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Review Highlights
Dolphin/Whale watching trip

As Neil is still without a ship in the water, he arranged us a trip with a friend of him called... read more

Reviewed May 25, 2017
Flores2870
,
Thurgau, Schweiz
via mobile
3hr whale/dolphin/turtle cruise

Contacted Neil to arrange a trip on his boat but unfortunately it was awaiting a new engine... read more

Reviewed September 19, 2016
welshwizard1975
,
Swindon, United Kingdom
via mobile
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Reviewed December 8, 2012

Having looked around at all the different charters I decided to go for Poker Chip. I was not disappointed. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children (girls aged 6 and 7) and have never been on a boat trip together before. My girls were very exited at the prospect of seeing Dolphins and Whales and we did indeed see them along with Green Turtles! The whole trip from start to finish was a pleasure. The communication from Neil was great including the Boat Captain Certificate for the girls for driving the boat. Biggest thanks go to Jorge the captain of our trip who made the whole thing special. He took us to exactly where the Dolphins and Whales were and we were getting some great close up action with them. The kids loved it when a Dolphin came right along side the boat! The food on board was ham and cheese baguettes which were fresh and there was plenty of choice for drinks. I would definitely book again.

Date of experience: December 2012
Thank Bryan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilGoodchild, Owner at Poker Chip Charter, responded to this reviewResponded December 14, 2012

Hi Bryan T. It's great to hear you all enjoyed yourselves so much (especially the girls of course - I hope they liked their boat driver certificates too!).
I'm glad you chose for your first family boat trip. I have passed your comments on to Jorge and he says hello. He's such a character and that makes my job so much easier of course...
A big thanks for writing the review.
Cheers, Neil.

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Reviewed November 13, 2012

We had a lovely trip out even though it was perhaps the windiest day of our holiday! We booked this trip many weeks in advance after finding them through tripadvisor. I have to say that I am very glad I did as you are unlikely to come across them through the many many ticket sellers that stop you every few metres!

I don't like big crowds and chose this company based on their promise of small numbers and more freedom to snorkel with the turtles and adapt the trip depending on where the dolphins and whales are etc. I was not disappointed. Due to the sea being a little rough the dolphins and whales weren't visible right next to our boat as with other reviews but we did have an amazing view of a surfing whale! I couldn't believe it but the pilot whales 'surf' the waves for enjoyment. What an amazing creature! The turtles didn't disappoint either and we spent a lovely time swimming with them in El Peurtito virtually by ourselves (only two scuba divers in the whole port apart from us!). The skipper was fantastic! What a character and his knowledge was admirable.

Neil himself saw us off from Puerto Colon and was there when we returned, checking that we had enjoyed ourselves, where he invited us to stay for a while and relax in the sunshine with a glass of fizz - what a perfect afternoon! Can not recommend them enough and would not hesitate to go on another trip when the sea is calmer :-)

Date of experience: November 2012
Thank SirHubert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilGoodchild, Owner at Poker Chip Charter, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2012

Hi SirHubert. Thank you. I can't tell you how pleased I was to read that we made such a good impression and of course was even more pleased to hear you both had such a good time, despite the wind meaning perhaps not 100% perfect conditions... Thanks also for your feedback about our skipper Jorge - a character indeed. It's easier to get things right when the team around you is so good.
One way or another the weather has been against us a bit recently and I've cancelled some trips and rescheduled others to work around it. All that said, however, I don't believe a bit of wind necessarily detracts from the experience - it just makes it a different one.
I hope you come back and see us next time you're on the island, and that you give us a go when we have our more usual Tenerife weather...
I'll pass this on to skipper Jorge to read too. Thanks again for this review and for your support. Neil.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had an amazing charter on Poker Chip. We stopped a distance from some whales and they came up to the boat and swam around us, Fantastic to get so close!! It was my second time on this trip whilst on my holidays in Tenerife But this time i was with my girlfriend who actually suprised herself by getting in the water when we stopped. As it was a private charter it was great to have the open seas to ourselves to take in the wonderful secenery & wildlife this beautiful island has to offer!

Our Skipper - Neil was helpful and informative and made us feel very welcome and above all safe on our trip. He certainly knows his stuff!

Plenty of quality food and drink were on offer during our trip which really was the cherry on top!

many thanks

Dave Mitchell - England

Date of experience: October 2012
1  Thank Matty S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilGoodchild, Owner at Poker Chip Charter, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2012

Hi Mr M. Thanks for the terrific review. Glad you had a good time with us again. It was great to that you were with your girlfriend the time and especially that she was able to get over her fear of the water and find the nerve to jump in... Looking forward to seeing you next time you're over. Cheers, Neil.

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Reviewed October 31, 2012

We have been to Tenerife many times and made the booking on Poker Chip Via the reviews on trip advisor. Having been on a few boat trips out of Los Gigantes to see the Whales and Dolphins we decided to go for something a bit special.The 25km dive was well worth it..

Booking was easy, Emailed Neil and got a quick friendly reply for the next day 11am trip.
The boat was easy to find with other business folk pointing us in the right direction.

Our family of 4 with 2 kids 10/7 were joined with another lovely family of 4 So we set sail with
the Skipper ( He is very funny) Must have a great knowledge of the area as there are dozens of
trips and we were never with other boats. Had very good close ups with the Dolphins and Whales

Stopped off at a small cove for a bite to eat and a swim with the Turtles. All the kids loved it nearly as much as the adults. And the boat had Snorkels on hand to see the turtles and fish.

Food was good, Nice ham and cheese rolls washed down with Cava and Beer with Coke,Fanta etc for the kids

A great trip WELL worth the money compared to other boat trips we have been on.

Thank you Neil and Skipper.

Date of experience: October 2012
Thank JAGSML
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilGoodchild, Owner at Poker Chip Charter, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2012

Hi JAGSML

Thanks for the review. You're right it's a long way to come from Los Gigantes - it's great to hear you thought the drive was worth it.

I was also glad you thought our skipper, Jorge, was knowledgable and funny (try spending time with him every day...). Seriously though, I am very happy with his work and he's very qualified and knowledgable as you say. I'll be sure to pass your comments on to him.

We can't always avoid the crowds of other boats but we make a point of doing so when able because I too believe it makes for a better experience. Feel free to post one or two of the close up photos you mention on our FB Page!

Also, next time you're over consider a private charter for the faamily. With twice the space and the boat to yourselves it's a different experience again...

Thanks again for taking the time.

All the best,

Neil.

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Reviewed October 26, 2012

Took this 3hr trip with 2 adults 3 children plus another family of 2 adults and 2 children. First thing Neil said was have you got your sea legs on! We had all taken dimenhidrinato 2hrs previously. We were not offered life jackets nor did we have a safety briefing before we departed. We were just asked to remove shoes and put bags in a small hold. The 30mins of bouncing over substantial waves with 2 children at the back soaked and feeling very sick in-spite of the sea sick medication. Still not offered life jackets not even for the children. The other family were also very concerned about their children's safety. Captain only spoke to the people sat at the front of the boat - so over the roar of the engine, soaked in seas spray we heard nothing and just held on for safety.

We did see Pilot whales but to be honest by this time my son was being so sick that we where able to enjoy it. The captain again did his water over the head (see previous reviews) to help him. He did this without discussing it with me, this did help my son but then he proceeded to light up a cigarette and this countered the effect.

We asked to cut short the trip because of everyone's discomfort only then for the captain to circle the fish farm again without even discussing this with us.

When the captain eventually took us back Neil didn't charge us as we where all so shocked by the experience and hugely disappointed but non the less this does not excuse the lack of passenger safety. It goes without saying that the captain was very inconsiderate and after the 'sickness' incident I had to ask him not to light another cigarette but he still did so.

I regret having to write such negative comments after reading such great reviews, but feel all parents taking young children should be very aware of the potential dangers!

Date of experience: October 2012
1  Thank jw123Bucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilGoodchild, Owner at Poker Chip Charter, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2013

Hi jw123Bucks.

I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy your trip with us. I was very disappointed for you all.

I have edited and re-posted my original response from last October in an effort to make a couple of points more easily understood.

Please allow me to address your review, in mitigation and from a professional standpoint, so prospective customers have a balanced perspective.

Of course, as we all knew before you left, it was a bit windy on the day of your trip. We are normally among the first to cancel if the weather would make things uncomfortable because my focus has always been on my customers' enjoyment of the time they spend with us. Actually, none of the 20+ commercial boats cancelled their trips that day.

The wind speed increased a little as you left port which was a little unlucky - I say unlucky because the wind was forecast to die down, and In fact it had done so by your originally programmed return time (about 50 minutes later), becoming a Force 3 with a 12 mph 'gentle breeze'...

Life jackets are available for adults and children alike, so 'Beware, lack of communication' would be a more suitable title for this review. Of course, if during the 2 hours you were on board you had asked the skipper, (which, to be fair to us, is the norm), he would have provided them. That said, I should mention that safety is not compromised in a Force 4/5, on a boat certified as 'unsinkable' travelling at low speed. We comply with Spanish law regarding safety and have an unblemished safety record.

Regarding the question of sickness we're lucky because it usually isn't a problem we get that often as Poker Chip, being 3 metres wide, offers such a stable ride. However people who are susceptible to seasickness may be sick, even if they've taken medication.

Our skipper does occasionally smoke, although he assured me that when he was smoking the breeze took the smoke straight off the boat. I have asked him to ask permission before smoking in the future when there are non-smokers sat in the stern seat or downwind.

Also allow me to mention that after 2 hours of a three hour trip I am not obliged to offer a refund but did so, in full, without being asked. The other family on your shared charter came back to the boat 5 minutes after you all left and insisted that they pay me something as they 'were fine' and were more disappointed that they'd come back early than anything...!

Overall I'm just disappointed that the kids didn't get to see and do everything - it's usually so much fun for them. As an (obviously needed) incentive for you to come back and try us for real, don't forget my offer of free tickets for the children should there be a next time.

Regards

Neil.

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