Home of the Big Fundamental
The beauty of cruising is being able to enjoy the many differences that each island has to offer. Saint Croix is the largest island in this territory, so with that in mind, there's a different aesthetic and much more diversity here than in the smaller islands. Around this time of year, the island gets a substantial amount of rain fall, so we had to deal with slight drizzles for about an hour. Regardless, it wouldn't dampen our spirits (no pun intended).
Instead of the typical beach spot, my parents decided that it would be interesting to do a quick road tour of the island before heading off to Buccaneer Island.
Driving through the towns of Frederiksted and Christiansted, I couldn't help but notice that there's just something about this island that makes it different from all the other islands.
It felt almost like a ghost island in a way.
There's a lot of rich history about this place that I never knew about. Apparently this was one of the islands that Christopher Columbus visited a year after landing on San Salvador. The island changed hands with a lot of countries before finally becoming a US territory in 1917. Due to the Hovensa refinery shutdown in 2012 and the commercialization of the area overtime, a lot of the residents migrated away from the island and began resorting to agriculture for economic stabilization.
If you ever find yourself in Saint Croix, take the time to get a taxi and head over to Buccaneer Island. The beaches are pristine with all the rain that the island has received over the last few months and the Management has continued to reinvest into the property to keep it fresh and updated.
There is so much to do from swimming in one of the two pools or the Caribbean Sea. You can kayak or snorkel or play golf or a game of tennis. The Buccaneer is a full service resort, with room service, concierge, comp shuttle around the property, golf, comp beach supplies (chaises, towels, snorkel gear, small 2-person sea kayaks, etc.), a spa (with an excellent masseuse according to my wife), beauty salon, tennis courts, fitness/jogging trail, fitness center, etc. We took advantage of every service (except golf) and enjoyed all of it. There is a small gift shop with very limited selection. Be aware most everything on the resort closes at 5PM. To avoid disappointment the first night you arrive from the airport, I recommend you make a reservation at The Lounge before you arrive on the island, so you have a place to go unwind and get a meal.
The main bar was stocked beyond belief - never drank so many different cocktails. My favorite of all of them was this drink called "Birds of Paradise". If you're ever out here, that is my personal recommendation.
Mermaid beach was where we decided to spend the day. It had palm trees, soft white sand, and unbelievably clear water. It is set in a cove, and you can readily swim out to decent snorkeling. There is a family-friendly, shady area between the bar and the beach with things to do like a ping-pong table, a volleyball net, giant chess table, basketball court, etc. Speaking of family, there were some children and families here, but also couples, and a wedding party, and some elderly. In other words, there were all kinds of people here for different vacations, and no one particular type of visitor.
The Buccaneer’s beaches have no panhandlers or solicitors, and are safe and clean. All the beaches in this resort are public access by USVI law. You would have to go through the gate at the entrance to the resort to get to these particular beaches, which helps keep things sacure and orderly. Also, to the west of the resort is a large lagoon, and to the east is another resort and some expensive waterfront homes with amazing hiking views. It’s a short walk to a couple of other beaches, also, that seemed to be completely unused while we were there.
To put it all in perspective for someone thinking about staying here in St. Croix, you're paying for a classic Caribbean beach resort experience, an historic site with some character & ambience, and full service.
It’s one of the top 2 or 3 resorts on the island. The Buccaneer is in a safe area, the setting is beautiful, and the beaches are great.
This was by far my favorite experience on the cruise. If you are a beach lover, you HAVE to go to Buccaneer Island. The water is so clean and clear. I've lived in California, been to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Florida. Trust me when I say that no other beach compares to the ones that you will find here.