Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
andymattmom

WARNING VICTOR BODDEN tour

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

After reading outstanding reviews on trip advisor and here. I read Facebook reviews and contacted person who had been on several excursions with him we booked what was to be a private tour. Victor was great and even after our experience I will say he is a good person. NOTHING WAS STOLEN BUT BE WARNED ABOUT  “PRIVATE TOUR “

 

We met our requested driver with our first stop on private tour (I keep stressing this for a reason) the sloth adventure. On tickets and information it is stated on private tour the driver will lock your belongings in vehicle and they are safe. I asked our driver if that was correct and he stated yes- we left our bags feeling safe as he stated he was watching van (it was our family of 4). 

 

After our sloth visit we were ready to continue our island tour- our driver was missing. The other drivers stated he was dropping a family at the beach (which he was not to do as we hired him). He returned - our bags and belongings still on seat but thing is the people he wasn’t to pick up could have taken. Yes we probably should have taken but when you are assured you are only ones with the vehicle that day and driver will wait for you and lock car you assume safe.

 

Beach next stop - we took all our belongings. Driver got us settled and 2 hours later when we were ready to leave he was MIA again! Other company drivers were  great- called Bodden and we found out driver doing other runs. Thirty minutes later he showed up- we were ready to go back to ship. Van covered on sand- know of at least 3 drives he did when he wasn’t supposed to.

 

At dock we talked about with Bodden rep. He stated driver wasn’t to do- called Victor. Settled on 50% refund. Was stressed over and over by them driver wasn’t to do but he did (obviously either off books or Bodden allowed). 

 

Just our experience with them ... not good! 

Private van wasn’t private 

Driver irresponsible 

 

 

 

Edited by andymattmom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like an issue with the driver, not Bodden as you were compensated for the driver's folly.  Bodden reaction to your complaint should be a feather in his cap for his integrity.

As he has several drivers, it would be helpful to those wishing to use Bodden in the future to learn the driver's name.  That way any private tours can request him not to be their driver.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kenny was driver 

Unsure if more than one but referred to as Young Kenny

Warning does have something to do with Bodden as I have no clue who was sending him on these drives- digging into further reviews this has happened before with other drivers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hmmm, we have used Victor twice now, never had an issue.  our longest stops are usually West End (Bananarama) and both our drivers checked in with us regularly, to make sure we had everything we needed and give us a time check.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bstel said:

hmmm, we have used Victor twice now, never had an issue.  our longest stops are usually West End (Bananarama) and both our drivers checked in with us regularly, to make sure we had everything we needed and give us a time check.

 

Just for clarity sake, Bananarama in n West Bey Beach.. not in the village of West End. :0) 

 

 

I understand everyone wants to get exactly what the pay for but Victor can not control everything while his people are out and about. Roatan is an island off the coast of a third world county, some of the locals are very desperate indeed. It is possible this driver was trying to make a few extra dollars to feed his family. I would guess his choice cost him his job with Victor. 

 

As far as personal items, I do not take ANYTHING on holiday I am not willing to lose. I take complete and total responsibility for those things. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I will stress again I posted my experience with Kenny who works for Victor. Victor told me he suspended him without pay for a month as it was not what he was supposed to do. Do I feel bad about that , yes! But on the other hand it was advertised and booked as a private tour. In his information he sends Victor states personal items can be left in vehicle and are secure. (Stupid of me to leave in van but I was told car was locked and secure). I never thought that my driver would break the contract I had with Victor and leave us stranded twice driving multiple side trips (whether off the books or with Victor’s permission). It makes me wonder how often it has happened to others who don’t realize that their driver left. 

 

I will not leave things in vehicles again on excursions. It is sad that things like this happen. I understand Roatan is a poor country and Victor has a good business, but he needed to know what happened to us and I felt others should know and so with the information what they want. I’d hate to see someone totally stranded by a driver! 

 

Another driver from a different company was going to drive us back and make Bodden pay. I’m glad others have had great experiences with him and hope they continue. This was just an off experience but should never have happened. 

 

Yes, I should get what I paid for which was a private tour for my family. I did not pay for a communal tour with others. If Victor can’t fulfill what he advertises, he shouldn’t offer. 

Edited by andymattmom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Guest 2000 said:

 

Just for clarity sake, Bananarama in n West Bey Beach.. not in the village of West End. :0) 

 

 

I understand everyone wants to get exactly what the pay for but Victor can not control everything while his people are out and about. Roatan is an island off the coast of a third world county, some of the locals are very desperate indeed. It is possible this driver was trying to make a few extra dollars to feed his family. I would guess his choice cost him his job with Victor. 

 

As far as personal items, I do not take ANYTHING on holiday I am not willing to lose. I take complete and total responsibility for those things. 

yes Bananamrama is West Bay, not Village. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree..if this was one of his employees doing this...it reflects on Bodden and his company and people should have knowledge of this (especially if others are having the same experience as you stated are posted in other reviews). He's still an employee of Victor.

 

I had a bad experience with Bodden myself several years ago...with his staff and operation. One of his employees slammed into me on the zip line before I was moved by the other employee out of the way and knocked the breath out of me, skinned my knee and he knew what he did and hurried up and reattached his self to the next zip line and took off. Other issues were they were not attaching my then 3 year old to the safety line and I was left holding her line at times because of it. Also, one of their monkeys bit her and didn't want to let go (I know not Boddens fault and they are monkeys) but I got the impression that it was possible they had not had all their shots...nor did anyone ask if she was ok, look at her or anything. I vowed at that time to never use Bodden again for the safety issues alone....this report confirms that for me again. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roatan is one of our favorite ports.  Sorry to hear of your experience.  We met a couple on the last cruise that paid for a private tour with Victor.  The driver actually stopped at a store to pick something up and also gave a friend a ride to work - during their "private" tour.  You put your trust in tour companies and hope you get what is expected.  We always use Ronystours and have for many years.  To me, Bodden=Walmart and Rony=local store.  Price being equal, I'd rather support a local guy that gives back to his community.  I think Victor has gotten so big that he hires random drivers and does not keep close watch over them.  Rony is small enough that he personally greets you and knows all of his drivers very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a similar experience on a Bodden tour with our driver, Howard.  We had booked a private tour for 2.  He dropped us off at the beach at West Bay and then asked if we "minded" if he went back to the port to pick up another couple to drop at the beach.  I was mildly surprised, but said that if he would be back in an hour or so we were okay with it.  Then when we were ready to leave the beach, he brought the other couple with us on our private tour and tried to feed me some bull about just wanting to make some money to feed his family.  We wanted to go to West End to eat lunch, and he proceeded to drop us off there (after he backed into another vehicle and didn't stop to examine the damage) while he took the other couple elsewhere on the island.  By then, we were really annoyed with his double-dipping and would have just found our own way back to the port (we hadn't paid yet), but our snorkel gear was in his van.  After he finally picked us up from the restaurant, we went to Bodden's headquarters to pay.  I refused to pay for a 2 person private tour and insisted that I would only pay for half of the rate of a 4 person private tour since that what we had actually received.  Howard tried to argue, but I stood my ground.  There were other things on the island that we had wanted to do for the day, but by then we no longer trusted our guide and wanted to go back to the port.  I emailed Victor Bodden after I arrived home to tell him about our experience.  He seemed horrified and refunded our money via PayPal, but the last time that I went to Roatan, I saw Howard still wearing a Bodden Tours shirt.  I used Rony's on my last visit there and will likely continue to do so since my issue was apparently not an isolated incident.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have used Bodden 2-3 times but the posts here demonstrate to me he needs more oversight of his drivers during the day.

No excuses. Bodden and other tour agents all know everyone on that island and he is responsible to maintain a high level of service.

He likely has his reputation due to cc members posting on his tours and their experiences.

I am sure he knows the if cc members are experiencing ongoing issues with double dipping, leaving pax belongings in vans and pax having to ride with others when they booked private tours, he has problems.

I will be back in Roatan for the 12th time in December, and will look to see if he has solved these issues.

Thanks to all who posted so others know what can happen and make decisions for their own tours.

I hope others continue to post to keep all of us informed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked many questions to field questions from a group and after trying to pin him down on pricing and such he told me to go use someone else, that it is obvious there is a communication error.  This was from VICTOR himself.  He was not interested to make sure I fully understood tour options and pricing.  I asked too many questions!  This has always been a red flag for me if a vendor does not answer all the questions. If I as a client has questions it is his job to fully explain.  I even admitted it was a bit confusing.   It was the best thing though. I am using Ronys tours and he is wonderful to work with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2019 at 1:33 PM, camofwilliamsburg said:

I asked many questions to field questions from a group and after trying to pin him down on pricing and such he told me to go use someone else, that it is obvious there is a communication error.  This was from VICTOR himself.  He was not interested to make sure I fully understood tour options and pricing.  I asked too many questions!  This has always been a red flag for me if a vendor does not answer all the questions. If I as a client has questions it is his job to fully explain.  I even admitted it was a bit confusing.   It was the best thing though. I am using Ronys tours and he is wonderful to work with.

 

That's pretty disheartening to hear that Victor himself replied to you in this manner. As the owner, it's his job to make sure that people feel comfortable and all questions are answered. And to tell you to go use someone else??? Wow. That just confirms that I would never use him again or recommend him even after our negative experience with his staff the one time we used his company. 😞

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was pretty shocked, but it all worked out great finding Rony easier to work with.  If a tour operator cannot make himself understood I also thought it was his job to answer questions. His site is a bit confusing and I even admitted I was confused with some pricing and what was included.  He was not transparent at all...a big red flag!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just returned from our Freedom cruise, and we booked a private tour through Victor Bodden, despite what was posted above.  I remembered this thread when we were introduced to Kenny as being our guide for the day.  Not sure if there is more than 1 Kenny working for Bodden, but Kenny was not out of our site for the entire day except for when he went somewhere on our tour to take care of something that we requested.  At the monkey and sloth exhibit, he was outside the front door the entire time were there.  I would absolutely use Bodden again on a return trip to Roatan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, dmet0225 said:

We just returned from our Freedom cruise, and we booked a private tour through Victor Bodden, despite what was posted above.  I remembered this thread when we were introduced to Kenny as being our guide for the day.  Not sure if there is more than 1 Kenny working for Bodden, but Kenny was not out of our site for the entire day except for when he went somewhere on our tour to take care of something that we requested.  At the monkey and sloth exhibit, he was outside the front door the entire time were there.  I would absolutely use Bodden again on a return trip to Roatan.

When Kenny was recommended to us by a fellow cruiser I was told to ask for Young Kenny. I just assumed there were two. I’m glad you had a good experience with Bodden but I stand behind my post about being stranded more than once. Maybe since Victor said he was suspending Kenny without pay after our issues, he learned how to properly do tours. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, andymattmom said:

When Kenny was recommended to us by a fellow cruiser I was told to ask for Young Kenny. I just assumed there were two. I’m glad you had a good experience with Bodden but I stand behind my post about being stranded more than once. Maybe since Victor said he was suspending Kenny without pay after our issues, he learned how to properly do tours. 

 

 

As I stated in another thread, I respect your experience and will not dispute or discount it.  I have no idea if there is another Kenny.  Ours was 28 years old.  If this is the same one, then he obviously got the message from Victor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also had Kenny as our driver for a private tour on our cruise last week.  After the sloth's he took us to Paradise Beach and we told him we would would want to leave around 1:30.  It was our understanding he would probably stick close by.  After reading this post before the cruise I decided not to leave anything on the bus.  When 12:45 rolled around, we got really hungry and wanted to go back early.  Kenny wasn't anywhere to be found- which was okay, maybe he ran out really quick.  We asked around and no one had seen him.  After a while we saw other Victor Bodden employees and we asked them to track him down so we could leave.  Still no luck.  At around 1:30 another driver comes to pick us up and says "Kenny can't make it, I'm going to take you back".   It ended up being fine, but we were very hungry and definitely would have appreciated being able to leave when we wanted, which I thought was the idea of a private driver for the day.  I wonder if we had not been asking around and having people call the company if anyone would have picked us up.

 

We really tried to make sense of why Kenny would just not come pick us up and here's what we came up with.  At the end of the sloth tour, some of us ran out of small bills to tip (There were 6 adults, 2 kids).  Someone in our party said they would take care of it.  We learned later they didn't tip much at all and we felt really embarrassed. I am wondering if the sloth employee told Kenny that we tipped badly and he said forget it.  Obviously, we will never know.  I will say that Kenny gave my nephews some Honduran bills (they left them in the van), but the new driver had them and told the kids "Kenny said you left this".  So that was nice because they were bummed they left their Honduran money.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds to me that some personal issue came up for Kenny. He did send another driver and gave the kids their lempras.

As for being hungry. There are places along West Bay with food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, crewsweeper said:

Sounds to me that some personal issue came up for Kenny. He did send another driver and gave the kids their lempras.

As for being hungry. There are places along West Bay with food.

We were actually pretty worried about him and we asked the driver that came to get us if he was okay.  He was like "oh yeah, he's fine".  I understand that there are places to eat, if we wanted to venture around.  We just wanted to go back to the ship. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kelly04 said:

We were actually pretty worried about him and we asked the driver that came to get us if he was okay.  He was like "oh yeah, he's fine".  I understand that there are places to eat, if we wanted to venture around.  We just wanted to go back to the ship. 

 

How was Paradise Beach? Did you buy a day pass? Did you use the pool?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...