USVI Update - Jimmy Buffett, More Cruise Calls on the Horizon


Pool terrace at The Buccaneer Resort’s Beach House
Pool terrace at The Buccaneer Resort’s Beach House on Whistle Point.


From a funky, Jimmy Buffett-inspired vacation club set to grace St. Thomas in 2014 to a new Beach House accommodation on St. Croix, to something sweet brewing on St. John, Travel Agent brings you all the latest developments to come out of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Plus, we break down the latest cruise, culinary and discounted offers for good measure.

Hotel News

The Buccaneer Resort on St. Croix recently unveiled the Beach House on Whistle Point as an additional accommodation option for guests, well-suited for family reunions, wedding parties and corporate retreats. Guests at the Beach House have access to all of Buccaneer’s resort services and amenities. Just a leisurely stroll from the 340-acre resort and surrounded by sea and gardens, the Beach House comprises a two-bedroom main house with a full kitchen and living room; a master suite villa with a sitting area and bedroom; a two-bedroom cottage, and a one-bedroom cottage with a kitchen. Smaller parties can rent the main house, master suite or cottages separately. Agents should reach out to Vicki Locke ([email protected], 340-712-2102), director of sales and marketing, with any queries.

Musician and long-time U.S. Virgin Islands aficionado Jimmy Buffet has partnered with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts to launch the world’s first Margaritaville Vacation Club, a timeshare resort on St. Thomas. The 262-unit property will allow owners to purchase points that can be redeemed at any of Wyndham’s timeshare properties. Construction is slated to begin in July 2013, with the first phase anticipated to be completed by the end of 2014.

New Attractions

St. Thomas Jetriders has introduced water-propelled jetpacks to allow visitors to soar above the Caribbean waters in this exhilarating experience. Certified flight instructors teach students the basics of flight within 15 minutes. Introductory classes cost $200 for a 20-minute experience, while the 30-minute “Maverick” experience costs $250. To book, agents should call 340-626-8500.

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort’s
Five nights’ accommodations in an oceanview room are included in Bolongo Bay Beach Resort’s new Summer Sampler package.


The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas introduces Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program, allowing eco-conscious travelers extraordinary access to the island’s array of ecological treasures. 

The program emphasizes education and respect for the ecosystem and encourages hands-on eco-adventures and activities, including exploring St. Thomas’ mangroves and feeding green iguanas, discovering the diversity of marine and plant life found on St. Thomas’ beautiful beaches, and paddling and snorkeling Great Bay to be immersed in its underwater realm. The program is led by a team of Cousteau-trained naturalists and is designed for guests of all ages. Agents should direct their questions to Bernd Kuhlen ([email protected], 340-775-3333), general manager.

Culinary News

Chef Chance Herbert is serving innovative sushi options at the newly opened Sushi Bar at Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort. It joins an array of other dining options at Caneel Bay, including Turtle Bay Estate House, The Wine Room, Sugar Mill, Caneel Beach Terrace, Caneel Beach Bar & Grill. Agents should get in touch with Patrick Kidd ([email protected], 212-758-1735), director of sales and marketing.

Local brewmasters Kevin Chipman and Chirag Vyas of St. John Brewers have created a new ginger beer soda to complement their on-site batch brews such as Amber Jack, Double IPA, and Frozen Cistern Winter Ale. The new ginger beer soda adds a family-friendly touch to the attraction and, for the adults, it should pair well with rum for the sweet and spicy dark ’n stormy cocktail. The brewmasters can be found at their brewpub in Cruz Bay, The Tap Room. For all inquiries, call 340-715-7775.

The former co-owner of Craig and Sally’s Restaurant in Frenchtown, renowned Chef Sally Darash, has joined Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas as creative chef of cuisine. Bolongo Bay also recently opened a 1,000-square-foot indoor conference room suitable for meetings, intimate weddings and receptions. The conference room can accommodate up to 60 guests. Agents should contact General Manager Richard Doumeng ([email protected], 340-775-1800.

Hotel Packages and Cruises

Bolongo Bay is also introducing the Summer Sampler, a five-night package priced at $1,579 for two. Valid for travel May 1 through August 31, 2013, it includes oceanview room accommodations (second or third floor), welcome cocktail upon arrival, one $50 certificate for Iggies Beach Bar & Grill per room, one $75 certificate for The Lobster Grille per room, one $110 certificate toward Heavenly Days 53-foot catamaran sailing, use of watersposrt equipment and a scuba lesson in the pool.

The Westin St. John Resort & Villas has extended their popular “Spring into Giving Back” program through December 31. Eco-conscious travelers are encouraged to help preserve the flora and fauna of St. John for future generations. The Westin offers a $100 resort credit and transfers for guests who volunteer at nearby Virgin Islands National Park for one day, helping maintain park trails and ruins, and removing debris from beaches. Agents should direct any questions thay have to Tina Cranford ([email protected], 340-693-8000), sales coordinator.

The new “Greatest Generation Offer” from the aforementioned Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, allows traveling families to book three rooms and get a fourth room free for stays from now through December 20. Parents and grandparents can relax while kids enjoy the newly renovated Turtle Town—featuring arts and crafts activities, dinner, movie events, and themed activity days. Caneel Bay also offers USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis program for children to learn how to play tennis with kid-sized courts and equipment. 

Popular luxury resort Eco Serendib is rewarding visitors who commit to a week or more with special promotional rates of up to 50 percent off regular rates. Book by May 31 for stays throughout the end of the year. Agents should contact Harith Wickrema ([email protected] or 215-830-8300).

Royal Caribbean International’s new Caribbean cruises include two additional ships (five all totaled) regularly calling on all three Virgin Islands. The line’s new 2013-2014 deployment calendar demonstrates its continued commitment to the U.S.V.I. and to the re-emergence of St. Croix in particular as a port-of-call.