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Shore Excursions Snorkeling, SCUBA, sightseeing - discuss ports and activities

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Old December 3rd, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Default Specific Excursion Questions- Eastern Caribbean

Hi, We're first time cruisers, will be sailing on the NCL Dawn to the E. Carribean.

We will be travelling with our 20 month old toddler and have some specific questions:

1. If we're not going with an official excursion, how long can we expect it to take before we are able to disembark?

2. We are docking in St. Thomas and would will take a taxi around the island and then would like to take a ferry to St. John. We want to see cinnaman bay and perhaps trunk bay. We dock at 11 AM and leave port at 7pm. Is this a realistic plan? How can we find ferry schedules?

3. When we dock in Tortola, we want to go to the Baths in Virgin Gorda. We would have liked to join the official excursion, but it requires a 50 yard swim to shore, which we cannot do with the baby. So we will have to get there on our own. Is this hard? How long does it take via ferry and taxi? How can we find the ferry schedule? Is it hard to get a cab back to the ferry in Virgin Gorda?

Thanks in advance for your help!

-Dan & Eve.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 06:59 PM
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I have only been to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, not Tortola, so I will answer questions about those 2 islands.

1. You will be able to get off the ship as soon as they allow passengers off. Since these are docked ports, (not tendered) there is no waiting to get off.

2. I don't think that this would be a good plan. I suggest that you do St. John first since it is the farthest away, and you are tied to the ferry schedule. (See www.vinow.com for info on these islands and the ferry schedules.)

Have fun planning!
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Old December 4th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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In St. Thomas a few months ago, everyone on board had to go to one of the ship's lounges and show their passports/birth certificates, etc. to officials from the island. Not sure why they did this, but it did result in some delays in getting into the port. Always assume that things will take a tad longer than is stated in the documents. At the very least, it takes some time just to get that many people through the doors!
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Old December 4th, 2006, 09:07 PM
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Hi danman21,

Welcome to Cruisemates!

1. If we're not going with an official excursion, how long can we expect it to take before we are able to disembark? I agree with Sheffie, you can get off the ship as soon as the ship is cleared for disembarkation.

2. We are docking in St. Thomas and would will take a taxi around the island and then would like to take a ferry to St. John. We want to see cinnaman bay and perhaps trunk bay. We dock at 11 AM and leave port at 7pm. Is this a realistic plan? How can we find ferry schedules? Again, I agree with Sheffie. Do St. John's first, then if you have time check out Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay.

3. When we dock in Tortola, we want to go to the Baths in Virgin Gorda. We would have liked to join the official excursion, but it requires a 50 yard swim to shore, which we cannot do with the baby. So we will have to get there on our own. Is this hard? How long does it take via ferry and taxi? How can we find the ferry schedule? Is it hard to get a cab back to the ferry in Virgin Gorda? Sorry, I can't help you with this one. But, if the boat can't pull into the area, I'm not sure there's any other option for getting there. I hope someone else can help you with this!

Re immigration at St. Thomas: If you go to a non US port before you go to St. Thomas everyone (baby included!), whether they're going ashore or not, will have to go through immigration very early in the morning (usually between 7 and 8 AM). They used to make everyone wait until the whole ship went through immigration, but on our last cruise we got a "ticket" saying we'd been through immigration and were allowed to disembark. St. Thomas, USVI, is a US territory so it's just like coming into any US port. It doesn't take long, but it is a pain to have to get up so early !

Have a wonderful cruise!
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