Thursday, February 09, 2012

Response to recent Tripadvisor review

Hi there, I hear what you are saying about the numbers of the tour, and agree that the tours would be more enjoyable if the 52 foot boat (built by Cooper Marine in the USA and US Coast Guard Certified for 49 people) only took a dozen people. This isn't practical at all for a huge number of reasons including the simple fact that doing business in Antigua is way way way more expensive than doing business back in the USA or in Europe or the UK. Our margins are very small and when we take 12 people out on the boat we make a considerable loss a the end of the 40 mile round trip from the marina.
That all being said, we don't pack 49 people on the boat as the other similar boats made by Cooper marine and passed by the US Coast Guard do in the us. We keep the numbers considerably lower. During peak season there are days when the boat carries up to 31 people (we have seating for 31 without people sitting on the gunwale or on the cabin tops which is where many end up sitting to get better views up in the mangrove areas and off shore islands). There are many days during the season and way too many in the off season where this tour takes half that number by the way. I would rather not add more seats but after these two latest reviews I think we will add more aluminum pipe seats just so people have more options on where to sit and so people don't have to sit next to people they don't know. Dont forget this isn't a private charter though and sitting next to strangers is what happens on our tours unless you have private chartered.
One more thing on the seating. This boat is 52 feet long and 16 feet wide. It is mostly open with plenty of space for more seats. As far as seats per sqaure foot I would bet that we have the lowest seat density of all excursion boats in Antigua. We have competitors who have smaller boats with almost as many passengers and all of the boats our size and larger carry significantly more passengers. We operate a sailing cat the same size that takes 49. All of the sailing catamarans take more passengers. Usually at least one person per foot is the norm. I know of an 85 foot cat taking over 100 people. We don't have a crouded boat. I challenge anyone to go on a boat of similar size to our one during peak season and compare the two. We are significatnly less crouded with space to walk around and move around the boat. Visit our facebook page where we put hundreds of images up from tours that we have done over the past year. You see it looking crouded? Well if you were expecting 12 people on a boat that can carry 49 then yes 31 may appear crouded.
At the end of the day the boat is only a bus to get you to the hike, to get you to hells gate, to get you to our snorkeling spots.
As you can see from the other reviews, most people like the way the activities are split up between eco talks, hikes, caving, snorkeling and sight seeing. Some people want to snorkel only. I had a couple call me yesterday saying that they were only interested in snorkeling and not much else. I told them to rent a car and told them where to go and explore. My tour wasn't for them. This is an eco tour which has the best mix of a bunch of activities that me and my cousins got up to as kids in the beautiful North Sound. I still think that according to most definitions this tour is an eco tour. Some complain that we spend too much time talking about mangroves, turtles, snakes and nesting birds.... Adventure Antigua's Eco Tour can satisfy your every desire. We will always endeavor to do our best to make sure that it was the best day you experienced during your holiday.

“Too many people on the excursion”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012 NEW
It was advertised as an eco tour with not to many people to give it a luxurious tinge.
There were to many persons on the catamaran, hard for everyone to find a seat.
The snorkeling was very short and to me it wasn't quite sure what eco meant.
The talk about turtles? The tour through the mangroves?
The trip through Hells Gate was great. Friendly hostesses.
Visited January 2012