Great post about the Ferry problems in Vieques/Culebra to end the year. Don’t travel to Vieques just for the day on the ferry. This is why.

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A beach in Vieques

On her blog published December 27, 2015, Skai Juice makes an analysis of the good the bad and the ugly about traveling to Vieques and Culebra by ferry for a beach day. Very interesting article. Her summary is that:

“In 2016, people should be able to purchase tickets in advance on an App that they download to their phone. At the dock, there should be a ticket booth vending machine where people can come down and buy tickets at anytime of the day or night for tickets purchased on any day they want to go….no internet required. Sorry, selling tickets out of a booth is not a job anymore. Put people in jobs that require thinking. If you sell out one ferry then add another one…Supply and Demand! Remember that concept!

Im sorry to offend anyone but that “locals first” thing is bogus. If I have to get there at the crack of ass to line up, then your ass does to. I guess folks don’t realize that you don’t disrespect your guests. Why would you have your money (tourists) waiting like that? So disrespectful! In fact if anyone should wait it should be the locals….let the money on the boat first…lol! For real! Honestly I lived in St. Thomas VI and had to go on the ferry to St John many times. Everyone lines up according to when they came…there is no skipping because you live on the island. It just doesn’t make sense.” http://skaijuice.com/2015/12/dont-go-to-culebra-or-vieques/

As a local viequense I agree with most of her posting except that one day visitors contribute not much more that extra garbage to the islands. Most of the time they carry their drinks and food along with their beach umbrellas and chairs. True, most of them prefer Culebra over Vieques. I hope it stays that way so not to overcrowd the Vieques ferries and create the crisis you usually see in the Fajardo harbor in the 9 am ferry lines to Culebra that go around the whole block. That dos not happen in the Vieques lines.

My suggestion is that when you visit Vieques, stay in Vieques a couple of days. Make arrangements with your hotel or rental for them to purchase your tickets before hand if you are intent on coming on that first ferry from Fajardo, which is the most crowded on Saturdays and during the holidays. Better to travel mid day. I also suggest to my guests to fly over from the Ceiba airport or from the San Juan Isla Grande airport, much cheaper that the international airport rates.

While the ferry system continues to be as inefficient as it is, they better keep local people a priority, they are the reason the ferries are there to begin with. If they are going to leave somebody out, it better be somebody that is coming to visit for the day but if left behind can easily turn around and go to another beach in the Fajardo area than somebody that is trying to get back home and usually has no transportation or money to stay in a hotel in Fajardo. And the reality is that at 9 am there is not much local traffic from Fajardo to the islands, the local traffic starts at 6 am from the islands to Fajardo and back at 4:45 pm. Take that in mind.

I suggest never to take the 9 am ferry from Fajardo to the islands on Saturdays or holidays unless you have pre-purchased tickets. Before making your hotel reservation ask for help obtaining ferry tickets. Know before hand that the ferry system sucks, so you will not be surprised. But, for $2 each way, what else do you expect?

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