During our first visit to Tortola, we kept reading about the same things in the various Caribbean Island books… Snorkeling at the caves, go to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, and check out Pusser’s Road Town Pub. Since we booked the cruise sorta last minute, we didn’t have the time shop around for third party tour operators so, we booked Disney’s Treasure Island Swim & Snorkel (TT44). The three and a half to four hour excursion is for ages 8 and up with a fee of $79 per person as of today.
To give you a little perspective of the Virgin Islands, here is a map of Tortola and Norman Island with St John on the left and Peter Island on the right showing our catamaran excursion.
Our port adventure was scheduled to meet in the Tube at 8AM. Whenever you are doing a port adventure, arrive early so you have adequate time to check-in to prevent any delays. Pool towels were available to pick up in the Tube.
We only walked about 500 yards (do not quote me on this – basically a short walk) from the Fantasy’s gangway to an awaiting 57-foot, double-decker catamaran Rebel Yell.
After a brief safety spiel, we left the dock sailing past the Disney Fantasy where Isabelle captured the following views of the ship.
After approximately 25 minutes crossing the Sir Francis Drake Channel, we arrived at Treasure Point, Norman Island, to snorkel around the caves.
According to DCL’s description of the port adventure, the cave furthest to the south once contained a horde of treasure and the reputed history of piracy on this island is immortalized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book Treasure Island.
Guests on this excursion are provided with snorkeling gear and a required snorkeling vests, just like those used at Castaway Cay. You can bring your own snorkeling gear if you so choose (which we do).
It is worth mentioning that once you are in the water, there is no place to stand and depending on the currents it may be a bit of a struggle trying to swim in one particular direction. Additionally, if you did not watch all of the video take a look at the 7:48 mark to get an idea on how the boat’s built in staircase lowers into the water allowing you to enter and exit (you can also just jump from the boat if you choose) the water from the Rebel Yell. We are all pretty experienced snorkelers so we did great and had a blast. We bought underwater flashlights specifically for this excursion from Amazon, which worked out perfectly in the dark caves.
Once our time at the caves was over, we boarded the catamaran and headed to Pirates Bight for some beach time. There was a nice pier which allowed us to dock and take an extremely short walk to the beach.
There were two sides to the beach. Walking from the catamaran to shore, on your left you will find The Club where the beach chairs cost $30 each, included a towel, a token for the restroom and the freshwater shower. Food was also available.
On the other side of the pier there were “free” chairs. Albiet free, the loungers are meant for customers of the Pirates Bight Restaurant and Bar on the beach.
However, I did not see anyone shooed away for sitting in a lounge chair and not ordering a drink or food. The Drink & Cocktail menu was pretty long and while they had some interesting items on the lunch menu, we opted to wait to each lunch at Pusser’s Road Town Pub back in Tortota.
There was even free wifi available on the beach!
The water at this beach was nice and calm, but was a bit cooler than the spot we were snorkeling earlier. At anytime during our time at Pirates Bight, we could come and go from the catamaran.
This was nice, as it meant we did not need to schlep our stuff to the beach. When our beach time ended, we returned to the catamaran and set a course back to Tortola. On the return trip, we were offered a choice of complimentary rum punch or fruit punch.
Overall, we had an enjoyable morning snorkeling the caves, but I’d caution anyone with young children who are not accustomed to snorkeling because once you are in the water you will not have a place to stand to adjust your gear or to take a rest other than to floating with the aid of the inflated vest.
The excursion was timed just right to give us time to explore Tortola Pier Park and have lunch at Pusser’s Road Town Pub.
You can read more about our first visit to Tortola in our daily trip log from the sailing.
If you have any questions about the Treasure Island Swim and Snorkel port adventure in Tortola, please ask below in the comments.