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“Disappointed” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tropicbird Sailing - CLOSED

Tropicbird Sailing
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Sail with us and experience our friendly and informative introduction to Rarotonga as we chart our way around the outer reef, using the Pacific tradewinds on our classic sailing vessel, a stable 36 foot trimaran. Great views of the island - fantastic photo opportunities! Snorkel from one of our sheltered mooring points. Sea life includes huge varieties of fish, turtles and migratory humpback whales that visit Rarotonga from July to October on their route through the Cook Islands. You will be looked after by our friendly local crew who will endeavour to make your time aboard as memorable as possible! Daily Discovery lunchtime cruise and Cocktail Sundowner cruises available. Reasonably priced and great fun! Private charter available for special events; Hen parties, birthday celebrations, wedding parties etc. We can cater (cold buffets)or BYO.
Mesa, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

We called the booking number to see if we would be able to take a cruise while on the Island. The girl answering the phone was friendly and polite; I explained my mother was almost 80 and wasn't too mobile. The woman for the reservations said it would be fine for my mother to get on and off the boat. It was very windy and she told us to call back in an hour to make sure the boat would still be going out. We did as she suggested and called - she said they would be sailing and to meet the boat captain later that afternoon.
We arrived at the wharf early and met the captain. After seeing the set up for getting my mother on and off the boat, I was not too sure. She was to climb down 3-4 steps (like on a straight down ladder) then step from the ladder onto the back of the boat (small swim step) the had to walk around to the front part of the boat. There weren't any railings, but boat ropes to guide her. She was a trooper and climbed on - she was so excited to take the Sunset Cruise, she didn't want to miss it.
Because the boat was difficult to get on we asked our Captain, Alberto, if we could just sail. We weren't sure if snorkeling was in the plan because it was so windy. His reply was "I sail the boat out there, we tie it there and if you want to swim, swim .. if not, just look at the mountains." That should've been our first clue.
The trip started out okay, but got worse as it went on. The wind didn't die down, it was windy and rough the whole time. We arrived at the snorkel location and it was very windy, very choppy. My wife and I got in the water first. Then my father and mother got in. The snorkeling was terrible as the visibility was not good because of the wind and churn. My mother got in the water okay but didn't last long because of the cold. She boarded the boat and proceeded to get seasick while bobbing around waiting for the rest of us to get out of the water.
The snacks for after snorkeling were little sandwiches and some pound cake. My parents weren't interested in food since my mom was seasick. What was most annoying was that Alberto, our captain, figured he would help himself to the food ... regardless of whether I wanted any or my wife. The food is for the customers, not the staff.
Once the rest of us got on the boat, we started heading back (no sunset since it was ALL clouds), it was very rough and choppy with swells close to six or eight feet. We arrived back to the wharf (now dark) and Alberto was so concerned about his payment, he left my mother's safety exiting the boat to me and my 80 year old dad.
Sunsets aren't guaranteed, but the treatment (or lack of) we received was more than disappointing. It was too rough to take people out - especially two of whom are 80 years old. The booking company and captain were more worried about making money than making memories. This was a memory - a bad one that we won't ever make the mistake of doing again.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Lori1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

10 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    6
    2
    1
    1
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great sunset cruise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2013

We took the whole family out on this sunset cruise to celebrate our daughter's birthday. Great time, beautiful photo opportunties, and excellent value. Snorkelling included as well!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank KelvinPassfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Five Stars Isn't Enough!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2013

We had the best day with Captain Patrick! He was personable, knowledgeable, competent, and friendly. Made science on the ocean fun (the wine, snackies, and lunch didn't hurt, either)! I would absolutely recommend this boating tour for anyone who wants to get out on the water, have some fun, and even learn a little along the way. The food was excellent--none of those pre-packaged store platters for us. Mrs. Patrick is an amazing baker, too! The sailing vessel was immaculate, as well.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Madison Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Evening Cruise, delicious food and good company”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2011

A group of friends and my husband and I went out on the cocktail evening cruise whilst recently in Raro. Had a fantastic time, the boat had heaps of room for all of us to be comfortable on the deck area, (which was great for those of us that aren't seafaring!), fabulous food and the sunset was incredible. We had some good snorkeling and were lucky enough to see a Humpback Whale meandering down the coast.

We have been to Raro so many times over the years yet this is the first time that I have ever seen the island from the water - (getting seasick regularly tends to put me off!), but had no problems feeling dodgy, possibly because the boat is so stable and there is plenty of deck room.

Thanks heaps Beth, we will be back soon to do it again

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank kaiwaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
61 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great Day Trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2011

Spent a lovely day sailing with Tropicbird. Very relaxing and friendly. Great views of the island and we were lucky enough to see a whale breaching despite the windy weather and "bumpy" water! Unfortunately we couldn't do any snorkelling due to the weather conditions but we did have a nice lunch (quiche, salad, wine) sitting on the trimaran when we returned to the harbour.
You can catch the bus from anywhere on the island and ask the driver to let you off at the harbour. Definately recommend the trip.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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