View Full Version : Question about Speedys All Inclusive Baths?
December 10th, 2008, 10:27 PM
We are looking at catching Speedys ferry from Tortola to Virgin Gorda Baths. I noticed they have a package deal for $35/person that includes the ferry and taxi to the baths. It also lists a lunch at a restaurant. Does that mean they just take us there? Or is the price of lunch actually included in the charge?
Also, it says it leaves Tortola at 9 AM. Does that mean we HAVE to catch it at 9AM? Or can we do it at another time? Because we don't dock in Tortola til 10AM.
If we didn't do the package, if we just used the ferry, how much would the taxi cost to the Baths? Per person?
December 11th, 2008, 07:28 AM
I noticed that this will be your first cruise and that you leave soon; I hope you are able to find all the info you need in time! I'm including a link to one of the more comprehensive threads about "getting to the Baths" (I searched under "Speedy"). There are many other threads that will help.
Since it's your first cruise, be aware that you will not be able to leave the ship right at the "docking" time. The ship will need to clear "customs" and then there will be a rush of passengers to get down the stairwells and off the ship. Most of the time, this will only add a short delay to the time you actually get off the ship, through the docking area and off to the town (for the walk to the ferry). Coming back, don't forget to allow time to walk back to the ship. I think the walk is about 15 minutes (assuming you walk well and don't stop to shop LOL).
If you're unsure about the timing, I suggest taking the ship's excursion- even if it does cost more. If you do a ship's excursion, verify what you will actually be doing. Some excursions take you to VG and anchor along the shoreline at the Baths. You snorkel in that area and then swim in to the Baths. If you're not comfortable in the water, I suggest booking an excursion that takes you to VG and docks there; then you'll take a tram to the top of the Baths and walk down & through them.
Have a wonderful cruise!
December 11th, 2008, 01:01 PM
We used Speedy's last week when we were on NCL Dawn. It was $30 for the ferry and $8 for the taxi (per person), so we paid $76 for the both of us.
Are you sure you don't dock at 8am? That was our time. We made the 9am ferry no problem. In fact, we speed walked the entire way cause we were nervous about making it. We were one of the first ones on the ferry.
Being our first time there, we booked the ferry and taxi together so that we wouldn't have any mishaps and/or miss the ferry coming back. The taxi came back at noon for us at the Baths and we took the 12:30 ferry back to Tortola. The taxi is really a pick up truck with bench seats and canopy in the back. Takes about 20 people at a time to/from the ferry dock. Snooped in a few of the shops and back to the ship in plenty of time for the 3:30 all aboard.
We felt it was plenty of time for us to explore the Baths on our own. We met a tour group while we were going thru the Baths and they seemed to be rushed thru. We took our time and explored every path and nook that we could. Had time to swim and lay on the beach on the other side, too. By doing the Baths on our own (we used the post that JerseyGem linked you to above), we saved half of what the ship was charging for the excursion.
Hope this helps!
December 11th, 2008, 02:52 PM
We were just in Tortola last week. The Baths at Virgin Gorda are magnificent!!!! Do go!
There are 2 ferry companies and their schedules vary depending on the day of the week. Our ship (Noordam) docked at 9 so even though we got off promptly and walked straight to the ferry terminal (15 minutes is about right) the first ferry we could catch was at 10:30 with Speedy. However, their afternoon ferry was at 3:30 and our all aboard was at 4:30 which we felt was cutting too close, so we bought a one-way ticket on Speedy for $20 pp and planned to get a one-way ticket for another $20 on Smith's for 2:15 to come back. This is what the clerk at the ticket booth suggested and we were willing to forego the $10 saving for a round trip in order to be sure we caught our cruise. Then we bought a taxi transfer from Speedy for $8 pp.
Once on the boat, the ticket collector (you can buy them on board for the same price) said there was a return ferry on Speedy's at 2:45 since it was Thursday. This would have been perfect but their ticket agent did not mention it. They would not change our one-way to a round trip (live and learn!:o). We were advised not to try to walk from the ferry dock to the Baths and that was good advice. The road is narrow and it is farther than it looks on the map.
There are LOTS of open-air bus-type taxis at the ferry and at the Baths so no fear of getting stranded there and missing the ship. When we hiked up the path from the Baths to get to the ferry, the taxi /truck that was waiting was not the Speedy one, for which we had a ticket, but he agreed to take us anyway since we were going on the Smith ferry. The Smith ferry is older and not as sleek but almost as fast, and we had a good ride both ways. The 2:15 Smith ferry actually left about 2:25 and I have heard they are often a bit late, so do allow extra time. You did not put the departure time in your post so I am not sure if you have enough time, though the 10:30 ferry is achievable if you dock at 10 am.
The Baths are an amazing place and everyone should see it. Take the time to swim among the boulders and squeeze between the rocks on the path to Devil Bay, if you are pretty fit, as it is astoundingly beautiful and a marvel of nature.
There are lockers near the beach, but they go fast so if you want one check as soon as you arrive, at the burger/beer shack by the beach. They were all in use when we were there.
By going on our own, we had about 3 1/2 hours there but the ship tour was a much shorter time there, I was told. You can check with your cruise line, but the people on ours had about 1 hour at the Baths out of an advertised 3 hour excursion and most did not have time for the spectacular and spooky hike through the 'caves' to Devil Bay.
My DH was uncertain about going there on our own due to the ferry/taxi/taxi/ferry scenario, but agreed that it was well worth it and would do it again in a minute! Hope we get the chance soon.
December 14th, 2008, 10:20 PM
Great information Kruznkanuk! we are definately going to the baths! Question- everyone is saying "booked" does that mean you are booking Speedys ahead of time- like on line?
December 14th, 2008, 11:42 PM
Hi, Good question...
"Booked" is really not the right term. There is no need to arrange them ahead and no advantage, just walk over to the ferry terminal (red roof building, keep going left from the cruise dock but there is also a very helpful tourist info counter just as you get off the ship)
and buy a ticket, or buy on board the ferry if you are short of time. They don't even keep track of which time of ferry you want the ticket for so I don't know what they would do in the unlikely event that they ever sold out. There were about 80% of the seats empty on both the ferries we took.
December 15th, 2008, 07:04 PM
There is no need to prearrange any excursions here. Taxis line up at the pier to take you anywhere you want to go. Several passengers hopped into taxis and got the exact same tour that other passengers paid double for through the ship. Our sights were set on visiting Virgin Gorda. We got off the ship just after 8:00 am and walked 15 minutes to the red-roofed ferry terminal off to the left of the pier. Click on map for larger image of walking route from cruise pier to ferry dock.
Speedy's (http://www.speedysbvi.com/) and Smith's (http://www.smithsferry.com/) both offer service to Virgin Gorda. However, only Speedy's could get us back before our 3:00pm departure. So we caught the 9:00 am Speedy's Ferry over and the 12:30 pm ferry back. Cost was $25 per person roundtrip, including roundtrip Speedy's Taxi service from the Virgin Gorda docks to The Baths. (You will not want to attempt to walk to The Baths from the dock). We brought our mask and snorkel with us. Rentals are available at The Baths for $10 plus a $30 deposit. We sat upstairs in the open air seating atop the ferry. Cool winds and great views. 30-35 minute ride each way followed by a 10-minute taxi to The Baths.
There is a $3.00 (adults) and $2.00 (children) entrance fee to The Baths which are part of the BVI National Parks Trust. A restaurant appropriately named “Top of the Baths” is nearby and offers incredible views of the surrounding islands. A 5-minute walk (350 yards in length) down to The Baths was rocky and uneven. At the bottom, single-use-only lockers can be rented for $2.50 each, via a token that can be purchased at the shop nearby. They are large enough to hold a beach bag or backpack. Tokens are also required if you wish to take a shower. The Baths are an incredibly fun experience. Here is a detailed map of The Baths at Virgin Gorda (http://www.thebathsbvi.com/map.htm). The Baths were really fun to explore. Highly recommend water shoes, a water camera, and a swimsuit. A beautiful beach with crystal clear waters awaits visitors on the other side of the rock maze. While not the greatest snorkeling site for fish, the coral formations were interesting. A beautiful beach with crystal clear waters awaits visitors on the other side of the rock maze. The water was nice and clear. Visibility was easily more than 50 feet! We would have liked to stay another couple of hours, and look forward to another visit. Highly recommended!
On our second trip to The Baths, we opted to pay an additional $10 ($35 total) for Speedy's “Sun and Fun” package which also included lunch and rum punch at The Bath & Turtle. This is what you were asking about. It is worthwhile. After visiting The Baths for four hours, our taxi driver returned for us at 1:30pm, as agreed, to take us into town to eat. The Bath and Turtle Bar and Grill, located in a small strip mall with a dive shop, bank, and a few other shops, has little atmosphere but they make it up with good food and friendly service. Our coupon indicated that we could spend up to $10/pp, but our waitress allowed $12/pp which covers most items on the menu. We enjoyed our rum punch with a lunch platter consisting of a Caribbean Jerk Chicken sandwich, coleslaw and potato salad. We shopped a little after our leisurely lunch, then headed for the pier. The pier is a short 5-minute walk across a parking lot, past a small grocery store, and beyond an old partially-fenced park. Our ferry was already at the dock when we arrived at 3:00pm. We promptly boarded and departed on time at 3:30pm, arriving back in Road Town at 4:05pm. We had no problem getting back to the ship before the 4:45pm cutoff. Highly recommended!
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