Today was the inaugural non-stop flight from Boston to St. Thomas on JetBlue and yours truly was lucky enough to be on the flight. I was invited to visit the US Virgin Islands and my trip is sponsored in part by the USVI and JetBlue. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a fan of cold weather and nothing could have come as a bigger surprise or early Christmas present than an invitation to somewhere beautiful and warm. If you recall, I’ve been to St. Thomas a few times with my last visit occurring only last month on a cruise. This time I’ll be here for more than a few hours to get a better feel for some of the must see places on the island. This picture is the view from our safari cab on the way to our hotel looking over toward Havensight, one of the two ports in St. Thomas where cruise ships dock. Today there were no ships in port, but plenty of smaller boats of all sizes. With a clear sky and water to match, I was ready to jump out right there and get into the water. I was clearly overdressed in my jeans, long sleeves, and shoes and was itching to get into more comfortable clothing and fast.
But before my arrival into St. Thomas, our non-stop flight from Boston took all of just over three hours. Think of how many times you’ve gotten on a plane or in your car and driven three hours to less exciting places. Now there is no excuse during the dreary winter months to not escape the winter blues and go somewhere warm. Boston Logan airport was abuzz with dancers, steel drum music, and travelers looked happy to get on a plane, something you don’t normally see in the morning at an airport. At the gate there were more dancers, Dunkin’ Donuts muffins and coffee, and special JetBlue cupcakes. But the fun didn’t end there! The ground crew lined up outside of our plane to bid us adieu and Captain Charlie Cox and his flight crew got us off the ground on time and rather quickly to St. Thomas. Along the way, passengers answered trivia questions to win prizes, including a 3-night trip to the Marriott Frenchman’s Cove with airfare for two people. For those that didn’t win, they could console themselves with the JetBlue bag that everyone received when they boarded the plane. Inside were a few travel goodies from Chivas including a tiny bottle of Chivas Regal and a beach towel. Thanks JetBlue!
Once we landed in St. Thomas, this small airport has you disembark the plane using stairs at both the front and the back of the plane. I highly recommend not wearing high heels if you’re not used to wearing them or bringing large or multiple bags that you can’t handle on your own because getting down those stairs could be difficult. Once down the stairs, it is only a few minutes walk to the inside of the airport where you can claim your checked luggage. With only two belts for checked bags, they do unload the planes quickly and in all seriousness, you can be off the plane and in a safari cab or rental car in about 10 minutes. The quicker you’re out, the faster you can get out and enjoy the island and all that it has to offer. This is the view from inside our safari cab looking toward the airport. It’s busy, but about as busy as it can get for a small airport. In case you’ve never seen one, a safari cab is an open air truck that has been outfitted with bench seating in the back. The truck is covered on the top and open on the side. An affordable means of transportation, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Our ride to our hotel was probably 35 minutes and I was starting to get a little carsick. I’ve been in safari cabs before so I was surprised to feel this way and so I made sure to look forward and I did try to stop texting, writing, and taking pictures for the rest of the trip (or as much as I could!).
As a reminder, something you may not know is that you don’t need a passport to travel to the USVI. As long as you have your birth certificate with a raised seal and a valid US photo ID, you are good to travel. So expand your horizons and think of St. Thomas the next time you want a fun getaway! I will be reporting from USVI during my stay so stay tuned for lots of pictures, tips, and my adventures!