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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-29-2004 07:56 PM
BVI charter report

I had a different encounter with a cab driver:
The airline we arrived with lost a separately packed item. It arrived a few days after our charter started while we were anchored right next to the airport off Beef Island.

Sunsail informed me that the item had arrived and that they will send it with the next cab driver that will be bringing Sunsail customers to the airport. I waited at the airport at the designated time and met the cab which was full of customers with a smile. The smile disappeared quickly however when the cab driver sourly demanded from me the full fare of a return trip from the Sunsail base to the airport before he would hand over my package. This in spite of the fact that he was making the trip anyway with a full load of paying customers, courtesy of Sunsail, and the fact that my package weighed almost nothing. My protestations were to no avail. He clearly felt that I owe him the full fare.

I paid it, but that reinforced the feeling in my mind that paradise had been spoilt, probably a long time ago...
05-27-2004 06:05 AM
BVI charter report

I''ll add a comment, even though my experience was last August (2003). After a charter that ended on an extremely sour note, I went into a little store and asked if they could recommend a place to stay for the night, my flight was the next day. Well, the woman there could not have been nicer, in fact started calling places immediately and asking if they open and if so, did they have anything available. On top of that there was a cab driver in the store getting some groceries, he wasn''t working. The lady and the cab driver conferred, resulitng in a call to the Da Loose Mongoose because they have a couple of rooms. There was a room available, so the taxi driver, who had his little daughter with him, offered to take me there. I, of course, accepted and when we got to the Da Loose Mongoose he went into the place, it was fairly early in the morning yet, and made sure there was indeed a room.

Once that was settled I asked him much I owed him, he said something like $3.00. I was astounded. Here is a guy that is not working, and had not intended to be doing business, goes out of his way to help find a place, then goes out of his way to get me there and then ensure I had a place to stay.

I gave him $10.00, which he said was too much. I said, that was fine I appreciated everything he did for me.

Now, neither he nor the lady in the store were what I would call "warm and friendly" but it was clear they were caring and sincere.

There was an incident of rudeness at Saba Rock when I was at the wheel and made a fiasco of trying to dock. But, other than embarassment, I probably deserved the castigaiton.

I won''t go into the ridiculous chain of events that led to the sour ending of the charter.

I loved sailing there and would say almost all of my contacts with the locals was positive.
01-31-2004 07:01 AM
BVI charter report

My wife and I chartered with the Mooorings in October, 2004, for 2 weeks.. The marina had a security guard on duty 24/7. The Moorings had people on staff 24/7 and everyone we saw in the area were workers or charters.

I think during the summer months the BVI''s must be packed and the natives are on overload. We experienced this in our travels throughout Europe. We then decided to travel on the off season and found that the people couldn''t do enough for you. Even the French.

We anchored almost every night and sometimes we picked up any individual''s mooring, because it was unmarked. One time we picked up an unmarked buoy and the captain of the charter vessel whose mooring it was, came over and told us it was a private mooring.

When he saw it was unmarked , he marked it again and told us we could stay the night, no charge. Before we left I rowed over to his boat and gave him a bottle of wine and thanked him. His comment was in 15 years no one who used his mooring showed any appreciation.
11-24-2003 06:20 PM
BVI charter report

I have to agree withMagnus

1. We also had a tall black intruder inour boat. Funny that he walked in ( our solo guy, who thought it was one of us and jokingly pointed a finger at him and yelled BOOOOOM ..... the guy turned around , just to be in front of the second guy, who came up from the other side ( catamaran, obviouly ) totally naked with a huge morning wood. The guy was spinning around and leaped from the boat,and never stopped running... we complained to Conch Charter the next day, and they took care of everything. Upon our return ( the last night) we observed securityat the docks. They found the guy inthe meantime, comes to find mout that he was mentally disturbed and most likely just was looking for a place to sleep..... our boat was a bad choice....

we stayed 16 days and yes the attitude becomes a problem , the longer you stay. Of course we didnt let anybody destroy our vacation witht their attitude. But in all reality, its very expensive and you can expect a little more than at the local walmart dinner.

Again we had the time of our lifes, and we will be back. But its a little nerving.

By the way Conch Charters was exceptional, outstanding marvelous simply the best !

11-02-2003 11:12 AM
BVI charter report

I know everyone doesn''t understand. If you lived here, you might have a clue. Boycott them for awhile. Maybe they wouldn''t be so quick to confiscate boats under the guise of "no fishing license" when you couldn''t even get one when they seized the boats if you wanted to, and they couldn''t tell you how to get one, nor would they bother. With the 30# limit on fish in the BVI (one good dolphin, tuna or wahoo), you HAVE to deliver everything over 30#''s to the fisheries minister''s brother. Cute. You might get the heads. You might lose your boat.
10-23-2003 06:05 PM
BVI charter report

Returned from another BVI charter, this time with North South, and used some suggestions collected from this board, which help us have a even better vacation.

Simple politeness, sincere greetings and a little joking around worked absolute wonders with the deliteful BVI residents. I got invitations to see there homes, eat dinner etc. I realized I''m a guest in their country, and I should show respect to there way of life. There definitely is such a thing as ISLAND time - do not fight it!!!!
Give yourself ample time and don''t be in a rush. The Customs official in Jost Van Dyke purposely put a rude A--hole to the back of the line for being obstinately loud derogatory -so - typical tourist mentality.
Does not work in the BVI.
10-06-2003 06:29 AM
BVI charter report

I was on a Moorings 4-day crewed charter in April this year. It was our first trip to the BVI, and it was like a dream--absolutely wonderful. If you''ve never bareboated and want to "scout" the area, do a crewed "cabin" cruise first. Our crew (Brett and Ronnie) handled the 47'' cat like the real pros they are, and served exquisite meal after meal. We went to Peter Island, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Monkey Point/Marina Bay, then finally back to roadtown. Now I feel like I know the area well enough to bareboat down there anytime and know the good places to go.

As to the attitude issue brought up in this thread: one of the things our crew told us over drinks the first night was that island folks get irritated (and show it) when you try to go too fast for them. Our captain, Brett, has been in the BVI for a few years and seems to know everyone in every bar. Every night we went ashore, Brett walked into the bar with us, shook hands/hugged the staff, and immediately went behind the bar and started serving drinks for us and for anyone else--the barstaff seemed to take it for granted that he would do this, and took the opportunity to relax a bit (ha!). Anyway, Brett''s advice was to dress well in stores and restaurants (ie, no bathing suits, no flips, wear shirts, nice shorts or slacks), smile, say hello, have a "bit of a chat" (Brett and Ronnie are English), stay laid back, act as if you''re very happy and relaxed, in no rush, and interested in the people around you. After saying hello, exchanging names, talking about the weather, etc, for a while, the waiter/bartender/whoever will have asked you what he/she can do for you, and you can say "oh, when you have time, I''d love a [whatever], but there''s no rush." The "whatever" will be there twice as fast, the person you''re dealing with will really warm up and be nice, and you''ll all have a good time.

Act like you''re not in a store/restaurant/whatever--act like you''re in their house as a guest. It works--most of the time. After all, there are a-holes everywhere. And I''ve never had to deal with officials in the BVI, don''t know what the right approach is there. Closest I came was going into a bank to get some cash (for some reason my atm card would not work in atm machines there, but would work in stores.) In the bank, it was all business, no "island time", everyone--locals and tourists--were treated with bureaucratic indifference but with efficiency.

Anyway, that''s my 2 cents worth. I''d have to say that when we took the time to apply the above advice it always worked really well. When we were tired and grouchy (it rained quite a bit while we were there before and after our cruise), and reverted to US-style expectations of service, we got the cold shoulder.

10-05-2003 06:47 AM
BVI charter report

The BVI attitude of indifference is nothing compared to the USVI''s problems of customer service. They actually have to train people to stop acting like assholes from the cashier''s counter. I''ve been here since ''98 and just getting a car inspected or paying your property tax one is expected to take a day off from work and "accommodate" the pseudo-socialist governmental norms. Nepotism is rampant, corruption throughout the Caribbean, including the US, is typical and expected. It is an attitude of absolute entitlement. Everyone believes they should be a millionaire and not work for it. Is it that bad? No, not when you focus on what YOU can get out of living here vs. subzero temps, a lousy summer in New England this year, great fishing, sailing, racing. There''s a lot of people that just get beyond all the aggravation, have their little hideouts (ie., Neptune''s Treasure, Anegada) and live life to it''s fullest by racing the St. Croix Regatta, Puerto Rico Heineken, then St. Maarten Heineken, then Rolex, then BVI Regatta. Then the fishing tournaments start again. Love slow, sail fast, hook up. KW
10-04-2003 09:47 PM
BVI charter report

I agree with all the above accounts of "indifference" of service, mostly with the waiters/waitresses. It became a funny little joke with my crew about what they would say to us next. I remember a little restaurant in Roadtown (next to the Bat Cave... I can''t remember the name) where the waitress asked me if I wanted cheese on my "turkey & cheese sandwhich" as advertised on the menu. I said, sure, and she rolled her eyes and said "Irie.. but it''ll cost you extra!" and walked away, to which myself and the rest of us just broke down and laughed. It got to the point where it didn''t matter anymore.. it was just plain funny.

Don''t say that all the locals are rude, though, because we were treated so well from a number of people, because we treated them with respect back. There''s a guy named James on Cooper Island who we met and had the greatest time with. We brought him a couple of cold Red Stripes and hung out all day, he let us use his kayaks, invited us to hang out on the other side of the island where they owned property, and just had a good time with us. We saw him again on the last night (at the Bat Cave) and drank beers with him and his cousin all night, and they paid for most of them! Great people!

I know that nobody wants to appear as a "tourist" but you can''t help but look that way when you charter a sailboat in the BVI''s. But, I witnessed a few different occasions where the tourists just plain didn''t give the island a chance. They came into restaurants with superior attitudes and were surprised to get bad service.

Be ready to wait a half hour for a check, and maybe have to pay for a drink of water, and all that... but who cares? when you''re in paradise, it doesn''t matter. For a short time, you can escape from all the ******** that is America.

08-05-2003 02:56 AM
BVI charter report


Sorry to hear of your frightening ordeal. I can''t really say with certainty about all the other charter operations on Tortola, but I know that many of them have zero security at night. To be frank, from a historical perspective, it doesn''t seem to have been justified. Hopefully, that will have been an isolated incident.
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