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Up to date Stt to Road Town info... #182484
01/30/2019 11:26 PM
01/30/2019 11:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 4
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NESurf Offline OP
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NESurf  Offline OP
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What a great forum! My family of four is due to arrive at Stt on a Sat in Feb.....just wondering a couple of things. Our final destination is Road Town...

There are several ferries listed on the net.... recently, who seems to be the best show in town with some dependability going? I’ve read nightmares about several ferry companies already.

We are Due to land at 2:30 in STT... how much time should we leave to get to the recommended ferry.? Which port will the advised ferry leave from?

Is the recommended ferry walkable from airport.? 1-1.5 miles or closer..?

Should we buy tickets on net in advance, or just buy when we get to the ferry?

Any advice for customs in Roadtown?

Will we have a good chance of getting there before they close on a Saturday, from landing at STt at 2:30?

Thank you in advance!

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Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182491
01/31/2019 06:31 AM
01/31/2019 06:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 439
ski2play Offline
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ski2play  Offline
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This is a great forum! I’ll take a crack at your questions/comments.


Arriving on a 2:30 pm, Saturday flight. You can not walk to the ferry docks if you plan to catch a ferry that day. We prefer to go out of Charlotte Amalie vs Red Hook. There will be plenty of taxis waiting at the airport to take you. They are group taxis so you will be on with other families unless you want to pay the price of a private.

There is a 4 and a 4:15 ferry. Not sure where you are reading about the nightmares. Sure it was spotty after Irma, but not so much now. When arriving at the ferry dock it isn’t so much about who is the best or most dependable, rather it is about who is leaving next for where you want to go. In your timeframe you only two if you want to get to Road Town that day.

Your travel day will be all about timing, does your plane arrive on time, do you have checked bags, how long does it take the bags to hit baggage claim, how quickly the taxi you get assigned to fills up, etc. If any of these takes longer than planned you will need a plan B.

Hope this helps. Happy Planning!
.



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Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182492
01/31/2019 06:35 AM
01/31/2019 06:35 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 439
ski2play Offline
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In addition, do not buy tickets in advance and do not buy round trip. Timing of travels play into which ferry company you take.

As for Customs, have your passports ready, complete your declaration (one per family), and be respectful of the process. The amount and mix (residents vs visitors) will determine how long it takes to go through customs. We have had it take 20 minutes and we have had it take over an hour.



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Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: ski2play] #182515
01/31/2019 10:19 AM
01/31/2019 10:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 906
Virginia
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charlie Offline
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Virginia
When filling out the Customs paper use a black or blue pen. I've seen some "arty" people use green, red, or even pink ink pens and the C&I agent gives them a new form and a black pen and sends them to the end of the line. Oh, and no pencil, either...

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182519
01/31/2019 10:41 AM
01/31/2019 10:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 4,054
Toledo, OH, USA
Orange_Burst Online shocked
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Orange_Burst  Online Shocked
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Toledo, OH, USA
You should have plenty of time to make the 4:15 ferry. As mentioned just take the next one that is leaving out of Charlotte Amalie. Do not buy a round trip, you may have to take a different ferry when you go back to St. Thomas. Or we had a couple who purchased round trip, but couldn't find the tickets when it came time to leave.

You should have time to go upstairs to the Pump room and grab a drink and a bite to eat.

You can find a copy of the custom/immigration form here, if you would like to review it. http://asbvi.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/new-custom-form.pdf

While waiting in line be quite and polite and you should not have any problems.


Colleen


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Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: Orange_Burst] #182521
01/31/2019 10:44 AM
01/31/2019 10:44 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,576
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Online content
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JasonHelmbrecht  Online Content
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Originally Posted by Orange_Burst
You should have plenty of time to make the 4:15 ferry. As mentioned just take the next one that is leaving out of Charlotte Amalie. Do not buy a round trip, you may have to take a different ferry when you go back to St. Thomas. Or we had a couple who purchased round trip, but couldn't find the tickets when it came time to leave.

You should have time to go upstairs to the Pump room and grab a drink and a bite to eat.

You can find a copy of the custom/immigration form here, if you would like to review it. http://asbvi.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/new-custom-form.pdf

While waiting in line be quite and polite and you should not have any problems.








Don't be surprised if the form is different. I don't know if they've changed it or the ferries are using old ones but it's all black and white now and the declaration section on the back is very different. They have you break your declared items into categories.

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182526
01/31/2019 11:58 AM
01/31/2019 11:58 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 130
Panama City Beach, Florida
xrayman67 Online content
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Panama City Beach, Florida
And don't forget to have $10 cash per person for the "environmental fee" at Customs in Road Town.

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182530
01/31/2019 12:34 PM
01/31/2019 12:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
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Donald Offline
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In addition to everything above, I would add that, if possible, line up at the exit that will get you off the ferry quickly as the time to process people can take awhile. Its not always easy to guess if they're docking on the port or starboard side as the boat will sometimes do a 180 degree turn at the last minute for its next departure. At this point people are in a hurry to get ashore and there can be some pushing and shoving.

Taxis don't leave the STT airport until they have a full load so when you land, if you're in a hurry, find a taxi that is almost full of people.

Have a pen in your pocket to fill out the Customs form (you'll get the form when you buy your ferry ticket). Your "arrival vessel/aircraft" is the ferry you just rode on, NOT your Airline & Flight Number that got you to STT.

C&I will give you a copy of the form you filled out. Keep it as you will need it when you leave the islands.

Checked luggage sometimes get stored on the bow. In a rough crossing, they will get soaked. Holding onto your bags keeps them dry and makes for a speedier exit from the terminal. If you have to check your bags, you clear customs and then pick up your bag before you leave the Roadtown Terminal. They also have x-ray scanners (similar to an airport) that you and your bags go through when you exit as well.

Don

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182533
01/31/2019 01:45 PM
01/31/2019 01:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,307
An island state of mind
tradewinds Online content
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tradewinds  Online Content
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You'll pick up your bags after you clear Immigration and then take them through Customs. In Oct., there wasn't a scanner and everything was hand-searched if they felt the need to.

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182600
02/01/2019 12:00 AM
02/01/2019 12:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 4
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NESurf Offline OP
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NESurf  Offline OP
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All great advice! Thank you! We are actually landing at 1:40, so I feel a little more confident.
As far as the suggestions not to prepay for a ferry ticket.... wouldn’t that hold spots for us on the ferry for my family if they overbooked? Or is it the good old first in line, first on the boat mentality, whether or not you prepaid?
Great advice about bringing a legit pen and grabbing a taxi that is already packed.....we are a family of four.. so what’s the average amount of people that the taxis carry.? Should we watch for one with thre people in it? Or do they fill them with like 13 people?
Thanks again!

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182605
02/01/2019 06:06 AM
02/01/2019 06:06 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 439
ski2play Offline
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ski2play  Offline
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NESurf,

We have never prepaid, so can’t answer about the mentality of loading the ferry. I have never seen anyone turned away because the ferry was full. The logic to not prepay has more to do with you really don’t know timing and which ferry company you will be using.

Re taxis: there is an individual at the taxi stand who will direct you which taxi to get in based on where you are bing dropped. Not really an option to get in any taxi that looks almost full.

Enjoy your time in the islands!



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Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182618
02/01/2019 08:28 AM
02/01/2019 08:28 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,842
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Buying a ticket (always one way ) does not guarantee you a seat on their next ferry. You line up and find em. The pen advice is very good and dont use cellphones at C and I and take off baseball caps and glasses.

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182629
02/01/2019 09:20 AM
02/01/2019 09:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 305
Tampa, FL
denverd0n Offline
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Tampa, FL
To summarize what's been said:

1. Take a taxi from the airport.
2. Do not prepay. Just buy a ticket on the next ferry when you get to the terminal.
3. Do not buy a round-trip ticket.
4. Have your form ready, and be prepared to get off the ferry at or near the front of the line, if you can.
5. Most importantly, relax and enjoy these beautiful islands!

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182630
02/01/2019 09:23 AM
02/01/2019 09:23 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 232
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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Kannapolis, NC
Taxis at the airport are heavy duty vans. Probably seat about 8-10 people. The suggestion to not prepay for a round trip ferry is to not be locked in on one ferry service. Just in case for some reason they do not run when you need them to. It happens.



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Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182665
02/01/2019 11:57 AM
02/01/2019 11:57 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,483
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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Woodstock, GA
Those of us who visit the BVI's repeatedly never buy ferry tickets in advance for the reasons mentioned. As far as the "1st in line" thought, I tried that on our 1st trip in 2000 and quickly found that you're not in the states so just relax and you'll still get to your destination with less stress.

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182673
02/01/2019 01:13 PM
02/01/2019 01:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 602
Houston, Texas
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Let me add a caveat to the ferry advice. I agree with the don't prepay, don't buy round trip, etc., for the most part. But for our last trip with The Moorings, we bought their prepaid transfers option and were very pleased with it. Getting off the plane there was a Moorings person waiting who put us in a Moorings arranged for taxi (didn't have to wait). We were on RTFF which wasn't the first one out, but going upstairs to the Petite Pump Room made the wait worthwhile. In Road Town there was another Moorings van waiting to take us and some others to their base.

The process on our return worked as well with one change in our plans. Our son was heading over to St. John for a few days in a condo. When we told that to The Moorings taxi person in Charlotte Amalie, he got another taxi for my son and the transfer that was supposedly only to the airport, covered the much longer trip to Red Hook. I was surprised about that and maybe it isn't sop, but it was much appreciated.

All of this for $90 per person last July.

If we fly to STT on our next trip, we'll probably purchase this option again.


Louis from Houston
Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182679
02/01/2019 01:36 PM
02/01/2019 01:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 660
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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Middleburg, VA
Is Kevin still around? Was always at STT baggage claim waiting for us to arrive and directed us to the best ferry options.

Taxi in STT = Kevin Campbell

Fantastic service, great guy.

Kevintaxi101@yahoo.com, 340 643 0025


Chuck W.
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Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: NESurf] #182702
02/01/2019 05:41 PM
02/01/2019 05:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 901
USVI
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i was at the airport today and last week doing a pickup - Kevin was meeting some CYOA sailors and we had a nice chat while we waited.
He is still around and working hard.

Re: Up to date Stt to Road Town info... [Re: louismcc] #182703
02/01/2019 06:07 PM
02/01/2019 06:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 182
Okla
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Okla
Originally Posted by louismcc
Let me add a caveat to the ferry advice. I agree with the don't prepay, don't buy round trip, etc., for the most part. But for our last trip with The Moorings, we bought their prepaid transfers option and were very pleased with it. Getting off the plane there was a Moorings person waiting who put us in a Moorings arranged for taxi (didn't have to wait). We were on RTFF which wasn't the first one out, but going upstairs to the Petite Pump Room made the wait worthwhile. In Road Town there was another Moorings van waiting to take us and some others to their base.

The process on our return worked as well with one change in our plans. Our son was heading over to St. John for a few days in a condo. When we told that to The Moorings taxi person in Charlotte Amalie, he got another taxi for my son and the transfer that was supposedly only to the airport, covered the much longer trip to Red Hook. I was surprised about that and maybe it isn't sop, but it was much appreciated.

All of this for $90 per person last July.

If we fly to STT on our next trip, we'll probably purchase this option again.



We second this. We always use Marjorie Smith with Island Magic for pre arranged transfers from STT. If you are not able to catch their ferry, she will put you on the next one even if its not theirs. A driver is waiting at the airport and takes us to the ferry, and on the return he takes us to our last nights hotel. You get a nice discount on round trip service and its nice to have someone to email anytime during our trip down to update on any delays for changes. Im sure some day we will get burned, but so far she has taken great care of us. Enjoy


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