BUDGET TRAVEL UPGRADE

Caribbean Queens

A trio of sisters from the Pacific Northwest gets a sunset cruise in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

"We felt like royalty!" says Noreen

The upgradees
"We're going to our favorite place in all the world: Caneel Bay on St. John. It's paradise for water people. My sisters and I try to keep healthy so we can enjoy what we love: being in, on, under, and over the water." Walda Reeder, Medford, Ore.

Using our powers for the good of the people
At least once a year, Walda Reeder and her sisters, Mary Rocheleau and Noreen Scott, go to Caneel Bay, a luxurious resort on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, to snorkel and swim. "We have husbands and they're lovely, but they're not as water-oriented as we are," explains Mary. All three women had careers in social work that kept them apart, except for these highly anticipated vacations. But because the resort is expensive--"and we're not wealthy by any means," says Walda--they've never been on Caneel Bay's sunset cruise. The resort usually uses a 36-passenger ferry, but for this occasion it chartered Cinnamon Bay, a motor yacht commissioned by Caneel Bay founder Laurance S. Rockefeller. "The woods on that ship are just beautiful," says Noreen. The resort also arranged for musicians to play Caribbean music during the two-hour cruise, and there was a buffet with cheeses, Key lime pie, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Walda is still pinching herself. "I can't believe I've sailed on the same ship that Brad and Angelina have sailed on," she says. "I'm part of the jet set now!"

Many thanks to...
Caneel Bay, a Rosewood Resort with 166 rooms and seven white-sand beaches on a 170-acre peninsula in the Virgin Islands National Park (888/767-3966, caneelbay.com, from $395).

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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