what to do with limited time
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 14, 2012 7:26 AM Last Post By: cochin321
Apr 12, 2012 10:09 AM
what to do with limited timeComing via a cruise ship on dec 30th at 8 am and departing at 5pm. Should i 1) go on a tour to the Falls of Baleine which will include snorkling etc or 2) head to Tobago Cays for snorkling. What are the cheapest ways to do either one of these excursions because it seems like you will need to hire a boat either way ? and is there enough time to get back to the ship by 5pm ? Doesn't seem to be much else going on on this island so if there are any other thoughts , please pass the along. Thanks ....:)
Apr 14, 2012 7:26 AM
1I'll try to respond to your various posts below as I get a chance but this one is easy. Definitely go to Tobago Cays if you can arrange it. It is one of the highlights of the Caribbean. In addition to having crystal clear water and great snorkeling, you'll also get to spend some time on some beautiful beaches and enjoy a beautiful ride through the Grenadines island chain.
A trip to Tobago Cays is an all day affair. Day trips usually leave around 9 am and return about 5 pm. It is essential that you organize it though your cruise ship because the tour operator will wait on you before they leave (please note that it can often take an hour or more by the time you have "arrived" at an island until you are finally onshore due to tendering from the boat to shore, going through customs paperwork, etc.) and, your cruise ship won't leave until all of the passengers taking excursions they arranged through the cruise line are back on board. They will NOT extend that courtesy to you if you off on your own and you get back late. Tobago Cays is such a full day that you just can't take the chances of going through an excursion operator not arranged through your cruise ship.
The going rate for a day tour to Tobago Cays from St. Vincent is probably roughly around $125 or so. I would check with your cruise line to see if they offer the tour and would go ahead and book it soon as it will be a popular trip.
If going to Tobago Cays isn't an option and you want to do something that's easy to arrange on your own, then I'd recommend that you catch one of the ferries to Bequia (they run frequently throughout the day) and spend the day there. You'll arrive in the small town of Port Elizabeth which is a nice little place to stroll around and have lunch in, and there's a nice beach within walking distance that you can spend some time on (there aren't really any nice beaches on the island of St. Vincent). Allow a little time when you return from Bequia to look around Kingstown too as it is a decent place to spend an hour or two.
A Falls of Baleine excursion would be OK too. You are correct that you have to take a boat to get there and I don't have info on arranging day trips as I did it as part of a dive trip.
May 11, 2012 3:27 AM
2I totally disagree that St Vincent doesn't have nothing worthy to see or to do, that's really a bad judgement by many tourists that pass by Kingstown just as a stopover before going immediately to the other islands and don't even bother to visit the island, so they comment on something they don't bother to know better. Kingstwon is one of the most charming cities in the Caribbean, has hundreds of arches, lovely churches, good restaurants, lush botanical gardens and Fort Charlotte with impressive views over the city of Kingstwon and the other islands.
Having said this, I think that in this time period you should explore the West Coast, as it is simply gorgeous and breathtaking in terms of nature- either with a taxi or driving yourself (like I did) it's a wonderful experience. You have plenty of sites that are worth seeing namely Wallilabou Bay, Darkview Falls, Vermont Nature Trail, Layou River, Buccament Bay resort with its white sand beach that you can access through the resorts... you can do this in 6-7 hours, having lunch in the nice restaurant in Wallilabou Bay, one of the locations for Pirates of the Caribbean movies (the movie sets are not looking that great now as hurricanes have made their work... but still I really liked it and it seems you are in the movie!)
It will be very tight for a trip to the Tobago Cays, as usually they all depart early and only return at 5.15-5.30pm (5pm is almost impossible unless you do a private charter and he really speeds up - it's a 2 hour trip from St Vincent to Tobago Cays one way!). If you decide to go prepare yourself for a wild wet one if you venture yourself on a speedboat as the sea gets rough between St Vincent to Bequia and from Bequia to Canouan Island. The best option would be to go with the Friendship rose,a great schooner but these leaves at around 8am from Bequia nd only arrives at 5:30pm. Hence, with such a tight schedule I would skip the Tobago Cays trip - it's a nice place to go and take excellent scenic pictures as the water colors, but unfortunately becoming too touristic (everyone crowds the same island basically and besides the sea turtles and a few starfish, the reef is pretty much dead...)
A note on Baleine Falls: they are officially closed now (as well as Trinity Falls) due to landslides and rocks dropping off the nearby liffs, so even if the tour guides call it Baleine Falls Tours they will not take you there. If they do, you are running a big life risk and it's highly irresponsible from them (apparently there are a few that do this, as no police is controlling the site access) as rocks are falling often and there are a lot of landslides due to land erosion, rains, hurricanes... this was confirmed to me by 2 persons working for the national tourism board from St Vincent. They are trying to "rebuild" the area to be safer, but due to hurricanes and slow pace from the Caribbean, they are doing this for more than 3 years now!
So my recommendation is: either make a nice tour of St Vincent if you like nature or catch the ferry to Bequia and enjoy the nice beaches and atmosphere.
May 15, 2012 10:00 AM
Sep 11, 2012 12:33 PM
4Just did a little more research. The cruise ship arrives at 8 and departs at 4. The ferry to Bequia works out for one at 9 but the return is at times that don't work out . Any other suggestions getting back ? Also you mention Buccament Bay via through the hotels. Is there an easement somewhere besides through a hotel and if not, is there a charge for going through and laying on their beach etc ? Thanks...
Sep 14, 2012 2:33 PM
You can catch a water taxi from Bequia to Kingstown in St Vincent - the cost depends on the number of persons but expect to pay around 75-100 usd per person and the trip should take between 30-40 minutes as the waves are usually smoother in the afternoon.
I strongly suggest that you reserve it beforehand! In my case I had all arranged by the staff responsible for the Friendship Rose - if you contact them, they are extremely friendly and might be able to help you out. Here is the link; http://friendshiprose.com/
As for Buccament bay, I think you always need to go through the resort, you don't pay anything to use the access, just ask at the reception to allow you to pass. They will charge you if you stay in a beach chair & use an umbrella of course, but you can always opt to lay on the sand or by the sea.
Sep 20, 2012 1:40 PM
Nov 14, 2012 7:10 AM
7Another question, I arrive on Dec 30 which is a Sunday. The ferries to Bequia are at odd hours on Sundays and they don't match up to returning to Kingstown on time for departure. So second idea is to rent a couple of dirt bikes. Any idea if this would be possible and which web sight would get me that info ? Ive been looking but really can't find anything. Thanks again...
Nov 14, 2012 7:26 AM
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