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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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Default A couple of notes about Coki Beach and St. Thomas taxi's

We were in St. Thomas last week and decided to go to Coki Beach for the day and ran into a couple of issues that folks should be aware of.

1) When we walked onto the pier the taxi dispatcher funneled us to a waiting taxi van that he said was going to Coki Beach, so the 4 of us got onboard. After a few minutes I realized that we were going the wrong direction and asked where we were going. The driver replied that he was taking us to Coki but we were going via an island tour. There was a couple onboard that he had sold an island tour to before we got onboard. It took us 50 minutes to get to Coki beach... we were not pleased and let him know. When exiting the cab, he was insisting that he would be taking us back. We told him no way, not after what he did to us. There was a beach dispatcher who tried to tell every other taxi driver when we were leaving that we had made arrangements already. Really nuts. So, I would recommend that before you get into a taxi in St. Thomas you make sure the driver is going STRAIGHT to your destination.

2) While on Coki, we got our chairs for $5 each and all was good. We were greeted by a waitress named Christina who worked for a restaurant called Lickety Splits (I believe that is the correct name, but it is close). We told her that we would order lunch in a couple of hours. She brought menu's, and one of us ordered Chicken Fingers for $9 plus $3 for fries, the rest of us ordered jerk chicken sandwiches for $9 plus $3 for fries. High prices, but we were on a beach, right? Well, they arrived and we were appalled. They were served on foam bread and butter plates. The chicken fingers consisted of 4 pieces of chicken the size of thimbles and about 8 fries. The sandwiches looked like the ones that the cruise lines put out for 4 p.m. tea. I immediately said that these are not acceptable for $12 per plate and she quickly shoved them into our hands and said that we ordered them and we needed to pay NOW. I said no. She got very nasty and said we would be in trouble if we did not pay for our food immediately. After bickering with her I finally paid her $48 for the food and she agreed to have the manager come over. She came over a couple of hours later and said that the manager knows he is wrong and would not come.

Now, if we were not on vacation and at home I would have fought this whole thing like crazy but we were trying to have a fun day (which we did). My recommendation is to go directly to a beach restaurant behind the shacks and buy directly from them after you watch the food coming out. I learned that their prices are cheaper and the food is much better. It turns out the wait staff on the beach are independent contractors who go and buy food from places, mark it up and deliver it to you. I am all for helping the local economy and for people being creative with their business but this is a real racket.

I hope this helps at least one other person who goes to Coki beach!
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Old January 30th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Oh wow-thank you so MUCH for sharing your experiences!! Our plans are to do Coki beach/Coral World while in St. Thomas, so this is very helpful. How did you like Coki? Was the water clear? I have heard mixed reviews.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. Although I've not been to Coki, I've seen photos....and it doesn't look like a place I'd want to order food from.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:37 PM
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So sorry, Joe. Wow. Thanks for sharing that.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a3593 View Post
Oh wow-thank you so MUCH for sharing your experiences!! Our plans are to do Coki beach/Coral World while in St. Thomas, so this is very helpful. How did you like Coki? Was the water clear? I have heard mixed reviews.
We love Coki... it is a pretty place and the swimming is good. We have found the water to be nice and clear. Now, the area around Coki is a little worn out but the beach area is nice. It is not a huge area, but nice for a day of sun and fun. We will definitely return, making sure that we have a taxi that is going directly there and being very careful where we get our food (and not from the roaming waitstaff on the beach!). The first time we were there a year ago I had walked up to one of the restaurants that make jerk chicken sandwiches, etc and had a great lunch at a reasonable cost and I guess I was naive to think that I would just automatically get the same thing from a beach server .
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:54 PM
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So sorry, Joe. Wow. Thanks for sharing that.
That is the beauty of these boards... I figure if I even save one person from having the frustration we did then I will feel better. In the end, I would hope that word would spread enough so that their business practices would become fair.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for the heads up Joe. I went there a few years ago and absolutely loved the beach. I found the roaming "waiters" annoying, but still had a great day.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Go in the water and avoid the walking waiters!!! Then walk up to the food place of YOUR choice,,,they look terrible but most are very good and prices are good. Also a busy food place is a good sign. I do not know why people on "vacation" cannot get up and walk to get food/drinks,,they do it on the ship!
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Old January 31st, 2010, 08:24 AM
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If you politely tell the waiters you do not want to order food, they should leave you alone. There is good food on the beach and also across the street. If you want local cuisine try Petra's. She works out of a white mail truck and her food is great, beers are the cheapest on Coki!
Coral world also has reasonable prices in the courtyard outside of the main entrance. They have sandwiches, burgers etc, and it's large portions.
Tell the taxi dispatcher you want a non-stop to Coki, add that you have a prebooked excursion in a half an hour, so they get some sense of urgency to get you there.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by thompsongunner06 View Post
Go in the water and avoid the walking waiters!!! Then walk up to the food place of YOUR choice,,,they look terrible but most are very good and prices are good. Also a busy food place is a good sign. I do not know why people on "vacation" cannot get up and walk to get food/drinks,,they do it on the ship!
I think that is a bit harsh. Until I read this thread I did not know that these were not waiters, but "independent contractors." We kept waving them off. They did not leave us alone, coming back to us over and over. When we were finally ready to eat I walked up to one of the establishments, the cooked motioned me over to one of the "contractors" who had been pestering us all day.
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  #11  
Old February 1st, 2010, 11:24 PM
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How far a walk is it from Coki to Coral World? I want to snorkel at Coki.....but might need to get a bite from Coral World it seems. Not much into local vendors. Thanks
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 09:38 AM
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Coral World is at the end of Coki beach and even from the farthest end of Coki it would still be a short walk.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 12:57 PM
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Is the taxi about $9/person each way whether you get it right off the ship, or is it better to walk a few streets thru the mall, etc? Last time we had to stop at A.H.Rise and got the taxi there. We will probably have at least 8 of us going at the same time.

Since we get in fairly late, I don't think lunch will be a problem, but good info to know. Thx!
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Yes, we paid $9 per person each way to get to Coki.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Host Joe View Post
We were in St. Thomas last week and decided to go to Coki Beach for the day and ran into a couple of issues that folks should be aware of.

1) When we walked onto the pier the taxi dispatcher funneled us to a waiting taxi van that he said was going to Coki Beach, so the 4 of us got onboard. After a few minutes I realized that we were going the wrong direction and asked where we were going. The driver replied that he was taking us to Coki but we were going via an island tour. There was a couple onboard that he had sold an island tour to before we got onboard. It took us 50 minutes to get to Coki beach... we were not pleased and let him know. When exiting the cab, he was insisting that he would be taking us back. We told him no way, not after what he did to us. There was a beach dispatcher who tried to tell every other taxi driver when we were leaving that we had made arrangements already. Really nuts. So, I would recommend that before you get into a taxi in St. Thomas you make sure the driver is going STRAIGHT to your destination.

2) While on Coki, we got our chairs for $5 each and all was good. We were greeted by a waitress named Christina who worked for a restaurant called Lickety Splits (I believe that is the correct name, but it is close). We told her that we would order lunch in a couple of hours. She brought menu's, and one of us ordered Chicken Fingers for $9 plus $3 for fries, the rest of us ordered jerk chicken sandwiches for $9 plus $3 for fries. High prices, but we were on a beach, right? Well, they arrived and we were appalled. They were served on foam bread and butter plates. The chicken fingers consisted of 4 pieces of chicken the size of thimbles and about 8 fries. The sandwiches looked like the ones that the cruise lines put out for 4 p.m. tea. I immediately said that these are not acceptable for $12 per plate and she quickly shoved them into our hands and said that we ordered them and we needed to pay NOW. I said no. She got very nasty and said we would be in trouble if we did not pay for our food immediately. After bickering with her I finally paid her $48 for the food and she agreed to have the manager come over. She came over a couple of hours later and said that the manager knows he is wrong and would not come.

Now, if we were not on vacation and at home I would have fought this whole thing like crazy but we were trying to have a fun day (which we did). My recommendation is to go directly to a beach restaurant behind the shacks and buy directly from them after you watch the food coming out. I learned that their prices are cheaper and the food is much better. It turns out the wait staff on the beach are independent contractors who go and buy food from places, mark it up and deliver it to you. I am all for helping the local economy and for people being creative with their business but this is a real racket.

I hope this helps at least one other person who goes to Coki beach!
Thanks for sharing this information. We are going beginning of March so we will be forwarned! Guess you always have to be on your toes!
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:11 PM
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thanks for the great info I will be going to megans bay.....but i will be sure to get a direct trip.
thanks
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Host Joe View Post
We were in St. Thomas last week and decided to go to Coki Beach for the day and ran into a couple of issues that folks should be aware of.

1) When we walked onto the pier the taxi dispatcher funneled us to a waiting taxi van that he said was going to Coki Beach, so the 4 of us got onboard. After a few minutes I realized that we were going the wrong direction and asked where we were going. The driver replied that he was taking us to Coki but we were going via an island tour. There was a couple onboard that he had sold an island tour to before we got onboard. It took us 50 minutes to get to Coki beach... we were not pleased and let him know. When exiting the cab, he was insisting that he would be taking us back. We told him no way, not after what he did to us. There was a beach dispatcher who tried to tell every other taxi driver when we were leaving that we had made arrangements already. Really nuts. So, I would recommend that before you get into a taxi in St. Thomas you make sure the driver is going STRAIGHT to your destination.
A similar thing happened to us last year in St. Thomas. We wanted to go to Megans Bay and got talked into getting into one of those taxis with other people. He ended up taking us on a "tour" too and then said Megans Bay was very bad, no one ever goes there anymore and he suggested we try Sapphire Beach. So we said Ok because we have been to Megans Bay years ago. In our opinion Sapphire Beach no way compares to Megans Bay. I really think that the driver was getting a kickback from Sapphire to herd people there. When we returned to the ship we talked to people and they said they went to Megans Bay and it was still wonderful. Yes it was our fault for not getting the driver to agree to take us where we wanted to go before we got into the cab. Just be sure you get an agreement before you get into the cab!
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Old March 17th, 2010, 04:58 PM
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How do you know what taxi - is going direct (other than asking) - any signs posted??
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimgirl1 View Post
How do you know what taxi - is going direct (other than asking) - any signs posted??
Unfortunately, there are no signs posted. Just ask, and make sure they give you a clear answer... they can be elusive! The main question to ask is, "Are you going directly to Coki Beach?".
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Last edited by Host Joe; March 17th, 2010 at 11:05 PM.
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