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“"Dolphin watching tour"”

Frankie Tours & Rentals
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Attraction details
Owner description: With so much to see and do on the beautiful island of Tobago explore with a trusted tour operator, whether you are seeking adventures by land or sea, with Frankie Tours and Rentals your sure to enjoy your experience. Frankie Tours and Rentals is a true local family business and is operated by expert local guides and skippers all of whom are highly experienced. With more than 25 years of professional knowledge and experience. Frankie Tours has the very best tour guides Tobago has to offer. Every tour provides an interactive, enjoyable and memorable experience. With Frankie Tours and Rentals customer safety is paramount and we pride ourselves in always providing a safe environment for all guests.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“"Dolphin watching tour"”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

This is not a dolphin watching tour, we went twice (over a month apart) (sold by the picture of people swimming with dolphins) and it is basically a getting drunk cruise, with a lot of time sat on no mans land (a small area with lots of tourists-about 5 boats full). The music is VERY loud, lots of alcohol. The first time the boat broke and we drifted for about an hour while the guy fixed it (all got very seasick). If your young (Im in my early 20s), like lots alochol, and sitting on a packed beach you will like it, and in good shape for some snorkeling. If your expecting a nice relaxing boat tour looking for dolphins and wildlife you will be very disappointed. Our first tour was alot better than second however, so the quality varies with the crew and driver

Visited June 2013
Thank _Walnut_Whip_186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michael f, Manager at Frankie Tours & Rentals, responded to this review, June 19, 2013
As a company that you toured with twice we are surprised to see that you did not enjoy your second tour. Unfortunately I must say that although you saw dolphins your first trip and not your second, it is not something we can control as they are wild and when we do spot them we allow our clients to get a closer view and possibly even swim with them. As for the drinking, " no mans land" is a public area where others frequent often and some choose to drink while other would prefer to laze in the sun. We offer both options and do not force our clients to choose one over the other. We are sorry that your trip was not satisfactory and do hope that your first tour with us will remain in your memory.
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150 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very Disappointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

I should have read the reviews before we booked with this company. Our day was a disappointment from the beginning. Our daughters were uncomfortable on the boat and felt like Mr. Franck was constantly leering at them. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone. We asked for a refund and were refused. So many excuses.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michael f, Manager at Frankie Tours & Rentals, responded to this review, May 31, 2013
We here at Frankies believe this is a case of mistaken identity. There are many tour operators on the island under the name Frankie and Mr. Frank. The Mr. Frank that runs this company is a 79 year old man unable to travel on any boat. We believe you had a bad experience with another tour operator and company and that is unfortunate.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Negotiate price! Great day and food £40 each.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013

Full day, snorkelling, fishing, dolphins, nylon pool, BBQ, meet people. Good value seeming the cost of lunch alone off the boat would be around £10. Staff are a bit casual but that seems standard. Worth going, negotiate mind.

Visited April 2013
Thank Msethn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Lucky to be alive...”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2013

My partner and I booked a 1/2 day trip to go see the Nylon Pool (a white sand bar in the middle of the sea) as we were told it is a must see. We booked our trip through our hotel and we were off the next day. A long hot ride as the bus didn't have air but there you go. When boarding this very small wooden glass bottom boat, we had to wade out and climb the wooden ladder up onto the boat. They took care of us but with no slip resistant strips on the ladder, it wasn't easy and we had folks that were very challenged. The skipper was a man of few words but had things under control. So we thought...the host was a gentleman who was visiting Tobago as he was visiting family. He in his own words stated that he had many dives under his belt but hadn't done this kinda thing in 30 years. He pointed at the life vests and stated that if we flew on a plane, it is the same as that demo and stated to just put them on and pull the straps firmly around your waste but no actual demo. There were about 20 of us on this old boat and we were pinned in pretty tight and if you needed to get some air, it proved very difficult to make your way out. We did a snorkle visit and the host was very clear about instructions and made sure the folks stayed safe and close to the boat. That part was fine. We then went to Nylon Pool which is worth the visit...just don't take this boat...well I don't think you can as it is probably still being repaired...

We cruise back in to the beach and the host drops the anchor rope and the skipper gets out of the boat to steady it so folks can be assisted down the ladder,into the sea and up to land. Well, this is when it all went terribly wrong.

Where the rope/anchor was put down, it appeared the slack in the rope was too much? I don't know what happened but we began drifting toward the rocks and then found ourselves caught in a dangerous current. The skipper was out of his depth and was attempting to keep us from hitting the rocks. The waves and current and the boat pitching so much folks were holding on for dear life. The top of the boat where you could sit outside had no slip resistance and the railing around the top was about 2 inches high. The boat began to catch the waves and when it came down from a large wave, the heavy wooden ladder hit the floor of the sea and there was an almighty crack as it broke and damaged the back of the boat. We were now stuck as the host was trying to work the rope and the skipper couldn't make it back on the boat to start the engine to get us out. Folks on the shore were screaming to us telling us what to do but none of us could even stand at this point. Finally, a guardian angel took it upon himself to swim out to the boat and got on board and managed to get the engine started to get us out of the current. His actions were swift but the look of panic and anger on his face were unforgettable.

The skipper still stayed in the water to steady the boat but was inches away from the propeller of the engine and I still get nightmares thinking how this could have easily ended his life.

Once we got out of current, the waves were still pretty big but they just told us...GO GO...GO

Because of the violent pitching, some folks fell into the viewing wells and they have to be sore and bruised today.

While we made it, I feel we were moments from that little boat going into the rocks and that would have been game over.

The boat was called Morning Star so if Frankie's books it for you, tell them you will find another tour company.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Ed_Johnson_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michael f, Manager at Frankie Tours & Rentals, responded to this review, April 25, 2013
All tours to the Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool are run by the Government and a Reef Association. They are operated in a turn system, meaning all boats are subject to go out as tickets are sold at the booth. There is no control over the order in which these boats go out. Our boat is a part of the association, so although clients book through us they do not always end up on our vessel. We are glad you enjoyed your visit to the Nylon Pool and Reef but sorry you had to endure this freak accident. Unfortunately we cannot control the weather and the seas. When the seas are rough we try our best to be as safe as possible. All of the boats are kept up to standard. They have life vest and are equipped with safety first aid kits. This incident was an act of nature fortunately everyone was unharmed although the boat might have sustained some damage. We here at Frankie's Tours strive to give our clients the utmost experience in touring while they are visiting our beautiful island. So we hope that you continue to choose us as your Tobago tour company.
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Level Contributor
92 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Unprofessional, Mostly a Middle Man, Would NOT Recommend”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

We did not have a good experience working with Frankie Tours. First off, we didn't realize that Frankie Tours is more or less a middle man for other smaller tour operators. None of the people who took us on our tours were actual employees of Frankie Tours, but seperate tour guides that we could have booked ourselves (probably for cheaper).
The first tour we took was an island tour by jeep. The tour was actually done by Kennedy Tours, which we DO highly recommend. Frankie never informed us that we would have a different tour guide, so we were a bit concerned at first when a different tour company came to pick us up. To Frankie's credit, he picked a good tour guide to take us, as well really enjoyed this tour. We ended up booking a second tour as a result of that.
The second tour was a Little Tobago Island tour, yet again another tour that Frankie was just the middle man for. The driver did NOT know what time we were supposed to be there to catch the glass bottom boat across to the island, he thought it left at 11 am but it actually left an hour earlier. Even if the boat did leave at 11 am, we would have been half an hour late, and would have missed it anyway. Once we realized we missed the boat, the driver told us we could not wait until the later boat at 1 pm and suggested he drive us back again the next day. Well this was 3 hours round trip, so we would have wasted another day to come back again. So he ended up arranging for a fisherman to take us over to the island. We THOUGHT we would have a guide (as was mentioned in the brochure), but they dropped us off and left us there alone on the island for 2 hours. There was no one to ask for directions, so we wandered aimlessly on the many different paths, but saw no wildlife and learned absolutely nothing. On the way back, the boat was supposed to stop at Goat island for some snorkelling, but they did not stop, they just took us back to Tobago. When we confronted Frankie on the phone afterwards, he was very passive-agressive. He kept insisting that we still had an "experience" out of this flop of a tour, so we should still have to pay him a portion of the tour. He finally did offer us another tour to make up for it, but was definitely begrudging about it. To add insult to injury Frankie told us that he would not pick us up at Castara to go on the replacement tour, even though his rep Gisele had told us they would pick us up from anywhere on the island. This forced us to spend even more money to make other arrangments to get to a location where he would pick us up.
We booked the dolphin watching tour as compensation for the other tour. The first day he scheduled us for, his driver did not show up. When we confronted him again, he claimed his driver did not know where we were. This is contradictory to what our hostess told us, which was that he had picked people up at this location before, so he knew exactly where it was. Also, we had sent him an email with full details of our location and a phone number to call us at. So there was no excuse for this. We ended up scrambling around, trying to make the best of the rest of the day. We rescheduled for the next day and this time we were picked up (sardined in a van with not enough seatbelts). However, before we got on the boat, we were forced to pay the difference between the cost of this tour and our previous tour, even though Frankie had never mentioned this to be the case. The tour was disappointing. We did not see any dolphins, we did not do any fishing, and we did not snorkel at 3 sites (only 2) as was described in the brochure. The tour was so disapppointing that we ended up paying extra to have one of their operators to take us out to do more snorkelling.
In summary, the fact is Frankie Tours is mostly a glorified taxi service. You are better off going directly to the tour operators (Kennedy Tours, Frank's Glass Bottom Boat Tours) that he uses and arranging your own transportation. Frankie did give us the replacement tour when asked, but it was the way in which he talked like HE was being ripped off, even though it was entirely his group's fault for the mess up. At the end of the day, don't expect good customer service from this company.

Visited December 2012
3 Thank ClaireandJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michael f, Manager at Frankie Tours & Rentals, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
On behalf of Frankie Tours, we would like to apologize if your experience was less than satisfactory. We strive to assure that all of our guests have a wonderful and memorable time. As for us being a middle man we are not, but as tour guides and tour operators in Tobago, we all work together. All of the tour guides that you encountered are in fact employed by Frankie Tours. For your little Tobago tour, the boat did indeed leave and the driver was late. For this, we again apologize. However, It was not our recommendation for you to hire a fishing vessel to get to the island. It was your suggestion after our driver/tour guide insisted on returning and scheduling for another day. You still indeed went out to the island, as well as snorkeled. Our company still had to pay for the boat and the captain. As a replacement tour for your disappointment ,we offered you any tour with the equivalent cost. You chose our Speed Boat tour. No fishing is involved with this trip, and although dolphins are seen very often on this tour, we cannot guarantee that they will be seen on every tour. We offered all of our services and more, yet unfortunately we did not seem to be able to appease nor to meet your perceived needs. We apologized for any discrepancy and offered you an additional tour. As for pickup we could not find the location and had no contact information. It is with deep regret that we look back on this experience and we will continue to step up our game so that future tours will be seen in a more positive and memorable light. We appreciate your contribution and will use it as a learning experience for the future.
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