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Old August 8th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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Default The Baths at Virgin Gorda, any good?

Howdy my cruise in December stops at St. Thomas and one of the things that seems to be around there is the Baths at Virgin Gorda. From the pictures this place looks amazing. So my questions for the people who have been here are is this place hard to get to? What's the best way to get there? Is it worth the time to go there? If not then what would you recommend? I don't want to be to crowded. Some people is fine but not wall to wall people. Thanks for your help.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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The Baths are one of the most beautiful and fun places in the Virgin Islands. They are "around" St. Thomas in that the British Virgin Island of Virgin Gorda is roughly 40 miles up the Drake Channel from St. Thomas.

We went there while on a week-long sail on a 55-foot teak sailboat. We either Zodiac'd or swam/waded in from the boat (can't remember). It's great. It's like a water slide for grownups, except that it's natural and in a beautiful setting.

I have no idea how cruise ships pull off such an outing, but it would be a wonderful way to escape the tackiness of St. Thomas.

And, if you can arrange a stop at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, they make the best strawberry daiquiris anywhere, especially after the fourth one!
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Old August 8th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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It's been a few years, but I remember going there via bus. If you have any mobility limitations, it is very difficult to climb down the steep hill to the beach, but it is worth it!
One of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. The day we were there several people got stung by jellyfish. They actually had a guy in hut on the beach dispensing vinegar.
If you are fit and adventurous, a climb through the caves is interesting if a bit claustrophobic.
Some of my best beach pics ever came from the Baths.

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Old August 8th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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The Baths are amazing and we love going there. However, as some have said, if your boat doesn't anchor at The Baths, then they'll dock a few miles away. In that case, you have to take a taxi and then it's quite a hike down to the water and a tougher hike back up. Then getting around is not real easy, so it's definitely not for those with mobility issues.

If you're taking a boat that anchors in the bay, then this is not such a problem.

But if you're going from St. Thomas to Virgin Gorda, it's not necessarily something I would recommend. Main reason is that it's about 1-1/2 hour boat ride each way and there are very few ferries that make the trip.

While there may be an excursion you can take, I'm not personally familiar with any of them. Perhaps someone else on here can relate to that.

It's definitely much easier and quicker to get to Virgin Gorda from Tortolla. We've done that a couple of times.

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Old August 9th, 2013, 01:54 AM
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Sadly our ship is going to St. Thomas and not Tortolla. The ship will be in port from 7AM to 4PM. Is it possible to get to The Baths at Virgin Gorda with that amount of time in port. Or would that be pushing things. As you can probably tell I'm not familiar with Caribbean ports. I saw a private excursion that went from St. Thomas to there. But it was set up for hotel guests and they don't have the time constricts I have. Thanks for your help. It does look wonderful.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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Someone else may correct me, but this is my experience about 5 years ago. First, if you enter the BVI from St. Thomas, you must go through BVI customs and immigration. You used to have to do this in Roadtown. Then take the ferry to Virgin Gorda. Then pick up a taxi to the site and as everyone said, climb down, etc. Yes, it is a magical site. Going back - exit BVI (requires exit fee and some kind of stamp) then first stop of ferry, St. John for US customs - everybody off with luggage, through the line and then back on ferry to St. Thomas.

In my honest opinion, you cannot make it unless there was some kind of special arrangement some tour company has that bypasses all of the stops in customs and slow ferries, ferry schedules, etc. I often go to St. John when my cruise is in St. Thomas - no problem, but BVI is another story due to customs, schedules and distance.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debp View Post
Someone else may correct me, but this is my experience about 5 years ago. First, if you enter the BVI from St. Thomas, you must go through BVI customs and immigration. You used to have to do this in Roadtown. Then take the ferry to Virgin Gorda. Then pick up a taxi to the site and as everyone said, climb down, etc. Yes, it is a magical site. Going back - exit BVI (requires exit fee and some kind of stamp) then first stop of ferry, St. John for US customs - everybody off with luggage, through the line and then back on ferry to St. Thomas.

In my honest opinion, you cannot make it unless there was some kind of special arrangement some tour company has that bypasses all of the stops in customs and slow ferries, ferry schedules, etc. I often go to St. John when my cruise is in St. Thomas - no problem, but BVI is another story due to customs, schedules and distance.
Thank you so much I didn't know about all the lines and fees and customs sounds to difficult for a day trip. I don't want to miss the ship. I notice Princess doesn't offer it as a shore excursion.

St. John is that a good place? Any beaches there you would recommend. I would prefer to avoid the large crowds.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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St. John is lovely! You can go over to the other side of St. Thomas, grab a water taxi, and go to St. John very easily.

If you like snorkeling, you will LOVE Trunk Bay!

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Old August 9th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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Hi Katlady, as you’ve already been notified by debp, its probably not a good idea to go to The Bath’s from St. Thomas unless it’s a ships excursion, which has been established that it is not. There are many beaches to visit on St. John…..all at a cost… all of them are great…for your first time there, I’d recommend a ship excursion.



That being said, you can do a trip there privately, but you must be ultra aware of the ferry schedules, ferry fares, taxi fares/schedules etc…… Plus, 2/3rds of St. John is a US National Park so some beaches require an entrance fee…..worth it, but just so you know to carry extra cash.



There are a couple of ways to get to St. John from St. Thomas, each has their own pros/cons, so you need to decide for yourself which one will work better for you. The main difference is when they get to/from Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook, one trip takes a lot longer than the other and the costs are different too.......in the end I think they equal overall, but its a personal decision.


Research is a must when planning an excursion like this. As others have stated, if you have any kind of mobility issues, this excursion is NOT for you....there is a lot of stairs, uneven ground, climbing and stooping involved. The last time I was there was in 2000 on our honeymoon. Now, remember this was before 9/11 so the "rules" were different in terms of passports/entraces fees etc..... What I've said above is based on Oct. 2000 information that I had at that time. Since its been nearly 13 yrs since then and times have changed,.........I'd recommend consulting with your airline and determining what is right for you at the time.


Michelle
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Old August 10th, 2013, 03:05 AM
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St. John's from St. Thomas is a much better option than going to Virgin Gorda. Wait til you get a cruise that goes to Tortola to do the Baths.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 05:49 AM
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I think you should suggest to your hubby that he plan a special 4 day land getaway for Valentine Day to take you to the Baths
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Old August 10th, 2013, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice View Post
I think you should suggest to your hubby that he plan a special 4 day land getaway for Valentine Day to take you to the Baths
I would but I have car payments now. Plus any land vacation we take would be to Hawaiian. So I could research my family history and hang on the beach.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for the advice I won't risk something like this. So I'll check out St. John. Trunk Bay sounds promising.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady View Post
Thanks for the advice I won't risk something like this. So I'll check out St. John. Trunk Bay sounds promising.
St, John's Trunk Bay Beach is awesome. You will love it.

TM
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Old August 11th, 2013, 03:03 AM
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Christopher Columbus discovered Virgin Gorda and he had alot of sailors from Portugal with him, so perhaps you have distant cousins there that you could visit
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Old August 11th, 2013, 04:11 AM
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Check out other beaches on St. John's other than Trunk Bay. There may be some better options there that are "less traveled."
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Old August 11th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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Not to be picky, but just for clarification and so there are no misunderstandings for those not familiar with the area, if you're referring to the island in the USVI (U.S. Virgin Islands), the name is St. John.

St. John's is the name of several cities located in many different places, but it is not an island in the Caribbean.

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Old August 11th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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How do you get to Virgin Gorda from Tortolla?
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Old August 12th, 2013, 02:29 AM
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There are water taxis as well as water ferries and shore excursions that offer transportation from Tortolla to Virgin Gorda.

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Old August 12th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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We have always used the ships trip method of visiting V. Gorda...Baths beach is really nice as people have said but a reasonable level of fitness is required to get down AND BACK UP the path.
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