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just one day...

Gorham, Maine
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just one day...

So, we're taking our first cruise (after 13 trips to the Caribbean). One of the stops will be in Tortola (Road Town). What are people's recommendations for what to do during our stop?

Our plan for most islands is to make our own way to a beach (maybe two) for the day and just relax. Is there a beach recommendation and a way to get there (cab, bus, rental car)?

Our overall goal is rest, relaxation, swimming, enjoying amazing scenery. (We'll leave history and culture for when we can spend extended time on an island.)

So - thoughts? Suggestions? Bring it on! :-)

Thanks!

-Cruisin' Dragon

North Pole, New York
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1. Re: just one day...

See my reply in the thread titled "taxi from cruose port to Smuggler's Cove", that would be my recommendation for Tortola. Taxi prices are also listed there.

Edited: 06 November 2011, 22:45
Gorham, Maine
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2. Re: just one day...

Great information there! Smuggler's sounds awesome.

Anyone prefer Cane Garden Bay? Why one over another?

Thanks!

Tortola Bound Dragon

Boston
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3. Re: just one day...

When we go there for the week, we stay at CGB as it is the best base on the island IMO, but when cruise ships are in it is overrun with people. However, if you do go there, you can go to the left side (as you are facing the water) and there are not too many people there. Also, there is not much decent snorkeling on CGB. There is also a beach at Long Bay which is ok - the one on the west side of the island, not by the airport - but that beach is nice as well. Smugglers is harder to get to and there are much less cruise ship people but it has been discovered so will not be empty, but it is a very nice beach.

If you are in RTown you might want to visit the spice shop. It is called Sunny Caribee - they have a website. They have some great stuff.

Enjoy!

North Pole, New York
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4. Re: just one day...

Yes CGB is a large bay with several beach bars/restaurants, we spent a week there to be in the middle of the action for happy hours and just limin' and we like it there for that experience, but moreso in the evenings. CGB is a deep, roomy beach but not a beautiful beach, at least as compared to Smuggler's.

Smuggler's is a more secluded (and therefore natural) beach with great snorkeling and no beach bars, just Patricia and Nigel, and Patricia just has a bbq grill and everything is kept in coolers. And the only restrooms are portapottys so it is a much less developed beach. But that's the beauty of it...

So CGB will be the destination of the majority who are looking for an easier trip, Smuggler's the destination of the few who want to snorkel or see a more natural beach. Similar to other areas (Roatan, Belize, Grand Cayman or Curacao for example) where there are similar choices.

Gorham, Maine
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5. Re: just one day...

I appreciate all the information. Sounds like I have quite the choice to make!!

Thanks!

-Limin' Dragon

Gorham, Maine
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6. Re: just one day...

Smuggler's sounds like our kind of place!

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: just one day...

Visited Tortola in January 2009 on a cruise port of call. Enjoyed taking a ferry over to Virgin Gorda to go snorkeling & exploring the rock formations at "the Baths". A good day trip, very reasonably priced.

Boston
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8. Re: just one day...

The Baths is definitely an options or you could go to VG and rent a car and go to some amazing places for the day and avoid the cruise crowd altogether. How long will you be in port? I would not do that unless you had quite a bit of time.

Gorham, Maine
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9. Re: just one day...

Hi Saffie - We are in Tortola from 9-6 on Saturday January 7th. Thought about VG and the Baths, but figured we were on Tortola for the day and we should enjoy that island. We LOVE the VI's will be there again and again on land based trips, the baths are high on our list of must dos.

Are you familiar with the beaches of Tortola?

North Pole, New York
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10. Re: just one day...

The Baths are definitely worth the visit at least once. But you're right, do that on a land-based trip so you have more time to enjoy the rest of VG

I can give you a feel for some of the Tortola beaches since we've stayed on the island a few times. You may already know Cane Garden Bay is a beach restaurant mecca (at least for Tortola, not like Orient Beach on St Martin or other busier spots but the main bay for happy hours). Nice spot to enjoy yourself but not the beautiful beach and water you'll see in Smuggler's. Popular mooring bay for dinner and entertainment.

We drove to Trellis Bay to see that and we were really disappointed after reading various reviews.We enjoyed the fish sandwich at the Cyber Cafe and the Loose Mongoose is fun but the bay itself didn't do much for us. They have the fireball parties at night but we're always staying on the west side so too far to drive "home". Scrub Island Resort and Marina Cay are a short ride out and I would like to go to Marina Cay sometime. I think Trellis is a popular mooring spot because it's so well protected and because of Marina Cay and Scrub.

http://www.b-v-i.com/trellis.htm

Long Bay (Beef Island) is very nice but can be crowded with locals and no facilities there.

Long Bay (Tortola) is beautiful as well, very nice long picture postcard you see in all the mags. Great spot to take a lunch basket and watch the pelicans dive, less rocky to the right. Good view of the Heritage Inn perched on the cliff on Windy Hill where we last stayed. The Long Bay Resort offers day passes to cruisers.

But Smuggler's is the spot for us - beautiful water and view of Jost, powdered sugar sand, and Patricials grill - can't beat that! Check the latest copy of Caribbean Travel & Life for Tortola pics, especially of Smuggler's.

Perhaps saffie or someone else can give you a good feel for Brewers and Josiahs (surfing beach) as we have yet to make it there because we like Smuggler's so much! When on i'lan try a happy hour at the Bananakeet (Heritage Inn) and a dinner at Sebastian's. These are 2 of of our favorite sunset spots on Tortola.

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