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Old April 9th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Default Sub base sucks

This past week Zaandam drew the short straw in St Thomas and was berthed at the old WWII submarine base just east of the airport, rather than Havensite with the other cruise ships.

The property now belongs to the commonwealth and has a name but everyone still refers to it as the sub base. The waterfront serves commercial shipping but they swept off one pier, placed some palm trees around it and call it paradise.

Terrible location. Bad part of town. Long ride which the taxis try to avoid. Fare a bit more expensive than the other cruise ship pier. Main part of town several miles away and on St Thomas, not much is several miles away. Saw some walking, even pushing wheelchairs. I certainly wouldn't want to venture through it alone and unarmed.

The sightseeing helicopters operate from a clearing at the head of the pier. Interesting to watch but stirs up a lot of dust.

My one consolation was to be a great open air restaurant we used to frequent when we lived in Puerto Rico. Would stop to and from the airport. We could see it from the fantail. Now calls itself a marina selling small boats and motors.

Apparently only one ship per line gets space at Havensite. Might ask if your ship is going to be exiled when you select a date. They claim they don't know until the last minute but the tours and other schedules were based on our being on the dark side of the moon.

The folks who had never been to St Thomas accepted it as just another down island dump. Ruined the in port experience for us.
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