For our stop in Tortola on our cruise on the Norwegian Getaway, we decided to do the Island Beach Break excursion. We just wanted an easy, relaxing day at the beach with not a lot of bus time or transfers. That is *mostly* exactly what we got.
We booked our excursion through the cruise line and paid $45 per person. The excursion was meant to least 4 hours. This includes about a half hour drive to and from the beach with 3 hours spent at the beach. The small print on the excursion ticket states that they can take you to any beach depending on the weather, etc. So for our excursion, the tour operators took us to Cane Garden Bay, so this information will be specific to that beach.
You can click here for the description of the excursion from Norwegian Cruise Lines. I think the “need to know” section is particularly interesting.
Note: Wear your swimsuit and bring a towel. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available at an additional cost. One complimentary bottle of cold water is included. Time spent at beach is approximately 3 hours. The majority of the transportation used are open-air safari type vehicles. Tortola is a very beautiful island, however there will be many curved roads and going up and down hills.Norwegian Website
So, How Did It Go?
When we arrived at our meeting point, they broke us into groups to get on the open air busses. I will say they stuffed us in the vehicles — so much so that people were hanging off the edge of the bus and a couple had to sit up front with the driver when they couldn’t fit.
Now, let’s talk about that vehicle. It struggled to get up the hills and around the curves. Like struggled to the point that the driver ground the gears and we stalled a few times. He said there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, but a lot of our ship mates didn’t agree and found their own transportation back to the ship via taxi.
We did finally make it to the beach after what seemed like an eternity. We were greeted by the beach staff and offered chairs. Beach chairs can be rented for the duration of your stay for $5 each. Umbrellas are an additional $5 each. We did get one bottle of water and a snack (a bag of chips) which had already given to us before we left the port area.
Be sure when you pay that they take the fabric ties off your chair. The guy we paid didn’t do that for us, and another staff member tried to make us pay again for the chairs. We eventually got it sorted out, but I just want you to be aware of their process.
They had a yellow bounce platform that was out in the water. There was a charge to use it which wasn’t obvious, so there was a guy yelling at people that were using it without paying. I feel like there could have been a better process for this.
Now, it’s time to lay back and enjoy the beach!
Time at the Beach
I will have to say that, once we got there, I absolutely loved this beach! The weather was perfect and it was a lot less crowded than Magen’s Bay which we had visited the day before.
There was a refreshments area which also is where the bathroom is located. We didn’t buy anything from there, so I can’t speak to the pricing. But, there was food and drink available if your Cheetos didn’t fill you up. 😉
Overall, we had a great day and, without that bus drama, it would have been absolutely perfect! I would definitely take this excursion again and would recommend it to anyone going to Tortola!