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“Very accommodating - nothing fancy”

Road Town Fast Ferry
Attraction details
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Our trip from St. Thomas to the BVI was uneventful, though choppy because of rough seas/weather. As another reviewer mentioned, this is a fast ferry - nothing fancy. The taxi driver that picked us up in Road Town did warn us that RTFF was having some issues regarding their boats and to make sure we call the day before our return to verify that boats back to St. Thomas were running as scheduled. All was well except that when we got there the next day, the ferry was already full (to another reviewer's point, I believe they were using a smaller ferry than usual). The folks at RTFF were very accommodating in that they arranged for a cab to Soper's Hole for us to pick up another ferry (which did have to go through St. John first), and they arranged a cab from the pier in St. Thomas to the airport. This was at no additional cost to us (as would be expected). While we were a bit inconvenienced, we were able to make our flight out of St. Thomas on time and we appreciated their being able to work with another ferry company to get us to the airport on time.

1  Thank Ana K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 - 188 of 215 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2013

The June 13th photo saying it is NEW is actually NOT the Tortola Fast Ferry service, it is a Native Son Boat. Totally different operator. When a boat has a breakdown, the other operators fill in so you make your schedule eventually. Anytime you use a ferry for transportation you have to expect there could be delays. Never book a ferry based on the exact schedule if you are catching a plane. That;s just the way travel is.

1  Thank Sailingfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Right to the point. This is a fast, no frills experience that is use as much by the locals as the tourists. Don't expect anything fancy. This is a bus on the water and nothing more.

Thank Islandeddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Took a ferry service from St. Thomas to Tortola over 12 years ago and not much has changed since my trip last week with my husband, 9 yr old & 11yr old. I have used Smith's (Bomba Charger), Road Town Fast Ferry Catamaran (counter #4) and Speedy's (monohull). I have to say no matter what service you use it can all change on a moments notice...the company, the boat, departure time etc., each company also has a few different boats and they advertise pictures of their best boat (none of which I ever saw). If the seas are light You will have no problem, but in heavy seas ALL the boats are uncomfortable and quite frankly, the ride can be terrifying. I have had more bad rides than good. Best ride was Speedy's, worst on Smith's boat the Bomba Charger and Road Town Fast Ferry's (green catamaran) broke down 1/2 way to Tortola in 6ft seas.
1. Plan on this trip taking over an hour in any vessel.
2. Departure and arrival times vary due to weather, boat maintenance etc. leave extra time on both ends!
3. At the dock choose your transporter carefully by asking who is nonstop and which boat they are using but even this changes, as we bought RT tickets on the high speed cat and took it to Tortola but on the return a week later the cat company informed us that they would honor our tix but we would be going back to St. Thomas with another company on a smaller boat and not on the cat.
4. Basically, in my experience this is a 50/50 trip in that you either hate the experience or you were satisfied. I have never met anyone who "enjoyed" the ferry ride to Tortola.
5. I think all these companies are about the same and safety/comfort does not seem to be a priority. Someone with a captain's license could make some good $$ in the ferry business by investing in a clean, well maintained boat that is a cut above these 3rd world floating coffins.

Bottom Line: aim for figuring out who is operating the best boat at the time and book with that company, but it's still a crap shoot...

2  Thank CObeachgurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Road Town Fast Ferry is the worst experience I have ever had traveling in my entire life. I am prone to sea sickness so we bought 2 round trip tickets at a steep $60 each with Road Town Fast Ferry due to their slogan; "Enjoy the comfort of a HIGH SPEED Catamaran". We arrived very early noon ferry last week and waited patiently. We saw the catamaran come in a few minutes before noon and we were excited to be on our way to Road Town. As people start to line up, the catamaran mysteriously speeds away from the dock without loading any passengers. The other guest including locals looked at each other with confusion. 20 mins goes by before we were barked at by someone stating another ferry was on its way without explanation why. At this point we are already late; another 35 mins goes by. Finally at 12:45 this single haul wooden boat that looks like it was made in the 1940's comes up to the dock. I thought "surely this isn't our speed catamaran" I kindly speak to the lady at the ticket booth, she tells me this is the boat we will be taking. I explain to her I purchased tickets from your company because I get sea sick and catamarans are much more stable on the sea. Not to mention this old single haul boat takes longer to arrive. 1hr 15mins as apposed to 45 mins advertised. She explained to me I could sit on the open air top of the boat to help with my seasickness worries. She also said I paid for the service, not the boat. IT DOES NOT SAY THIS ANYWHERE ON THIER TICKETS OR SIGNAGE! If we knew there was a possibility of not having a catamaran as they advertise we would have flown or booked with another company. As now I am upset, we start to board nearly an hour late. As we step on I ask the captain on the boat how to get upstairs to sit outside. He started yelling at us "no one is sitting upstairs". I explain to him the lady at the ticket desk told me it was ok. He just barked "no". My partner tried to explain to him that I get sick. He then shockingly told us to take our ticket back, as he was kicking us off his boat, simply for asking a question. I almost in tears was shaking. We were approached by 2 giant guys who asked for our tickets back. My partner explain to them what happened and they realized the captain was out of line completely and they let us stay on the boat. When we finally got going, the ride was terrifying. The entire boat was screaming at points. Everyone on the boat was talking "so much for our safety" "are we in a 3rd world country" etc the passenger in front of me was writing a negative review on trip advisor on the spot. A week later, we were forced to ride with fast ferry again, as we were told our tickets would not be refunded. On the way back we thankfully got the catamaran. It was a smoother quicker ride. However the boat was disgusting. The A/C did not work, the ceiling was falling down, the only bathroom was out of order. I will tell anyone that will be traveling to the virgin islands to stay away from Road Town Fast Ferry. The worst.

Thank youknowb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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