dining and rental cars)

Enjoy our September newsletter and check out these savings!

free nights and up to $500 in discounts at shops, restaurants and car rentals this fall!

 St John's waters are crystal clear and the beaches pure white as captured by Steve Simonsen

Great Expectations, the #1 vacation rental as rated by travelers on Trip Advisor, has partnered with the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism to offer our guests great deals this Fall.

For any new reservation made this month to stay at Great Expectations from September 1 to November 15, 2015, we are offering 7 nights for the price of 5 and the Virgin Island's Department of Tourism will provide up to $500 in retail, dining, and car rental certificates!

Some of St John's best restaurants are participating in the Tourism VI NICE promotion including: High Tide, The Beach Bar, The Tap Room, and Caneel Bay's Beach Bar & Grill, Beach Terrace, Equator and Turtle Bay Estate.  Other St John shops and stores for whom the Department of Tourism is also offering certificates are: Virgin Islands Ecotours, Little Switzerland, Brewtique, The Beach Bar Shop, and Hot Look Sunglasses. Last, but not least, you can even receive certificates through this Department of Tourism program for car rentals from Budget and Discount Car Rental on St Thomas.


Come this Fall to swim in the beautiful waters of St John or lounge in one of the pools (we have 3 plus a wading pool for the little ones) at Great Expectations:

  

  • St John made Yahoo Travel's '10 National Parks that have the Best Beaches' list. This is not a surprise to anybody who has already visited St John since one beach is more beautiful than the next! With over 30 beaches on St John, the toughest daily decision is which one to visit!
  • Summer make-overs have been in the works at several St John businesses. The Morgan Mango Restaurant, which was gutted by fire this past spring, is being totally rebuilt. Dolphin Market is being upgraded with new coolers and freezers as well as additional space for fresh vegetables and cheeses.
  • Tropical Storm Erika almost came directly over St John this past week but, fortunately, at the last minute she jogged to the west and went significantly south of us dropping essentially no rain but 60 mile an hour gusts. You can watch weather come and go live on our St John webcam. It is the same view looking east over Rendezvous Bay, the Caribbean Sea and Bordeaux Mountain as our guests have from our Great Room.
  • Check Great Expectations' availability calendar for 2016. We have only 3 weeks available this coming winter and 5 weeks available for next summer. Contact us today to secure your reservation! We will be happy to work with you to accommodate your needs. Our goal, always, is to meet or exceed, your expectations!
Best,
Kristin & Chuck 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news about Great Expectations specials & St John activities

For your car:
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For your listening pleasure:

New Years eve on St John in the middle of the summer?

Exclusively for our newsletter subscribers -- a rare opportunity to spend New Year's Eve on St John!

St John's Steve Simonsen captures the beauty of St John including traditional fireworks on New Year's Eve (and did we point out, no snow, no ice, no cold)!

Great Expectations rarely gets a cancellation, but we have just received one for this coming New Year's week from Saturday, December 26 - Saturday, January 2, 2016.  The rental rate for New Years week is $21,000 (plus tax and security) for up to 16 people;  contact us for details. What better way to end a year or start a new one than on St John?

Maybe Santa has a Christmas present waiting for you on St John this year!

 

Summer St John news flashes & fun St John clips:
  • St John makes the '10 Best Caribbean Islands' list of Travel & Leisure and says "once visitors arrive, they’ll find gorgeous, sun-baked beaches, a massive national park that covers nearly two-thirds of the island, thriving coral reefs and friendly locals. Travel to St. John for a taste of the good life and look at the epitome of Caribbean beauty". 
  • New hot sauce on St John? Sure sounds like it, but 'Kick 'em Jenny' is actually an active submarine volcano on the Caribbean floor near the Grenadines (not to worry it is some 500+ miles south of the Virgin Islands) which has recently been rumbling again worrying scientists that it could cause havoc to local ships and waters. The volcano's recent activity has caused authorities to raise the alert level to Orange, which is the second-highest rating.
  • Speaking of Christmas presents that represent St John, here is a link to St John photographer extraordinare Steve Simonsen's 2016 St John calendar which is filled with one luscious photo after another from sea turtles to aerial shots of St John each picture will leave you yearning to return (or come explore for your first time).
  • Check Great Expectations' availability calendar and contact us today to secure your reservation! We will be happy to work with you to, as best we can, accommodate your needs as best we can. Our goal, always, is to meet or exceed, your expectations!