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Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 #241850
12/07/2020 08:49 PM
12/07/2020 08:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 695
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Offline OP
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ecm56  Offline OP
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Northern Virginia
Honourable Premier Fahie has indicated tonight that the port of Road Town will not be open to accept ferry passengers until January 21st.

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Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241851
12/07/2020 09:00 PM
12/07/2020 09:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,853
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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Ok, I have got to think at this point they just love screwing with tourists! How many people have purchased tickets based on the 8 Dec start of ferry service? Lucy, quit yanking the football!

https://youtu.be/gqzA1VOiC-M

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 12/07/2020 09:04 PM.
Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241852
12/07/2020 09:26 PM
12/07/2020 09:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,100
South Sound Villa Virgin Gorda
tpcook Offline
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tpcook  Offline
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South Sound Villa Virgin Gorda
It is sad that they cannot keep to a schedule. More pissed off tourists.


tpcook
Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241853
12/07/2020 09:28 PM
12/07/2020 09:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 994
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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Memphis, BVI, CT
And I just read that a tourist (on a boat) tested positive on day 4 and has been taken to quarantine. Re-opening hasn't been seamless. I always doubted the ability to accommodate ferries, given the facilities.

We're on hold again: flights cancelled for the third time.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241854
12/07/2020 09:33 PM
12/07/2020 09:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 695
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Offline OP
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ecm56  Offline OP
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Northern Virginia
Also, all air service through T.B. Lettsome/Beef Island only at least through January 21.

They said testing locations are planned for JVD, North Sound and The Valley on Virgin Gorda, and Anegada. This is in addition to testing locations on Tortola at the Airport, the Hospital, and Sea Cows Bay.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: GeorgeC1] #241856
12/07/2020 09:41 PM
12/07/2020 09:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,670
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
George--yup. For sure..


Carol Hill
Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: Carol_Hill] #241860
12/07/2020 10:05 PM
12/07/2020 10:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 994
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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Memphis, BVI, CT
And the night before - like twelve hours out! People are already in the air on their way. You mean they couldn't figure out yesterday that they weren't ready? This is an embarrassment, except they never seem to get embarrassed!

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: RatmansWife] #241863
12/07/2020 10:14 PM
12/07/2020 10:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 423
Redmond, WA
MrEZgoin Online content
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MrEZgoin  Online Content
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Redmond, WA
Originally Posted by RatmansWife
And the night before - like twelve hours out! People are already in the air on their way. You mean they couldn't figure out yesterday that they weren't ready? This is an embarrassment, except they never seem to get embarrassed!


I think the very recent spike in cases in the USVI was the main driver of making this difficult and unpopular decision, not just a lack of progress.
Certainly it wasn't good for us - we are set to leave in 24 hours and had based our travel plans on the seaports opening tomorrow.

But I'm a little surprised by the utter lack of sympathy for the difficult situation these officials are in.


M4000 "Lio Kai"
Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: MrEZgoin] #241865
12/07/2020 10:18 PM
12/07/2020 10:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,670
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Sorry, no sympathy for officials, when they make decisions with less than 24 hours to go.. I'm somewhat surprised at your position, considering you are so affected by this.


Carol Hill
Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241869
12/07/2020 11:06 PM
12/07/2020 11:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,139
road town
sleepychef Offline
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sleepychef  Offline
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road town
It sounded like they were going to be putting on flights for everyone already booked in the portal for at least the nxt 5/7 days so arrivals into STT will be flown on the BVIs dime to EIS if you were booked on the ferry.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241871
12/07/2020 11:18 PM
12/07/2020 11:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 12
Darien, CT
B
brewferg Offline
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Darien, CT
It sounds like we will have to cancel our 23-Dec to 5-Jan charter. I have worked really hard to try to make it happen and for a family of six rebooking through EIS on top of the extra $2k that I have already budgeted for testing (pre, Day 0, Day 4, and homebound) plus insurance is just too expensive. We are all very sad about this tonight.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: brewferg] #241873
12/08/2020 12:01 AM
12/08/2020 12:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 108
Folsom Lake, CA
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Latadjust Offline
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Folsom Lake, CA
Originally Posted by brewferg
It sounds like we will have to cancel our 23-Dec to 5-Jan charter. I have worked really hard to try to make it happen and for a family of six rebooking through EIS on top of the extra $2k that I have already budgeted for testing (pre, Day 0, Day 4, and homebound) plus insurance is just too expensive. We are all very sad about this tonight.

Check out Sleepychef's post, all is not lost.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241874
12/08/2020 12:11 AM
12/08/2020 12:11 AM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 14
USA
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CaptainVlad Offline
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This will put a nail in a coffin of our Jan20 charter. We already figuring out $$$$ extra for all the covid-related rules, but now... How are we suppose to get from St.Thomas to Tortola?

Our charter managers were so excited we are still coming. But now we literally can't get there. Looks like BVI government is trying to put whats left of charter companies into the ground. Do they figure just banking industry should suffice to support the government?

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: Carol_Hill] #241877
12/08/2020 12:57 AM
12/08/2020 12:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 423
Redmond, WA
MrEZgoin Online content
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Redmond, WA
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Sorry, no sympathy for officials, when they make decisions with less than 24 hours to go.. I'm somewhat surprised at your position, considering you are so affected by this.


Every 24 hours brings new infection numbers, it's still an evolving situation that makes planning difficult for everyone.
And I will admit that I was angry and frustrated when I first found out. It's been easier to be understanding once I had an alternative (charter flight) in place.

I just don't think the last minute change is capricious or shows that they just don't care how it affects travelers and the population.

Last edited by MrEZgoin; 12/08/2020 01:05 AM.

M4000 "Lio Kai"
Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: GeorgeC1] #241884
12/08/2020 06:49 AM
12/08/2020 06:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 326
S/V Event Horizon
FRANKIE2 Offline
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S/V Event Horizon
Cancelling my trip for late January. I have no confidence the ferries will be running. If they get a few more positive coronavirus tests in the monitoring system I suspect they will close the boarders again.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241885
12/08/2020 07:16 AM
12/08/2020 07:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 136
Mill Valley, CA
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Husker Offline
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One can always book flights into EIS. Just say'in.


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Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241889
12/08/2020 08:35 AM
12/08/2020 08:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,834
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
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Bradenton, FL
We were supposed to be down right now.....watching all this unfold? I am very glad our plans are in June...what a mess.


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Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241891
12/08/2020 08:50 AM
12/08/2020 08:50 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 12
Darien, CT
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brewferg Offline
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Darien, CT
We weren't booked into the portal yet because they hadn't provided answers to which insurance suffices their requirements so I hadn't registered yet. EIS flights are about 3x more expensive than STT and for my family of six that extra expense on top of all the testing just makes it too much money.

There was a post on one of the online sites last night that someone on a yacht tested positive for Covid in their Day4 test. I cannot confirm this, but if true will shed more light on the quarantine protocol that will be required. We should probably create a new thread about positive quarantine protocol as I've heard there is a quarantine dock that you are required to goto and stay for the fourteen days. This will result in extra expense as well. Most importantly, I just hope this person stays asymptotic and doesn't need medical attention.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: Winterstale] #241893
12/08/2020 09:14 AM
12/08/2020 09:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 108
RickBlaine Offline
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I admire folks that are trying to get a trip to work now but for us there's no way I'd be up for the hassle and cost. It's unfortunate but hopefully later next year we'll be down.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: brewferg] #241894
12/08/2020 09:18 AM
12/08/2020 09:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,360
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Originally Posted by brewferg
There was a post on one of the online sites last night that someone on a yacht tested positive for Covid in their Day4 test. I cannot confirm this, but if true will shed more light on the quarantine protocol that will be required.

Yes, they Minister of Health did announce that last night and all they specified was the guest and spouse were moved to a government quarantine facility. Most likely it is a room at Maria's by the Sea.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: Husker] #241899
12/08/2020 10:24 AM
12/08/2020 10:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 14
USA
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CaptainVlad Offline
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USA
Originally Posted by Husker
One can always book flights into EIS. Just say'in.


Says who?

The way it's going - you can't assume anything. The only constant is spontaneous. All the facts say that they can do anything, at random. Like closing the borders completely if they detect few more cases among touritst.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241903
12/08/2020 10:46 AM
12/08/2020 10:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 994
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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I don't think this had much, if anything, to do with Covid cases in St. Thomas. They belatedly realized the testing infrastructure at the RT ferry terminal didn't exist. I have also seen reports of problems with testing logistics - unreliable taxis, delayed tests, poor communication - which would have been exacerbated by adding a site.

As most of us know firsthand, C and I isn't a well-oiled machine, so imagine adding the testing component to that! Not to mention the issues with the app and bracelets. And of course nothing was completed in time or given a dry run.

Re-opening the ferries today never made sense to me, it's just unfortunate it took so long to announce it.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: Husker] #241919
12/08/2020 12:38 PM
12/08/2020 12:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 17
New York, NY
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KTGoesAway Offline
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New York, NY
Husker, you’re in the US so I’d think you’d understand but it costs upwards of 5x as much to fly into EIS. From the Nyc metro area we can fly to USVI for $200 RT pp. NYC to San Juan to EIS is upwards of $600 PP with a long layover.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241921
12/08/2020 12:43 PM
12/08/2020 12:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,139
road town
sleepychef Offline
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road town
$1663 for 6 people STT to EIS. minus your ferry fare, taxis. time , still a lot on top of everything else.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #241932
12/08/2020 02:44 PM
12/08/2020 02:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 136
Mill Valley, CA
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Husker Offline
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Points taken. The adder for us to fly direct to EIS from SFO is usually 10-20% more. (Pre-covid we could sometimes get to EIS for less). Some of that cost is offset avoiding the ferry tickets and extra taxi rides. For years, flying into STT has been our norm. But, we have gotten tired of the ferry hassle and unpredictability. We have missed the last ferry a number of times and forced to stay a night in Charlotte Amalie (extra cost). I think most of this is a function of us traveling from the West Coast. More flight options from US east coast. That NYC/STT direct flight is a good one.


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Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #242060
12/09/2020 08:42 PM
12/09/2020 08:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 14
USA
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CaptainVlad Offline
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From Michigan it's 3 to 5 times more. Usually $350-550 to STT vs $1500+ to EIS. Huge difference, When you multiply by 4 it's around $4000 difference. That's the cost of whole another charter (based on 2 families).

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: CaptainVlad] #242092
12/10/2020 08:49 AM
12/10/2020 08:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,360
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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I have found the most economical way to travel to EIS is on 2 tickets. In 2018/19 I probably made 60 trips between Tortola and either Ohio or Seattle. I priced it both ways on every trip and after factoring in the ferry/taxi game in STT the price was always within $100. Usually it was a little cheaper to fly to SJU than STT and then the price difference was the ticket to EIS minus the ferry.

While I enjoy the scenery and the journey on the ferry (and the Petite Pump Room), the overall travel experience is much easier in SJU. The airport itself is much nicer, there is real food/drink service available, the security is easier, they have a real TSA pre-check, a real Global Entry, and and airport lounge with food and wifi, etc, etc.

If you're serious about trying the EIS route, consider booking 2 tickets. The best options from SJU to EIS are Silver and Intercaribbean. Intercaribbean is usually a little cheaper and they have the last flight of the day so if you get bumped or are delayed you have an end of day option. Silver has nicer aircraft and their gate is in the main concourse (next to 2 bars), but you have to ride their short shuttle between the gate and planes. There is always the risk of flying on 2 tickets that a delay on the 1st segment will cause you to miss the 2nd leg but it has never caused me an issue. I did land late once and InterCaribbean had already moved me to a later flight at no cost.

Re: Update - Ferry entrance delayed until January 21 [Re: ecm56] #242119
12/10/2020 10:46 AM
12/10/2020 10:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 136
Mill Valley, CA
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Husker Offline
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Jason - I've done a similar analysis and came up with the same result, more or less. We've been fouled up and delayed enough times by the ferries that EIS is now our go to route. Even if the ferry route is perfect, it ends up costing us at least a half day travel time each way compared to flying to EIS. Granted, its just two of us usually. Totally get it that the difference adds up for a larger group.

This particular trip, I decided not to book 2 tickets, which did cost a bit more. But, considering that I've had to rebook 3 times so far, it was worth it....Delta Airlines was great and made the changes each time seamlessly. Also, there are entry protocols (72 hour PCR test) for San Juan unless you are just connecting flights thru SJU and we weren't sure if we'd have an issue collecting and rechecking our bags.


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