Tobago on your own-What to do?

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#1
18 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
My husband and I will be docked for 9 hours in Scarborough on March 25th with Celebrity. We're not into overpriced tours and we're wondering what to do. We've heard recently that Tobago is getting unsafe for tourists. Is this true?

Has anyone recently gone "on their own" around Tobago (meaning, no tours)? I've thought about renting a car for the day, but I'm not sure if things are done the same way there as they are in the US. My husband is also a bit nervous about renting a car in an "unsafe" place. He's concerned about fabricated "accidents" (read: pedestrian jumping out in front of you and sueing the rich American tourist). Not sure if this is a completely unrealistic concern or not.

Are there any interesting things to do near the port, or is a taxi or car rental the best options? We enjoy lazing on the beach and snorkeling, from shore if possible. We just really have no ideas and would appreciate any suggestions!

Thanks!
#2
DDI and T&T
1,341 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Dont rent a car. we drive on the left hand side of the road here and people drive a little crazy. Also not very much street signs . Since you like the beach just get a cab at the port and go to Pigeon Point. You will like it there. restroom facilities available, bar, food and lots of shade if you wish.
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Goneclear
Trinidad & Tobago.
#4
Northbrook, illinois
2,279 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
we were on the Summit late January 2009 and went scuba diving. Looked like some nice beaches on the island but also driving looked dangerous. I believe the island is pretty safe, unlike Trinidad.
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#5
NC
713 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Bumping this up, as I would like the info

Any idea what the current rate is for the cab to Pigeon Point and what the beach admission charge is?
Is is easy to get a cab back to the ship?

Thanks for any info.
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#6
DDI and T&T
1,341 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by monkeyinhat
Bumping this up, as I would like the info



Is is easy to get a cab back to the ship?

Thanks for any info.
I cannot give you a cost on a cab as I have never used one.
It's about a 20 - 25min drive. If I had to guess I would say $25 U.S for up to 4 people one way. Yes it is easy to get a Taxi back to the ship or you can get the same cab to come back for you at an arranged time. Last time I went to Pigeon Point the entrance fee was $15.00 TT.
Remember $1.00 U.S = $6.30TT but in the tourism industry they round it off to $1,00 = $6.00 flat.
Always ask the taxi what currency is he quoting you.
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Goneclear
Trinidad & Tobago.
#7
Murphy, Texas
481 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Dabear, who did you dive with in Tobago? How did you get to their shop? Which dive sites? We are thinking of taking the Millennium that docks in Tobago and want to dive but not sure if it's worth it.
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#8
College Station, TX
3 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
We went horseback riding & ocean trekking (rode out into the ocean!).

We had a great time: the horses were well behaved, the owner was kind and helpful, and the ocean was beautiful. We also saw a sting ray and flying fish in the bay as we rode! (site: http://www.friendshipridingstables.com/)

The taxi driver had a little bit of a hard time finding the place (missed the sign), but was able to call the owner and find it (taxi ride was <20 and cost $40 total + tip roundtrip).
#9
Rhode Island
2,761 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Initial ride out is over underwater "gardens" in the glass-bottom boat. It anchors outside the reef and then you snorkel - lots of fish (including species like cuddle fish, trumpet fish, etc.). sea fans, branch coral, barrell sponges, and a concentration of some of the largest brain coral in the world. It operates out of The Blue Waters Inn. Since it is on the Atlantic side, expect more current than on the Caribbean side. Definitely recommended.
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#10
Wisconsin
138 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Originally posted by scubamargie
Dabear, who did you dive with in Tobago? How did you get to their shop? Which dive sites? We are thinking of taking the Millennium that docks in Tobago and want to dive but not sure if it's worth it.

Diving is excellent in Tobago. I spent a week there and there were no bad sites. Speyside is a little better, but it is also on the other end of the island and is like 2 hour drive. But we dove Mt Irving, Bucco and some areas off past the airport by scars. We went with Big Dougie, but be prepared, they work on island time. We would show up a 8 am and not leave the shop till after 9 am (It was in our condo rental complex at least)
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#11
Sharon, MA
17 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
just returned from tobago-went diving in speyside-it was an hour drive from where the cruise ship docked. the drive was nausea producing-hairpin curves. used world of watersports and had issues-they told us they would pick us up at 9AM;we were outside the port at 9am, man came up to me-said my name, said that the other divers had left and he would drive us to the dive shop. We were supposed to dive in the south but the seas were too rough so we were driven up to speyside. the dive shop said that transfers to and from ship were included. long story short, when the person returned us to the ship, he told us it would be $120 for the trip. We called the dive shop, explained the problem, they told us they would call back, they didnt, we called them back, explained problem again, they hung up on us and they stopped picking up the phone. had to pay the driver so we could get our dive gear and we are in the midst of disputing the charge with the dive company. diving at speyside-drift dive, strong currents, had trouble equalizing on second dive, divemaster asked if i wanted to surface and i said no vigorously. divemaster took my hand and was pulling me down but i pulled my hand free so i could continue to equalize my ears. eventually ears equalized and enjoyed the dive.
#13
72 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
My sister and I just got back from a Celebrity cruise that included a stop in Scarborough. Tobago was one of my favorite stops. The seas were very rough and those that went to the beach returned to the ship and hated the stop. We booked a 4xx jeep excursion and had the best time. We were the only ones from the ship on the excursion, the rest were from the islands resorts. Three jeeps, off we went. Local drivers, up high into the jungle, hiked to a waterfall without nobody else around for a swim, took in some old sugar mill ruins, looked for caymans (yes, we saw them too), and had a fantastic day. $70 USD per person, included lunch, which was tuna or cheese on locally made coconut bread. If you have finicky eaters, bring your own food. They also had plenty of cold water, soda, etc. The abundance of wildlife was truly amazing. If you are interested, here is the link:http://www.yes-tourism.com/tours7.htm They had us back to the port by 3pm, well before the 430 all aboard time. (But, you have to get off and meet them at 8am)

Fab is the owner and was one of the drivers. Belle will email you all the information, she's very sweet. I would do this tour again and again we had so much fun.
#14
46 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by scubamargie
Dabear, who did you dive with in Tobago? How did you get to their shop? Which dive sites? We are thinking of taking the Millennium that docks in Tobago and want to dive but not sure if it's worth it.
Hi. I just got back and dove with R and Sea. They were very accomodating and the dive master Leslie was great. Current was strong and visibility not the best but was still a great dive-continuous floor of coral and tons of life. Wendy the owner picked me up at the dock and dropped me off. Talking to Leslie there are a wide range of sites to choose from depending on your experience.
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#15
382 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
About 5 years ago, we also had a long port day in Scarborough. We picked up a taxi just outside the cruise centre and had it take us to Buccoo. (for the budget conscious, we were told later that the taxi would have cost less had we hailed it from the road).

There, we connected with a locally owned and operated glass boat tour. As it turned out, there were only 6 people, plus the three crew, on the tour. We had brought our own snorkelling gear but there was also some on board if needed.

We were taken to a number of parts of the reef and also to the nylon pool. Parts of the reef were marvellous and parts were suffering from irresponsible tourism (example...the very crowded glass bottom boats from Pigeon Point some of whose guests and operators were actually standing (!) on the reef). The tour was relaxed and the guides were great - excellent value for money and hugely less than going with an organized tour. To our chagrin, a couple of the other tourists did not tip the guides at the end of the trip...bad form.

We also had time for a swim after the tour on the nearby beach.

We had arranged a time for our taxi to pick us up and the driver was right on time...good thing we had arranged it because we saw no others and it's a good 20-30 minutes or so to the port.

hope this helps

p.s. I'm not going to cite prices because they will have changed since we were there.
#17
Niskayuna, New York
1,920 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Macroni - did you go to Pidgon point beach on your own or thru a ship's tour? did you have any difficulty getting a taxi there or back? Cost? Thanks. Vicky
#18
Ewing, NJ
278 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Just back from Summit. Walked off the ship and got a cab to Pidgeon Point. It's $20 US for the cab (each way). Our driver came back for us, but cabs were available there as well. It cost $3 pp to enter and $2 per lounge chair (hard plastic, no pads, not comfortable, and they ran out before 11 AM, so take extra towels for a cushion and get there early.) From the beach, you can get a boat out to the reef to snorkel $15, but there is no snorkeling from the beach.
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#19
355 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by sunfl0wer
Just back from Summit. Walked off the ship and got a cab to Pidgeon Point. It's $20 US for the cab (each way). Our driver came back for us, but cabs were available there as well. It cost $3 pp to enter and $2 per lounge chair (hard plastic, no pads, not comfortable, and they ran out before 11 AM, so take extra towels for a cushion and get there early.) From the beach, you can get a boat out to the reef to snorkel $15, but there is no snorkeling from the beach.

$20 per person for the cab each way or $20 for each cab? If for each cab, how many can fit in a cab?

As for snorkeling at the reef, do they provide equipment or do you bring your own? And is the $15 boat per person as well? Could you swim to the reef or is it too far?

How was the snorkeling?

Thanks!!
#20
Ewing, NJ
278 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
It was $20 for the cab (4 people were $5 each). There were also vans for larger groups. Snorkeling was $15 per person (medium size boats for ~30 people). You can not swim to the reef, and the swimming area is restricted by ropes to keep swimmers separated from boats and jet skis. Equipment is available, but I don't know if it was included (we had our own). Snorkeling had a large variety of coral, not very interesting fish. Currents can be strong.
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Bethanne



1989, 1990 Royal Viking Star; 1991 HAL Noordam; 1992 Royal Odyssey;
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