Hi---I will be visiting these two ports in dec. on the Zuiderdam. These are two islands I have not been to and wanted thoughts on whether it is better to just find a good beach on both or if any excursions recommended. It looks like Grand Turk has a good beach right at the port dock area and Tortola beaches sound good too. Has anyone done the Virgin Gorda and baths excursion? Thanks.
karin - ill be in tortola the wednesday after this one. from my reading, i think we are going to make it a beach day - cane garden bay (i think thats what its called) is supposed to be very nice. i would love to go the baths, but since we are only there for a short time, i dont think we will make it. overall, it seems like tortola is the kinda of place where you just enjoy nature...the mountain hike is supposed to be very cool.
anyway, remind me to give you an update after i get back on sept. 8
We were in Grand Turk last December, they have built a really nice terminal area. There's a nice beach right at the port and some shops. We did a great snorkel trip through the ship. They stopped in 2 places, one for the coral and one for the tropical fish. The water was beautiful and the snorkels were great. Tortola is a beautiful island. We had a cab driver take us around the island, he took us to a restaurant that over looks where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, and to a nice beach on the northwest side of the island. We also did snorkels there, both of which took us over by Norman's Island. Both snorkels were beautiful. We have not done the Baths, but may do them this year. Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise!
Karin and Mike-Cane Garden Bay on Tortola is great,a beautiful place and it is the locale where Jimmy Buffet got his inspiration for the song "Cheeseburger in Paradise"-it also has a very Jamaican feel!
Billybuzzy, our cab driver told us the same thing. He showed us the bar where Jimmy had his cheeseburger and beer after having problems with his sailboat. When he told us that story I wasn't sure whether he was telling the truth or not, sort of like "Washington slept here", but if you heard the same thing, it just might be true. I will say it is a beautiful beach, for sure!
We were in Grand Turk in Nov and unfortunately it rained. We still got off the ship. It is so cute there. Looks like a really small island. Our table mates said they paid a cab driver to give them a tour of the island and they were back in 20 minutes. Beautiful beach right off the ship and I mean RIGHT OFF THE SHIP! Chairs and clam shells await. There are also colorful huts for souveniers but boy are they expensive. $25.00 for a T-shirt and $60.00 for a sweatshirt. A beutiful and big Margaritaville is right there too. They have a very nice pool. This would have been a perfect day for us had the sun been out. Can't wait to go back.
Karin - I'm back from my cruise and, as planned, spent my day at Cane Garden Bay while in Tortola. Along with the Bioluminescent Kayak Tour in San Juan, it was my favorite thing I did while off the boat. The beach is absolutely gorgeous - you are surrounded by green mountains, the water is crystal clear, and you can see some very pretty islands in the distance. There are a few huts to buy jewelry or other gifts, and a few bars with food and drinks. They also had guys walking around selling coconuts, which they will add rum to if you like. If you go, be prepared for a crazy cab ride up and down the mountain - but it was well worth it.
Can anyone point out the difference between two excursions - one is "Snorkeling by Boat" which goes to Norman Island caves, lasts 2 1/2 hours, and the other is "Virgin Island Sailaway" which goes to Norman Island cave and then a beach in a cove. This one is on a catamaran and lasts 4 hours, but I'm wondering if the snorkeling is as good.
Yes, the snorkeling is wonderful. I would assume the difference in time is the type of boat. One is a power boat and one is a catamaran. The cats do have engines, but they normally sail on the way back. It is wonderful. The beach in the cove has lots and I do mean lots of sea urchins, so wear water shoes and be careful. There is a fun bar there, I believe the name is Pirate's Cove, I have a t-shirt from there, good rum punch. The cave is really pretty and the water is crystal clear. Hope this helps.