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“One of the best days of our trip”

Friendship Rose Sailing Schooner
Ranked #2 of 6 Tours in Bequia
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Owner description: EXPLORE The Grenadines from Bequia with the Classic Island Schooner. SAIL in island style to the beautiful & uninhabited islands of the Grenadines… glide through sparkling seas… snorkel in crystal waters… Join the crew of the historic trading Schooner, hoist the sails… RELAX, let the chef and crew look after you… Watch for Flying Fish, Turtles, Dolphins, Whales… Stay for a day… or longer in traditional island hotels, classic island houses or relaxed beach hideaways.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The weather had been quite chaotic prior to our trip, and we had heard of a rough trip to the Tobago Cays. The Friendship Rose can't control the weather, and had cancelled a few trips for safety reasons, but we lucked out with a stellar day sailing to Mustique. We had a small group that got along well, and by the time we rounded Moonhole we knew we were in for a great day. Moonhole itself is something to see, very eerie and mind boggling. We actually saw some people still occupying the last few homes...incredible. We were able to get under full sail on the way to Mustique, enjoying the champagne and lovely breakfast. Because there was only 9 of us doing the tour around the island, we were able to share a "taxi" at a cost of $10 US per person. We had a little drive around, seeing some of the local life and the manicured mansions, then we were dropped off at Macaroni beach for an hour or so of swimming. Back to Basil's Bar for a beer (at your own cost), a fantastic lunch on the boat, amazing snorkelling at the reef, then a lovely sail back to Bequia. From start to finish the crew made us feel pampered and safe. There are some really interesting stories to be heard from them, so take the time to ask questions. I will say that you're taking a chance with the weather, but we didn't pay until the morning we were leaving, so we could have cancelled if things looked ominous. Also, the sail to Mustique is much shorter than the Tobago Cays, and our day was quite full enough for us. Bring lots of sunscreen, especially for your lips, some snacks for the beach and ask for water bottles before you leave for the island tour. If the ocean is agreeable, you'll have a fantastic day.

1  Thank ticotimer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 23, 2013

What a wonderful day. From the minute we stepped onto to boat, till the time we disembarked, the crew make every effort to make it an amazing day.
Great food, great scenery, great people.

Thank luv2trvlfar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

It was a lovely day to sail to Mustique! After motoring to the end of Bequia, we set sail to Mustique. The crew could not have been more attentive. The captain, now in his 80s, built the boat as a young man. It's still a treasure! Although it was quite windy, no one got sea sick, party due to proactive action by the crew. After arriving at Mustique, we took a taxi tour, then had time for a swim at Macaroni Beach (more of a wade really, since it was quite rough on the Atlantic side). Lunch onboard was lovely, as was the snorkeling on a reef near the harbor. We were well-fed and well cared for by an extraordinary crew.

Thank Kathleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

To be fair, my opinion of the whole day aboard Friendship Rose is a little bit biased, because the weather was absolutely awful the day we made the trip. We're talking 10-foot waves, pounding rain interchanging with light drizzle for most of the day and massive wind gusts. The sun came out for maybe an hour or two during this 10-hour expedition. Of course, the weather is NOT the crew's or the owner's fault, however given that the weather was looking miserable from the get-go, I wonder if they shouldn't have cancelled the trip and offered a refund to those who signed up, as if the weather is anything less than great, this trip will be remembered by people for all the wrong reasons: I.e. people vomiting, waves crashing onto the deck making everyone and everything soaked, rain pouring from above making everyone more soaked, and wind blowing from every which direction making sure you get nice and chilled to top things off. Of course this all puts a damper (no pun intended) on actually enjoying what you came to experience - the Tobago Cays. Yes, there are indoor quarters on the boat where you can hide from the rain and wind, but if you're feeling nauseous that would be the worst place to be. Also there is a tarp over one part of deck that we'd all huddle under while it rained - but the tarp was soaked and started leaking right on top of everyone in about 20 minutes. You get the picture...

Weather aside:

- The trip is mostly sailing - or SLOW motor-boating - for 6 hours (3 hours each way) to Tobago Cays. Which means it leaves hardly any time for swimming, lounging or snorkeling once actually there. This should be communicated to people when they book the trip - it seems that a lot of people are unaware that it takes this long to get there from Bequia.

- The crew, while nice, doesn't offer any information on what islands are being passed or what's going on with the day's agenda.

- Once we finally got to the Cays, the boat docked in one single spot (as opposed to taking us to several places where we could swim and explore different Cays) and everyone was shuffled under ominous-looking skies to a snorkeling spot/sand bank while crew prepared lunch. In about 40 minutes everyone was brought back on boat, fed and the anchor raised for the 3-hour journey back. Boring even if the weather happens to be perfect - at least for those who are not into sailing - and because of this I think the trip should be advertised a just a sailing trip - not an excursion to the Tobago Cays. We asked one crew member which of the Cays we've anchored next to, and he said he didn't know what their names were... but he definitely knew how to sail, and could tell you anything about the boat, his long life as a sailor on other vessels across the world etc. It's all good and he had some really good stories - but the point was to experience the Tobago Cays.

One thing that was good on the trip was the food - lots of it and good quality. Free drinks and alcohol as well. You'll need those if you decide to take this particular trip, believe me.

4  Thank lmitravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We did a day sail from Bequia to Tobago Cays and had a wonderful time. The schooner is beautiful, and well-cared for. The crew is very attentive, making sure you have food and drink, and the lunch they served was excellent. It was a bit disappointing to never be completely under sail (the main was undergoing repairs, I heard from another guest) so we used the motors to and from along with the smaller sails at the bow and stern. Tobago Cay is somewhat overrated as a snorkeling spot, there was no reef from the beach, but we did see several Hawksbill turtles there. And after we got back on the boat we had the opportunity to climb up the rigging a bit and dive off, which the more daredevil types enjoyed- it was fun. Overall the experience was very nice and I would recommend the Friendship Rose to anyone who loves to be out on the water, meet new people and just relax.

1  Thank Barbara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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