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Old 06-04-2009, 10:56 AM   #1366
lwilliam
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Fyi

someone who was on the previous Torola cruise!

Tortola - the simple Pros/Cons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Simply, Tortola is new to the whole tourism-destination on a cruise-scale thing - and it shows in many ways. Random thoughts, to be followed with a separate thread of MANY pictures (in process of uploading) at a later date:

1. DS21 did SCUBA on both Tortola and St Thomas. He thought St Thomas scuba was infinitely superior and Tortola "not worth it." He said the St Thomas dive team was very professional, that Tortola was not as friendly, informative, safety-oriented. He also thought the "view" (visibility, variety of marine life) and short dive (mentioned by WiscBill) on the Tortola dive not as interesting. I have pictures of Tortola dive - he didn't take the camera on the ST dive.

2. DH, DS19 and I took ferry / taxi / baths / lunch excursion $89/pp

2a. Ferry ride was OK, but after experiencing a sail to St John the next day, I would not ferry again.

2b. Delay - waiting for ferry return to return us to the Magic - our designated ferry wasn't working and a replacement one was sent. It couldn't dock, so they tethered them together and helped us cross two rocking boats (not bad, but not exactly smooth). I did not mind this, I am just describing EVERYTHING so the reader - especially the readers with arthritis (which I do not have - actually, I have good balance, as I am a black belt in karate - but a black belt carrying an expensive camera in one hand at all times - which makes me more conscious of balance issues - you'll see this theme throughout this post)

2c. While waiting for replacement ferry, another ferry arrives with passengers. The boat is a good 1.5 to 2 feet BELOW the dock. Two excursion people LIFT every single person out of the boat by their arms (I took pictures because I couldn't believe it at first). I'm saying to my family - "Wow, that couldn't be a Disney boat - they would never contract with an excursion company that can't even dock right" - then I started seeing the Castaway Cay lanyards...... I have to believe some of them had comments on THAT - not that anyone was visibly upset, but that had to be uncomfortable for most of them.

2d. Aside - when debriefing with a fellow passenger that evening, he noted that the natives were pleasantly puzzled by the Disney passengers - they said "what does Disney do that their passengers are so nice".....

3. Taxi ride - open air, per excursion description. Pleasant enough. Enjoyed view of Atlantic side and beach shot (you'll see), but not sure it was worth the time. You do have to climb UP into the taxi - again, no big deal but worth knowing if you have mobility limitations.

4. The Baths - truly a unique and enjoyable site / beach (the pictures will save a thousand words)

4a. Path DOWN to the Baths - not a problem - stairs, uneven surfaces, but no steep grades. HOWEVER, you need to PAY ATTENTION to where you are stepping. I consider this not terribly physically taxing if you use stairs often. And still, I scrapped my shin on one of the steps... No big deal, just reporting the facts.

4b. Path UP to the Bath - we took the long way up from Devils Bay - and really enjoyed the experience. However, it did require stepping down from rocks to sand. In my attempt to avoid a rock buried in the sand while stepping down (about 24 inches) and protect my camera, I landed on one knee in the sand - which scraped a 1 inch by .5 inch swath on the center of my knee (still weeping today). This would not have happened if I had taken more precautions (hand off the camera, put it away, etc.) - but I can't imagine my mother, with one arthritic knee, doing any of this. Just FYI - this does take longer than the main path - we were rushing a little to return in time for lunch. Turns out, we were in good shape time-wise, but we couldn't tell how far away we were to pace ourselves. You're not at risk for getting lost - but you don't know where you are exactly, either.

4c. Path from beach to beach - we crossed from main beach to Devils and whatever the beach beyond Devils was. It was all fascinating, but challenging for someone with mobility issues - you have to duck, crouch, climb, wade through narrow passages, use rope (one), etc.

5. Toilets on the beach - two stalls for women - some blockage while we were waiting to use it - horrible smell - but unclogged just as we were walking away.

6. Excursion description promised "delicious lunch". It wasn't bad, but it wasn't delicious either.

6a. One drink - rum punch (served by scooping punch from an open air container - if there was rum in it, I couldn't tell), can of Coors lite, cup of soft drink.

6b. Buffet - fish, macaroni, similar to picnic fare - I didn't study it or take pictures.

6c. Top of the Baths restaurant - was cute, had a little pool that some of the kids were enjoying, pleasant surroundings, lovely grounds, beautiful view.

7. Snorkeling - the description said snorkeling was available. I thought, for $89, it was included. DS19 was a little disappointed, but it wasn't a huge deal.


In summary, applying what I learned and am reading from others, IF I were to return to Tortola:
(a) it would be to see the Baths again
(b) I would like to snorkel (another family brought their own equipment - $29 at Target - and were pleased with the fish they saw in the caves; easier to do if you are driving than flying)
(c) I would avoid the ferry and the up/down hike, and SAIL to/from the island, swimming to shore
(d) I would try to be back on board for lunch.

AND it is worth knowing that Tortola is not a seamless, end-to-end Disney experience (yet). I suspect Disney will either get the experience in line with their cruise "brand" or cease to port there.....

8. The Town - we walked through town after our return. We are not shoppers, but we wanted to see what it was like. They have basically set up a "tent city" to sell stuff to tourists. I suspect it will be more like St Thomas over time - permanent stores, nicer walk to it, etc.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #1367
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On prev DCL cruises we wore a lime green bracelet, (piece of lime green yarn) on the first day and it made it easy to find and meet each other at the port and even a few at the Radisson before leaving for the port. Don't know if anyone is interested in doing this but it did work really well and was simple to do.

-Donna
We found lime green rubber bracelets like the LiveStrong bracelets at WDW a couple of years ago and wear those. So, if you see anyone at the Radisson or at the port with these its probaby us!!!
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:34 AM   #1368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Minnie View Post
We found lime green rubber bracelets like the LiveStrong bracelets at WDW a couple of years ago and wear those. So, if you see anyone at the Radisson or at the port with these its probaby us!!!
On our last Disney Cruise someone had the live strong type bracelets made for our group, and we still have those (they are lime green too). I'm sure we will be able to find you since the kids talk or text everyday on the teen boards. What day are you getting to the Radisson?

-Donna
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:17 PM   #1369
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Woooow.... I dont know how I feel so busy but at the same time feel like I'm getting nothing done...

Come on weekend! Come on cruise!
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:45 PM   #1370
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In the past we've done the green bracelets and even lime green leis (although they are bulky in a way). This summer we are making new name tags with our group logo.

I'll try to post a picture later. I just notice the time and gotta run to get DS braces checked. He has invisalign braces which are terrific and the appointments are super short.

Later..................
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:48 PM   #1371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WV Space Monkey View Post
Woooow.... I dont know how I feel so busy but at the same time feel like I'm getting nothing done...

Come on weekend! Come on cruise!
You can say that again!!!!!
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #1372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia View Post
On our last Disney Cruise someone had the live strong type bracelets made for our group, and we still have those (they are lime green too). I'm sure we will be able to find you since the kids talk or text everyday on the teen boards. What day are you getting to the Radisson?

-Donna
We are driving down Friday. DD wants us to leave around midnight so we would get there about 8am Fri morning so she can hang out with her new BFF's.


We will probably leave around 6am and get in about 2-3pm. I am sure the kids will be texting the whole day until everyone gets there. But then again they text and talk on these boards and FB all day/evening now! But I am glad the kids have found some good friends to hang out with.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:22 PM   #1373
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Originally Posted by SC Minnie View Post
We are driving down Friday. DD wants us to leave around midnight so we would get there about 8am Fri morning so she can hang out with her new BFF's.


We will probably leave around 6am and get in about 2-3pm. I am sure the kids will be texting the whole day until everyone gets there. But then again they text and talk on these boards and FB all day/evening now! But I am glad the kids have found some good friends to hang out with.
I am glad they have connected thru the boards. You're right they will be texting the whole time. I'm not sure if Tony will be able to last 7 days without texting. It sounds like your drive is about an hour shorter than ours. The drive there always seems shorter due to the excitement. The drive home is another story!
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:23 PM   #1374
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Here's our info again for the FEs

DM, DD, DD (9) in room 2637 from CA

Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #1375
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It is roughly an 8 hour drive for us with interstate most of the way. I don't know how Catherine is going to survive with phone or computer access for 7 days either. Hopefully they will be having so much fun they won't miss it too much.

I know what you mean about the drive home-- seems to take forever!
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:34 PM   #1376
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It is roughly an 8 hour drive for us with interstate most of the way. I don't know how Catherine is going to survive with phone or computer access for 7 days either. Hopefully they will be having so much fun they won't miss it too much.

I know what you mean about the drive home-- seems to take forever!
It's about 9 hours for us, not including any stops. Flying would be so much easier but would be a fortune just for extra luggage. I am a habitual overpacker, so if you forget anything, call me, I probably have it!!
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:41 PM   #1377
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It's about 9 hours for us, not including any stops. Flying would be so much easier but would be a fortune just for extra luggage. I am a habitual overpacker, so if you forget anything, call me, I probably have it!!
What's your cabin number again???? I'm trying to pack for our family of 5 in 2 suitcases. I don't think I'm going to make it!!!
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:45 PM   #1378
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What's your cabin number again???? I'm trying to pack for our family of 5 in 2 suitcases. I don't think I'm going to make it!!!
I sure wish I knew my cabin number! If you're gonna get all that in 2 suitcases you better use those space bags. They do help! Just on ur last night you'll have to get the cabin steward to loan u his vacuum! Aren't the kids allowed suitcases on the flight back 2 the states?

-Donna
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:49 PM   #1379
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What's your cabin number again???? I'm trying to pack for our family of 5 in 2 suitcases. I don't think I'm going to make it!!!
How are you going to get all you FE gifts home?
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:50 PM   #1380
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Oh my-- we have trouble going away for a long weekend with only 2 suitcases!
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