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blue_water

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About blue_water

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

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

    First Time In Tortola - Some questions??

    It really depends on what you want for your day as these are two very different choices. Patouche is an excellent tour operator, Joe gets rave reviews from everyone, and the stop at Cooper makes this day sail to the Baths a special one. I assume that rather than dropping you at the Virgin Gorda marina Joe will be mooring off the beach at the Baths and you will be swimming or dingying into shore to explore the Baths? Port Royal’s suggestion for Brewers Bay is right on if looking for a nice, quiet beach day with beautiful views. I would even consider Long Bay (West End) for a nice long, picture postcard beach that is walkable and has a restaurant. But having that much time in port opens your options considerably, most day visitors are limited to just going to a beach or taking an island tour. For that reason I would recommend taking advantage of Joe’s tour. You will have some time to enjoy beautiful Devils Bay beach on VG, as well as gorgeous Cooper Island beach. And yes, the Baths are a must for first-time visitors IMHO. And being able to arrive there as a smaller group makes the experience even nicer. That will be a story to share with fellow cruisers at dinner that evening, and for years to come!
  2. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    Great choice - no better way to enjoy the island!
  3. blue_water

    Secret River

    Is this the Rio Secreto cenote just south of Playa Del Carmen you are looking at? And are you docking in Cozumel? If so you will find reviews on the Coz forum from others who have taken that excursion.
  4. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    And of course you can just taxi to Brewers and ask a driver to give you a mini-tour on the return, including a stop at CGB. Drivers can be flexible between stops, and often have other couples interested in the same. So if you decide not to reserve a driver just ask at the info booth or ask drivers if one is able to return to Brewers early and accommodate you.
  5. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    “For” became “footprint” with spellcheck...
  6. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    Taxi fares are regulated on Tortola just as on most other islands. That doesn’t mean a driver will not work with you, but just realize there are published fares and hourly rates they should adhere to, especially when picking fares up at the port. The published hourly rate for a private tour with a licensed taxi for 6 ppl is $115 for 1 hr, $190 for 2 hrs, $265 for 3 hrs, and $340 for 4 hrs (+ tip of course). AC’s rate starts lower and ends up a little more footprint the 4-hour tour, but the reviews from friends for his service are exceptional. You will also find safari taxi drivers offering 3 - 4 hour tours you share with up to 20+ fellow cruisers, some including a lunch/beach stop (you pay for your lunch). These are very reasonably priced (~$25pp) and are a great way to experience the beauty of Tortola if you are there on a short day, or do not want to spend the day at a beach or two. Not a good option in your case. Because of the short time on a cruise stop and Tortola being one of the most beautiful islands, we would rent a Jeep (with insurance) for the utmost flexibility and hit a couple beaches while seeing the island. Tortola is pretty easy to drive, although there are some steep roads with sharp switchbacks. The next best thing is to arrange to meet with a driver like AC to make the most of your short time on the island, or call the taxi office and reserve a private driver. But there will be many drivers at the pier if you want to wait. The nice ladies at the information center would be very helpful in that case. Enjoy your day whatever you choose!
  7. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    NightOne again, it depends on what you after. If you want off-the-beach snorkeling there are two choices, but Brewers is the only practical option. The beach is sandy with rockier areas for snorkeling, and it is one of the most popular beaches for both snorkeling and just limin’ and enjoying the views. Nicole’s is open and has a rustic restroom. If snorkeling is less important and you want “nicer” amenities CGB would be the best choice. If you want to hire a driver (or rent a Jeep if in port long enough) you could visit both Smuggler’s Cove and Brewers Bay as they are just a 20 minute drive apart with CGB in between. But you will find Brewers to be gorgeous and will certainly be happy with your choice from that perspective. And unless you want to take one of the excellent day sails (Aristocat, Kuralu, etc) to the Indians and Norman Island caves for the best snorkeling, Brewers is your best option for off-the-beach snorkeling. Enjoy your cruise, and rest assured Brewers Bay is an excellent choice!
  8. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    What is dissuading you from Brewers? It is a bit more on the rustic side but gorgeous and offers a much less busy vibe as compared to CGB. If you want more options CGB may better fit you. Yes a driver will drop you at Brewers and wait. You can also hire a driver by the hour and visit beaches most day visitors never get to see including Long Bay (West End) and Smuggler’s Cove, as well as spots I mentioned to another poster. But these beaches will have few to zero amenities...
  9. blue_water

    WHICH IS NICER WATER COLOR AND BEACH

    Understand. That is unfortunate as self-excursions are the most common way to experience the beaches of St Thomas and St John, taxis and ferries are very timely and reliable. It’s not just about saving $$, you also get more time going on your own. Going on your own to Trunk you can include a nice island tour as well. If you must use a cruise line excursion look at the options for Magens Bay or Trunk, these are ok if your hands are tied. Note that the Trunk Bay excursion may include a 45-minute ferry from near the ship and can be a rougher ride. There is a third cruise line excursion that goes to Lindqvist Beach which is arguably the nicest beach on St Thomas. This is usually titled Secret Beach I believe. Compare and enjoy!
  10. blue_water

    WHICH IS NICER WATER COLOR AND BEACH

    Yes I read golfer’s post. Actually Magens doesn’t exhibit the gorgeous sapphire to emerald water colors we like because it’s more a sandy bottom. I recommended Sapphire because it offers those gorgeous sapphire to emerald colors (because of the different areas), as well as a beautiful beach with much more character, at least in our opinion. And it saves 2 - 2.5 hours of added travel time and an extra $28 to go to Trunk. Not recommending Sapphire over Trunk, but we prefer Sapphire and I’m sharing that with the OP. Sunlight is what brings out the best colors but not all bays are created equally!
  11. blue_water

    Can do Cancun from Cozumel on cruise excursion?

    Ok, nice port times to enjoy Coz, gorgeous beaches and snorkeling or diving if you are into that. You’ll find recommendations for great independent excursion operators on the Cozumel forum on trip advisor if you want to do something without talking a ship excursion. Cancun is a popular destination for land-based visitors - those staying at one of the many oceanfront or lagoon-side hotels, condos, and all-inclusive resorts. But not much there for a day visitor. Do some research on the resorts and see if flying into Cancun for a week in the future appeals to you!
  12. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    Sorry if I was unclear... I meant the non-safari truck taxis may charge $1 or $2 more pp simply because they are offering a more private experience than the shared “cattle car” type transport. But the fare should be the same but regardless of vehicle type. We normally drive when staying on the island so don’t have recent taxi experience. But when we did taxi in the earlier days the fare for two people in a van taxi was per the fee schedule. These taxis do not charge for unused seats, nor do they wait to fill up. They are like a taxi you would call or flag in any US city...
  13. blue_water

    Can do Cancun from Cozumel on cruise excursion?

    You didn’t provide your port times so it is hard to answer that. If you are in port from 7AM to 6 or 7PM you could get 3 - 4 hours in Cancun with a tour like that in the link below. But honestly I don’t know why you would even spend the time to go there. The hotel zone doesn’t have anything to offer to day visitors, nor does the town of Cancun. Look at options on Coz, or if time permits consider taking the 40-minute ferry to Playa Del Carmen and an excursion to one of the highlights nearby. https://www.cozumel-tours.com/private-cancun-tour.htm
  14. blue_water

    Travel Warning to Cancun

    Beautiful area with so many places to experience...interesting culture and history, and the people are wonderful!
  15. blue_water

    Tortola Taxis

    One van taxi will hold all 6 of you and you will find van and sedan taxis at the port. The ladies at the info center can also help you. Many day visitors choose these “private” taxis for a more comfortable ride. The fare should still be per the taxi fee schedule of $8pp for each leg, but the driver may charge a little more for the convenience of one taxi. Be sure to report back on your day!
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