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Beware of the Tourist Trap Beach Chairs


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Anyone have any pictures of these free chairs?

 

They will be the loungers that are NOT in the first two rows closest to the water. They and the umbrellas are typically marked GTCC for Grand Turk Cruise Center and will be the same shade of green.

When you enter the beach area through Margaritaville or the cruise center, all the loungers you first encounter are the free ones.

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If uncertain where to sit when you arrive, one of the lifeguards could point out the free cruise center chairs. They are actually in much better condition than the ones sold by the vendors ( or they were in Nov. when we were there)

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Anyone have any pictures of these free chairs?

 

I suddenly noticed that the "cover" image for one of our music charter FB groups has a good view of it.

This was taken from near Margaritaville. The green umbrellas and loungers closest to the camera are the "free" ones and the umbrellas are marked. The mishmash of colors closer to the water are the ones the vendors rent.

 

Our ship was Independence of the Seas, probably the largest ship ever to make port at Grand Turk.

 

indy-at-gt.jpg

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I suddenly noticed that the "cover" image for one of our music charter FB groups has a good view of it.

This was taken from near Margaritaville. The green umbrellas and loungers closest to the camera are the "free" ones and the umbrellas are marked. The mishmash of colors closer to the water are the ones the vendors rent.

 

Our ship was Independence of the Seas, probably the largest ship ever to make port at Grand Turk.

 

indy-at-gt.jpg

Thank you!!!!

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  • 9 months later...
On 1/3/2018 at 4:26 PM, Iwantacruisenow said:

Just returned from our cruise and was a little disappointed with the beach chairs at Grand Turk. I thought I'd red a post that chairs are somewhat free at this port. That may be so but I never found one. Got off the ship, it was crowded! Went to find chairs but first vendor stated $25 per day for two chairs. Same with 2nd guy. In fact there were many vendors available right off the ship. Wound up getting a front row chair with a close up view of the cruise ships. Granted beach and water were great but would rather have open water. Interestingly another vendor came by and asked if we had paid and was somewhat intimidating. Decided to go for a walk down the beach toward the coast guard pier. As I walked, price went from $25 to $15 to $10 with less crowds and better view. We soon realized the view of open water was much better than that of the ship. Decided to write off the $25 in favor of nicer chairs at Reef Shark Bay and Grill. View of open water, beach service and free wifi. Chairs were only $15 and were nice. I highly recommend you try the local beer.

 

Lesson Learned: In Grand Turk if you want to sit on the beach in a nice chair walk further down the beach just off the pier. Don't fall for the tourist trap!

Thank you for your post.   It is my understand the chairs are free and the vendors are actually scammers.    Hopefully when we sail there in May 2020, these scammers will no longer be an issue.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/21/2018 at 3:15 PM, Hawaii697 said:

Thank you for your post.   It is my understand the chairs are free and the vendors are actually scammers.    Hopefully when we sail there in May 2020, these scammers will no longer be an issue.

 

This is not correct.  For whatever reason -- probably due to "public beach" rules and legal loopholes -- locals have been allowed to set up some loungers and umbrellas closest to the high-tide line in front of Margaritaville and charge for them.   They are not technically "scammers" since their presence there is, unfortunately, legal, and they own and set up those chairs that are closest to the water.   The easy solution:  pick a lounger and green umbrella further away from the water -- there's a photo of them above -- as those are owned by the Grand Turk Cruise Center and ARE free.   
Or, turn to the right as you exit the DuFry shop, as all of those loungers along the beach near the Beached Whale Grill are free.  It's also a lot quieter.  

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Just returned from our Christmas cruise which included Grand Turk.   There were plenty of fee chairs under the Green Umbrellas marked Grand Turks Cruise Center.  Once again behind crowded vendor umbrella's with view of a big Ship as in the photo above shows.  Walked further down to Reef Shark and got front row unobstructed view chairs at $15 for two.  Beach service to bring your drinks and watching the  beautiful crystal clear water was well worth it.  I highly recommend the conch fritters and wings here. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/3/2018 at 9:21 PM, Sojourner2 said:

There are some chairs operated by the cruise port that are free, they have green umbrellas with markings that identify them as such. They are located right next to the pier.

 

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I know this post is over a year old, but I just had an issue at Grand Turk.ALL the loungers and umbrellas are free! The locals there are just trying to rip us off. I just had this verified by John Heald at Carnival! They are looking into the issue to prevent it from happening again. All loungers right down to the water are free.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/12/2019 at 5:35 PM, grandmarnnurse said:

I know this post is over a year old, but I just had an issue at Grand Turk.ALL the loungers and umbrellas are free! The locals there are just trying to rip us off. I just had this verified by John Heald at Carnival! They are looking into the issue to prevent it from happening again. All loungers right down to the water are free.

John actually posted on 3/14 on his Facebook page only the green umbrellas are free.  I would screenshot but not sure how to attach. Perhaps he told you they were all free and got clarification later that only the green umbrellas are free. It goes to show how confusing this is to people even people who work at Carnival!

Edited by wilycoyote76
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9 hours ago, wilycoyote76 said:

John actually posted on 3/14 on his Facebook page only the green umbrellas are free.  I would screenshot but not sure how to attach. Perhaps he told you they were all free and got clarification later that only the green umbrellas are free. It goes to show how confusing this is to people even people who work at Carnival!

Yes, that is precisely what happened. I wrote to him, and he verified that they were all free. Then he must have investigated further and found that only the green umbrellas were free. Someone else has posted that back as recent as 2015, ALL the loungers and umbrellas WERE free, and he showed a pic of only green umbrellas with a larger swath of beach front free of loungers. What happened since, and became more pronounced every year since, was the locals bringing in their own loungers and umbrellas and placing them right smack dab in front of the green umbrellas. They have even been noticed taking some of the free, and moving them down to their area with their umbrellas, leaving even less for cruise passengers to enjoy free. We are back there twice next year on our B2B, and not sure what we are planning on doing. As senior citizens, we certainly are not going to wait in a hot line for hours for the “go ashore” call, and then sprint to grab a lounger. It’s totally not fair. On both RCCL and NCL private beach (Labadee and Harvest Caye) all loungers everywhere are free. Totally disappointed in the way this is handled. And, yes, I know, this is not a private island of Carnival, but wish it could have been maintained as it once was. The same goes for Amber Cove. We were never able to get loungers with umbrellas. You have to literally run to get a choice spot. 

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Personally I wish Carnival would abandon Amber Cove and Grand Turk.  They are both basically worthless stops only for Carnival to gouge you at their cruise ports.   There is no beach at Amber Cove unless you go outside the port area, which is fine.  The only really good thing to do there is the Waterfalls tour.  Do it once and no reason to go back.  Grand Turk is the same with a marginally fine beach with locals destroying the relaxation by cramming in so many more chairs to rent.  We snorkeled the Wall last time and that is a one and done excursion as well.  We will start looking at Cruises that skip these ports or at worst only stop at one.

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9 minutes ago, moondog73 said:

Personally I wish Carnival would abandon Amber Cove and Grand Turk.  

I guess to each their own, but I assume you are taking a "Caribbean Cruise" because you like beaches?   I love the beauty of the beaches at Grand Turk.  As i mentioned in previous posts, I don't mind paying $15 for a chair and umbrella with beach service at a bar called Reef Shark.  That is much cheaper than any tour offered by the cruise line.  Others have mentioned a beach within walking distance that rarely gets visitors, if you have kids, let them explore a shipwreck.   One of these days I'll venture there.  Anyway, the whole point of the post was to walk down further from the port to find a good (less expensive) spot to beach for the day. Yes, you might have to pay a small fee but totally worth it with the savings from a couple of drinks verses buying on the ship. The local beer is also very good.  If you have kids, the soda is cheap too.   

 

As for Amber Cove, the pool facility is so large I find it hard to believe one could not find a chair.  Okay, yes an umbrella does cost extra.  Usually there are some friendly cruisers standing in the pool anxious to talk with anyone.  Lots for kids to do as well.  The facility is free which given the paid tours is a great deal.  I find the facility is much better than any ship pool.  And sure, for a small fee you can go to the beach just off the cove if you prefer. 

 

Now compared to Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Sint Maarten & St. Johns  and even Cozumel where the only thing you can do is pay to be driven or taken somewhere, well gosh I just don't see why you would want to abandon these great places.   

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1 hour ago, Iwantacruisenow said:

 

I guess to each their own, but I assume you are taking a "Caribbean Cruise" because you like beaches?   I love the beauty of the beaches at Grand Turk.  As i mentioned in previous posts, I don't mind paying $15 for a chair and umbrella with beach service at a bar called Reef Shark.  That is much cheaper than any tour offered by the cruise line.  Others have mentioned a beach within walking distance that rarely gets visitors, if you have kids, let them explore a shipwreck.   One of these days I'll venture there.  Anyway, the whole point of the post was to walk down further from the port to find a good (less expensive) spot to beach for the day. Yes, you might have to pay a small fee but totally worth it with the savings from a couple of drinks verses buying on the ship. The local beer is also very good.  If you have kids, the soda is cheap too.   

 

As for Amber Cove, the pool facility is so large I find it hard to believe one could not find a chair.  Okay, yes an umbrella does cost extra.  Usually there are some friendly cruisers standing in the pool anxious to talk with anyone.  Lots for kids to do as well.  The facility is free which given the paid tours is a great deal.  I find the facility is much better than any ship pool.  And sure, for a small fee you can go to the beach just off the cove if you prefer. 

 

Now compared to Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Sint Maarten & St. Johns  and even Cozumel where the only thing you can do is pay to be driven or taken somewhere, well gosh I just don't see why you would want to abandon these great places.   

 

Trust me I am not cheap on vacation.  I never said I was not willing to pay for chairs, it is just that there are so many nicer places than Grand Turk to sit at a beach.  And Amber Cove, why leave home when i can sit at a pool for free.  I would take St Kitt's, St Maarten, Caymans, Aruba, Curacao, British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, or even beaches here in the states over Grand Turk and Amber Cove.  you may be satisfied with them, but we must have higher standards when it comes to ports/beaches. We will simply start looking for cruises that do not stop at those ports.  Problem solved!!!

Edited by moondog73
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Visited Grand Turk few days ago with the Caribbean Princess. It doesn't matter how early you get off the ship, it seems like all chairs belong to the locals, who did act a bit hostile. I started walking towards Jack Shack coz I have been there many years ago, and somewhere in the middle they offer me $15 for two chairs and umbrella. I said I only want one chair and no umbrella, since I was by myself. The price went down to $10. I decided to keep on walking so I got to a little more quite area just before Jack Shack and this lady let me use one chair for $5. That was fine. But as someone mentioned, all their umbrellas were in different colors and also sprayed to identify that those are the lady's chairs. I liked it that it was very quite, and there were no chairs to my left side. Just a big space in between the loungers. Finally I laid down and chilled 🙂

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  • 10 months later...

I'm resurrecting this thread because we just returned from Grand Turk last week and had an unpleasant experience with the locals and chair rentals.  My husband is handicapped and uses a transport chair.  I pushed him as far as I could and then went to look for chairs and an umbrella close to the water. I was approached by a guy who told me the chairs and umbrellas were $30.  We were traveling with two other adults and a 5 year old and I told him I would pay that if he gave me 2 more chairs.  He agreed and put a wristband on me.  I told him I had to go back to get my money and my husband and when I returned the guy wasn't there so we sat down thinking he would return with the two other chairs.

 

After about 10 minutes another guy came up and asked me if I had paid and I said no, I was waiting for the one who I originally talked to. To make the rest of the story short, the second guy got really nasty with me and told me I had to pay him and it was $40 for four chairs.  I told him to take a hike and he ripped the original wrist band off and went to get his supervisor.  The wristbands the second guy had were a different color than the one I had.  He wanted me to pay him and then he said he would go get wristbands.  I asked him if I looked stupid and told him I would pay him the $30 for two chairs after he gave me the wristband.  I ended up with two chairs, an umbrella, and my wristbands and we were left alone after that, but the guys along the beach are real jerks.

Edited by mek
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1 hour ago, mek said:

I'm resurrecting this thread because we just returned from Grand Turk last week and had an unpleasant experience with the locals and chair rentals.  My husband is handicapped and uses a transport chair.  I pushed him as far as I could and then went to look for chairs and an umbrella close to the water. I was approached by a guy who told me the chairs and umbrellas were $30.  We were traveling with two other adults and a 5 year old and I told him I would pay that if he gave me 2 more chairs.  He agreed and put a wristband on me.  I told him I had to go back to get my money and my husband and when I returned the guy wasn't there so we sat down thinking he would return with the two other chairs.

 

After about 10 minutes another guy came up and asked me if I had paid and I said no, I was waiting for the one who I originally talked to. To make the rest of the story short, the second guy got really nasty with me and told me I had to pay him and it was $40 for four chairs.  I told him to take a hike and he ripped the original wrist band off and went to get his supervisor.  The wristbands the second guy had were a different color than the one I had.  He wanted me to pay him and then he said he would go get wristbands.  I asked him if I looked stupid and told him I would pay him the $30 for two chairs after he gave me the wristband.  I ended up with two chairs, an umbrella, and my wristbands and we were left alone after that, but the guys along the beach are real jerks.

I totally agree! We are back there twice on a B2B in April, and I’m just going to avoid them.If no free loungers, I may walk down to Jacks Shack and have a cocktail. Margaritaville is too over priced.

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On 2/16/2020 at 4:34 PM, grandmarnnurse said:

I totally agree! We are back there twice on a B2B in April, and I’m just going to avoid them.If no free loungers, I may walk down to Jacks Shack and have a cocktail. Margaritaville is too over priced.

Here here!  We will be walking down the beach as well.  Grand Turk is walking a thin line - already so many people are not getting off the ship - if this keeps up, people will be avoiding the stop altogether.

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