Frequently Asked Questions
- St. John is roughly the size of Manhattan, NY
- There are about 4000 permanent residents
- The language spoken is English
- A dialect known as Potoisis is also spoken here
- 2/3 of the island is National Park
- The water and food is safe to consume
- The beaches are exceedingly clean
- There are modern grocery stores and services
- Most mobile phones work here, but there may be roaming fees
- The travel time from NYC is 3:45 minutes non-stop
- Average temperatures: Spring 78.5F Summer 82.3F Fall 82F Winter 77F
- No VISA or PASSPORT is required for US citizens, but still recommended
- Passports are required for entry into BVI waters
- Most people stay 1 week, but 10-12 days is very relaxing
- Mooncottage is 65-75% solar powered
What clothes do we bring?
Most people tend to bring too many clothes to their St. John's virgin Islands rentals vacation—but you found Mooncottage so you are not most people. For romantic vacations at Mooncottage we believe that “Less is More.” A nice outfit or two for an evening out at one of St. John’s 4-star restaurants is fine, but other than that, shorts, sundresses and light linen/cotton clothes will make you the happiest. Flip flops and sandals get the most wear. A sturdy pair of sneakers and a sun hat is also a must for hiking or outdoor walks
Don’t lug too much stuff. You are on vacation.
Will I need a rental car?
It’s hard to describe how hilly St. John is until you’ve been here. And, if you have, then you know! It is also very curvy, which is fun to drive … unless you’re looking at the beach at the same time. Be careful. Even after 12 years on the island I drove off the edge recently. And, a four-wheel drive vehicle is required. They rent these all over. Either a Jeep or a Suzuki is usually best. But, remember, they don’t hold too much luggage. And, we drive on the left side of the road. Theories on WHY have been circulating for decades. Try to figure out your own reason. See RENTAL CARS for a complete listing.
Keep your shoulder to the “shoulder.” You are on vacation.
How do I get supplies and food?
After a strenuous trip, you may want to rest quietly after arriving—perhaps for a couple of days. For this reason, it is best to stock up in Cruz Bay at Starfish Market or Dolphin Market for the best selection and the freshest foods. There is a nice gourmet shop called Lily's Gourmet Grocery at Cocolobo Plaza in Coral Bay. For a real treat, ask about our provisioning service and have anything you want already stocked in your refrigerator. For an emergency anything stop, try the Love City Market by the gas station in Coral Bay--you will feel like a real local.
Don’t give it a second thought. You are on vacation.
What else should we bring?
Everything is available on island, but DO bring:
Passport (for a visit to the BVI’s or for sailing in International waters)
Prescription medications (please hand carry) Favorite high SPF suntan lotion
Sunglasses and sun hat or at least a ball cap
Hiking boots if you are into that sort of thing.
Don't worry if you forget something. You're are on vacation.
What can we do during our visit? (This list could go on forever. But you can ...)
- Take a trail hike of Reef Bay (with ranger and neighbor Don Near if lucky).
- Go swimming or snorkeling on the best beaches in the Caribbean.
- Take a morning, day or midnight hike to breathtaking vistas.
- Take a morning dip in your pool 7 steps from your bed.
- Rent a sail boat and see why St. John attracts sailors from around the globe.
- Rent a speed boat or visit a private beach in a kayak where there is no road.
- Have a breakfast of papaya with a squeeze of key lime. Drink strong coffee.
- Eat, shop or play in Cruz Bay all day long.
- Take a day trip to St. Thomas or Tortola or Virgin Gorda if you get bored.
- Return to Mooncottage. Relax and make love all night long … again.
Don’t try to do everything. You are on vacation.
Where do we go out to eat?
So many great places to choose from. Coral Bay has both local (earthy) and high-end (gourmet) restaurants to choose from. A short drive will take you to Cruz Bay where there are even more. Reservations may be required for dinner depending on the season. And, think about eating in too! We have a grill and a gourmet kitchen. See the RESTAURANTS tab for a detailed list.
Don’t count calories. You are on vacation.
What can I do in the National Park?
Well, one thing they say you can't do is take your clothes off--but, the policeman giving you a ticket will have a big smile on their face. Smaller more deserted beaches, off hours or Soloman Beach is your best bet for the sans clothes crowd. But, to orient yourself, first stop at the VI National Park Visitors Center – first left near the Car Ferry off the main drag in town before heading up the coastal Northshore road to Coral Bay. You can book special tours and hikes with a Ranger. (Tell ranger and neighbor Don Near we said Hi!) See HIKING and BEACHES tabs for more ideas.
Don’t litter. You are on vacation—and there’s a $1000 fine.
Where do I get my Yoga and my massages?
Yoga is taught early morning at the Maho Bay retreat. Suki runs the program in the mornings usually between 8-9 AM, M-W-F. (call the Maho Resort 776-6226 for her schedule). The view of Francis and Maho Bays are spectacular in the AM. Suki is a wonderful massage therapist. So are Barb and Cary (340) 642-5666 email@example.com. Tell her that is where you are staying and tell her we sent 'ya. A little more $$. . . but SO worth it.
Don’t be in pain. You’re on vacation.
What about water sports?
St. John is a sailor’s and water lover’s paradise. All is possible. Drake’s Passage is renown for its world class conditions, especially on weekends when KATS (kids and the sea) race below you. You can see them racing almost everyday up and down the passage from the Mooncottage veranda. There are many choices. See the WATER SPORTS tab for more details.
Don’t avoid the water. You’re on vacation.
Where do we shop?
There is great shopping in Coral Bay, Cruz Bay and St. Thomas. From funky to world-class. See the SHOPPING tab for more.
Don’t be cheap. You are on vacation.
How is the road to Mooncottage?
Mooncottage is located in Calabash Boom--a lovely, secluded, quiet local community. The Calabash Boom Road to Mooncottage is owned by the VI territory and is largely unpaved. Seasonally, it can sometimes get pretty bumpy. However, any 4-wheel drive vehicle can handle it easily and renting a 4-wheel drive vehicle is required. In late 2010, a small NOAA grant paved steep sections of the road and installed numerous concrete water bars to help keep the road in better shape. After the torrential rains of 2010 and Tropical Storm Otto, the Calabash Boom Mountain Association, a private non-incorporated homeowners association was formed. The association collected large private funds from Calabash Boom owners (like Mooncottage) to have the road filled, compacted and re-graded. It is now not only a smoother ride, but more environmentally secure. Is it perfect? No. It will only be perfect when it becomes completely paved. And, that is not likely to happen for a while. Is it navigable? ABSOLUTELY. Actually, many guests find it kinda' fun going up and down! But, the road is now routinely maintained to make it as good as it can possibly be. Please ALWAYS use 4-wheel drive and ALWAYS go slowly.
No worries. You are on vacation.
For a perfect night’s sleep.
Even in paradise, there are a few little bugs in the system—but nutin’ that will kill ya’. Because you are on a hill at a high elevation facing the Caribbean Trade Winds, the steady breezes will keep most 'tings away except in the wettest of weather. But, we supply you with an ample supply of Mosquito Coils. So … here's the trick for a perfect night's sleep: Turn off the ceiling fans in the Master Bedroom 1 hour before you go to bed. Turn off all lights too. Then light a mosquito coil in the bedroom. When ready for sleep, (or whatever ;) turn the fans back on and you will be good to go-mosquito free. However, if you are a person who is very, very tasty to insects, it’s a good idea to bring a little personal special secret weapon—"OFF Deep Woods" pre-moistened packets. They are great to throw in your pocket no matter where you are on St. John--hiking, swimming, you name it. NOTE: Beware of being at the beach after dusk (you lovers you)—you’ll never know you are getting chewed alive at the beach by the “no see-ums” until it is too late!
Still …don’t mind them too much. You’re on vacation.
Are there neighbors?
Evangeline Mountain is the name of the hill you live on here. It is very open and not very developed in relative terms. But, they are always building something on St. John! Please realize that building is a way of life here . . . and housing is very expensive. Quality housing for everyone on St. John is still in its infancy. Our lucky visitors need to know that this is a community with real people with families who live here. So, change is always upon us. However, our only real close neighbor so far is at the foot of your driveway—it is a private home and their dream house too. But, they are hardly ever on-island.
Just enjoy! You are on vacation.
What if there is an emergency?
Call the Coral Bay Fire Department 340-776-6365 – Tell them you are at Mooncottage 28-3 Calabash Boom. Tell them they have a map on file, or read the directions to Mooncottage on the next page. Then call 911 to log the call. If possible, listen for the sirens and meet them at the turnoff to Mooncottage just downhill from the gate. NOTE: When dialing 911, you must tell them you are on St. John immediately or the call we be routed through Puerto Rico. Another local emergency number is 340-776-9110.
Police/Fire/Ambulance – 911 (you must tell them you are on St. John immediately) or 340-776-9110
Local Police: 693-8880
Local Fire: 776-3333
Local Ambulance: 776-6222
Cruz Bay Family Practice: 776-7689
Be careful! You are on vacation.
How do I get back? (snif...)
St. John to Airport – take the Red Hook Ferry at the St. John dock – leaves once every hour on the hour. There is an 11:15AM Downtown Shuttle that goes right to Charlotte Amalie. But if taking Red Hook Ferry, take the taxi (Van) back to Airport. Average is taxi $12 per person and $2 per bag. Allow a full 3 hours before flight time from the St. John Dock. Trust us on this too. Lines can be long and arduous at the airport--especially when the computers go down . . . which is often. They won't care if you miss your flight.
Don’t stay away too long. We will miss you, silly!
What if I want to build my own house in Paradise?
Sell everything you own. You will need the cash. (Trust us on this.)