We will be visiting Tortola, BVI as a port of call on our September cruise with CCL Legend.
We just received our cruise documents from CCL and under the itinerary there is a Note for Tortola that says "Operational Stop for Virgin Gorda tour debarkation only". What does this mean?
Are we not allowed off of the ship unless we have a scheduled shore excursion. Can't we get off an explore on our own, go to the beach, whatever?
This is the first I've seen any reference to this in the year I've had this cruise booked.
This is one of those questions that is best asked of the cruise line.
However, I have been involved in situations where a ship will pull up at pilot station of a certain port, a tender will tie up alongside, and those going on tour will transfer to the tender and go ashore at that port for the tour. The ship will then continue on to its next nearby stop, and after the tour the participants will be taken by motor launch, hydrofoil, etc., to the ship. Virgin Gorda and Tortola are close enough for this scenario to be carried out, and I suspect something like this is what's going on.
PS. . .The major attraction on Virgin Gorda (aside from the Strawberry Daiquiris at the Bitter End Yacht Club) is the famous "Baths," which is probably where the tour in question goes (if my guess about the stop is right). That would make sense, because the Baths are on a relatively remote part of the Island. I remember going there on a sailboat when we just anchored off the beach, jumped in the water and waded to shore to visit the Baths. It's a remarkable and fun place, and really worth seeing, IMO more than anything on Tortola.
That is exactly what it means. The ship stops and a tender pulls up and take off those that have a shore excursion booked for that island through the ship. You are not allowed to get off with them as it is just the people going on that tour. As soon as they get on the tender the ship then continues on to the 'real' port. You can find your own tour once you get to the real port and they can take you back to that island but you are on your own as far as the ship is concerned.
It is basically nothing more than a time saving move for those that have booked a tour so they don't have to travel all the way over from the main port and back.