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Excursions to BVI -- Question

New England, USA
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Excursions to BVI -- Question

Just sitting here w/ my sister, who has been to the Caribbean numerous times ... I'll be in St. John next week for my first time ever (1st time ever in the Caribbean!). We want to take an excursion to the other islands, but she had an experience once (not in St. John) where the snorkeling excursion she was on ended up being a drinking free-for-all. People were loaded, jumping off the boat, and she couldn't believe the crew actually allowed people to get drunk and go off the boat like that. By the trip back people were actually vomiting off the side. Yikes!!! Now I'm thinking it's smart to ask folks in advance what the chances might be of this happening in St. John. Has anyone had this experience?

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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1. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

That sort of experience is definitely not the norm here! The majority of the charters carry max 6 passengers but even those which do carry more of crowd won't put up with bad behavior. I don't think it's anything you have to be concerned about!

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2. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

Just do a little research here and you will have no problems. I would try to book directly with the owner of the boat that way you can find out if it is a party boat or not. Most are not.

Pia
St John, VI
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3. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

Not necessary to only book directly with an owner (obviously this is always an option)

A reputable booking agent will let you know what you need - my customers really like that I find availability and then email availability, size of boat, insurance, description (number of customers on the party mix boats, max capacity on private boats) types of locations, what is included (such as snorkel equipment, food drinks etc) lunch stops you can find along with Customs charges and approximate fuel charges - it saves them a lot of calling around without costing them.

Pia

Minneapolis
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4. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

Okay, now I'm curious. Suppose I WANTED a party boat, with an endless bar and people whooping and hollering and tossing their cookies over the sides. Could you book me one of those, Pia? (Kinda hoping the answer is no, but just wondering...)

Pia
St John, VI
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5. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

Not really but on a "mixed group" charter you never know - all it takes is a group of 8 or 10 etc that decide they are out to drink as much as they possibly can for a boat to get rowdy. Having said that all the crew members on the large boats do an excellent job of making sure it is an enjoyable experience for all guests and (IMO) would never allow it to get to that point although the trip from Soggy Dollar (Jost) back to St. John can sometimes be really "happy" :)

Pia

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6. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

I still would go directly to owner, who else knows all the answers better? Plus the money he saves on broker fees can help with upkeep on his boat. Some of these fees are quite high.

Pia
St John, VI
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7. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

As I have said many times Ron - there are over 30 brokers on island and 99% of the charters use them for bookings - I also recommend companies even if I do not book with them if I know it is a perfect fit for the group but only if I know the captain 1) has insurance and 2) has no personal "habits" that might be unpleasant for the guests.

Brokers do know the boats well (maybe not as well as the captain) but we are still are informed and do know the captains personally and have been on almost every charter company available and if the arrangement has been made, and is perfectly acceptable to the charter company with all 30 brokers on island, it is an arrangement all parties are in agreement with.

I guess it depends how much value you put in spending your time on your vacation (or before) calling many companies to find availability and what they offer and how much they cost in comparison to another company, as to whether it is worth it to you to use a booking agent.

Pia

8. Re: Excursions to BVI -- Question

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