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View Full Version : 4/25 to Tortola/St. Thomas, can I do it without shore excursions?


Roveer
01-20-2009, 04:14 PM
This is our second Disney Cruise. Our first was a 4 night which stopped in Nassau. We quickly learned that our family (2 adults, 4 kids, 10,7,4 & 2) are not all that much into shopping and we are a bit young for the bigger shore excursion activities. I think when everyone is a little older that will come. Truth be known, if I was going back to Nassau, I'd either stay on the boat and enjoy everything because the crowds were all off the ship, or go over to Atlantis and pay to use their beach etc. That was the lesson learned.

My question is this: We are going to Trotola/St. Thomas/St. John on the 4/25 sailing and want to know what we can do without having to sign up for a formal shore excursion. I'd like to go and see something beautiful with the whole family, but not have to pay $59 per adult and $39 per kid. We are paying enough for the cruise. I'd love to go to one of those high vistas and enjoy the sights. I wouldn't even mind paying for the transportation.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to fill our day on Tortola and our day on St. Thomas? I'd love to get this all planned out and then be ready to be flexible when the time comes.

Any ideas will be very helpful!

Thanks,

Roveer

sandyam76
01-20-2009, 04:51 PM
We went to St Thomas last January and took the island tour, went to Coki Beach, Magens Bay, literally drove around the entire island, went to the hightest point in the island....the views were amazing!! I beleive we paid $25 per person.....and we didnt make a reservation....we just decided to do the tour when we got off the ship! Best of luck!! Its a beautiful island....and the tour guide was very knowledgable!!:thumbsup2

sunburnin
01-20-2009, 05:02 PM
I'll be there and was having the same thoughts. I have my DS6 and DD4 with us so we can't do any of the 5+ activities. Bummer because we really wanted to see the Baths but my daughter would stuggle there.

Anyway, my wife and I were in the BVI and Tortola 7 years ago pre kids and LOVED it! We stayed at Cane Garden Bay after our fun windjammer cruise.

For this trip, I'm thinking of doing my own thing on St Thomas - perpaps a cab to the coral reef exhibit place and Coci beach (cheaper on own) and probably the sky ride too. However, we might do the butterfly farm for my daughter instead, but haven't made up our minds yet. Therefore if we do an excursion on Tortola, that'll be our only one for the cruise. We'd like to do JostVanDyke! It's pricey but a fun boat ride and beach day for the kids. If we do that I'll definitely do it through disney since its a ferry ride - just feel safer if Disney knew where we were and were responsible for us. Otherwise a cab ride to Cane Garden Bay is highly recommended (and might be out choice too). I'd skip the cruise excursion for that. Get a cab, enjoy the awesome ride and just hang at the beach. There are several nice restaraunts (casual) right on the beach, a small shop, and one of the best beaches I've ever been too.

Not sure if that helps, but there's lots to do on Tortola on your own!!! And from what I read in Passporter, it sounds like most of the stuff is cheaper to do on your own on St Thomas too.

See you on the Magic!!!

kcashner
01-20-2009, 05:13 PM
St. Thomas you can definitely do without excursions.

My favorite for young kids would be to take a cab to Coral World/Coki Beach. There are discount coupons for Coral World available on line and in the tourist magazines at the booths at the dock. Cabs are readily available. Coki Beach is a nice, family friendly beach right across the parking lot from Coral World. It's free. Coral World has an aquarium, a kid's hands on area (touch a nurse shark, etc. with supervision), an underwater viewing area, hiking trails, snack bar, gift shop, etc. You can do whatever you want and can come and go from the beach. Doing it on your own is cheaper and easier than doing it thru DCL and lets you have as much beach time as you want.

The butterfly farm is another nice place for kids, but if you could only do one, go for Coral World because of the beach.

Kalypso
01-20-2009, 06:04 PM
Tortola is like my home away from home :) My husband and I charter a sailboat there and sail the BVI every year at least once! It is a little piece of heaven.

Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go with the rest of the folks to Cane Garden Bay when there are cruise ships in Road Town.

In general, you can get almost anywhere on Tortola for about $20/pp in a cab -- one way. That being said....if you skip all the taxis gathered at the dock and meander your way to the taxi stand by the Road Town ferry dock - just walk to your left, through the flea market as you get off the ship -- the ferry dock is across the street from Pusser's and there's a taxi stand right there.

I would recommend taking a taxi over to Trellis Bay for the day. Pack your beach bag, a towel, etc -- and head on over. Grab something to eat for breakfast at Da Loose Mongoose and hang out for a while -- there's also a free ferry service from Trellis over to Marina Cay -- which is GORGEOUS. Lovely beach, beautiful water, there's a Pusser's and a Pusser's Store on Marina Cay -- you can get yourself a painkiller (best rum drink in the universe) or 2 or 3...and just tell your taxi driver to meet you back at Trellis Bay in time to get you back to the ship.

You could also opt for heading over to Brewer's Bay for the day -- it's the beach right before you get to Cane Garden Bay -- also absolutely beautiful and might not be quite as crowded as Cane Garden -- there are limited places to park yourself as there is really only one beach bar so there's not a ton of beach chairs (if any) that might be available.

You could also opt for taking a taxi over to Long Bay Beach Resort if you wanted more of a "full service" atmosphere.

I would opt for a day at the beach any way you look at it on Tortola -- there are just too many beautiful ones!

Kalypso
01-20-2009, 06:05 PM
sunburnin' -- Jost is a great suggestion as well. Just got to love White Bay! There's nothing quite like a painkiller from the Soggy Dollar Bar!!:cool1:

Kalypso
01-20-2009, 06:08 PM
sunburnin' -- when were you on Windjammer? Which ship? We got married on the Mandalay...

Windjammer RIP :(

CHES94
01-20-2009, 06:42 PM
You can definitely do both on your own. I was just in St. Thomas/Tortola the first week of December.

Of everywhere I went, Trunk Bay, St. John was the most gorgeous place I have ever seen in my life. It was an easy 15 minute ferry from Red Hook, St Thomas to St John (12$ round trip) and then a 20$ round trip taxi to Trunk Bay.

Tortola I spent the day walking around just looking at the sights. Pussers was a great restaurant on the waterfront. To die for key lime pie (didn't know real key lime wasn't bright green:confused3 ).

The 2008 Frommers Virgin Islands was invaluable for touring on your own.

Hope this helps!

sunburnin
01-20-2009, 09:01 PM
sunburnin' -- when were you on Windjammer? Which ship? We got married on the Mandalay...

Windjammer RIP :(

Excellent!!!!

We were on the Poly pirate: in 99 for our honeymoon to St Lucia. Again on the Poly in 2001 to St Martin/St Barts. Last on the Yankee Clipper in 2002 to the BVI. We loved them and I know my wife's been dying to get back to the Carribean.

So...... what better way than on a Disney Cruise with the kids! Everybody wins. Windjammer was sooo much fun and I hope someone else comes out with that small scale, laid back style again. But it definitely wasn't kid friendly. I'm already scoping out a 2010 DCL cruise to St Martin. :)

Sorry for the hijack OP! But your in good hands here in this thread with Tortola info! I'll take the previous advice that if there are multiple ships in port, CGB could be packed. We never saw it that way when we were there for 3 days (in a beautiful little secluded house with a 2 minute walk to the beach. The other beaches recommended are just as good! :beach:

Come to think of it, Road Town is far much nicer than Nassau so you'll be fine there too. If I recall the nicer shops were further away from the docks. Lots of art! :artist:

jship210
01-21-2009, 07:39 AM
Tortola is like my home away from home :) My husband and I charter a sailboat there and sail the BVI every year at least once! It is a little piece of heaven.

Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go with the rest of the folks to Cane Garden Bay when there are cruise ships in Road Town.

In general, you can get almost anywhere on Tortola for about $20/pp in a cab -- one way. That being said....if you skip all the taxis gathered at the dock and meander your way to the taxi stand by the Road Town ferry dock - just walk to your left, through the flea market as you get off the ship -- the ferry dock is across the street from Pusser's and there's a taxi stand right there.

I would recommend taking a taxi over to Trellis Bay for the day. Pack your beach bag, a towel, etc -- and head on over. Grab something to eat for breakfast at Da Loose Mongoose and hang out for a while -- there's also a free ferry service from Trellis over to Marina Cay -- which is GORGEOUS. Lovely beach, beautiful water, there's a Pusser's and a Pusser's Store on Marina Cay -- you can get yourself a painkiller (best rum drink in the universe) or 2 or 3...and just tell your taxi driver to meet you back at Trellis Bay in time to get you back to the ship.

You could also opt for heading over to Brewer's Bay for the day -- it's the beach right before you get to Cane Garden Bay -- also absolutely beautiful and might not be quite as crowded as Cane Garden -- there are limited places to park yourself as there is really only one beach bar so there's not a ton of beach chairs (if any) that might be available.

You could also opt for taking a taxi over to Long Bay Beach Resort if you wanted more of a "full service" atmosphere.

I would opt for a day at the beach any way you look at it on Tortola -- there are just too many beautiful ones!

Just the person I was looking for....

We're set for the Tortola Cruise in Sept. just DW & I. Looking for a fun adult tour (no not that kind), perhaps a jeep tour of the island. Never been there and want to see alot, are these types of tours available?
Thanks!!

Jack :thumbsup2