Just came back from a trip to Provo and had an amazing time there! I've been lurking on the forum for months now and would like to input my experience with these two tour companies since I think the consensus here was that they are pretty much the same, and that "you can't go wrong with either of them", from my experience, I would have to disagree.
My mom and I went on both the half-day tour with Island Vibes and the full-day tour with Caicos Dream Tours and we both recommend Island Vibes 100%, not so much Caicos Dream Tours for the following reasons:
#1: Picking up and Paying
Starting from picking up, IV picked us up right from the beach in a timely manner. For CDT, we were told to come down at 8:45am at their booth, however, there were already a long line forming, turns out they were getting people to pay before boarding the ship; they were also giving out fins and floating belts at the booth. So we waited to pay and did not get on the ship until 9:30am, we also had to wait for others to pay before boarding, so we did not head out until 9:45, one hour after the time they said to wait on the beach. Also, we were staying at the Alexandra, but CDT also picks up people from other resorts as well but they have to get off the boat to pay at the booth near the Alexandra.
With IV, everyone paid while on the ship, they also give out the snorkeling equipment while everyone was aboard; which resulted in an easier and more relaxed process.
#2 Number of people on the trip and Layout of the boats
CDT definitely packed their ship to the fullest capacity, there were at least 30 people abroad (I counted 32) and very limited space. IV had half as many people, and their boat is more spacious: with space in the center, and a bar where drinks and conch salad were made; the IV boat only had seating along the boarder of the boat, which resulted in a more spacious feeling. The CDT boat have seating along the boarder of the boat AND the center, and when it was filled, feels vey cramped, I could not stretch out my legs without hitting the person across from me (which was NOT the case with IV).
#3 Food and drinks
As mentioned earlier IV's boat have room for a bar area while the CDT boat was filled with seating areas; the result is that for IV, rum punches were freshly made and kept on coming as it ran out, they also have bottled water and soda. For CDT, there were pre-made drinks in a cooler filled with rum punch, soda, and water, they definitely packed enough for this trip and did not run out.
Both companies provided great-tasting rum punch and fresh conch salad!
Because we did the full-day tour with CDT, we got a BBQ lunch on a beautiful island (I think it was Half Moon Bay?), there were a lot of food which ranged from average to good.
I think this is the most important aspect of any tours. And in this, IV FAR exceeded CDT.
On the IV tour, we got captain AJ and first mate Luke, both were so friendly and interacted with guests throughout the tour. Luke went around in the beginning offering to take pictures for people. AJ was also very charismatic and outgoing.
For CDT, we got captain DeRoy (I forgot the name of the first-mate). The crew seemed nice enough, however, there were almost no interaction with guests, and no personalized service at all. Whenever we arrived at a destination, there were very little information provided on what/where it is. My mom said that when she asked some questions to captain DeRoy when he was making lunch for us, he answered with one-word answers and seemed a little aloof. But this was probably because he was tired from having to make lunch for 30+ people. Also, there were a lot of things that had to be carried from the boat to the island where we are having the BBQ lunch, so almost all the guests helped out by carrying the large baskets to the island and later back on the boat. I feel like for 30+ guests, having only two crew members is too few; they seemed very tired throughout the trip.
-The bathroom on the CDT boat smelled funny, did not flush, and did not have toilet paper (which seemed hilarious to me at the time) nor hand sanitizer.
-The bathroom on the IV boat is very clean, and comfortable to use: it flushed, and had both toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
-Also, IV has a diving board on the top of the boat which is very fun!
-Both played good music.
-The island where we had lunch for the full day tour have a lot of insects in the areas with shade, please bring some insect repellent if you are doing a full-day tour!
-If you are only want snorkeling, then you will probably enjoy a boat tour with only snorkeling. I wish we had more snorkeling for the full-day tour on CTD, we only had 15 minutes one of the snorkeling sites but we spent 3 hours on a island waiting for lunch to be prepared and eating lunch.
Thank you for reading this lengthy (and sometimes nit-picky) comparison!
All in all, both companies provided fun tours in the beautiful Turks & Caicos, and I would probably like CDT more if I had not gone with IV two days before. I would recommend Island Vibes to all.