Posted April 18th, 2017, 04:07 PM
For those who have taken the tour with Cosol, how close to the "all-aboard" time (not the actual sailing time) were you back onboard? What happens if there is a traffic delay (or anything else, for that matter), that causes you to arrive after the ship has sailed? I have read that most third party tour operators guarantee that you will be returned to the ship on time, but what exactly does that mean? What do they do for you if, heaven forbid, the ship sails without you? I am seriously considering this tour, but need some facts/reassurance to present to my skeptical husband.
It's my fault -- I have to stop entertaining him with the "pier runner" videos on YouTube.
You'd have to check with Cosol for what his specific guarantee may be.
In general, many operators offer a guarantee similar to the cruise line, that is: they get you back on time, or they are responsible for getting you to the next port of call, with any attendant costs.
It's quite rare for people to miss the ship due to reputable independent operators. Those pier runners are more often those who've been browsing or shopping or drinking on their own and lost track of time, or those who didn't pay attention to ship time vs local time, etc. Independent operators make their living with cruise visitors - getting people back late would put them out of business!!
Keep in mind, the shop can't always wait for their guests either. Their guarantee is to get you back on time, or to get you to the next port of call...Sometimes, the ship can't wait, ie tides, distance to travel, port personnel, etc.
On a small island like St Lucia, it would take something pretty extraordinary to have a tour operator get you back late - and it would affect more than one operator, including those contracted to the ship tours...
I wouldn't hesitate, Cosol has been doing this for many, many years - how many reviews have you read of him getting his guests back late??