I wish we'd had the opportunity to read the negative reviews of this day trip before we booked it. It was extremely disappointing and the glossy brochure is extremely misleading. The only good thing about this trip were the staff who were extremely helpful and friendly.
We were under the impression that we would be travelling on a luxurious craft on a 'boutique' style cruise. The reality was a cramped, small, noisy boat with an overwhelming smell of sewerage on the entire lower deck.
The drinks served were basic and beer was close to running out. Food was far from the 'sumptuous' buffet promised in the brochure. I call a tray of lettuce with a few slices of tomato, a tray of simple potato salad, a tray of sausages and a tray of chicken, basic at best.
The island depicted on the brochure bears no resemblance whatsoever to the mound of sand with a few shrubs on it that we were taken to. I would be extremely impressed if indeed any bird life even alighted on this sand pile, never mind nested there as mentioned in the brochure.
I mentioned sand so I also need to mention the rocks - lots of them around most of the island and all of them extremely slippery. The crew shouted out to people numerous times to get off the rocks. This left only a small sand spit that gave relatively safe access to the ocean.
We were offered lots of refreshment on the island and of course nature takes its course and then you need the loo. On a boutique, upmarket cruise I do not expect to have to pee behind a bush. Hardly maintaining the pristine, natural beauty of the island. The thought of walking on sand where possibly hundreds had peed before was not particularly appealing. We were not told that there were no toilets on the island at any point before we got to the island.
I did attempt to explain the misleading nature of the brochure to a representative of the company when we returned, only to be met with the most pathetic flimflam imaginable. She blamed it all on the booking agents, saying they should have explained the trip in greater detail. Her response to the lack of toilets on the island was that the owner wanted to maintain the ecologically pristine nature of the island. I would suggest that providing a septic tank and loo might be a whole lot less damaging and a whole lot more ecologically sound than hundreds of holidaymakers urinating on the bare ground. Plenty of other similar islands have them. I used their own company literature in our discussion and they accepted no responsibility whatsoever for the discrepancies between their literature and the actual trip, displaying an arrogance and complete disregard for the paying guests. The owners of this cruise need to seriously up their game.
To conclude, I would say, buyer beware. At $200 Fijian this is poor value for money. I would also say try the Whales Tale trip instead. For the same price the trip is far closer to the experience promised by the Oo La La brochure.
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