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“Worst Experience of Our Lives: Let Us Down When it Really Counted”
Review of Sun Charters

Sun Charters
Book In Advance
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USD 95.00*
and up
Sail and Snorkel the Caicos Cays on the Good Ship...
Ranked #7 of 103 Tours in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The S/V ATABEYRA is a 69', traditionally rigged trading schooner that retired from cargo service almost 20 years ago. The vessel traded for years between Hispaniola and the Turks & Caicos Islands carrying such commodities as rum , beer, produce, plants, building materials and even a few critters. The ship has been refit as a charter vessel and now stays close to home in the sheltered waters of Grace Bay and the Caicos Cays of Turks and Caicos Islands. The S/V ATABEYRA is the perfect platform for learning hands on operation of traditional sailing craft, for exploring the exquisite undersea world and many islands that surround us or just lounging on her spacious, shaded decks. No vessel in the TCI charter fleet is as large or as versatile. Sun Charters and the ATABEYRA crew offer our guests a unique opportunity to get real sailing experience aboard the last of the tropical trading schooners. Being a gaff-rigged vessel carrying two headsails, there are lots of lines to pull, many sails to tend, and the skipper will even be happy to let you take the helm. Feel the past come alive as we sail through the uninhabited chain of Caicos Cays the same way it was done hundreds of years ago. The Cays were once the lair of the infamous lady pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Reid, and the waters and surrounding islands remain basically untouched since that time. The Crew of the Good Ship Atabeyra are proud that she is overwhelmingly the boat the residents choose when recreating in the Caicos Cays.
Reviewed 2 January 2013

I would rate this company worse than "terrible" if I could. Definitely
go with Sail Provo instead. I was recently involved with a trip to
spread a dear friend's ashes in the Turks & Caicos... 13 of us flew
down from all over the United States for this difficult occasion. We
had made plans with Sun Charters (via David Douglas) to charter their
boat to take us out on a particular day for a sunset cruise to spread
our young friend's ashes, as he had requested before he died from a
rare cancer. Throughout the planning process, David was uncommunicative, did
not return emails leading up to the event, and, at the last minute,
when we finally got him on the phone, he informed us of the timing of
the trip rather than discussing this with us, most horrifically,
though, is that he went back on his word about how long the trip would
be (we have the agreement that he went back on all in writing) and then worst of all, David
basically cancelled on us the day prior to the trip-- after my friend
had spent months planning this event and we had all flown down--
planning around this particular day and event. I can't understand how
the owner of Sun Charters could have handled the situation this
horrific way-- if he had made arrangements with my friend that he did not feel
comfortable with, that is not the customers fault, if he had made a
mistake with the timing and so had to go back on the agreed upon arrangement, we
probably could have even understood that and worked with him if he had
shown any sort of understanding, caring, or regret for the change in the situation.
David never took any responsibility or offered an apology of any kind. Rather, he was defensive and uncaring. We were shocked, to say the least, and felt that David Douglas, and Sun Charters, had left us "high and dry" during the most difficult and
important trip we have ever been on. We ended up re-booking with Sail
Provo at the last minute which was a WONDERFUL decision-- thankfully,
they could accommodate us and did so with grace and caring. We ended
up having the most meaningful and spiritual experience of our lives...
Sail Provo was kind, caring, flexible, accommodating, communicative, professional, knowledgeable, and had a very nice catamaran. I would definitely recommend Sail Provo. In our experience, Sun Charters was a heartless, uncommunicative, uncaring, unethical, and untrustworthy company. If you are going on a trip that you care about, from our experience, we cannot definitely not recommend Sun Charters.

Date of experience: December 2012
9  Thank G S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kalik_Kalik, Owner at Sun Charters, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2013

Thankfully, In fifteen years of operations we have seen only a couple of TA reviews of Sun Charters that were presented in a vindictive manner. In such instances we are grateful that the TA staff allow "management responses" in an attempt to set the record straight. TA has deleted this reviewer's criticisms of Sun Charters twice already, but it is probably best to leave it up now and post our response.

It must be noted from the outset that we had no contact or communication with this reviewer. Instead we were contacted months ago by an interested party who asked to charter the Atabeyra for a memorial service-at-sea. This was the beginning of a series of 16 back-and-forth emails over the course of 3 months. Trip Advisor has asked that I not copy the emails, but I will paraphrase:

We initially made a generous offer that was considered to be beyond her budget. She asked if we could decrease the time alloted along with the Charter quote.

I explained that her budget would not cover my costs and suggested a nice ceremony on the beach.

We are a charitable company, supporting numerous local causes, but despite the premature passing of her husband we were not prepared to operate at a loss.

The charter party immediately came back expressing her disappointment and asked agian if we would consider her budget if we decreased the time of the charter.

In response, we made an offer that is reserved for local charities, and booked the date. After a few more chatty emails we made it clear that we had done similar services on numerous occasions and that a phone call on arrival was all that was required to sort out the details. Fast forward to the week of the charter, and we were asked if we could come by and meet with the charter party. Being that the boat is out everyday, we explained that the best option was to meet by phone. We received a call, called the party back because of their concern over local phone rates, and did our best to work within the wavelength of the client. It is extremely rare that it happens, but it seemed that this client wanted us to bend even further after having bent over backwards to accommodate her and her party. She seemed unhappy with the charter timing and with the need to meet us at our Marina. We left it that she would consult with her guests and get back to us. The charter party contacted us late the same evening with an email that stated given the difficulty of our interactions, her party had made other charter arrangements for their memorial service.

We wished her luck and expressed that we hoped all would work out for her..

The above reviewer, who we had zero contact with, is trying to give the impression that we abandoned a grieving widow in her hour of need. Instead, this charter party cancelled last minute...we are booked every day and had turned away other folks who wanted that date.

I find it odd that this reviewer would choose to dishonor the actual service (that was characterized as a meaningful and spiritual experience) by trying to slander our company. While far from perfect, we take great pride in exposing visitors and residents alike to the magic that is the TCI. And while it may negatively affect our Trip Advisor ranking, I would ask that the TA monitors leave this review up this time. If any potential Charterer needs any clarification or would like the entire file of 16 emails concerning this charter, please send me a TA message.

I have to say that while out on an afternoon run at the same time that was scheduled for the service-at-sea, a storm line loomed on the Eastern horizon. But during the course of my run, the black clouds gave way to a magnificent rainbow and I was very happy for them. And to repeat my last email which I thought would be my last contact (and which I am sure will be seen by the charter party), "I really hope it works out for you...good luck".

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (542)
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387 - 391 of 542 reviews

Reviewed 30 December 2012

My family just spent Christmas Day with the Atabeyra Crew and had an amazing time! Captain Tibby and Junior were great! Fun way to explore the islands. Crew did a great job with kids and with adults (rum punch). We had so much fun we rebooked for Feb 2013! Thanks for a fantastic day and great memories.

Date of experience: December 2012
Thank Kristen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2012

My wife and I set our sights on a half-day snorkel and sail trip aboard the Atabeyra after reading the many positive reviews on TA. We phoned Capt. Tibby when we got to the island and were happy to hear that it might be possible to join the tour scheduled for Friday. It turned out to be a beautiful day. There were eleven of us on board - including the captain and first mate Junior, who provided good company, chips and salsa and plenty of "happy juice." The snorkeling was especially good at the reef, and we spent some time at Water Cay and saw some nice angel fish at the wreck site. We especially appreciated Capt. Tibby's relaxed and respectful approach toward his guests . We've done many other snorkeling tours before, and we would definitely do this one again.

Date of experience: December 2012
Thank Semi-Retrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2012

My family and friends enjoyed a wonderful evening and sunset aboard after my brother's wedding. The food and "happy juice" never stopped. It was by far the best time we had in Provo next to diving.

Date of experience: November 2012
Thank Kirsten J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 November 2012

My friends and I had a fantastic time aboard the Atabeyra. The views are spectacular, the boat is beautiful and comfortable, and the crew more than accomodating. Junior kept the rum punch flowing and Captain Tibby had answers for all our questions. We explored an old shipwreck, jumped off the ship, and snorkeled around Long Bay, definitely the most beautiful beach I saw on Provo. If you're looking for a laid back, fun day surrounded by sunshine and clear blue water, consider Sun Charters. Highly recommended for groups, couples, and families.

Date of experience: November 2012
1  Thank Cecilia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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