Stressful end to a James Touring Service tour

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20,336 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
If there is a tourism group for this port..suggest you report this operator. They might be able to intervene and get some money back...but at least local people would be on Notice,

If you post Neg rev on Trip Adv..I believe he can have his shill respond, but still would warn others,

We take ships tours so we have recourse if things go bad...but have had mostly very good to excellent tours.
United States
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
As someone who's looking for something to do in St. Lucia later this year, I can guarantee that the addition of James' "friends" to this post mean we would NEVER consider booking with him.
1,788 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by hcat
If you post Neg rev on Trip Adv..I believe he can have his shill respond, but still would warn others, ....
Indeed, I've posted a neg rev also on TripAdvisor.

James' reply/comment on TripAdvisor was much more "subdued" --- he apologized that we didn't get the tour we agreed upon .....
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396 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by RevCindy
As someone who's looking for something to do in St. Lucia later this year, I can guarantee that the addition of James' "friends" to this post mean we would NEVER consider booking with him.

100% agree. After the initial description in the OP's first post, I was willing to take all information with a grain of salt. I believe everyone's experience is colored by their own perspective and even the best tour guide/company can have an off day. However, that being said, after reading all the responding posts, this tour operator is no longer on our list of possibilities in St. Lucia.

It's not just about how you treat happy customers.
3,665 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I read threads like this and just shake my head. My idea of a nightmare excursion.

OP, you sounds like a reasonable person. Thank you for the heads up.
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
862 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Hmmm...was researching this tour company and leaning towards using them but not so sure now.
It's one thing to have bad experiences, that must happen with every company at one time or another. Bad reviews I get and understand and can take with a grain of salt.

To see multiple obviously fake CC accounts start posting and arguing with someone who has posted about their bad experience???? That is downright underhanded. Speaks the the character of the man running the company if he was behind the posts.
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Ontario, Canada

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Virginia, USA
1 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
To the TWO friends of James that keeps posting:

So what is James' excuse for not keeping his promised time of 2PM return time ? Is he saying he never promised it? Is he also saying that he never said "don't worry" when OP and the other couple asked for reassurance of 2PM return time on the day of the tour?
1,431 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Thank you for the warning against this company. I believe your post and what happened- I also believe you were probably very irate on the boat and that the captain's claim of you being 'rude' is probably correct. I would also be unconcerned with manners if I had been treated in this way and was worried about missing the ship. It sounds very much like he deceived you when making the booking, just thinking you wouldn't notice or wouldn't care that it was not private and would not get you back at the time you requested.

What really gets my goat though, is James asking his 'friends' to post on here and call you a liar. This man clearly does not understand business, because doing that is a huge huge turn off to any prospective bookings. To know that not only we may have a bad experience on the tour, but also to be intimidated and accused when we post a review of what happened- yes, that really makes me want to book with you (um, no).

I think its utterly absurd for DonMillsCruiser to imply this is all your fault for not researching as you should have. This is why you book a guided tour, because you don't know the island! But according to them, the fact you didn't understand the exact pricing structure on St Lucia for all tours and the local boat schedule means it is totally your fault that he promised you something he didn't deliver. Totally ridiculous and you are convincing nobody.

If James had come on here himself and acknowledged that things went wrong that day, whether it was communication or mistakes on his part- he can tell his side of the story- confirm he has refunded the OP, and will be ensuring this does not happen again, then that would have done a huge amount in repairing his reputation. Everyone has bad days in business, it's about how you deal with it. But clearly it's too late for that now.
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east coast
1,019 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Just a FYI for this tour operator, you have done nothing but hurt your reputation by engaging in this argument in this unprofessional manner. We also will be visiting this port this fall and I can guarantee I would never consider any tour operator with all this controversy.
106 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Wow!! I can not believe this post!! I would never book with James based on this post alone!! His friends are chiming in??? That wrecks your reputation more than the poor service that day!!
43 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
I believe that there is always 3 sides to every story but in this case, I still wouldn't book a tour with James. James should concentrate on his tours and customer service instead of having "watchdogs" on these threads.
401 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
Originally posted by dani negreanu
I don't particularly care about the patronizing tone of your post, so let's call your bluff: it has "James asked me to do this" written all over it.... Your first 6 posts, made 5 years ago (!!!) were "guest appearance" in a Celebrity roll call...

And, suddenly, after 5 years, you just happen to stumble upon a post in a very specific Caribbean board, with very little traffic, made only by a few posters looking for info on those ports and the helpful people who have been there many times over.

From all the islands in this sub-thread, you go to the St. Lucia's posts.... and blame me for telling the truth about the worst scenario for a cruiser -- missing the ship while on a non-sponsored cruise line trip.

You conveniently forgot that we were not just "2 to tango" - there were 4 of us. We didn't know the other couple, and, since they are still cruising, they didn't yet post their experience. Misteriously, they had exactly the same info like us, and they were promised, by sheer coincidence, the same things - a short tour, no more than 4-5 hours, with return by boat, no matter which boat, and be back NO LATER THAN 2PM.

You do the math.

James booked 3 couples for this short trip. 230$ X 3 = 690$, not exactly a can of tuna. No our fault the 3rd couple was "no show".
James's prices quoted 2 years ago were 70$ + 20$ for the return by boat. So he uses this boat every day, couldn't have said: "I can't deliver 2PM". There is only one boat per day, and it doesn't leave Soufriere before 3PM. No way you'll be back by 2PM. You'll have to take the car round trip, or find another tour".

All he kept saying was "do not worry"....

BTW - James offered me a full refund IF I remove the post. I see it as my moral duty to my fellow cruisers to give them the info and let them judge for themselves.
Sorry I must agree, do the proper homework in the future!
101 Posts
Joined Dec 2015
Everyone seems to be focusing on the OP's statement of a "private" tour. But after reading, it seems as though she was not expecting a PRIVATE tour with just to the two of them, but more of a CUSTOM tour. I say this b/c she appears to be most upset about the return time. She didn't want one of the normal tours, she wanted specific places to go. The price seems reasonable and consistent with a CUSTOM tour, especially since it's shorter than many of the others out there. The OP knew what she wanted to see and do that day, so it appears to me that she had done research on excursions. I can easily imagine myself in that position. If you have a specific itinerary (CUSTOM), you may not be expecting anyone else on the tour b/c not everyone will have the same places they want to see. I agree with other posters that there are always three sides to a story; however, I think the business is wrong to not get their customers back to the ship at the agreed-upon time, regardless of his reasoning. It was brought up prior to the tour during planning, brought up several times during the day, and all customers on the tour were there for a SHORT tour that clearly turned into an all-day thing. That's not acceptable. It doesn't matter what time the ship leaves (as he said "don't worry"), it matters what time the customers wanted to be back, which they seem to have made clear. For James to tell her to take down the review in exchange for a refund is unacceptable and says volumes about him. I can see how each party may be upset, but that just looks terrible for him. I rely a lot on reviews of tour operators, as I always book my own tours. I appreciate that OP was willing to leave the review up for others to make up their own minds. Every business always has customers that love them and some that don't. That's understandable to me and one bad review doesn't always make up my mind. But the way that James appears to have handled this incident says a lot more to me than the review itself.
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8,845 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Count me in as one that will not consider taking a tour with James due to the fact he cannot be counted on to do as he says.
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Are we there yet?
Shelby county, outside of Memphis
3,670 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
First of all wow! I was reading this thread was in shock in some of the posting.
Overall my dealings with local vendors that I've picked via this website,tripadvisor, or my FB travel group had been excellent with the exception of one.
Wasn't this port but another where the vendor people running the tour was very anti solo cruiser. I placed my review on tripadvisor and on a thread this site. The vendor and also friends (other cruisers who had did the tour) accuse me of trying to get a free tour (I didn't ask for a refund,should had, but gave my assessment as a solo cruiser).
The vendor email me asking for removal of the review. They don't like bad reviews because others will change their minds
I've also booked custom tours in the ports and like o.o stated,it was custom for a reason.
The ball was dropped and not handled the right way.
While I didn't care for the way the vendor did, his friends and their postings on this thread really placed a bad taste and will turn more from him than anything else
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2,041 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by RevCindy
As someone who's looking for something to do in St. Lucia later this year, I can guarantee that the addition of James' "friends" to this post mean we would NEVER consider booking with him.
Glad I have already booked with Spencer Ambrose.
No need for negativity and drama on vacation.
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