We were a party of six, and five more people were booked on the outing. Eleven sounds like a lot of people for the boat, but it was a very comfortable sized group. And it was a lot smaller and more intimate than the majority of other excursion boats we saw, which all looked, to my mind, overcrowded. I prefer snorkeling in smaller groups, so this was perfect.
Perry and Carrie took us out on the Pirate's Penny for their "Classic Adventure" with snorkeling at the BVI Baths and a snorkeling stop at The Indians. Lunch in between at Cooper's Island was perfect. The crew quickly put everyone at ease, they were really attentive to the kids in our party, and they mixed great cocktails for the adults. They were full of really interesting historic info on the islands, from how the islands formed to pirate lore and even info on some of the interesting buildings along the shore, all without sounding like a third grade social studies lecture.
The snorkeling accommodated everyone, even people uncomfortable in the water. They had float belts for those who wanted to snorkel but were nervous and float beds for those who were VERY nervous and needed a much more secure way to enjoy the water. They even have snorkel gear on board for those who don't travel with their own.
In a nutshell, in our week and a half vacation, this was the best day I had. And when I go back to St. Thomas (or St. John) it will be part of my "must" list every time. Worth every minute and every penny.
> For the St. Thomas boarding, there is all-day paid parking at the Red Hook parking lot which serves the ferry terminal;
> The charter includes free drinks (water, soda, beer, mixed drinks - I strongly recommend the rum punch);
> Lunch is at a beach-front restaurant (lunch charges are not included in the charter price, so have money or credit card with you for that);
> You MUST have your passport. Virgin Gorda and The Baths, Cooper Island, Jost Van Dyke, the Indians - all are part of the British Virgin Islands. Access to the BVI requires an additional charge for customs which must be paid in cash (US dollars are fine everywhere) and the cost is not included in the charter price.
> This is an all day trip so do NOT underestimate the amount of sun you will get. Apply sun screen liberally and often.
> These islands are quite conservative, so if you want to walk around the shops while your tour guides handle your customs paperwork, bring a cover-up.
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