Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: North Carolina
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Well I've lived down here the past two winters working on a boat and I'm still alive to tell the tale. The island does have a ridiculously high murder rate but it's mostly locals killing locals. I think your travel agent was being overly conservative. There are a lot areas you def don't want to go to at night, but there are some fun spots as well. Redhook has a pretty good scene, as does Frenchtown. I take my girlfriend out to various spots on the island all the time and don't worry about it. The Marriot is very nice and located away from any dubious local scene, I think you'd be more than okay there.
If you're coming here to shop though, I don't know how much I'd recommend it. The entire cruise ship scene downtown is a joke. Tons a jewelry, but frankly I don't think it's any kind of deal. I don't know what your wife is into, but the shopping is either for stuff like $10 st. thomas tee shirts and snowglobes or nice stuff at places like louis vitton in yacht haven grande.