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CottageGirl
Traveler


Joined: 06/25/14
Posts: 789
Loc: Petoskey, MI
Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27
      #1731349 - 04/28/17 11:31 AM (24.247.91.79)

I'll write a full trip report soon, but wanted to give everyone the benefit of our experience with the ferry service and the STT airport yesterday.
This was our 6th trip to the BVI's. We've never experienced an issue with the ferry service or the airport lines before, so I guess our good luck ran out and it was our turn.
We boarded the 10 am Roadtown Fast Ferry to St. Thomas. When we arrived at the ferry dock in St. Thomas, the new ferry Ocean Dreams (operating under Smith's) was at the dock. The Fast Ferry crew told us that Ocean Dreams has scheduled their departures from RT 15 mins before the Fast Ferry, they stop in West End, and still make it to STT before the Fast Ferry. They take FOREVER to unload passengers. We arrived at the ferry dock at 11:00 and spent 40 minutes holding in the harbor until Ocean Dreams was unloaded. The Fast Ferry guys seem to believe Ocean Dreams is doing this on purpose to draw customers away from Fast Ferry (I have no idea if this is truth, rumor or a bit of both, but just passing on their opinions).
Finally disembark the ferry, taxi situation is a mess because everyone's running late but luckily we had prearranged with Kevin. He was taking a full van of people so he referred us to a private taxi who rushed us to the airport ($40 for 4 people - great!).
Thank goodness for Delta sky priority - only 4 people in line in front of us. Then I see the line to get into customs and TSA - it's literally wound all the way down the line and around - must've been hundreds of people in line. So I quickly grab a Red Cap and ask if we use them can we skip that long line - she says yes. Great! Now at this point I have no idea what Red Cap is going to cost or if it's just tips, but whatever it is it's going to be worth not missing our flight. She takes our bags and puts us in a shorter line for customs - about 15 people in front of us. Two of our crew have Global Entry so she takes them to that line - they got right through. We waited for another TSA agent to show up before our line really started moving. Line for TSA priority precheck was totally open and we made it into the terminal as they were calling boarding for our flight at 1:30 pm.
What a mess!! Thanks to Delta sky priority, red cap service (tipped $40) and TSA precheck we made our flight. Otherwise, we would have been stuck.

Just a heads up, that 3 hours everyone talks about - yeah you might need it.
Julie


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Manpot
Traveler


Joined: 05/07/02
Posts: 15197
Loc: Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: CottageGirl]
      #1731351 - 04/28/17 11:36 AM (76.103.182.221)

This is why we build in all that extra time...always get an earlier ferry. This has happened to us a couple of times and yes there is great rivalry between the ferries and they will screw each other any chance they get..and that screws you! Glad you made it..but lesson learned!

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charlie
Traveler


Joined: 03/18/02
Posts: 873
Loc: Virginia
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: CottageGirl]
      #1731352 - 04/28/17 11:38 AM (100.7.84.123)

What happened to you happened to us, so we now spend our last night on St. Thomas. And we use the Red Cap's. Ferries are crazy!

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GeorgeC1
Traveler


Joined: 04/24/02
Posts: 4605
Loc: GA/NC
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: charlie]
      #1731355 - 04/28/17 11:43 AM (108.213.0.118)

We had the same experience on the 21st. Took about an hour from arriving in the harbor to clearing customs. The non US citizen line was much shorter and they got through quicker. Sadly the reverse is true in the BVI so you wait on each end.
G


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NCSailor
Traveler


Joined: 12/26/07
Posts: 1588
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: GeorgeC1]
      #1731360 - 04/28/17 12:18 PM (38.140.173.82)

You were cutting it close taking a 10am ferry for a 2pm flight.

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Winterstale
Traveler


Joined: 10/22/08
Posts: 5134
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: NCSailor]
      #1731361 - 04/28/17 12:21 PM (173.168.122.207)

..and that Global Entry line is not always open so you got lucky there too! I have Global Entry but the line was closed when I was there last week.

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


Bridget


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bagsarepacked
Traveler


Joined: 01/26/08
Posts: 268
Loc: Northern IL
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: Winterstale]
      #1731363 - 04/28/17 12:44 PM (107.205.223.21)

Thank you for posting. We are staying our last night on St John...with a 4:40 return on American out of STT.
Do you think we need to be on the ferry leaving Cruz Bay to CA @ 8:45 or do you think the 11:15 one should be ok based on 45 min ferry ride. I know AA is a stickler for the 3 hour window. 8:45 seems so early...but we could shop a bit LOL


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GeorgeC1
Traveler


Joined: 04/24/02
Posts: 4605
Loc: GA/NC
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: bagsarepacked]
      #1731364 - 04/28/17 12:49 PM (108.213.0.118)

The 11:15 will be fine.
G


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bagsarepacked
Traveler


Joined: 01/26/08
Posts: 268
Loc: Northern IL
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: GeorgeC1]
      #1731366 - 04/28/17 01:00 PM (107.205.223.21)

Thanks George

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lauraandrex
Sponsor


Joined: 03/26/03
Posts: 3850
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Re: Ferry/Airport Experience - 4/27 [Re: bagsarepacked]
      #1731376 - 04/28/17 02:24 PM (98.5.248.132)

Oh boy I have done the "OJ Simpson" because of those ferries before myself! literally making it as the plane was boarding, not a relaxing way to end a vacation! the 10 am is only good if you have a 4pm flight.

--------------------
cheers! Laura
Custom Sailing Shirts https://www.facebook.com/pages/CustomSailingShirtscom/112040245530182
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