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About blue_water

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    10,000+ Club

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  • Location
    Finger Lakes & Mexico
  • Interests
    Travel, music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Southern & Western Caribbean

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  1. blue_water

    Tortola Tour

    Yes the drivers at the dock offer different affordable shared tours, some with a beach stop...A private guide is a great way to experience the island without a large group, but the shared safari taxi tours are great.
  2. I don’t personally know any drivers on VG so no help, sorry. I can tell you taxi drivers will work with you by dropping you at Savannah Bay and return to drop you at Spring Bay, while waiting for the crowds to thin out at the Baths, for example. The rates are cheap within the Valley area (~$5pp each trip), but if you are anchored off the North Sound it would be more expensive. I’d suggest also posing this question in the Virgin Gorda forum on TripAdvisor as experts there may have a name for you.
  3. We’ve not taken these but both are highly recommended - Look at Captain Pat and the Independence, If not available Catania. We have been on the 65’ New Horizons schooner out of Sapphire Marina, they go out from 10 - 4 and often take day visitors (cruisers) out. The itinerary includes mooring off Honeymoon Beach in Solomon/Caneel Bay with a fabulous Italian lunch and their famous “Nooner” drinks. If there in good weather you can also dinghy to the beach if you want. Then anchor off Great St James before returning to the marina. Great day and vert inexpensive...check to see if anything has changed since Irma...they also offer day sails to the BVI as does another outfit if you have a longer port day but that is a little pricier due to higher customs fees.. http://adventuresstjohn.com/ Note that these are all mono hills and not cats but are highly recommended. https://www.sailingvirginislands.net/ https://cataniayachtcharters.com/ For cats look at Sweet Pea, we’ve not used them but have read good reviews...
  4. We’ve taken neither, but from the descriptions I can see there are two options - On the 4.5 hour “Virgin Gorda and the Baths” excursion you ferry 30 minutes to the Virgin Gorda marina near Spanishtown, taxi to the Top of the Baths, and walk down a natural foot path to the shore, repeating that for the return. On the 3.5 hour “Virgin Gorda Baths & Snorkel” excursion you boat directly to a mooring field 50 - 100 yards from shore and swim in to walk through the boulders. You do not go on the island. Be aware the swim in can be extremely difficult for weaker swimmers depending on sea conditions (swells, rip tides, etc). Some operators have a dinghy for those not wanting o make the swim in and back... You can also also go on your own, if in port 9 hours or more you can work with a taxi driver on VG to avoid the biggest crowds. You can find a lot more details on all 3 of these options in this forum if you use the Search function or just look at previous threads...:)
  5. blue_water

    Tortola Tour

    Please read previous threads on this topic, there is a wealth of info throughout this forum. You can use the “search” function and quickly find information on group island tours, and also on private guides like AC’s Taxi. Any questions after please come back! 😊
  6. “And/or”? Or both? With your early departure I’m sure you can take an organized group tour and see some of the historic spots with maybe a little time to relax at a beach. We’ve not used organized tours but others can recommend independent tour guides. You can also find tons of info on tours in this forum just by using the “Search” function. If you are more interested in a beach just hop a taxi to the beach you choose based on your research.
  7. Are you trying to decide which option you want? 🤔 😊 As mentioned it really depends on the experience you want: A busier beach vibe of Trunk with your fellow cruise mates, beginner snorkeling and more amenities? Laid back beach vibe of Honeymoon (or Hawksnest) with few fellow cruise mates? Or the ultimate cat sail with a small group and snorkeling? The Champagne Cat sail is also a great day in your first (or 10th) visit... Choices!
  8. Yes it’s strange no discussions here...and the min. age is indeed confusing...
  9. Yes the La Casa excursion is still offered through Carnival and HAL. Most descriptions state small groups (~16 ppl) and min age = 18, but HAL’s lists 8 yrs...so you’d need to investigate more.
  10. La Casa Beach Retreat, have not done this one through the cruise line but it looks looked the ultimate adults-only getaway...
  11. Same as CGB, $8pp each way via shared safari taxi. Can’t help with the lounges/umbrellas. Nicole’s is the only beach bar, they were just serving drinks until recently when the kitchen was reopened so now food and drinks are available. Nice change from CGB...
  12. Agree, consider returning for a land visit to the Yucatán to enjoy the history and archeological sites...
  13. With your 10 hrs in port I would have suggested one of the better snorkel sites on STJ, but these do not have nice beaches...
  14. I have not snorkeled Lindqvist but have read the snorkeling is decent, and you get a gorgeous beach there. It was a very quiet beach with that old Carib vibe and is arguably still the nicest beach even though being developed for visitors by adding restrooms. So the question is how crowded will it be since cruise lines offer excursions there with lounges and drinks, I’m reading... So between the two, my vote is Lindqvist (Smith Bay Park). BUT also take a look at Cowpet Bay/Elysian Beach, many have reported good snorkeling there, and although there are condos, there are no amenities to attract your fellow cruisers. The beach bar is currently closed. Check reviews on Trip Advisor and elsewhere from Elysian condo guests, etc on snorkeling and beach conditions since Irma and Maria.
  15. Ok, unless you want to take the time to rent a Jeep and drive to Smuggler’s Cove, Brewers is your best option. Second most popular beach for cruisers, easy 8pp shared safari taxi with a beach bar, but still much less crowded than CGB and a nicer beach with snorkeling... And for a less crowded beach and possibly some snorkeling, Long Bay, West End is a beautiful long, picture postcard beach actually pictured in several mags (as is Smuggler’s). LB should be less crowded, and unsure about snorkeling but I know it is rockier to the left and center as you face the water. Great views and diving pelicans here...There is a Tropical Fusion restaurant nearby that opens ~11, and you will see a small store as your taxi passes Sebastian’s restaurant and hotel before going over the knoll to LB. So in case you can’t get a taxi back from Long Bay for some reason, you can walk over the knoll back to the store to call a driver, one actually lives right nearby. Probably $12pp taxi to LB... Smuggler’s is a short drive on an unpaved road past Long Bay and it’s been awhile since I’ve driven t it but guessing 2 - 3 km...not sure if any drivers will take you and return for you...But our favorite gorgeous and uncrowded beach with decent snorkeling and probably Nigel selling cold beer and grilling... You sound like us and I’ll vote for Smuggler’s. Let us know what you enjoyed!
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