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Review Highlights
Amazing Vacation

My school was lucky enough to travel upon this beautiful vessel. The sailing experience was amazing... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
lailakennedy12
via mobile
Great fun and adventure with Captain Noah!

We booked this trip 6 months in advance, and had high expectations based on the reviews. We were... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Italyphile
,
Hull, Massachusetts
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Reviewed November 10, 2018

The gods of weather and sailing smiled on us during our adventure on the June 2018 Gourmet Cruise aboard the Schooner Stephen Taber. My husband and I were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, and our daughter celebrated her 30th birthday. The trip was nothing short of fantastic. We had spectacular sailing weather, a wonderful group of shipmates, an exceptional crew and by far and away the best food we’ve ever had on vacation. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that we will hopefully be able to take again.

On our first day we sailed from Rockland to Burnt Coat Harbor on Swans Island, quite a trek where we hit over nine knots! Those of us who wanted to stretch our legs were taken ashore to hike to either the lighthouse or to town. Day two found us moving on to Pond Island for our lobster dinner, where we had time to walk around the island before dinner. It was a slower sailing day but it was made more exciting when Deckhand Sean and Chef Ean had to climb the mainmast to disengage and lower the top of the mast so we could make it under a bridge. We closed out our third day by sailing to Owls Head Harbor, with plenty of time to trek to the lighthouse. That night, we were treated to a concert by Captain Noah and First Mate Gus, who has a very nice voice and does Dylan better than Dylan.

The food was amazing. In addition to Chef Ean, we had Chef James from the Frog & Turtle restaurant in Westbrooke. Both were more than ably supported by Sous Chef (and supplemental deckhand) Alex. On a 1910 wood stove, Chef Ean created the breakfasts, lunches and several afternoon “snacks” while Chef James treated us with three gourmet dinners and one appetizer round. We were served such a variety of dishes that I can’t begin to remember them all, but I’ll try.

Breakfasts: Brioche French toast, Stuffed pancakes, sausages, bacon, “Build-your-own” oatmeal, Raspberry/strawberry/rhubarb/cream cheese coffee cake with Chambord glaze, scrambled egg casserole, Irish soda bread, chocolate crepes from leftover chocolate fondue

Lunches: Seafood chowder, Tomato Bisque, Grilled cheese with chicken/apple sausage and caramelized pears, “Build-your-own” fajitas with all of the fixins’

Afternoon Appetizers: cheese board, charcuterie plate, wings with two sauces, ribs, pork pate, rabbit two ways, braised lamb necks in pastry

Dinners: Strip loin roasts, Lobster on the beach (with corn on the cob, chicken kabobs and spicy shrimp), roasted chicken, rosemary roasted potatoes, asparagus, roasted root vegetables
Desserts: Puff pastry tarts, Next-level S’mores on the beach (an upgraded version), chocolate fondue

As exceptional as this cruise was, it’s not for everyone. Backpackers and tent campers should have no problems with the accommodations, but anyone over 6’3” or on the large side might be uncomfortable in the cabins. (My husband is 6’3” and was able to sleep in cabin 7A with no problems, but not all of the cabins have bunks that long.) A shower was set up on deck two mornings, but not the morning we left or the morning we returned. Not everyone took showers, but I’m sure they would have remained anchored as long as necessary. But if you’re looking for something different I highly recommend a cruise on the Schooner Stephen Taber.

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank KGK220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2018

Our group of seven couples, all former Air Force pilots, joined three other couples aboard the Stephen Taber for a four day wine cruise in late August. This trip exceeded all our expectations, and our expectations were pretty high to begin with! The scenery was beautiful, the ship was beautiful, the food and wine was amazing, and it just kept coming. The single most distinguishing feature of the trip though was the love, energy and enthusiasm that Captain Noah, his family and crew put into their work. These people love what they do, it is obviously a calling for them. We were privileged to watch Captain Noah and Jane interact with their young son who was aboard for this trip, and pass along lessons in seamanship, hard work and life to their next generation. It was a beautiful thing to see and we hope to be back again soon.

Date of experience: August 2018
2  Thank Steve H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2018 via mobile

I am beyond impressed with the staff. I wasn't even a guest; I was asking for special accommodations for my sister & brother in law, who were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.
They helped me make arrangements for a local chocolatier to deliver caramels to have waiting in their stateroom, along with a nice red wine. They also stocked local craft beers for my brother in law to enjoy during the voyage.
I highly recommend this company! They went above and beyond to make my sister & brother in law's sailing adventure amazing.
A special thank you to Sarah for responding to all my email requests.
Sheri Severseike, Iowa

Date of experience: September 2018
4  Thank Sheri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2018

We recently sailed on the Schooner Stephen Taber with Captain Noah and had wonderful time despite the unusually foggy/damp weather. It's the perfect experience for hearty, adventure-seeking folks who enjoy nature and the outdoors as it's a bit like camping at sea. The food was exceptional and the trip was very relaxing and fun. Each night we enjoyed delicious wines and entertainment thanks to Noah's cousin who was a professional piano player. The crew and Noah as well are also musical so we had lots of singing and laughs. We enjoyed making new friends from all over the country. The accommodations are very small, so if you're looking for a luxurious experience, have a bad back, or you are a bit modest this might not be the best choice. But, as avid sailors, we loved the authentic, old world feeling of sailing the coast of Maine just like they did 150 years ago. It was a trip we won't soon forget!

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank KimW588
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2018 via mobile

First let me say thank you to Captian Noah and his 5 star wonderful crew for making this 4 day Schooner trip the most memorable transformative event I have experienced in quite a long time. Imagine sailing the most historical Schooner in Maine as you change from a passenger to a part of the crew and then a close knit family.

You are not just on an adventure of a lifetime but you are the adventure! There is something magical going on here. It’s 5 star dining everyday. It’s the most amazing lobster bake on a remote island. It’s everyone playing music and singing at night with the most expensive cheeses and wine. It’s quiet reading on a beautiful cushioned deck near the Captians wheel as the wind and the sails play an old mariners tune in the summer breezes.
It’s working with the crew to get the sails up and down if you like that or just kick back and chill to the coolest Captain and crew to sail the seven seas. Paddle boarding and rowing to swimming and many other surprises I will leave for you to discover on your own. The food , the food , did I mention the food ????
If this seems long and hard to believe. I’m telling you get on this boat at least once in your lifetime and your perspective on life is changed forever.
Capt Noah Barnes and his son Oscar along with this unreal crew take you on this magical mystery tour of sun and fun. We already are discussing next year with all the new friends on board. From strangers at the beginning to best friends in four days. I would take a bullet for these people if I could be as bold. Look it’s not for everyone but if your anyone who wants the real deal then get on this boat and bring a friend.
You feel hand picked and special at the end of the experience. And let me tell you no matter what age you are twenties to eighties we are all family and crew at ships end.
Oh there was only one problem I could tell you. It ends !!! So you want to get back and honestly a lot of the passengers were there for their second third fourth time.
Our trip was worth every penny by day one period. Again to Captian Noah Barnes his wonderful son Oscar , Chef “ Duck Phat “ Ian, the one and only Gus Kodros, Amanda the most amazing baker, Shawn and Phoebe and our new family of friends I say Thank you for making me a part of a magical thing. You need to be a part oft too!
You musicians got to get on board and bring your guitars !! You people who need some adventure in your marriage bring each other and if you just want the best bang for your vacation buck then get on this boat !!!! On a serious note to close. This Captain and crew are a serious dedicated talented and very very great at what they do. This is no touring boat this is the best of the best with personality and love.

Jeffrey and Montana Diggins

Date of experience: August 2018
4  Thank Stay813312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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