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Unforgettable deep sea fishing trip in Aruba

There are know words to describe the unforgettable deep sea fishing trip we went on in Aruba. We... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Lincoln, Nebraska

Had a great time with Nomoor and his dad on driftwood. Caught some great fish, baracooda and... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
via mobile
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Reviewed January 20, 2018

We had a great afternoon on the water. We had Marcolo and Sergio as our crew members, and they were great. As with most activities like this, it helps to have some action, and we definitely had that.

I note that the captain spent a lot of time on the radio with others in the water to coordinate efforts to ensure that we were on the fish. It is good that the crew has others that they work with to give their customers a good day on the water.

We would recommend this outing. We further had dinner at the Driftwood Restaurant, and we very much enjoyed "eating our catch".

A Great Experience.

Date of experience: January 2018
3  Thank AmericanIngenuity
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 16, 2018

Crew on boat was not very friendly or informative. The process of when a fish was caught was never gone over or let us know where any life preservers were at. We did catch a Wahoo and a barracuda which was great but the rest of experience made it not the experience it should be for the money.

Date of experience: January 2018
3  Thank Oakland1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 9, 2018

I want to start off by saying that I love Aruba, and I have been coming to the island for 25 years. Some of my family members that were on this trip have been fishing for over 40 years and have been deep sea fishing many times. Unfortunately, not only did I get hurt on this trip, but I have never in seen such blatant disregard for basic boating safety in my entire life. I’m saying this from the perspective of a boat owner, avid boater, and someone who has achieved advanced level boating certifications.

1) The 2 crew members of Driftwood (deckhand and captain) did not tell anyone or show anyone where life preservers are located. Furthermore, there were not any flotation devices anywhere to be seen, and that’s with 5 passengers trying to locate the presence of just one. Not only is this is in direct violation of several boating regulations, we had no way knowing if the boat was in compliance with having at least one life jacket for each passenger on board.

2) At one point during our journey, the captain and the deckhand were both on the back of the boat at the same time. However, NOBODY was actually driving the boat during this time, as the captain was piloting the boat from the upper-level. I have never seen such reckless behavior on any boat, much less a boat that is operating as a commercial fishing vessel with paying guests.

3) There were numerous rusty fishing hooks on a ring attached to the back of the “fighting chair,” and these fishing hooks were facing the passengers. Unfortunately, the hooks punctured my brand new shorts. When this occurred the deckhand acknowledged that these particular fishing hooks should not have been hanging there, so he removed them.

4) During the middle of our journey, the deckhand started sharping fish hooks on a large sharpening block. The waters were very choppy and consequently the very heavy sharpening block fell onto my foot. I have no idea why the deckhand thought it was a good idea to sharpen fish hooks during the middle of the trip instead of beforehand or afterwards. Despite someone getting hurt, nobody from the crew took any action, no apology, or even cared that this occurred.

5) We lost multiple fish, because the deckhand was on the upper-level socializing with the captain, instead of doing his job and grabbing the rod for us (which he was solely responsible for doing). It was bad enough that the fish were hardy biting.

6) The captain drove the boat in a unsafe fashion that would be against any best practices in accordance with all boating safety standards. Everyone in our group thought the boat was going to capsize on at least one occurrence. If basic “boating 101” practices were followed, this would not have occurred.

7) Almost all of the lines/tackle had collected seaweed on them, which was not removed for hours! Apparently, the deckhand was too busy eating subway sandwiches and spending time on his mobile phone to do anything about this.

8) The Captain had a serious attitude problem, was not friendly, and put his passengers in harm’s way. We were taken into some very rough waters, which resulted in multiple people becoming very sick. The water conditions were not disclosed prior to heading out on the boat, so there was no opportunity for us to tell them we wanted to fish elsewhere, or reschedule for another day. I know for a FACT that other fishing boats told their passengers that some of the fishing grounds were extremely rough, and they were given the choice to go in a different area that was calm. Not only did these people have a more enjoyable experience without getting sick, they actually caught some awesome fish, which I have photo evidence of.

9) We were told by the crew that Driftwood is the best because other prominent restaurants on the island fool their customers by serving tilapia instead of grouper. Specifically, they mentioned Madam Janette’s and Flying Fishbone. I have eaten at both of these restaurants many times and I can say with 100% certainty that these restaurants DO NOT substitute fish in an effort to trick their customers. Both of these restaurants are top notch and are very well respected. We did dine at Driftwood on the evening of the fishing trip, and ordered the tuna to be cooked the way that the chef recommends (which was seared/grilled med-rare). All of the tuna (several portions) came out well-done to the point that I would NOT even serve it as cat food.

10) When we returned to port, there were a couple people that asked if we got lucky. Based on the aforementioned experiences, we did not feel "lucky." The captain had the audacity to yell at me, because he said we were very lucky to have had such a great experience. Really? So not only does the captain think it's acceptable to put passengers lives in danger (even when someone got hurt), but he was so conceited that he thought it was appropriate to tell everyone how lucky and successful the trip was. WOW!

Aruba needs to shut these guys down before other people get seriously hurt or die.

Not only was this fishing trip the worst water experience myself and our family has ever experienced, it was also some of the worst cooking I have ever experienced. Consequently, if you want to waste several hundred dollars on a fishing excursion that has zero concern for the life/safety of those on board, and if you want dinner that is barely suitable for a homeless dog, then by all means you should plan your next fishing trip with Driftwood.

Date of experience: January 2018
11  Thank TheFonzarelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Herbert M, Owner at Driftwood Fishing Charters, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2018

Dear Customer, Driftwood is a reputable fishing charter company and has been so for over 25 years. After I spoke to you at the restaurant carefully reading your review, this was handled as a formal complaint. The crew has been addressed on details mentioned in your review.
However, since you are accusing our company (and claiming you have so much knowledge) we must also defend our position as one of the most reputable fishing charter companies on the island. It may have been your perception, but in no way or form were you ever at any harm during your trip. We take safety seriously, and do have flotation devices and all other safety procedures and regulations are in place (it is a requirement and we go beyond the ‘normal requirements).
You went out fishing in choppy (which is very ‘normal’ to us) waters with one of the best local fisherman on the island on a tournament rigged boat. We would never take you out on a 4-hour beach trip, we’d rather take you out fishing. I’m sorry it took me some time to respond to your review (didn’t want you to think that no attention was paid to it), but it took me some time to comb trough all the exaggerations and flat out lies to find the true complains that would actually be helpful to other guests or our company.
I feel appologetic that you did not enjoy the experience, but with this review you are robbing others of the most amazing fishing experience of their lives.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2018 via mobile

We had a great time highly recommended! Caught a huge tuna (pictured) as well as a Blue Marlin (and released). Crew was great and super happy to be with us.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank Courtney M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 3, 2018

I have been on hundreds of fishing charters and this was by far the best. The crew was so helpful and excited to help us catch (and release) the first Marlin of the season. We also caught a FAT yellowfin tuna which was delicious to eat. Once again I would highly suggest this trip to anyone and everyone. Outstanding crew

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank Kevin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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