Spencer tours - do not get on the fishing boat

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#1
Virginia
39 Posts
Joined May 2011
So based on all the reviews we booked this land and sea excursion. Based on the info, was a 25 minute speedboat ride. Well, apparently, they were overbooked so they put 18 of us on a fishing boat that had black smoke and diesel smell the entire ride. We left 1st out of the 3 boats and we got there last - 1 hr and 15 min later.

Of course we all complained to Spencer because the fumes were horrible. We were on the back seat and the boat was full with no where to go. The mud baths were fun and the waterfall was nice. We got to the beach late because of the late start. Lunch was fine but there was absolutely no place to sit and eat it. We sat on rocks. All free chairs were taken . We didn’t snorkel bc only had an hour after we ate but other said the snorkeling was great.

Around 2, Spencer told us that 10 of us would have to ride the diesel fishing boat back bc there weren’t any other boats available. We said no. He said we had to. He said that the boat was overcrowded before and that with 10 it would do fine. Well thankfully, the unsuspecting folks that had the pleasant ride over, hopped on the first boat to get back “first.” It was “diesel” as we affectionately called it. And I will point out that it came to the dock with 2 people on it - and fumes coming out - so it wasn’t overloaded, it was junk.

We didn’t ride her back and of course passed her on the way with her black smoke trailing. The return was great on an actual speedboat. What was the most disappointing is that although we understand boat failures, we were never compensated. No partial refund. Not even an I’m sorry - he just said, this happens and you need to work with me.
#2
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
849 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
This is the reason I wont do one of these tours again without guarantees, I stick with private 2 or 4 person tours most of the time now. If our group says no, we walk away. Spencer knows how many people fit on his boats.

My Wife is very nervous on small boats and we had similar experience in Tortola. Never again. Some tour operators think as long as you get to the tour and back to ship alive all is ok.

Thanks for taking the time and including some positives as well. Too bad that a good chunk of your day was wasted and spent stressed out.

The negative feedback costs them more than what a partial refund would have (or at least an apology).
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#3
Glenwood, Minnesota
68 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
We just did Spencer Ambrose Land Sea Beach tour last week, March 1 2018.

It was fun, although a little disorganized at the start - waiting for all of the group to arrive.

The speedboat was a little bumpy, so hang on or sit in the back for a smoother ride. The boats are not fancy but get you there. Fortunately we didn't have the diesel problem in the earlier thread.

Mud baths, Sulphur springs, waterfall and time at Jalousie Beach was fun. Lunch was good. The rest of the staff were friendly and really tried hard to make sure you had a good time.
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#4
Virginia
39 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by cdnmr
This is the reason I wont do one of these tours again without guarantees, I stick with private 2 or 4 person tours most of the time now. If our group says no, we walk away. Spencer knows how many people fit on his boats.

My Wife is very nervous on small boats and we had similar experience in Tortola. Never again. Some tour operators think as long as you get to the tour and back to ship alive all is ok.

Thanks for taking the time and including some positives as well. Too bad that a good chunk of your day was wasted and spent stressed out.

The negative feedback costs them more than what a partial refund would have (or at least an apology).

Thanks Don! It wasn't all negative just not the experience we were expecting or promised. Also per the other comment, we were also on March 1 - we just didn't luck out with the good boats.
#5
east coast
1,011 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
So just curious how many ships were in port on that day? We have this tour booked for November this year and am concerned about some negative reports lately on the condition of his boats. Seems like the overbooking situation occurs more frequently. Seriously considering cancelling this and going with someone else. Our major concern is safety and it doesn’t seem like that he is operating his business with this in mind.


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#6
Cabot, AR
1,743 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
We did a excursion with Spencer a couple of years ago. It was a bit disorganized at first but never unsafe. We had a great time.
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#7
CANADA
1,504 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We had a great time! We were treated really good! Sorry that happened to you. We went in Feb.
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#9
St. Louis Suburbs
284 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
We just got back from our cruise. We took the Spencer Ambrose Jalousie Beach Break. All 10 of us agreed it was the best tour we had all week. The boat was a 35 foot speedboat. We sat in the back on the sides and the ride was very smooth. We dropped some passengers off at a pier and they took a land tour. Our guide was informative and constantly asked if everyone was alright and making sure we were comfortable. We were the first to Jalousie Beach. The open bar had great rum punch and the lunch was tasty. We did not snorkel but those who did said the snorkeling was good. The tours that came later in the day did not have a place to sit. This beach is not for everyone, it is very small and rocky. Few chairs. No umbrellas. A small primitive restroom. The best thing about this beach is it's location, right between the Pitons.

I'm sorry the OP had such a bad experience. St. Lucia is a beautiful island, they did not get to enjoy it. We have used Spencer Ambrose many times, never had a bad experience. I hope this was an exception.

OP, I wish you happier times in St. Lucia in the future.