No questions but just wanted to share and maybe this will help out future tourists.
I've been to Italy 2x at the hope of going to Capri specifically for the Blue Grotto (yes I know there is more to Capri than just the Grotto!!! I get that!), but each time I was unable to go due to it being closed. This was my 3rd trip and I finally was able to go!
I walked from my Airbnb to the port of Naples to be able to catch the next ferry from between 11-12. Got on one just in the nick of time that ended up being 15 minutes late. Ticket I was maybe 22 Euros. When I walked to the port, I saw the Norwegian Epic. I was hoping this wouldn't cause a delay or anything with things on Capri but didn't give it much thought. The ride was pleasant and most people on board were mainly Europeans but I saw a good amount of Anglo speakers.
Got off the ferry and went immediately to the Motoscafisti di Capri booth where there was no line (I was one of the first ones off the ferry). I went there to try to catch a cruise that would be the full island one with the stop at the Blue Grotto. The next one wasn't going to leave for 45 minutes so I figured to give Laser Capri a shot so I walked down there. I was able to catch the next one leaving so only had a 5 minute wait. Prices are the same. Motoscafisti di Capri would have been 1 Euro cheaper if booked online but it wasn't worth it to me as I just wanted the next available ride on either line.
The boat that they used was comfortable and a good size with not that many people. Most of the people I met were Americans but there were Italians on it as well as a couple from Argentina. Nice group. The guide was okay. Young guy not particularly interested. He went back and forth speaking in Italian, Spanish, and English. Was funny despite being a little hard to understand. It would have been nice if they maybe provided brochures so that we could have read about what we were looking at (some tour companies do this). No biggie. I sat on top and got some great pictures. You do not stop to swim and you do see grottoes but they were nothing like the BG.
You could see all the people who paid to have someone sail them out to swim and basically do want they want. I was jealous seeing people swim in the Green Grotto. I would have loved to have done that but I'm a party of 1 and didn't meet anyone to share the expenses with. You can also rent a small boat at a reasonable fee (and pay the gas) but I would have been scared doing it myself.
Anyway we eventually made it to the BG. You can see all the people waiting at the steps. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be (but I realize the tourist season just started). You could also see people on ships like ours waiting for the rowboats to come up to get us. We were told it would be an hour wait but it was more like 35-40 minutes which imo wasn't bad especially considering you have beautiful scenery to look at and the weather was pleasant.
Got on a row boat and rowed away 2 fellow Californians who oddly enough live 30 minutes away from me. Guide was young and didn't sing, but he was nice in those 5 minutes.
Before you see the blue, it reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean sans pirates. The blue was beautiful like a gemstone and it was something to see it while listening to some of the rowers sing. No one was in the water. I had heard that if you tip the rowers $$ they will let you jump in for a couple of minutes which was my plan. I asked the rower and he said that the police was just outside the grotto and that they normally let tourists do it, but only when the police aren't around. He told me that people just come after 5 and swim with no problem including locals so I figured I would do that. Experience ended shortly and tipped him.
Was it worth it? I think so. Would I do it again? Honestly I wouldn't do it again unless I was with other people and we rented a boat and would sneak in a swim. I think it's probably better to go in the morning before the rowboats start because the light is probably better (at least it was today before 5).
In any case I eventually get off the Laser Cruise boat and my only plan was to try to get to swim i the Blue Grotto after 5.
I went to the TI office to try to plan the next few hours. I wanted to ask around for luggage storage to keep my purse assuming I would swim at the BG. There is a luggage hold service in a gift shop but they do close at 6PM. I was also told that the porters will watch luggage but when I asked them about it, they didn't know what I was talking about saying it was strictly for hotel guests. The TI office told me that Capri Town has one until 8 (the place itself said it was 7 so check). It's located in a bathroom that is bright blue (Blue Grotto Toilets?). Anacapri has a facility as well but it's only until 6.
Anyway took the cable car for 2 Euros to Capri to look around for a bit (and check out the luggage facility). I then paid 2 Euros to go to Anacapri for the same thing on the little bus. The bus was packed but there was no wait. I really liked Anacapri. It's what I imagined an Italian seaside tourist town to look like. It reminded me of a more authentic Sorrento. I got a lot of pictures in as well.
While walking around it was clear the weather was changing. It got overcast and rained briefly. I figured that swimming in the Blue Grotto just wasn't going to happen. I also remember being told that on days where the sun isn't out, that the experience just isn't the same since you need a lot of light to get the full experience.
I got over not being able to swim and told myself that one day I will do it hopefully with a boyfriend or future spouse :) Very romantic and beautiful.
I then bought a ticket to go back to Marina Grande. The line was just as bad as what people said especially since you know the buses are small. I decided to just take the one for Capri since the line was 1/6th the size (I later found out that if I just walked a bit more I could have been the first stop on the MG route so opps...). In any case I knew by getting off at Capri that I would have a 15 minute walk or so downhill to get to MG so I figured better to do that then wait to be on the 4th bus to MG.
The walk reminded me of scenes right after the Incredible Mr. Ripley with Matt Damon. Nice walk but if you have bad knees I could see people struggling. I for one am glad I didn't walk up it because I had going uphill.
I walked straight to the ferry ticket sales booth and every high speed boat to Naples was sold out with the next one not being the slow ferry until 8:05 (was hoping to get on 2 hours earlier). I'm mainly posting about this because I should have known better that on a day when a large cruise line is in town that I should have bought a ticket ahead of time (NCL leaves Naples at 7pm)! Stupid me!
Ended up with some time to kill so just walked around Marina Grande. I had my bathing suit on from my failed attempt to swim in the BG either for 2 minutes off the rowboat, or after 5PM, along with goggles and a floating noodle (bought together for a total of 2 Euros from a street vendor near me in Naples), so I decided just to go to the closest beach and eat my late lunch/early dinner which I packed with me (a salad, roll, and water...yeah exciting!). I got in the water as well. Not a pretty blue, but very clear and saw some fish in the water. You could see how many of the people there were also told about having to take the 8:05 ferry back. Water temperature was great. I used the free beach behind Gemma Beach Club. It was mainly tourists on it, but I saw some locals with their dogs (and met one of them when his dog ran up to me wanting some of my food...cute dog....cute owner). Not the swim I wanted, but still enjoyed it.
Walked around Marina Grande going through some shops and taking photos. I came close to buying a perfume from Carthusia that has some shops all over Capri and 2 in Naples but didn't buy figuring it would be an impulse buy. I might end up splurging though and buying it anyway in Naples. The largest bottle would be 80Euros ($94USD) and my current perfume in the USA costs $70 so might be worth buying. I'm not sure the minimum I would have to spend to get some VAT returned. Any ideas appreciated.
I the went to Il Gelato Al Limone after seeing signs that said that were natural and seeing a flavor called lemon bucce. I got a small cup that was 3 Euros with lemon and melon. Holy ****!!! This was probably the best known dairy gelato that I have ever had. Was probably a sorbet but it was the best frozen none dairy dessert that I can ever remember having. It was so good that I went back and got the largest one for 5 Euros of the same flavors but listened to the worker' recommendation by adding the banana. Great suggestion. The balance was perfect. The lemon is the real deal and has parts of the peel inside it. I love sweets but I'm picky about them. When I was in Rome 2 years ago, a local told me to only get gelato from shops where the gelato basically comes in bland colors since that typically means they don't add dyes and keep it simple. That was the best food advice I got for Italy as the best gelato that I have ever had was a cheap place in Naples, and this shop located on Marina Grande.
Just plopped myself outside their shop where they have maybe 6 chairs for people to sit on and ate my 1st and 2nd cup of gelato. I saw these 2 German girls enter the shop after watching me eat it and they ordered exactly what I got but in cone form.
Eventually got back on the ferry to Naples, showered, and had a mediocre dinner.