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Old 05-11-2013, 14:35   #1
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Ferry service Charlotte Amalie--Road Town

Does anyone have experience with using the Native Son, Smith's, or Road Town Fast Ferry to make this transfer? Or have recommendations for private water taxi with reasonable cost? Time of year mid-March.
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:23   #2
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Re: Ferry service Charlotte Amalie--Road Town

I think all three are fine....I think we used smiths but made our reservations ahead of time. Give yourself enough time after your flight gets in to retrieve your bags and catch a taxi to the ferry dock. we traveled in April.
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:14   #3
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I've used all that have been listed. The conventional wisdom is to buy a ticket on the NEXT ferry leaving and not buying tickets early. The same goes for he return trip. Buy a one way ticket on the next ferry departing. Dohm's runs a water taxi service that always gets favorable revues. You might also look at Traveltalkonline dot com when it's closer to your trip. Travelers there will be updating any issues in nearly real time. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:21   #4
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Re: Ferry service Charlotte Amalie--Road Town

Road Town Fast Ferry has been good for me. Good eating at the Petite Pump Room upstairs of the Charlotte Amalie terminal, too
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:18   #5
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Re: Ferry service Charlotte Amalie--Road Town

The first thing to note is that you are in the islands and that schedules should be considered very vague representations of what the operator intended to do when writing up the schedule. The lack of reliability and quality in the ferry services has been a matter of debate recently at the minister level in the BVI.

It is wise not to pre-purchase tickets, since that locks you into a specific ferry that might not be the next one running, and if the ferry you booked isn't running you won't get your ticket refunded or transferred to another operator, but will have to wait. Just get to the ferry terminal and purchase seats on the next one out. On Saturdays the ferries from the BVI to the USVI are crowded in the morning, and the afternoon ferries from the USVI to the BVI are even fuller (the same people, but this time loaded down with purchases) and sometimes passengers are forced to wait for the next available one. The Petite Pump Room upstairs is a good place to spend the time.

Private charters are a bit pricey, but well worth it if you have a larger group or are arriving after the last ferry leaves (which I believe is about 4:30pm from CA, but I heard that they might institute a "late ferry" which leaves after that). How many people are in your group?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:00   #6
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Re: Ferry service Charlotte Amalie--Road Town

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
The first thing to note is that you are in the islands and that schedules should be considered very vague representations of what the operator intended...
Exactly! I think the people who get all worked up about the ferry schedules are the ones who think a 2:30 ferry should leave exactly at 2:30. Not at 2:20 and most certainly not at 2:35, but at 2:30! Well, in the islands it just doesn't work that way.

Like others have said, don't sweat it. Go to the ferry terminal. Buy a ticket on the next ferry that is going to where you want to be. Check the route--it might be better to take the SECOND ferry that's going to Road Town from Charlotte Amalie, for example, if the next one is stopping in Red Hook and West End on the way.

Relax. Enjoy. Have fun!
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:03   #7
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Another fear may be not getting a seat unless you buy in advance for a specific time.

Trust me, these guys will get you onboard no matter what if you just show up.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:43   #8
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Re: Ferry service Charlotte Amalie--Road Town

I'll second the advice about not buying a ticket in advance - Smith's and Native Son alternate their departure times and it's never really clear until you get to the counter which boat is leaving when.

Also, don't check your bags at the counter, carry them onboard yourself, as I've twice seen bags loaded on the wrong boat (Once I noticed my duffle on the bow of the ferry next to ours; luckily they were able to toss it to me just as they were casting off). Additionally, I saw the crew unloading bags at West End that belonged to people who were continuing on to Road Town. Luckily they noticed, and had them loaded back on just in time.
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Old 06-11-2013, 16:58   #9
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Re: Ferry service Charlotte Amalie--Road Town

Thanks everyone for the good advice. Looking forward to our adventure!
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