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Calabaza Sailng Tours

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Hello everyone!

 

We are stopping in Barbados and really considering a non ship excursion. I have scowered TripAdvisor and I think I am down to Calabaza Sailing Tours and Cool Runnings. They both do the same things-snorkeling with sea turtles and then to a shipwreck. Both get great reviews so it seems like a can't go wrong with either but wanted to come here and see if anyone has had any experience with either of these two?

 

Thanks!

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I've sailed with them both, enjoyed them both. Your research is correct, both are great options.

 

The difference would be, IMO, in the experience. Calabaza is to be considered a more luxury,or elegant experience, for lack of a better word. Nicer, smaller boat, fewer passengers, constant attention from the staff. Great food and drink, fun and very capable staff. Cabin and head for changing is almost luxurious, considering you are on a small cat.

True story, last time I was aboard in March, we were at the turtle site with Cool Runnings, and I said to one of the guys "That's my other choice in Barbados if you guys are unavailable". Without hesitation, he said, "Yep, it would be mine, too".

Love that they take and post pix, as well as Gina's wonderful recipes, on the internet.

 

The downside to the smaller boat experience is that you are closer to your fellow passengers. Last time, since it was just after Inauguration, there was an unpleasant, outspoken, opinionated fellow making a lot of noise. People slowly but surely moved out of earshot, and I believe his wife shut him up. Could have, but did not, ruin the day. Idiots are everywhere.

 

It's been a few years since I was on Cool Runnings, but I recall also having a very fun day. It's a bigger boat, more room to walk around, with more passengers, yet in no way do they cram the boat full. Also great crew, one guy said to me "Welcome back" and I thought - oh pretty good customer service through data usage.

Come to find out, he remembered a tattoo I have that he admired the year before. Nothing to do with a past passenger list.

 

While certainly not sloppy or out of control, this might be considered a bit more of a party boat, simply because of it's size. That may depend on the passenger mix that day, certainly.

 

If it matters to you, Cool Runnings has a far superior soovie shirt - long sleeve good quality cotton with their logo on the front pocket area and a big sailboat on the back. Their logo is a gold Rasta Man with a drink in his hand. Very fun.

Calabaza's shirts are thin cotton with a Mount Gay Rum ad on it.

Yes, I have them both.

 

I hope it helps with your decision. You'll have a great day, either way. That said, my next trip is going to be with Silver Moon, which I believe to be most like Calabaza. Doing it just for a change. And probably a new long sleeve t shirt.

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Thank you so much for the information, very helpful! I do have one more question. My wife is all about the sea turtles. Do either of the crews coax the turtles out? I know we may not see any. But if they are there do they feed them or help bring them to the surface more?

 

Thanks!!

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Thank you so much for the information, very helpful! I do have one more question. My wife is all about the sea turtles. Do either of the crews coax the turtles out? I know we may not see any. But if they are there do they feed them or help bring them to the surface more?

 

Thanks!!

 

You'll see them for sure. You don't even have to get in the water.

All the crews bait them, so they swim right up close to you.

As far as I know, Barbados is the only place where this is legal. They are a protected species in most places.

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We have booked Calabazza in December based on not only reviews, but highly recommended by a 'friend of a friend' who shared that they are probably the best Catamaran they have taken. We are really looking forward to this.

We have enjoyed swimming with turtles in Hawaii several times and it is a pretty amazing experience there so it has to be in Barbados as well.

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I wanted everyone to know about another company that is EXCELLENT. Take a look at Silvermoon. It is on the same level as Calabaza. It was luxury and pampering from the minute we stepped on the catamaran to the moment we got off. You were never without a drink. They are constantly coming around to refill your drink if you want. The lunch was great. They had freshly grilled marlin which was one of the best pieces of fish I have ever tasted. They came around with cool damp cloths to put on your neck which felt wonderful after sitting out in the sun. The banana bread was very tasty.

 

The also took you to shipwrecks and swam with the turtles. They fed the turtles and they came right up to you for great pictures. I am not a great swimmer. I had a snorkel vest on to help me float around so I can snorkel. They kept a close eye on me to make sure I was alright.

 

It was an absolutely beautiful catamaran. There was only about 12-15 people so we had plenty of room to move around.

 

I would highly, highly recommend Silvermoon!!

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DW and I went with Calabaza three years ago. It was the best excursion ever. They really make you feel like you are in the lap of luxury. And they take lots of pictures and post them. They took one of my DW and I lounging in the stern that I blew up and framed, and have hanging in our family room. A specially wonderful memory now that my wife has passed away.

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I've sailed with them both, enjoyed them both. Your research is correct, both are great options.

 

 

 

The difference would be, IMO, in the experience. Calabaza is to be considered a more luxury,or elegant experience, for lack of a better word. Nicer, smaller boat, fewer passengers, constant attention from the staff. Great food and drink, fun and very capable staff. Cabin and head for changing is almost luxurious, considering you are on a small cat.

 

True story, last time I was aboard in March, we were at the turtle site with Cool Runnings, and I said to one of the guys "That's my other choice in Barbados if you guys are unavailable". Without hesitation, he said, "Yep, it would be mine, too".

 

Love that they take and post pix, as well as Gina's wonderful recipes, on the internet.

 

 

 

The downside to the smaller boat experience is that you are closer to your fellow passengers. Last time, since it was just after Inauguration, there was an unpleasant, outspoken, opinionated fellow making a lot of noise. People slowly but surely moved out of earshot, and I believe his wife shut him up. Could have, but did not, ruin the day. Idiots are everywhere.

 

 

 

It's been a few years since I was on Cool Runnings, but I recall also having a very fun day. It's a bigger boat, more room to walk around, with more passengers, yet in no way do they cram the boat full. Also great crew, one guy said to me "Welcome back" and I thought - oh pretty good customer service through data usage.

 

Come to find out, he remembered a tattoo I have that he admired the year before. Nothing to do with a past passenger list.

 

 

 

While certainly not sloppy or out of control, this might be considered a bit more of a party boat, simply because of it's size. That may depend on the passenger mix that day, certainly.

 

 

 

If it matters to you, Cool Runnings has a far superior soovie shirt - long sleeve good quality cotton with their logo on the front pocket area and a big sailboat on the back. Their logo is a gold Rasta Man with a drink in his hand. Very fun.

 

Calabaza's shirts are thin cotton with a Mount Gay Rum ad on it.

 

Yes, I have them both.

 

 

 

I hope it helps with your decision. You'll have a great day, either way. That said, my next trip is going to be with Silver Moon, which I believe to be most like Calabaza. Doing it just for a change. And probably a new long sleeve t shirt.

 

 

How much time is spent actually in the water on each? We are all about snorkeling and being in the water, so was curious how the tours compared on that aspect.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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How much time is spent actually in the water on each? We are all about snorkeling and being in the water, so was curious how the tours compared on that aspect.

p

 

I'd say they are comparable - 2 stops, an hour or so at each.

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I'm going to Barbados and Calabaza this August. My entire reason for doing this itinerary again was to go on Calabaza again. We only saw one turtle because some idiot from another boat was chasing them off. But it was the best excursion I've been on in any island and I've been on about 8 Caribbean cruises.

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Frayedend, I heard the exact same thing from a friend on CC......we are excited that we have booked with Calabazza......,and I am sure that the others discussed on this thread are great as well......but with the over the top recommendation we received it leaves no doubt we will have a fantastic day. Good to hear you feel the same!

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We loved our cruise on Calabaza in 2016 and have booked it again for 2018. It was one of the highlights of our cruise.

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We have been on Calabaza twice. It is the best excursion we have every been on. Gina makes all the food herself, and it is very good! Constant attention from the crew. As someone mentioned, they take a LOT of pictures. Then, they don't sell them to you as other companies do, they put them on their web server and you can download all of them in a zip file. The rum punch is amazing!

.

.

.

My wife says "go Blue!"

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Like others, Calabaza was the best water excursion we've done in about 11 cruises. We did it last November, and when we booked another a cruise for this fall that included Barbados... it was the first excursion we booked. Everything about it was good.

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The rum punch is amazing!

.

 

Oh yeah it is awesome! They grate nutmeg on top which really adds a great flavor.

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I wanted everyone to know about another company that is EXCELLENT. Take a look at Silvermoon. It is on the same level as Calabaza. It was luxury and pampering from the minute we stepped on the catamaran to the moment we got off. You were never without a drink. They are constantly coming around to refill your drink if you want. The lunch was great. They had freshly grilled marlin which was one of the best pieces of fish I have ever tasted. They came around with cool damp cloths to put on your neck which felt wonderful after sitting out in the sun. The banana bread was very tasty.

 

The also took you to shipwrecks and swam with the turtles. They fed the turtles and they came right up to you for great pictures. I am not a great swimmer. I had a snorkel vest on to help me float around so I can snorkel. They kept a close eye on me to make sure I was alright.

 

It was an absolutely beautiful catamaran. There was only about 12-15 people so we had plenty of room to move around.

 

I would highly, highly recommend Silvermoon!!

 

I was on Silver Moon last December and will be on again this December. It was by far the BEST catamaran trip I've ever been on. They are a couple of hours shorter than Calabaza and a little cheaper.

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We have been on Calabaza twice. It is the best excursion we have every been on. Gina makes all the food herself, and it is very good! Constant attention from the crew. As someone mentioned, they take a LOT of pictures. Then, they don't sell them to you as other companies do, they put them on their web server and you can download all of them in a zip file. The rum punch is amazing!

.

I agree 100%. It's the only "woman" owned catamaran. Great food, service and catamaran. So much better than the ships excursions where they heard you like cattle.

 

We've used Calabazza and Silvermoon both. Silvermoon has a few catamarans of different sizes. I can recommend both of them.

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DW and I went with Calabaza three years ago. It was the best excursion ever. They really make you feel like you are in the lap of luxury. And they take lots of pictures and post them. They took one of my DW and I lounging in the stern that I blew up and framed, and have hanging in our family room. A specially wonderful memory now that my wife has passed away.

 

 

What a sweet memory. It brought a tear to my eye. So sorry for your loss.

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Just a note about Calabaza...

We just got back from a tour with them and all I can say is WOW!!

 

What a terrific time we had! The boat is beautiful and the crew is spectacular! I highly recommend them!

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Jan 29, 2018 will be our 6th time with Gina and the guys on the Calabaza. When ever we book a cruise that stops in Barbados the next thing I do is contact Gina to make a reservation. She now has 2 boats. Almost identical 46' Cats. She takes only 12 people on each boat. The typical tour is for a taxi to meet you at the terminal at 8:45am to take you to the boat (5 minute ride). The crew meets you with warm bread and drinks. Then out to the first snorkel stop which is usually the turtles where one of the crew is in the water with you taking photos and helping guests if needed. This stop is about 45 minutes to an hour. Then a move to either a wreck area or a reef depending on the wind/sea - again a crew in the water assisting as needed. Then a nice SAIL down the coast to a nice beach area where you anchor out and have a GREAT lunch. After lunch you can swim or go up to the beach area. Then a SAIL back to the marina where she has a taxi waiting to take you back to the port about 3pm. I forgot to mention that it is an open bar the entire trip.

 

We have not used Silver Moon but we have friends that have been on Silver Moon and Calabaza and they say they are about the same.

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does Cool Runnings catamaran swim with the turtles still exist?

been trying to connect with them -will be in Barbados in November

went with them several years ago and it was great

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Hello everyone!

 

We are stopping in Barbados and really considering a non ship excursion. I have scowered TripAdvisor and I think I am down to Calabaza Sailing Tours and Cool Runnings. They both do the same things-snorkeling with sea turtles and then to a shipwreck. Both get great reviews so it seems like a can't go wrong with either but wanted to come here and see if anyone has had any experience with either of these two?

 

Thanks!

 

 

This answer is completely truthful even though your a Michigan fan. :evilsmile: I just got back from using Calabaza . Best Excursion ever, I'm getting ready to to that section of my review in the Royal Caribbean forum.

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Jan 29, 2018 will be our 6th time with Gina and the guys on the Calabaza. When ever we book a cruise that stops in Barbados the next thing I do is contact Gina to make a reservation. She now has 2 boats. Almost identical 46' Cats. She takes only 12 people on each boat..

 

 

You don't need my validation, but you are completely right. We ended up with 12 people, 10 were from our roll call and we had a great party! We adopted the other couple into our group and they had fun too.

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