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MichLeBlanc

Cosol Tours

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We will be doing our 1st cruise in April and one of our stops is St. Lucia.  We are beach lovers and have most of our port stops planned, except this one.  We are seriously considering doing an excursion through Cosol Tours (I have read great things about this tour).  I am just a little hesitant because it is not through the cruise ship directly.  Has anyone had any problems with this tour in the sense of not being back in time or just barely making it back.  We are in port from 8 am to 5 pm that day.  This tour seems to have a full agenda.  :classic_smile:TIA

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Just now, MichLeBlanc said:

We will be doing our 1st cruise in April and one of our stops is St. Lucia.  We are beach lovers and have most of our port stops planned, except this one.  We are seriously considering doing an excursion through Cosol Tours (I have read great things about this tour).  I am just a little hesitant because it is not through the cruise ship directly.  Has anyone had any problems with this tour in the sense of not being back in time or just barely making it back.  We are in port from 8 am to 5 pm that day.  This tour seems to have a full agenda.  :classic_smile:TIA

There's loads of reviews here and on TripAdvisor.  Not one mentions being late or rushing at the end to be back on time. The independent operators have this on a lock - one miss and they're out of business.. 

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The Cosol Tour we took on our first visit to St. Lucia years ago remains one of our favorite organized tour memories. They have the itinerary worked out to a science and you will eat, drink & be merry absolutely guaranteed. The cruise ship trade is their bread & butter so they will get you back to the ship on time, I can safely assure you.

 

As an added note about the quality of the operator, we had a small pocket-type camera that slid into the van seat back without,e noticing (inexpensive type used in the days before phone cameras were the norm). We didn’t notice it was missing until we were the ship cruising to the next stop & figured it was gone forever. When we got back home I emailed Cosol to inquire whether a camera had been found...not only had it been found, but he mailed it back to me in the US. Quality people turning out a quality product. Enjoy without any hesitation!

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Just did the most amazing tour in September with Cosol (Baptist) and after many trips to St Lucia I can now truly say it was our best visit ever !!!!!!

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On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 8:50 PM, seastheday said:

The Cosol Tour we took on our first visit to St. Lucia years ago remains one of our favorite organized tour memories. They have the itinerary worked out to a science and you will eat, drink & be merry absolutely guaranteed. The cruise ship trade is their bread & butter so they will get you back to the ship on time, I can safely assure you.

 

As an added note about the quality of the operator, we had a small pocket-type camera that slid into the van seat back without,e noticing (inexpensive type used in the days before phone cameras were the norm). We didn’t notice it was missing until we were the ship cruising to the next stop & figured it was gone forever. When we got back home I emailed Cosol to inquire whether a camera had been found...not only had it been found, but he mailed it back to me in the US. Quality people turning out a quality product. Enjoy without any hesitation!

Thanks for all your input; I have also contacted the company and have been given some great information.  I am looking forward to this excursion mostly because of the great reviews it gets!!

 

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Hey great to hear that Cosol tours are still operating. The main guy, Cosol, was killed last year. We were fortunate of going on one of the trips he led himself. He went out of his way to ensure we had a fabulous day. I am sure you will have a fabulous trip. At the time we went, all the guides got great reviews.

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9 hours ago, downsmead said:

Hey great to hear that Cosol tours are still operating. The main guy, Cosol, was killed last year. We were fortunate of going on one of the trips he led himself. He went out of his way to ensure we had a fabulous day. I am sure you will have a fabulous trip. At the time we went, all the guides got great reviews.

To be accurate,  Cosol died this past summer, in July. It was tragic. And is still a tragedy. His family have kept the business going, in his honor and memory - and with his inimitable style.. 

It's still an outstanding tour..

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We used Cosol for a tour just last week.  It was very nice; it is a busy day so we had to keep moving along.  We had no problems getting back to the ship on time, but our ship left fairly late.

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On December 1, 2018 at 1:56 PM, reedprincess said:

To be accurate,  Cosol died this past summer, in July. It was tragic. And is still a tragedy. His family have kept the business going, in his honor and memory - and with his inimitable style.. 

It's still an outstanding tour..

Terribly sorry indeed to hear this. The man himself was quite a wonderful character and I'm glad to hear his business lives on.

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Regarding the OP's concern about getting back to the ship on time...I was with Cosol Tours last week, along with about 24 other people in 4 vans. Our all on board time was 3:30! Yellowbird, who was in charge of the whole group, made it very clear to all of us...guests and drivers and staff at the food stop...that we would do everything as advertised but we would be moving along quite smartly.  And that's exactly what happened. The only significant time reduction we knew about was the Sugar Beach stop, reduced from one hour to 45 minutes.

We arrived back at the pier at 2:55, allowing some time for shopping if folks were interested.

As mentioned, there is no way these tour operators are going to have their guests miss the all on board call.

Aside from that concern, this was an excellent tour. Everything ran like clockwork. Staff terrific...friendly, knowledgeable, helpful with getting in and out of various vehicles. Their excellentvratings are well-deserved.

 

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I have used the company twice.  Loved it both times.  Never had any time problems at all.  I would highly recommend them for your trip!!

 

Be open to trying all they they offer for the lunch stop.  Really good food.  The hot bread and cheese at the end is so good.  Hint for that if you can get 2 or 3 slices of cheese and stick it in the hot bread to eat!!!   So really good.  

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We've used Cosol Tours twice and have recommended them many times. We would never recommend a company we had any concerns about but we have nothing but praise for every aspect of the service we had. This company's reputation has been spread through social media. They will not let you down. If this had happened even once they would not be the highly respected company they are today. 

 

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On 12/6/2018 at 3:58 PM, taranch said:

Regarding the OP's concern about getting back to the ship on time...I was with Cosol Tours last week, along with about 24 other people in 4 vans. Our all on board time was 3:30! Yellowbird, who was in charge of the whole group, made it very clear to all of us...guests and drivers and staff at the food stop...that we would do everything as advertised but we would be moving along quite smartly.  And that's exactly what happened. The only significant time reduction we knew about was the Sugar Beach stop, reduced from one hour to 45 minutes.

We arrived back at the pier at 2:55, allowing some time for shopping if folks were interested.

As mentioned, there is no way these tour operators are going to have their guests miss the all on board call.

Aside from that concern, this was an excellent tour. Everything ran like clockwork. Staff terrific...friendly, knowledgeable, helpful with getting in and out of various vehicles. Their excellentvratings are well-deserved.

 

 

We just did this tour December 11. It was great. Lots of stops with lots of different things to do and see. One of the best excursions we have done in more than 30 cruises.

 

We also had yellowbird who was great. Our back onboard time was 4:30pm and he had us back at about 3:45pm.

 

Bill

2018-12-11 13.28.37.jpg

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Our ship only arrives in port at 8 am....the information received from Cosol Tours says that the tour meets at 8:20 and leaves at 8:30 am.  Does this give us enough time to get off the ship and meet up for the tour?  Just wondering how long it takes to be able to get off the ship as this is our first cruise.

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Unless something unusual happens this will be fine.  It is about the time frame we had for meeting them in November.  Since it is not a tender port (normally), you will usually be able to walk off right away.

 

If for some reason debarkation is delayed, Cosol Tours will be aware of that and will wait, since everyone else on the tour from your ship will also be delayed.  That said, I can't remember ever having a delayed time to get off the ship in over 35 cruises, except in a few tender ports.

 

The ship will make an announcement when it is ok for you to disembark.  Do try to be ready.

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3 hours ago, Nebr.cruiser said:

Unless something unusual happens this will be fine.  It is about the time frame we had for meeting them in November.  Since it is not a tender port (normally), you will usually be able to walk off right away.

 

If for some reason debarkation is delayed, Cosol Tours will be aware of that and will wait, since everyone else on the tour from your ship will also be delayed.  That said, I can't remember ever having a delayed time to get off the ship in over 35 cruises, except in a few tender ports.

 

The ship will make an announcement when it is ok for you to disembark.  Do try to be ready.

Thanks Nebr.cruiser that's reassuring...we would definitely be ready!!  Being newbies to cruising any information we can get is helpful. :classic_smile:

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Did this in May 2018 and I fully believe it might be the best tour for the money in all of the Caribbean.

 

I just booked the Fascination again, in May 2019, for the same week I took in 2018 . . . And I am seriously considering doing this again because I don’t think anything else I do in St. Lucia could live up to it . . . .hell I may as well stay on the ship if I don’t do this.

 

Just a little saddened by Cosol himself not being there because of the tragedy . . . .My wife and I owed him an ass whoopin in dominoes but the Water Taxi had a small engine issue that caused enough of a delay to give us no free time when returning from Sugar Beach.  The man was everywhere all day and extrememly personable . . . .won’t be the same without him although I am sure the tour is still first class.

 

Couple tips:

 

1.  At the breakfast/lunch stop . . .try everything.  You won’t get that type of spread anywhere else for the money spent.  Local eats galore and it is really good.

 

2.  Buy the banana rum from the banana stop.  Just a small one will do because you can refill.  Always a hit for tastings when I have guests over.

 

3.  Bring your mask and snorkel or spend the money to rent a set . . . .Sugar Beach hosts arguably the best snorkeling on that southern itinerary . . . .don’t miss it.

 

4.  Definitely take the motion sickness medicine.  Between the amount of drinking and the speedboat and the winding roads on the way back . . . .it can get to you.

 

5.  Use your least cute bathing suit/bathing trunks.  This is an adventure day with mud involved . . . Plenty other days to look cute on this itinerary.  Don’t mess up your best swimsuit.

 

6.  The little boys who make the grass items, really nice kids, very persistent.  Keep a few bucks on hand if you decide to take one of their creations.  1 dollar per item you take I suggest . . . .trust me, you can say No firmly and they are very nice and will pretty much force you to take what they have made in the nicest way for a small tip.

 

7.  If you ever needed one of those Waterproof pouches for your phone, this is the island you need it for.  Tons of photo opportunities but tons of ways for you to completely damage your phone as well.

 

8.  At Sugar Beach . . . It is very limited seating on chairs . . . .so if you want one, I suggest hustling . . . . That said, forget laying in the sun and spend the whole hour snorkeling . . . .its that good.  Put your bags on the sand and get in the water.

 

9.  Just have fun.  The drivers are great, the island is beautiful and Cosol tours is above and beyond a top operation.

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