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Any one gone on Calabaza or Elegance Catamaran?


CulverCityCruisers
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Have read great things on trip advisor, but has anyone actually been on either of there catamaran trips?

 

We were on Calabazza last January, loved it so much that we came home and immediately rebooked for next January. We've done Silver Moon and Tiami previously, too. We did not care for Tiami. It was too crowded, a party atmosphere we weren't looking for, not a lot of personal attention from the crew, there were drinks but no snacks or lunch. On Silver Moon, we took the 25-passenger trip. It was good, not overly crowded, the crew was attentive, it was a lunch cruise, with pretty good food. Calabaza was terrific! 12 passengers, awesome crew, yummy food starting when you boarded, most comfortable boat, and Gina contacted us after the trip, with a link to pictures taken during the day and recipes for all the food. It was fun, but not wild.

 

Jodi

Edited by Miss Vickie
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Curious about the costs?? It's night time here so can't really talk with them just yet. Was just wondering if this is pretty pricey??:)

 

I have Calabaza booked for my January 2014 cruise and I am paying $110 per person. I have never sailed with them before but if you search them on these boards, you will see wonderful reviews. I have had contact with Gina several times and she is such a pleasure to deal with. With 5 people, I am thinking its going to be the best $550 I've ever spent :D

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We sailed with Calabaza in 2011 and this has to be the best excursion we have taken. We are going back in September but Gina was totally booked up when we are going to be there. We booked with Silvermoon on her recommendation.Her excursion at $110 is a bargain and we would do it again in a heartbeat :D

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Calabaza is booked full for March of 2014. Booked Elegance Catamaran which is very much like Calabaza, 14 people max, pick up and drop off, beautiful boat. I'm sure it will be great and she offered a early booking discount.

 

We are booked on Elegance in September. Based on the great reviews on Trip Advisor, I think it will be a great trip. I'll try to remember to come back and let you know how it was.

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  • 2 weeks later...
We are booked on Elegance in September. Based on the great reviews on Trip Advisor, I think it will be a great trip. I'll try to remember to come back and let you know how it was.

 

Would love to know what you think! How bad could it be? 14 people, food , drink, and quality service. Come back after you go and please post.

 

Thank you

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can give a very hearty two thumbs up for Calabazza. We went on their tour in May of 2012. The service provided by the crew was on par with anything you'd experience in a fine restaurant! The lunch was fabulous and the fact they limit the guest count makes it so enjoyable.

 

On the day we went out, the usual cove they go to was very cloudy -- the captain said it had something to do with the tides. So with that in mind, he pulled away and found us another spot to snorkle. If I recall, we stopped at two turtle spots and a shipwreck.

 

I know this is a pretty costly excursion, but it is top notch all the way. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

Ann

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We just got back from our So Caribbean cruise on Jewel. I tried booking Calabaza and Elegance and both were already full. So we ended up booking with R&R Cruises and it was WONDERFUL! Like the others, the max number they take out is 12, beautiful boat, premium food and drinks, transportation to pier, excellent snorkeling and swimming with turtles. Not to mention Ryan and Rebecca were such wonderful hosts and bent over backwards to make everyone's trip so memorable. We will definitely book with R&R when we go back!

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After all the wonderful things we have been hearing about Calabaza I booked it for our upcoming cruise :). I was wondering if someone can tell us if you can pay for the tour with a credit card prior to boarding? We don't usually carry very much cash with us... only enough for incidentals and tipping. I don't want to show up without asking first and then get sent back to the ship :o because I didn't inqure beforehand!

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After all the wonderful things we have been hearing about Calabaza I booked it for our upcoming cruise :). I was wondering if someone can tell us if you can pay for the tour with a credit card prior to boarding? We don't usually carry very much cash with us... only enough for incidentals and tipping. I don't want to show up without asking first and then get sent back to the ship :o because I didn't inqure beforehand!

If I were you, I'd email Gina and ask her, since she is the one who takes care of the reservations and payments. They take a credit card for a deposit, but it seems everyone pays cash once they arrive.

 

Best to probably email her and ask her directly.

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Just got back from our cruise. I spent the day on Elegance. Here's my review..I booked the cruise, via e-mail, a couple months before our sail date. Sarah, the owner, responded the next day. The price I paid was $90 per person. The day we arrived, we made the mistake of waiting for the taxi she arranged outside where all the tour taxi's pull up. It's like a bus depot. We actually had to walk through the parking lot and go out the exit where there is a roundabout island where other drivers wait. He had a sign, so he was easy to find. He took us to the ship's pier. Sarah has a small office right next to the ship, where she takes payment before boarding. She takes cc and charges in Barbados dollars. She will tell you, don't freak the receipt says $360 (for 2 people) it's in Barbados dollars. The conversion is $180 USD. After paying, you remove your shoes and board. Coffee, juices, and banana bread await you. There was 11 passengers on our boat with 3 crew. The Capt. (Sarah's husband), Puff Daddy, and Ramone are great hosts. They take care of your every needs. They have a 5+ rating on CC. Because of the encroaching weather, they took us to the turtles first. Because of the weather, the other tours were there and it was a little bit crowded. But you will see plenty of turtles. After that, we snorkeled 3 ship wrecks. Don't shoot all your pictures on the first wreck. The last one is the best. They spent plenty of time at all these locations. Then when high tailed it out of there to another spot, just missing the downpours. Other tours decided to turn around, but the Capt. did a great job keeping us out of the storms. We set anchor and had lunch which was flying fish and chicken. There was a ton of food. After lunch and swimming, we sailed back to port. Very relaxing, we saw flying fish jump in front of the boat. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed it and I would highly recommend you book with them. Very professional!

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We have been to Barbados 4 times and Gina and her crew are the main reason we keep coming back. You cant go wrong with this trip. From the minute you get on board until the second you leave, you are treated like Royalty. Gina, Danny and Andrew go out of their way to see that your every wish is taken care of.

We celebrated my Husbands 50th birthday on the Calabaza on September 11th. They made this one of the most memorable events on our whole cruise

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We did Calabaza sail February 2013. From the moment we boarded the immaculate sail boat we were treated fabulously ! Gina and her crew go above and beyond to make sure everyone is happy. The home cooked snacks and lunch were absolutely wonderful. The most amazing part of the sail was when we swam with the turtles. Wow, what a memorable experience that was. no need to take your camera......one of the crew gets in the water and takes great pics. They post them on their web page so they are available for you to print. You can also snorkel after seeing the turtles. All I can say is please don't hesitate to book this trip, you won't regret it. My parents are booked in March after hearing how much we enjoyed it....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fantastic boat, crew and food, but the snorkelling leaves a lot to be desired. Our first stop was to swim with the turtles, where two or three showed up when the feeding began. They won't allow you to wear fins, supposedly to protect the turtles, but I saw them getting kicked a number of times by "excited" non-swimmers in PFD's thrashing around. At best it was an aquatic petting zoo. The second stop was at a dead reef in about 6 feet of water. A handful of juvenile fish appeared when one of the crew members chummed the waters, but if you weren't in the immediate vicinity of the crew member, there was nary a fish to be seen.

 

So if you are looking for a great sail, excellent food and a friendly crew, by all means book. But if you are after some decent snorkelling, I'd recommend that you look elsewhere.

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Fantastic boat, crew and food, but the snorkelling leaves a lot to be desired.

 

The second stop was at a dead reef in about 6 feet of water. A handful of juvenile fish appeared when one of the crew members chummed the waters, but if you weren't in the immediate vicinity of the crew member, there was nary a fish to be seen.

 

So if you are looking for a great sail, excellent food and a friendly crew, by all means book. But if you are after some decent snorkelling, I'd recommend that you look elsewhere.

 

Were you at the reef with the wrecked (small) barge at the bottom? I'm thinking not if you were in only 6' of water. I'm wondering if you were at the same reef we were because it was a protected marine area, certainly deeper than 6' and the reef was VERY much alive. Back on page 1, I posted a link to our snorkeling there.

 

Just trying to help the people who are researching :)

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Were you at the reef with the wrecked (small) barge at the bottom? I'm thinking not if you were in only 6' of water. I'm wondering if you were at the same reef we were because it was a protected marine area, certainly deeper than 6' and the reef was VERY much alive. Back on page 1, I posted a link to our snorkeling there.

 

Just trying to help the people who are researching :)

No, this wasn't the site with the sunken barge. This was just off a smallish beach, and "reef" makes it sound grander than it was. I know that other sites they visit are meant to be good, but clearly not all.

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No, this wasn't the site with the sunken barge. This was just off a smallish beach, and "reef" makes it sound grander than it was. I know that other sites they visit are meant to be good, but clearly not all.

 

Ah...okay. Sorry to hear your reef experience wasn't up to par :( When you spend your vacation (& money) looking forward to a great experience, and then don't get what you expected, it's really irritating!

 

I wonder why you were taken to that reef? We were on Calabaza...were you on the Elegance? Maybe they go somewhere else? This is one reason I ask companies exactly where they will be taking us...so I can research it and make sure it's decent snorkeling.

Edited by ryansmom
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Ah...okay. Sorry to hear your reef experience wasn't up to par :( When you spend your vacation (& money) looking forward to a great experience, and then don't get what you expected, it's really irritating!

 

I wonder why you were taken to that reef? We were on Calabaza...were you on the Elegance? Maybe they go somewhere else? This is one reason I ask companies exactly where they will be taking us...so I can research it and make sure it's decent snorkeling.

Yes, we were with Gina on the Calabaza. With all of the similar tours out on a beautiful day, perhaps she chose to go to a less congested site. I think that my wife and I were the only experienced divers/snorkelers onboard, and that for many of the other passengers, there was simply no point of comparison, it was all new and exciting. When compared to the snorkeling offered elsewhere - we love the Woodwind in Bonaire should you make it there - the Calabaza outing just wasn't in the same league.

 

Let me say again, if your focus is on snorkeling, I'd ask some hard questions before signing up, but if you want to have a thoroughly enjoyable day sail with a great crew and delicious eats, don't hesitate.

 

BTW, Barbados is hardly known for exceptional diving or snorkeling, and I'm sure that all of the tour groups do their best with what they have available. We will be visiting again in March, but we'll stick to a land-based itinerary and keep our snorkeling for islands better suited for it.

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