During our holiday at Mauritius we wanted like many others to do a catamaran cruise as this seem to be one of the "must do activities". As we travel with our 2 1/2 year old daughter we were looking for a cruise that was close to shore and somewhat calmer than the oceangoing trips, as well with the possibility to be on a sandy beach to swim in calm waters. We selected Catamaran Cruises do to the extremly good feedback here on Tripadvisor and found a trip with them to the Bernache Island that was inside the lagoon and ot sounded perfect. we booked the cruise through their website, selected a day with availability wich was by coinsident the following day, and paid with our cc on the booking site. Oposit of what many have reported here on TA, we did not get any quick reply from Catamaran Cruises. We did the booking around noon and at 6PM we still had not heard anything back. We tried to call the contact number on their site seberal times with only response by an automatic voicemail where we left messages. Tried to send emails, as well as to use the online chat with the booking company they use, AnyGuide in the US. The only response was through AnyGuide but they not get hold of anyone at Catamaran Cruises either to confirm our booking. Only at about 8PM, more than 8 hours after our booking, we got an email saying the cruise we booked did not have any availability any more but instead they recommended a cruise to Flat Island, Ilot Gabriel and Gunners Point. I assumed they had read our comment in the booking about us bringing our 2 1/2 year old daughter and that they found this to be a suitable cruise to bring her. I was wrong.
We left Grand Baie about 0830 and arrived the Flat Island at 1015. This was the most horrifying hours in my daugthers life ever. It was strong wind and a lot of waves hitting us in the bow, so the captain had to run at full speed with engines into the waves and the boat was shaking and rumbling a lot. The first 10-15 minuttes most passengers thought it was exiting, but as the seas got worse most people were just trying to cope with the waves. Many people got sick and it was vomit all over the boat that the crew as good as they could, cover with some towels instead of cleaning up. The three other children around us were sittining sitting with their parents being scared, and my poor daughter just cried for two hous straight wanting to go home without any of us being able to do anything about the situation. I think any parent can put them self into this situation and agree this is nothing any kid would need to experience.
I know that by now most readers think that this reviewer are a person not used to ocean and waves and probaly are overreacting. I therefore like to add that my academic background actually are navigation, and that I am born and raised with boats in the artic ocean in Norway. At home we have our own boat and I often bring my family out on the ocean. If I worked at this cruise company, I would never recommend families this trip, as this is out in the open ocean. And if I was the captain on this catamaran I would have known how the wind and weather was, and how the boat and passengers would react to it, and strongly adviced the families with the smaller children against going on this trip. I guess Catamaran Cruises are more conserned by the revenue loss this wold have given them.
When that is said I also want to add that neither of the destinations on this trip are suitable for young children. The beaches are full of sharp coral pieces and rocks in the sand and while most adults and teenagers would find their way throgh this, it is not good for neither small children feet, nor parents carrying small children (as shoes and sandals are left before you enter the boat). The water in all three locations have quite strong current and not possible for smaler children to swin alone.
All in all it should ben obvious for both the company and the crew that this is not a trip for families with smaller children and should first of all informed about this in the web/booking site, and for sure not recommended it as an alternative to the other trip.
As a general comment to th cruise was that the boat was completely filled up with passengers. Imdid not count but belive it was more than the maximum 17 they claim on their site on the this trip. Lunch was onboard so it was very crowded toeat and get food. The quality of the food was not as impressive as a barbecue sounds like. The fish was best, fresh and ok taste, but chicken legs and sausage did not impress. The trip back was less rock, but instead the crew turnd up the volume of the music to a level that fitted the teenager and young adults onboard that had enjoyed free beer, wine and rum, better than families with small children.
This is a cruise for adults an tenagers that like adventures, a bumpy ride and loud music. Families stay away.
Neither crew nor the company have attempted to respond to our complaints even if we at several occasions tried to give our feedback. I would recommend this company to any one.