The Ultimate Dream Wedding St. Thomas, USVI

ultimate-dream-weddingHave you decided where you will be having your wedding at? Weddings at Sugar Bay Resort & Spa display tremendous amounts of beauty.

The Destination Wedding Professionals at Sugar Bay Resort & Spa will work with you to bring every aspect of your dream wedding to life. From guest accommodations, to the cake, to the flowers, activities and so on, the Wedding Department at Sugar Bay Resort & Spa will take care of all of the details of your destination wedding in St. Thomas.

You can get married and celebrate on the beach right next to the beautiful palm trees or at the St. John Terrace which has a beautiful ocean view and a great view of St. John.

Below is a sampling of the Sugar Bay Resort & Spa Ultimate Dream Wedding package. There are a couple of different packages that the resort offers, but today we will be talking about the Ultimate Dream Wedding package at the resort. These are intended to provide you with a good idea on where to begin in the planning process. Please make sure that when you speak with our wedding professionals that you explain your vision for your wedding.  The wedding professionals at the resort will then help customize a package for you and your significant other with pricing and features that suits your wedding day the best.

The Ultimate Dream Wedding ($2,650) Package Inclusions:

  • Your Wedding coordinated by a Sugar Bay Wedding Professional with unlimited correspondence, to customize your special day
  • Picturesque Wedding Site (Beach or St. John Terrace)
  • Religious or non-denominational ceremony
  • Arrangements and Fees for Officiate
  • Decorative Wedding Certificate
  • Bride’s Tropical Bouquet & matching Groom Boutonniere
  • One-Tier Wedding Cake (serves 6 to 8 people 8 inches round)
  • Professional Photographer for 1 hour – 72 (4×6) Photos
  • Professional Videographer for 1 hour – edited DVD
  • Live Wedding Music
  • One Bottle of Imported Champagne
  • VIP Status for bride & groom with:
  • A one Category Room Upgrade (based on availability)
  • Late Check-out (until 3pm upon request and availability)
  • Nightly Turndown Service
  • $100 Resort credit
  • Wedding Memento
  • 15% Discount on Spa Services at Journey’s Spa for Bride & Groom

 

 

Getting Married in the U.S. Virgin Islands

wedding-slide

Have you thought about getting married in the U.S. Virgin Islands? Well, you are not alone! The beautiful islands and wonderful weather make any of the U.S. Virgin Islands perfect for a beach or island wedding.

There are four islands that you can research and consider. They are St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island. All are beautiful and have wonderful places for which you can get married. Your wedding in the U.S. Virgin Islands can be outdoors, perhaps near a big tree or near a beach.

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa has a wonderful spot on the beach near a beautiful tree for which you can have your wedding. You can then have your honeymoon at the resort after which makes everything much more fun and relaxing for you and your wedding party.

The wedding license application process in the U.S. Virgin Islands is relatively easy. You will need to request an application from the Superior Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands at (340) 774-6680 for a wedding on the island of St. Thomas. After the Court receives a completed application, there is a required eight-day waiting and processing period, which can be waived depending on circumstances. If either party is divorced, he or she must have a certified copy of the divorce decree or a notarized affidavit stating when the divorce was granted. The marriage can be performed by a judge in the Court or by a member of the clergy. The marriage application fee is $50 and the license fee is $50.

A consultant at Sugar Bay Resort & Spa can help you plan your dream beach wedding. You can get married right on the beach between the beautiful palm trees. The waves will be crashing on the shore and it’ll be prettier than you could ever imagine.

Or at Sugar Bay you can also have an elegant ceremony on the St. John Terrace. This is the porch area at the main building at the resort. The St. John Terrace is a beautiful rooftop gazebo that overlooks St. John and the British Virgin Islands. There is a spectacular view with a beautiful breeze. You can hear the waves crashing below you.

Endangered Animals of the Virgin Islands

When visiting St. Thomas, you of course are very aware of your surroundings. It’s hard not to be because everything is so beautiful! You will see many things that you are not used to, and it’s always a good idea to respect the animals and living organisms that cross your path. Several terrestrial and marine species of plants and animals in the USVI are threatened or endangered.

The list includes a number of plants, staghorn and elkhorn corals, black coral, the green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the leatherback turtle, and the loggerhead sea turtle, St. Croix ground lizard, the Virgin Islands Boa, the brown pelican, the peregrine falcon, many other species of nesting birds, the slipperyback skink, the Atlantic goliath grouper, and three species of bat. 

Turtles

When visiting St. Thomas, you might see turtles. The green turtle, leatherback turtle and hawksbill turtle are all sea turtles that were once very common to the USVI. All three species nest on sandy beaches, some of which are protected in the USVI in order to prevent further harm to the turtle population.

Leatherback turtles have been around for over 150 million years. They can weigh over 1000 pounds and can grow to approximately nine feet. The are considered to be vulnerable to extinction. Turtles such as the leatherback turtle have become endangered because of egg collection and meat harvest by humans; nesting beaches are being developed which limits the areas for which turtles can lay their eggs, coral reefs are being destroyed. There is also a lot of pollution in the ocean which is killing many turtles. It is illegal to collect turtle eggs and to harvest turtle meat in the USVI because of this.

Jewfish

The jewfish are very big and can grow to approximately eight feet in length and weigh 1000 pounds! The jewfish is endangered because of over fishing since they are easy to catch.

Virgin Islands Tree Boa

The small Virgin Islands Boa has a distinct mottled pattern, light grey-brown with dark brown markings and a cream colored belly with dark markings. They are known to live in steep coastal forest among dry rocky soil. The tree boa is almost never seen in the Virgin Islands, it has become endangered due to large-scale habitat destruction and its demise was greatly impacted by the introduction of the mongoose.

Virgin Islands Screech Owl

The screech owl lives primarily in dense woodland and caves. It was last reported to have been seen in 1980 and in some references is listed as extinct since there have been no records of seeing it in such a long time. The demise of the Virgin Islands Screech owl is due largely to deforestation.

May 2013 Reviews of Sugar Bay Resort & Spa St. Thomas

May 2013 Reviews of Sugar Bay Resort & Spa St. Thomas

View from Room 712

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa located on the island of St. Thomas is a beautiful place to have your next vacation. Don’t just take it from me, read these recent reviews of the resort as well.

Review from May, 2013

“Just returned from 9 day stay at Sugar Bay and is was great. This was our fifth trip to the resort and as always a great experience. The staff is great and friendly and go out of their way to make our stay memoriable. Food and drinks are great. Beach is great, it is a bit rocky but with water shoes its no problem. Snorkeling is great at the resort and all the views are great no matter where you are at on the resort. Cant wait to come back next year.”

Review from May, 2013

“My girlfriend and I stayed at this resort once again. So from the start. We arrived 2 hours before check in. Danielle at the front desk gave us our all inclusive wrist bands and said, “your welcome to wait, or you can go have lunch, drinks, or whatever you please. It shouldnt be more than 15 minutes”. By the time we had a quick lunch and a drink at the turtle rock by the pool our room was ready. You cant ask for more than that! The rooms are gorgeous. The view is breath taking over looking St John. I never experienced any rudeness from staff our entire visit. Or any other visit for that matter. The breakfast buffet is great. They have an omelet bar as well. The buffet consist of anything and everything you could possibly want for breakfast. Fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, potatoes, bagels, pancakes, waffles….. It starts the day in paradise off very well. The pool and pool bar are amazing. Carolyn is the best! She even remembered us from last time! The lunch spots by the pool in my opinion hit the spot after being in the sun and drinking. Burgers of all kinds, sandwiches, salads… Its great. For dinner Blue Currents is awesome. I had one of the best steaks Ive ever eaten there. We met a couple our age from Illinois and they actually had the steak two nights it was so good! Also, Sugar Bay is located minutes away from Red Hook and the ferry to St John. The bottom line is, for the price you pay to stay at Sugar Bay, eat all you want, drink all you want, have as much fun as you want. You cant go wrong.”

Coral World Ocean Park

A popular place to visit when on St. Thomas is to visit Coral World Ocean Park. Today we will talk about the Marine Gardens and the Caribbean Reef Encounter mainly. Be sure to come back to hear about the other attractions!

Marine Gardens

The marine gardens consist of a gallery of 21 jewel tanks. It provides great views of hundreds of marine species in their unique habitats. You can watch many, many creatures explore their habitat and it is quite a sight to see.

Caribbean Reef Encounter

The Caribbean Reef Encounter is an 80,000 gallon coral reef aquarium that surrounds you as you enter the the aquarium.  The aquarium is open to the elements, which means the thousands of reef animals that are housed here receive natural day and moonlight and experience rain just like a natural reef would, which is wonderful.

Feedings and Show times

09:30am       Caribbean Reef Encounter
09:45 am      Shark Shallows
10:15 am      Stingray Lagoon
10:30 am      Sea Lion Presentation – In the Marine Gardens
11:00 am      Turtle Talk
11:30am       Shop Talk - Wednesdays only
Noon             Bird Talk – Aviary
12:40 pm      Observation Tower
1:00 pm        Shark Shallows
1:30 pm        Caribbean Reef Encounter
2:00 pm        Sea Lion Presentation – In the Marine Gardens
2:30 pm        Stingray Lagoon
3:00 pm        Turtle Talk
3:30 pm         Iguana/Tortoise Talk

 

What to eat when you’re there

The Beach Café –  At The Beach Cafe you can have a nice lunch right outside the park gate. The beach café serves breakfast from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. so you can enjoy pancakes or an egg sandwich even before the park opens. There are also sandwiches, pizza, grilled burgers and hot dogs, sodas, ice cream, beer and specialty frozen drinks with or without alcohol available until approximately 4 p.m.

The Shark Bar – Inside the park adjacent to the Shark Shallows, under the shade of towering palm trees, enjoy fare from the grill, a variety of sandwiches and salads, chicken wings, pizza, great French fries, soft drinks, beer, and specialty frozen drinks with or without alcohol, including our signature Shark Bite.

Directions

Coral World is located near Coki Beach on Coki Point, a peninsula on the northeast shore of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  It is very close to Sugar Bay Resort & Spa and is only a short taxi ride away. If you are traveling from a different location to Coral World, please read the directions below.

Taking a taxi is the easiest way to get to Coral World. Taxis are readily available at the cruise ship docks, hotels and the downtown shopping district. The taxi fare from the Havensight cruise ship dock and downtown is approximately $9 per person for two or more passengers. The taxi fare from the Crown Bay cruise ship dock is approximately $10 per person for two or more passengers. The taxi ride from downtown and the cruise ship docks is 20-25 minutes long.

Driving west on Route 38, turn right at the Coral World sign (Route 388) about one half mile past the entrance to the Wyndham Sugar Bay. Driving east on Route 38, Smith Bay Road, turn left at the Coral World sign (Route 388) about one quarter mile past the Texaco gas station (Route 388). Alternatively, follow the blue Tommy Starfish road signs along the blue route on your driving guide to Route 388.

Public transportation is available from downtown and near the cruise ship dock, however it might be unreliable. If you decide to take a bus, take the bus that reads “Red Hook” and tell the driver you are going to Coral World. The bus stop nearest to Coral World is about a 10 minute walk from the park entrance. The fare is $2 in exact change.

You can also take a boat to Coral World and anchor in Water Bay and then take a dinghy to the Coral World dock.

Honeymoon Beach and Fort Segarra

If you have decided to spend your day on Water Island, there are many things that you can do. The biggest features that draw visitors to Water Island is both Honeymoon Beach and Fort Segarra.

Honeymoon Beach

One of the most popular attractions of Water Island is Honeymoon beach, in Druif Bay, on the west end of Water island.

Initially Honeymoon Beach could hardly be called a beach. It was an area about 50 feet long strewn with vegetation and rocks and only extended about 10 feet from the water line. The trees and brush were removed, 200 truck loads of rock and gravel were hauled off, and the beach stone was broken up with a bulldozer. The sand was sifted to remove any remaining debris and a dredge was used to remove the seaweed and to deposit sand on the shore. Rows of palm trees were planted back from the shoreline. This was all accomplished under the direction of Walter Phillips, the Master Leaseholder in the early 1950s. Because of the work done, the beach is very beautiful and a great place to spend your vacation.

Here is what one reviewer of Honeymoon Beach said:

“We spent a week on St Thomas and headed over to Water Island for the day. The ferry ride over is 10 dollars round trip with Captain Joe. When you arrive on Water Island, you walk up the hill and take your second right to Honeymoon Beach. We went on a Wednesday and had the beach to ourselves for three hours. A woman was cooking BBQ for a cruise ship excursion that arrived around 1:30–the food smelled delicious. We soaked up the sun to a terrific view. There is a floating dock you can swim to and chill out on. Joe’s Beach Bar is located to the far left. What a great way to kick back, chat it up and drink up with a few locals. This is a great place for a quiet day free from crowds (50 people max when we were there). This is a must do for any honeymooner wanting a day away with beach and sun. “

 

Fort Segarra

Fort Segarra was built as part of the United States’ defense strategies during World War II on Water Island in the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. World War II seacoast batteries here were Battery 314 at Flamingo Point (1944, never completed) and an Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Batteries.

In addition some barracks, watch towers, ammunition bunkers were also created near Carolina Point as well as an infrastructure of docks, roads, water, sewage and power systems. It was to be an underground fort and its purpose was to protect the submarine base on St. Thomas. The war ended before its completion and the project was subsequently abandoned. The uncompleted post was transferred to the Army’s Chemical Warfare Division in 1948 for testing poison gas and chemical agents on goats and pigeons for several years. Following the conclusion of these tests, the Army transferred control of this area to the Interior Department in 1952.  Gun emplacements, tunnels and underground rooms which were created during the Second World War building efforts are still visible.

The site is now open for viewing, and tunnels and underground chambers are open for tours. The area is monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and soil samples are monitored from the former chemical test sites to ensure “that no residual contamination remains from previous Department of Defense activities.”

Water Island U.S. Virgin Islands

Water Island is the smallest of the four islands in the United States Virgin Islands. Water Island consists of 491.5 acres and is a great place to escape for when you want ultimate relaxation and fun. Less than 200 people live on the island. The island is also the youngest of the four islands and was recently transferred to the United States Virgin Islands government in December of 1996.

There are vacation homes, apartments and a campground with eco-cabins located on Water Island.  A vacation on Water Island might include very relaxing days on the beautiful beach, kayaking on the pretty water, exploring the beaches, hiking around Water island, and so on. There are many possibilities for a great time on Water Island.

Water Island was acquired by the USA in 1917 from Denmark but continued to be owned by a corporation until several decades later. In December of 1996, it became a part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island is of volcanic origin and lies to the south of Saint Thomas in the Charlotte Amalie harbor.

Ferry service runs regularly from Crown Bay, Saint Thomas to Phillips Landing, Water Island, with the ferry ride being approximately 10 minutes.  It is administratively a part of the island of St. Thomas’ District. Water Island is a residential-zoned island and no significant commercial establishments.

The main attractions are beaches, including Honeymoon Beach, plantation ruins, Fort Segarra, an underground fort partially constructed by the U.S. during World War II, and scuba diving site Supermarket Reef, in Limestone Bay.

The eastmost third of the island is a gated community, Sprat Bay Estates. This includes Sprat Point, a 30 acre peninsula and nature preserve owned by the DOI, and private Sprat Bay Beach, located between Sprat Point and Carol Point. All beaches in the USVI are public when approached from the water.

Trunk Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands

Trunk Bay is often said to have the most beautiful beach in the whole entire world. When you see pictures of beaches online, in magazines and so on, a lot of the time it is of the beach at Trunk Bay. Crystal clear water and very nice white sand are at Trunk Bay.

Trunk Bay on St. John is a very popular beach because of how beautiful the scenery is.

A very popular attraction when visiting the Virgin Islands is heading on over to St. John and seeing Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands National Park. The picturesque and beautiful beach has been photographed plenty of times by both visitors and those who live on the island. Trunk Bay is often called the most beautiful beach in the world. Do you want to see all types of fish such as Angel fish, Parrott fish, Puffer fish, sea turtles and plenty of colorful coral? Check out the Underwater Trail and Trunk Bay!

The water at Trunk Bay is crystal clear (as you can see above) and the sand is extremely white and clean. There is great snorkeling at Trunk Bay which makes for a great and fun underwater trail at Trunk Bay.

There is a shop where you can rent or buy water gear such as a snorkel set so that you can have fun in the underwater trail. There are also showers, bathrooms, public telephones, BBQ areas, areas for private events and food available for you and your family as well.

Underwater Trail

There are plenty of fish and other water life in the trail. The trail is 650 feet long and was created and is currently maintained by the National Park Service. There are signs in the water that help describe what you are looking at and where you are heading.

Cost

Trunk Bay cost a low $4 for adults and individuals 16 year old and younger are free to go to Trunk Bay. The low cost is well worth it because of the many things that you can do at the beach. If you plan on visiting multiple times, there is an annual pass available at Trunk Bay for $10 for an individual or $15 for your family.

To reserve the covered pavilion for a private event, call the National Park at 776-6201.  A gift shop provides just about everything you might need while at the beach, such as sun screen, towels, insect repellent, hats, tee-shirts, bathing suits, film, batteries, books, post cards and souvenirs. Lockers, snorkel equipment, flotation devices and beach chairs are available for rent.

Trunk Bay receives as many as 1,000 visitors per day including locals, cruise ship passengers, party boats, and tourists from the island’s villas and hotels. In order to beat the crowds, try to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Events in May in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands

May 4, 2013 and May 11, 2013 – 8:00 p.m. on both days

It’s Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill Pistarckle Theater in St. Thomas. This is a ‘bio-drama musical’ which truthfully tells the story of Billie Holiday’s tragic life. This is a unique theater piece, part nightclub act and also part play.

Denise Hummer, one of St. Thomas’ popular jazz singers, will be reprising her role as Billie Holiday. Denise Hummer is thrilled to have the opportunity to portray this great artist through stage and song, as she has done before. Lady Day show will not only include songs previously performed last year, but also include an additional song and expanded musical accompaniment. For more information visit: www.pistarckletheater.com

 

May 18, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival at Tillett Gardens in St. Thomas. ARTS ALIVE presents Art in the Garden, Arts and Crafts Festival. It’s going to be a fun filled day with great opportunities for shopping and looking at the many, many arts and crafts.

Everyone should come and see the work of local artists, listen to the sounds of our wonderful local musicians, and get involved in art. Tillett Gardens is located across from Four Winds Plaza. Call (340) 776-8566 if you would like more information or had any questions.

 

May 18. 2013 – 8:00 p.m.

Rhythm and Passion at the Reichhold Center in St. Thomas. Get ready to go on a mystical journey to discover the people, the stories and the drama behind the salsa, tango and gaucho. An international cast of singers and musicians perform before a backdrop of exquisite scenery depicting the origins of the tango in the seedy bars of 1920s Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Revel in the joy and exhilaration of salsa dancing in the streets. Delight in the antics of the Argentine cowboy ‘the Gaucho’ and the dramatic storytelling of his art. Filled with the pulsing rhythms of salsa and tango, Rhythm and Passion brings audiences to their feet. For more information visit: www.reichholdcenter.com or call (340) 693-1559 for more information or any questions you need answered.

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa Information

Are you planning a trip to Sugar Bay Resort & Spa anytime in the near future? Here is some information relating to the resort, in order to make your experience as pleasant as possible.

Check in at the hotel starts at 3 p.m., and check out is by 11 a.m.

If you are paying for all-inclusive while at the resort, then you will receive a bracelet when you check in. It is important to keep your bracelet on at all times. This is so that you can be identified by staff for easier all-inclusive service. You must use it during your entire stay and, when checking out, you must return it to the front desk. Should your bracelet break, please return it to the front desk to have it replaced. There is a charge for lost bracelets.

When checking in at the resort, you will receive towel cards. Please present your towel cards at the pool towel hut or the front desk to receive your towels. Towel Cards must be returned upon check-out.

There are many other services offered at the hotel:

  • Car Rental
  • ATM
  • Laundry/Dry cleaning service
  • Shuttle service (intra-resort)
  • WI FI service in designated areas
  • Castaways Gift Shop
  • Full service Tour Desk
  • Pool Concierge
  • Beach Towel Service
  • Safety deposit boxes are provided free of charge for your safety and convenience. Should your room not be equipped with one, you can secure one through the front desk upon request.

 

There are also many recreation ideas and activities at the resort:

  • Secluded beach
  • Three interconnecting freshwater pools and Jacuzzi
  • Award winning Journey’s Spa and Fitness Center
  • Tennis complex, with laykold surface courts
  • Mini Golf Fun Zone
  • Red Hook Dive Center, a full Service PADI Dive facility with Dive instructions daily at the Resort pool
  • All day activities program and nightly entertainment
  • Video slot machine terminals with 12 game variations including video poker, black jack 21, Keno, 777’s, digital roulette and poker stations.
  • Water sports center offers catamaran excursions, Snorkel tours, kayaks and sail boats
  • Kids Klub