Our last cruise on the Adventure took us to Aruba where we used a private taxi called "Bully Taxi" who charged $40 per hour, took us for almost 3 hours and charged $80, set us up at the beach with his neighbor (chair and umbrella guy) and returned to take us back to the ship for $10 (less than it would have cost us to take the public bus). Two days later we were in St. Maarten and the cab driver charged more than we agreed to to take us to Orient Beach--we tried to get a different driver to go back to the ship but the guy organizing the cabs said we were this guy's customers and more or less forced us to go with him or make a huge scene, and the guy refused to make change for most of the passengers (some had $20s for a $8 cab ride, pretty hefty tip). We shut up and paid--and held on to the nice memory of Bully down in Aruba.
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
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Dwayne - You are right on the money on this - The key word is indeed "unlicensed"! So long as Antigua (and other ports) continue to allow this sort of thing and fail to crack down on "underground" cabbies it will continue to happen!
If no violence had occurred I'm sure it would have remained a civil matter but when violence occurs against the authorities it becomes another matter entirely! A plainclothes policeman in a foreign jurisdiction can be a very scary matter! My sympathies lie with the wronged and mistreated passengers passengers!
Another example as to why sticking with the ship's tours is desireable!!
It would have been a whole lot easier to have paid the $100, learn their lesson, and be gone. However, they've had their 15 minutes of "fame". I do hope these "upstanding" citizens will remember when they are in a foreign country, they cannot act like they do in New York. What a pitty, it could all have been avoided.