The Maasdam visits Tortola and we find an internet cafe in Road Town

By Tim O’Keefe

Yesterday afternoon we finally posted blogs covering the past three days; it’s obvious we’ve been having some “technical difficulties.” And we needed to spend as much time as it took to get them straightened out so they won’t reoccur again.

The problem is not the internet service aboard the Maasdam. The satellite link can be fairly fast. The problem is on our end, and after spending an afternoon online it appears we have the kinks worked out.

Unfortunately, the repair process took most of the afternoon. And since we didn’t dock in Road Town on Tortola until around 11 a.m., we didn’t see much of anything. Nothing really to blog about what we did, what we experienced.

Except we found a really good place for inexpensive internet located on the right just outside the gates of the cruise port. It’s in a small building whose main business is renting cars and motor scooters. Called Urban Rental, I never would have found it except someone on the ship recommended it. The sign is small and the “Internet Café” part is secondary. They charged us only US$5 an hour.

You can either rent a computer or connect your own to their wireless. The computer room is well air conditioned but loud: You’ll likely be hearing the owner and his friends outside colorfully discussing everything from politics to insurance. If certain words offend you, consider the internet café behind the Banco Popular just another block down on the right.

Since you’re not likely to be dealing with technical problems on your trip, suggestions about what to do (I’ve been here numerous times before). Take an excursion to Virgin Gorda and the remarkable rock formation known as The Baths where huge boulders created a series of pools along a section of beach. Diving and snorkeling always are good in calm weather, though the British Virgin Islands are not noted for outstanding visibility. Or you can walk an actual hiking trail on Tortola’s Sage Mountain, the highest point in the BVI’s.

You’ll find plenty of shopping just outside the port gates in a series of white tents immediately on the left. They all seem to have pretty much the same thing. Moving farther downtown, Pusser’s Pub is known for its rum and sailing apparel; Eddie Bauer–type garb with a nautical flair.

Perhaps the most original store is Sunny Caribbee Spice Shop and Art Gallery. A Road Town institution in business for over 25 years, Sunny Caribbee sells its own blends of jerk, curry, teas and hot sauces from mild to xxx hot. Two of their best sellers are the Arawak Love Potion and West Indian Hangover Cure, both available in wooden apothecary jars. Check out their wares online at Their mailing address is St. Thomas, which means surprisingly low shipping costs, including regular U.S. priority mail rates.

Linda and I hope we’ll be able to post daily from now on. If there is another problem, and we pray there won’t be, we’ll catch up with our posts as soon as we can. No more sitting in internet cafes for hours at a time when it prevents us from getting out and about. If we do, we’ll have nothing new to write about. Like today.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.


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