We awoke bright and early around 4:30AM for our flight…definitely not my favorite thing to do! We flew Delta to Atlanta and then on to St. Thomas. We happened to get first class on the flight to Atlanta, which was semi-useless but still nice. I much rather would have had first class on the longer flight to St. Thomas, but oh well. I’ll digress slightly here by saying this: Dear Airlines: Why do you make it exceedingly impossible to get seats together without paying extra???? For both of our long flights, we were seated across the aisle from each other and had to pay that stupid “premium seat” charge to get seats together. Makes me so mad. As if I’m not paying enough money already for my tickets.
Since I was anxious, my stomach was too, but it luckily got better right before we got on the plane to St. Thomas. It was a VERY bumpy approach into St. Thomas, and many people on the plane were gasping from the sudden falls. Fun for the stomach. I should have taken that as an omen for the ferry ride.
It was raining when we landed, and we had to walk outside to get into the terminal. The St. Thomas airport is tiny, and mostly open-air, which is great except on a rainy, windy day. We hadn’t even thought to bring rain jackets because we read that it typically only rains for a few minutes every day. The Westin St. John has a neat check-in desk right at the airport, so we were able to check in and wait there to be transported to the ferry dock.
Once at the ferry dock, we decided to go to an open air bar and get some drinks. We tried the local concoction called a Bushwacker…it was amazing! It has coconut cream, kahlua, amaretto (I think), nutmeg, and, of course, rum! Cruzan Rum is made in the Virgin Islands, so it is plentiful and cheap. By this point it was pouring and very windy. Our server told us that, for whatever reason, there’s always a rainy, windy day before the full moon.
After waiting for the Westin ferry to show up, it finally did, about 10 minutes late. The ferry ride is about 45 minutes, and goes directly to the Westin dock from St. Thomas, which is very convenient, albeit expensive. Since it was raining, everyone sat in the covered bottom deck. I’m usually apprehensive about that, because I know that I can feel seasick if I’m not on the top or in open air. As we sailed out into the open water, my fears were realized. 8-10 foot swells battered the boat (we found out later there was a surf warning that day), and we eventually stood up so we could keep our eyes on the horizon, as both of us were feeling pretty sick. Several people got sick during the ride…ugh, the SMELL. I could not wait for it to be over. Luckily we didn’t get sick, but I still feel squeamish just thinking about it.
We were greeted upon arrival with some rum punch…typically this would be yay, but not after feeling sick. We were shown to our room by a very nice man who was born on the USVI but lived in Michigan for a while…he was great and I wish I could remember his name! I don’t know if we got special treatment because my fiance is SPG Platinum, or if we just got lucky. Our room overlooked the pool, and was nestled behind some huge palm trees. I had read a lot of reviews online saying that the Westin was “old and tired”, but I thought our room was just fine? It was pretty large and also nicely clean.
The concierge, Eric, was great. He gave us suggestions of restaurants and activities, which was needed since we didn’t know quite where to start! Since we were exhausted from traveling all day, we decided to go to the beach restaurant at the Westin for dinner. We shared some good conch fritters (a VI specialty) and got salads. The food was good, but probably not for the price…$16 for a Caesar salad with no meat? We walked around past the beach and pool, but decided we were too tired to do anything else, and turned in for an early bedtime.
Apologies for the pics, all taken from my cell phone, and not all taken on the day we arrived. We didn’t even get out the real camera, since it was nearly dark by the time we got to the resort anyway. I promise the rest will be good pics from our real camera!