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debr

Air Force One (Pappa Bear)

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Would like to hear from anyone that has recently taken any of Pappa Bear's (Air Force One) excursions. Since Mountain Top is gone, what do they substitute? Did you have a choice of beach stop?

 

Thank you

 

Debr

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I took Papa Bear's tour last month. Now that Mountain Top has burned down, he takes you to St Peter's Greathouse - the new home of the banana daiquiri. In some ways it's better than Mountain Top, because there's more to see on the property itself, and there's only one gift shop.

 

When I went, he was picking up passengers at Crown Bay, and one customer hurt herself trying to get into his safari, so Papa Bear was very concerned about her, and took us to the closest beach (Emerald/Lindbergh), so he could get back to the dock and inquire about the woman. He took us on a less traveled route so we avoided all traffic. Very good, informative tour.

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MS411,

 

Thank you for the information on Air Force One:)

 

Debr

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Anyone know approx how long he stops at the Greathouse? Time for a Daiquiri?

 

I took Papa Bear's tour last month. Now that Mountain Top has burned down, he takes you to St Peter's Greathouse - the new home of the banana daiquiri. In some ways it's better than Mountain Top, because there's more to see on the property itself, and there's only one gift shop.

 

When I went, he was picking up passengers at Crown Bay, and one customer hurt herself trying to get into his safari, so Papa Bear was very concerned about her, and took us to the closest beach (Emerald/Lindbergh), so he could get back to the dock and inquire about the woman. He took us on a less traveled route so we avoided all traffic. Very good, informative tour.

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It was quite a while, because he gave people time to tour the house, take photos, walk the short nature trail and have a daiquiri. At least 20 minutes, I think.

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It was quite a while, because he gave people time to tour the house, take photos, walk the short nature trail and have a daiquiri. At least 20 minutes, I think.

 

Thank you Ms411!!! 20 minutes eh? That's time for 'several' ;)

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We did the Sightseeing and Beach stop excursion with Airforce 1 on July 6, 2009.

I have just completed this long review.

Hopefully this will help to answer all of your questions.

 

 

Our tour began sharply at 9:30 am—with Armitage Allembert, otherwise known as “Papa Bear” as our guide. I believe everyone on this tour were Cruise Critic members.

 

The day was overcast and looked like rain as we made our way through Charlotte Amalie. We climbed up the hillside and stopped at a look out overlooking a bay where the Emerald Beach resort is located. Papa Bear explained that this bay used to be called Mosquito Bay but its name was changed to Lindbergh Bay, in honor of an aerial pilot that landed nearby in 1928. Papa Bear wanted us to remember that even though this beach is commonly referred to as Emerald Beach, its correct name is Lindbergh Bay!

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise480.jpg

 

We traveled a short distance and made another stop looking down on the Cyril E. King International Airport.

We learned a little about the history of the airport and how after a plane crash, the mountains were cut out to lengthen the runway.

 

IMG_0181.jpg

 

We also made a stop overlooking Dorothea Bay, located on the Atlantic side of St. Thomas.

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise486.jpg

 

Along the way Papa Bear showed us such plants as the Soursop—used to help cure insomnia and the Breadnut tree.

 

Soursop

CarnivalVictoryCruise488.jpg

 

Breadnut

IMG_0187.jpg

 

Papa Bear pointed out the beautiful flamboyant trees—presently in bloom with either brightly colored red or yellow flowers. He also picked some fresh Bay leaves for us to smell. We learned that Papa Bear’s mother used bay leaves as air freshners!

 

A yellow flamboyant tree

CarnivalVictoryCruise490.jpg

 

continues

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We stopped at the side of the road at the Solberg Overlook.

Here we got a great view of Charlotte Amalie and the two cruise ships in port—the Carnival Victory and RCI Grandeur of the Seas.

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise491.jpg

 

We could also see the Water Islands, where the wealthy reside! The home with the red roof is for sale—for only 4 million dollars!

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise495.jpg

 

 

continues

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Since Mountain Top was destroyed by fire in May, we did not go there. Instead we went to St. Peters Great House and Botanical Gardens, which Papa Bear said would offer us the same panoramic view. It is also the new home for the world famous banana daiquiri. We spent about ½ hour here.

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise496.jpg

 

We walked through the Great House which was built in the 1800’s. . .

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise501.jpg

 

. . .and got a view of the world famous Magen’s Bay, 1,000 feet below!

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise497.jpg

 

We walked along the boardwalk that winds through a nature trail and saw exotic plants, waterfalls and parrots.

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise502.jpg

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise509.jpg

 

Of course, we couldn’t leave without trying one of those world famous banana daiquiri’s!

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise511.jpg

 

 

continues

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From here, it was time to go to the beach. Papa Bear gave us a choice as to which Beach we would like to go too--Magens, Sapphire or Coki. We all decided to go to Sapphire Beach. On our way to Sapphire Beach, it began to pour, but by the time we got to the beach, the rain had stopped. We spent 2 hours here!

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise528.jpg

CarnivalVictoryCruise527.jpg

 

There were many large iguana’s running around on the beach. My youngest son was fascinated by them and enjoyed following them around.

He even had one of those friendly visitors come right up to him begging for Cheerios!

 

CarnivalVictoryCruise533.jpg

 

At 2:30 we boarded Papa Bear’s taxi and made our way back to the cruise ship pier. Papa Bear dropped off those that wanted to go shopping in Charlotte Amalie—the rest he took back to the terminal. We arrived back around 3:00 pm. Papa Bear was an excellent tour guide and an exceptional driver who really knows how to take care of his guests. He did not require payment until the end of the tour. He said that since our youngest son was so good, there would be no charge for him!

 

We had a wonderful day touring St. Thomas with Papa Bear!

 

 

The boys with Papa Bear from Airforce 1

CarnivalVictoryCruise541.jpg

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thank you so much for the great review about Papa Bear! We are booked for a tour with him in November and I do believe that we will all be cruise critic members on his tour also. After your review, I am very much looking forward to this tour.

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I'll be in St. Thomas for the first time and trying to figure out who to use for a local excursion, and have been looking at Papa Bear--I think your review is helping me make my decision...thanks!

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I too highly recommend Papa Bear. Glad to hear he has substituted St. Peter's Great House and that the home of the Banana Daiquari is now located there.

 

Bon Voyage

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We just took a tour with Papa Bear on Sept 30th, 2009 and he was AWESOME!!! He was very prompt (9:30am) ,waiting for us in front of Disney Magic. Papa Bear is very friendly, funny and informative gentleman. He takes pride in his work and takes great care of his clients. With his tour we have learned a lot about St.Thomas, his tour was everything as described by dz63's post. We had a chance to take some unforgetable photos and try local fruit/soda. He was very prepared and even had written information about the fruit we were tasting and local events. Great House is not to be missed stop, what a beautiful view! Banana Daquiries were refreshing in hot sun, but nothing to rave about, had better. One word of caution, bartender was charging whatever price he wanted on Daiquiri because a family before us payed less then we did? I guess that was his tip! After our tour ended we opted to go to Megan's Bay Beach and it was BEAUTIFUL. Calm water, NO vendors, beautiful sandy beach and million dollar endless views. This beach is perfect for families with little kids. Reason: Shallow, even water entry, sandy bottom with no rocks or seaweed and if you are too hot you can have a nice shade with picnic table. Worth paying $4 per person. Best tour ever! Book him (Papa Bear), you won't be dissapointed. Wish I was still there...

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We just took a tour with Papa Bear on Sept 30th, 2009 and he was AWESOME!!! He was very prompt (9:30am) ,waiting for us in front of Disney Magic. Papa Bear is very friendly, funny and informative gentleman. He takes pride in his work and takes great care of his clients. With his tour we have learned a lot about St.Thomas, his tour was everything as described by dz63's post. We had a chance to take some unforgetable photos and try local fruit/soda. He was very prepared and even had written information about the fruit we were tasting and local events. Great House is not to be missed stop, what a beautiful view! Banana Daquiries were refreshing in hot sun, but nothing to rave about, had better. One word of caution, bartender was charging whatever price he wanted on Daiquiri because a family before us payed less then we did? I guess that was his tip! After our tour ended we opted to go to Megan's Bay Beach and it was BEAUTIFUL. Calm water, NO vendors, beautiful sandy beach and million dollar endless views. This beach is perfect for families with little kids. Reason: Shallow, even water entry, sandy bottom with no rocks or seaweed and if you are too hot you can have a nice shade with picnic table. Worth paying $4 per person. Best tour ever! Book him (Papa Bear), you won't be dissapointed. Wish I was still there...

 

 

Thanks for your review....this is the first cruise that we have booked independently and we were a little nervous about booking, but thanks to the nice people here at CC who are willing to share their opinions, we are feeling so much better about it! In this time of saving money, his tour certainly is cheaper than what NCL is offering as a comparable tour. We are really looking forward to our cruise in December. Hubby and I are both weary from work and the stresses of life and even a not a not so hot banana daiquiri sounds pretty good right now! :p

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If anyone see's Papa Bear anytime soon, please tell him that Sgt. Jeff said hello!! Henry Christopher from EEE Tours told me that he was asking how I was!!! What a nice man!!

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Sonny Liston Tours are the best and most fun on the Island.

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We toured with Papa Bear, July 6, 2009. (I posted our pictorial review a few posts back).

For those of you who would like to see more photos and even a few video clips of our day with Airforce 1, you can now view it on our YouTube video.

 

 

Carnival Victory—Our Day in St. Thomas with Airforce 1 Papa Bear

 

With Papa Bear as our tour guide, we saw many sites during our first port stop on our Southern Caribbean Cruise. We visited many overlooks including the Solberg Overlook, Lindbergh Bay and Dorothea Bay. We also went to St. Peter Great House and Botanical Gardens where we got a panoramic view of Magens Bay, 1,000 feet below. Our day ended with time to relax and swim at Sapphire Beach. Length 3:35

 

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We just returned from St Thomas and an excursion with PAPA BEAR! OMG, the tour was amazing! We could have not asked for better weather or a better guide. We started out a Coki Beach, which was crowed---there were 6 ships in port! However, the beach was CLEAN, and very nice! We then headed for SAPHIRE Beach! I fell in love with Saphire! We wished the day would not end! Snacked on $11.00 cheese burgers there were worth every penny! We then headed into town via all the great over looks and photo ops! Papa Bear dropped us for some shopping, but, we were too late------------the stores close promptly at 5! I wish we would have stayed at Saphire longer then! Papa Bear was wonderful, very knowledgable and he fit right in with our group; chatting it up with the kids and adults, sharing his knowledge of the island and also surrounding islands.

 

We highly recommend Air Force One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We will use them on our next trip to the island, which i hope is very very soon!

 

Shanna

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It's now been a few months since I was there---other than that, DITTO WHAT SHANNA SAID!

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It's now been a few months since I was there---other than that, DITTO WHAT SHANNA SAID!

 

We might even think of doing a few days at the MARRIOTT on the hill in St. THomas next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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We might even think of doing a few days at the MARRIOTT on the hill in St. THomas next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

WOW! That would be way cool!!!

 

St Thomas is beautiful, and loads more to see & do than what we have time for on a cruise stop

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