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Any one gone on Calabaza or Elegance Catamaran?


CulverCityCruisers
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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.

 

 

I always ask and research to find out where they are taking us. Very surprising you didn't end up where we went since you did sail with Calabaza? :confused: Wonder if it was a weather related issue?

 

Since the 'good' snorkeling is limited in Barbados (especially for cruisers on a time limit), I figured they always went to the same place. It seems they usually do, but, as you said, best to ask for sure.

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Thanks for all the great info, we are in the process of planning our trip in Feb on the Jewel of the Seas. Were there any beach stops on any of these sailings?

No beach stops on our outing aboard the Calabaza, but for both the turtle and reef snorkels we were moored within ten to fifteen metres of the beach. Anyone preferring to spend time on the sand instead of in the water or on board could have done so, I suppose. Given the choice between the beach and the Calabaza, with its food, drink and choice of sun or shade, no one opted for the beach.

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On Calabaza, after we were finished with the turtles, we sailed away to a quiet spot for lunch. Here, you could swim around the cat, swim to the beach or snorkel in the roped off area off the beach. There was a couple that swam in to the beach. I decided to hang out on the cat. My husband and another guy went snorkeling in the roped off area. I have a picture, but can't upload it right now....I'll have to do it tomorrow when my son isn't home and can't complain about me 'uploading and slowing him down'.

 

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Howdy all,

 

I was curious about the time with Calabazas, and for those with elegance as well, I know the website says 5 hour cruise but was wondering what the actual time is that you sail and return. Wife wants to do some shopping and wanted to know if we would have time at the end of the excursion. We will be on the Valor and in Barbados 8am - 5pm (Ship Time).

 

Also how far is the cruise terminal from where you board the catamarans. And as I understand it, the cruise terminal is in a commercial area so I would imagine the shopping is elsewhere.

 

Thanks in advanced

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On Calabaza, after we were finished with the turtles, we sailed away to a quiet spot for lunch. Here, you could swim around the cat, swim to the beach or snorkel in the roped off area off the beach. There was a couple that swam in to the beach. I decided to hang out on the cat. My husband and another guy went snorkeling in the roped off area. I have a picture, but can't upload it right now....I'll have to do it tomorrow when my son isn't home and can't complain about me 'uploading and slowing him down'.

 

 

 

After swimming with the turtles, we sailed to this spot for lunch:

 

DSC_4411-1.jpg

 

Some snorkeled in that roped off area, a couple went to the beach, some swam around the cat...others just stayed on board and hung out. You have free time here.

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Howdy all,

 

I was curious about the time with Calabazas, and for those with elegance as well, I know the website says 5 hour cruise but was wondering what the actual time is that you sail and return. Wife wants to do some shopping and wanted to know if we would have time at the end of the excursion. We will be on the Valor and in Barbados 8am - 5pm (Ship Time).

 

Also how far is the cruise terminal from where you board the catamarans. And as I understand it, the cruise terminal is in a commercial area so I would imagine the shopping is elsewhere.

 

Thanks in advanced

 

 

I can't remember our exact times without digging for the paperwork, but we were picked up at 9am. There's a bit of a walk from the ship to the cruise terminal area...where ALL the shopping is. They will pick you up in a van (with others) and drive you to the marina. They take you through town which is always nice to see. I can't remember if it was 5 or 6 hours, but we were back in PLENTY of time. We even had time to do shopping in the terminal area. You don't have to worry....they are VERY conscious of the time. You'll be back in more than enough time.

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We just returned from our cruise. We spent last Wednesday in Barbados and cruised with elegance catamaran. It was a fantastic day. We were picked up at 9:15 and we were returned to the ship with plenty of time for shopping. The ship and crew were wonderful. The food for lunch was great. Drinks were plentiful. We were very well taken care of. Our daughter was the youngest on the boat And they kept a close eye on her and made sure she got to see the turtles. They even took our camera down deeper to get us some great shots of the turtles. The crew was very informative and a lot of fun to talk to on the cruise. I would highly recommend spending the day with them. Jill

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We are booked on Calabaza in November. Would rather pay by credit card instead of carry large amount of cash. Has anyone had experience with this dont want to show up with credit card and have a problem with payment.

 

I asked Gina that exact question for our upcoming tour and she emailed me that the credit card I used for the guarantee if fine to use for payment as well. But I would email her to confirm, just to be on the safe side. :)

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We are booked on Calabaza in November. Would rather pay by credit card instead of carry large amount of cash. Has anyone had experience with this dont want to show up with credit card and have a problem with payment.

Just be sure that you know in advance what currency you will be paying in. I have a USD card that I use for travel outside Canada to avoid conversion fees charged by the bank. In correspondence with Gina, she quoted all prices in USD, but when I went to pay on board, she charged me in BSD and was unwilling to abort the transaction and make it in USD. I ended up paying a higher than normal conversion rate that I would have avoided totally if she had made this known beforehand.

 

I have no objection to paying in BSD or any other local currencies when travelling, but I didn't appreciate the last minute switch. I have other cards that I would have used had I known in advance.

 

Edited by Fouremco
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Received word back from Gina and the credit card will indeed be charged in BSD if you choose to go that way. Thanks again Fouremco for the head's up.

Glad to be of assistance. To bad she doesn't include a paragraph in her literature explaining that while quoting prices in USD she charges in BSD.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

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But if we pay cash it can be in USD, correct?

Good question. Gina didn't mention the option and I didn't offer to pay cash as I had not foreseen any need to have that amount on me. You might want to double check to be safe, but I can't see her refusing USD cash.

 

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I sailed with Calabazza Cruises 2 weeks ago and it was one of the best tours that I have taken on the cruises. I paid the fee on my credit card in USD and others also paid in USD cash. We had a great time snorkeling and we saw many turtles and fish at each of the sites including the 2 ship wrecks. Gina and her crew went above and beyond in service and professionalism. One of the best qualities with Calabazza is that they limit their tours to just 12 people. We saw several other ships pull up that were overcrowded with customers packed on like sardines. I would highly recommend Calabazza to anyone visiting Barbados.

 

It also amazes me that people who did not enjoy this cruise continue to keep posting on this blog. If you would like to see more accurate reviews go to Trip Advisor.

1726678939_danturtle.jpg.bbbe1d39d488e36a41cee993bf912d1f.jpg

Edited by Atlgator
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It also amazes me that people who did not enjoy this cruise continue to keep posting on this blog.

In the off chance that you are referring to me, you have it all wrong when you say that I didn't enjoy the cruise. Although the snorkelling left something to be desired as, for reasons unknown, we didn't go to the same sites reported by you and many other reviewers, I've stated to people who might be considering the Calabaza that "if you want to have a thoroughly enjoyable day sail with a great crew and delicious eats, don't hesitate."

 

CruiseCritic would be of little value if only highly positive reviews were posted. Balanced reviews and differing opinions provide far more value, which is why CruiseCritic is so popular.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

I am so excited about this trip and especially at the thought of being so close to the turtles, what an experience that will be.

I just wondered if there is a high probability of seeing them at that time of year.

I'm glad there were spaces left for January as I only booked this 2 weeks ago!

Shilu

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Hi all,

I am so excited about this trip and especially at the thought of being so close to the turtles, what an experience that will be.

I just wondered if there is a high probability of seeing them at that time of year.

I'm glad there were spaces left for January as I only booked this 2 weeks ago!

Shilu

 

Please come back and post your experience, I'd love to hear it. DH and I are doing Calabaza in April and it might just be the high point of our cruise! :)

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  • 5 years later...

Been on Calabaza twice and will rebook on any cruise we take that stops at Barabados. The people cant be nicer, food great from the moment you step on boat, all the drinks (alcohol or not), and no rowdy crowd just 12 people. You cant beat it. Its expensive but if you treat yourself to one splurge on shore excursions this should be it!

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This thread is from 2013. 

There are many more current (tho just as deservedly glowing) reviews of Calabaza on this thread.  

 

I've sailed with them over a half dozen times, and I will add one caveat - things are not quite the same when Gina is not on board.  The guys are good, but she is exceptional. 

She has expanded her business interests on the island, and does not personally oversee each sailing like she used to.  That's no reason not to book, just something I have noticed the last few times. 

 

 

Edited by EatonDoolittle
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