We just did the beach break. The beach was nice and water warm, just be prepared to pay $3 for a 2oz bag of chips, $8 for a beer and $5 for a 12 oz coke. It was just average at best. There is a Sandals there, not sure why you would ever stay there! Felt bad for the sting rays and dolphins in the netted areas used for the encounters sold.
The Stingray swim was amazing, but short. However, the only photos that you could buy was the $90 package, which included ALL Of your photos. They do not offer individual photos. If I could have bought just ONE photo, I would have done that. Even if it was $25. But I left with NO photos, because I didn't want to pay $90 for all of them (most of them weren't any good).
We were stuck on this isna;d for hours with no food or drink provided. When we did a similar excursion last year (swimming with dolphins) it included lunch and drinks/ This excursion was on an island way out in the middle of nowhere. And they had some sketchy looking food which was very expensive. They DID have a Starbucks, but the Starbucks worker said she could not make any of our favorites, but only the very few items listed on their very short menu. Everything was expensive on the island: food (which we weren't about to eat), drinks, and t-shirts ($30 for a t-shirt? Really?). We were disappointed in this excursion.
The excursion was a lot of fun and we learned a ton about stingrays! I have a newfound appreciation for them. The only knock is that even after paying for the excursion, they want charge you $75 for a photo and they don't allow you to bring a camera to take your own photos.
I signed up for the sting ray swim for $99 on the ship and it was amazing! When i got to talking with one of the worker on the island they let me add on the dolphin swim for an extra $75 when it originally had been $250 for just the dolphin swim on the ship! I got a great time and a deal! The guys who did the dolphins were super friendly, one even swam out and caught a Conch for us since we were curious! The only downside was you could only get the pictures the company took for you which were extremely overpriced but were great quality!
We didn't do the Stingray, just the beach and lunch. There are several versions of Balmoral that you can book so you can make it right for you. Just beach, beach and lunch, beach and stingrays, beach and dolphins. The island and beach is quite nice with just enough facilities for a relaxing beach day. Nice beach, 2 pools, 1 restaurant, 2 bars, gift shop, dive shop and the excursion area. They play good music and the time is just about perfect as far as the length of the tour- just wish we have more time on Tortola in general.
There are several options for the Balmoral island experience. For just beach relaxation with lunch, $59 per person. A 30 min boat ride to the island. There are options for alcohol, dolphin encounter, stingrays etc. the beach was clean and spacious. It's a private island so no hassling from locals. There is some shopping if you would like. There are lounge chairs and umbrellas.
A good and inexpensive excursion.
The stingrays were awesome. I loved holding them and learning about them. The pictures were not affordable and the souvenir shop had nothing stingray related inside. Stingrays are my favorite animal and I was extremely disappointed by not being able to bring mementos home.
Again, we were running late getting to the island. It was OK though because we found out our encounter wasn't for a few hours. Otherwise, this resort is a great place to just sit on the beach or go for a swim. The stingray encounter was awesome, I enjoyed playing with the creatures. The only thing is they do not allow you to take pictures as they have their own photographer. I figured I could get one nice one to keep as a souvenir. Oh no, they want you to pay $75 for a CD and $95 with pictures and video. It was really exorbitant.
The Island had many chairs available to relax by the water. Food was a little on the expensive side. The weather was not too accommodating on the day of the excursion, but that would not be anything negative, it was still a wonderful excursion to take.
Didn't do the sting rays but were able to see them and the dolphins from the pier. Beautiful beach. Small swimming area. High tide is in the morning for better swimming. Not much to see snorkel wise. A few fish by the rocks. Great bar and Starbucks! Had burgers, hotdogs and chips included. Other food for a price inside. Two nice pools. Gift shop. Plenty of lounge chairs, umbrellas and covered areas with patio furniture. Perfect if you just want to relax on a beautiful island beach!
The Balmoral Island Day included swimming with the dolphins for our teenage girls and they loved it. My wife and I stayed on the beach and it was ok. It was a long trip each way from the boat to the island.
My daughter and husband swam with dolphins and I just did the beach break. We were able to ride over on boat to island together and saw each other after the dolphin swim. The ferry ride was about 25 minutes. The swim was 199 per if book online. The price went to 239 once on the ship. The beach club is total paradise. I mean really pretty. We had the beach to ourselves...fellow shipmates. It was not crowded and had lots of chairs and umbrellas. The bathrooms were. Clean. My husband also said the swim was worth every penny and lasted about 2 hours in all. He even bought the cd for 75. There are about 40 amazing pics of my husband and daughter on it. One other note, the water is 5 per bottle. I would suggest trying to bring your own. They did not check our bags. I did not drink or eat while there so not sure on prices or quality. We left ship about 2 and got back about 7 pm.
No running water on the island (it was broken) -- not for toilets or washing our hands. Bathrooms got pretty terrible. Carnival heard our complaint and refunded our money. Fantastic Shore Excursion Manager!
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