We booked a Blue Reef SAILING trip to Anguilla for Monday, August 5th, with the expectation of a trip on a sailboat, a day of relaxing on a beach with beach chairs, umbrellas and the opportunity to go into a town for some shopping. Blair Webb, the owner/operator booked this trip for us with these expectations that I just mentioned. The cost was $109 per person and we would have a light breakfast, lunch, and all refreshments all day. Here is what we got:
A trip to Anguilla on a party boat (NOT a sailboat) with blaring rap music playing in our ears, NO toilet paper in the single bathroom all day, wet carpet in the kitchen/bedroom area, NO water or soft drinks…only liquor, beer, wine, some juice and mixers all day.(none of our group drinks alcoholic drinks). Blair, the owner/operator began the trip by declaring that it was “his holiday” and started drinking liquor immediately. During the 1 hour trip to Anguilla, Blair downed 5 drinks and danced around in his “party mood”. There were no “noodles” for floating…no accessible ladder to get on and off the boat so Blair or someone had to pull you up and out of the water if you couldn’t climb. The bay at Anguilla was so crowded with boats that we couldn’t get close enough to get off the boat and walk in to shore as we had been told we would and one of our group could not swim. Worst of all, at the island of Anguilla, there was no relaxation on the beach because it was “August Monday”, a Caribbean holiday festival so there was a massive crowd, deafeningly loud rap music, no ability to do any shopping and NO umbrellas or beach chairs. We spent the day in the water only because there was nothing else to do and even there, it was so crowded that I actually felt claustrophobic with all the swimmers around me. 3 of our group were stung by jellyfish as a bonus. I guess the festival wasn’t really the worst thing of all – that was the return trip during which Blair was making out with another guest in the back of the boat, one of the two engines failed so we had to travel with one engine, and then because it was slower that way, we didn’t make the 5 pm deadline to get through the single access bridge to the bay from where we departed. We had to tie up on the other side of the bridge and wait while Blair rounded up some cars and drivers to come get the boat guests. We also found out on the trip back that the boat had NO life preservers at all…not too comforting.
It was interesting that the night before this trip, even though we had been told that we could individually charge the cost of the trip, Blair called and asked us to immediately bring all cash to his office so he could get the supplies for the day. That should have tipped us off as the first broken promise. The actual trip was a fiasco of epic proportion. We were told by someone else, more reputable and long-standing in the business there, that Blue Reef and Blair have a shady reputation. I would warn anyone to stay far, far away regardless of how many positive reviews may show up….there is a sneaking suspicion that there may be some review “padding” going on because this business is rather new to St. Maarten and to have a top ten position on Trip Advisor reviews in such a short time is a little unusual.
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