- the ship is beautiful and sailing was great
- food was good
- rope swinging was fun
- most of the crew were friendly most of the time
- drinks were very reasonable priced ($5,50 for glass of wine, $5/6 for a beer, $18 for a bottle of champagne)
- the timing for visiting Whitehaven beach was perfect. We had the beach almost to ourselves the whole day - was perfectly arranged!
- we only sailed once, for appr. 2 hours. Winds were fine the last day as well so bit of a waste that we didn’t sail again as that was an important reason to choose this ship. Not all sails were actually on the ship either.
- we specifically booked a scuba dive for during the trip and discussed the specifics thereof only a few days before departure. On the ship we were told by the crew that there is no diving! They don’t offer diving and haven’t done so for months! What terrible communication from the booking office, we were pretty dissapointed!
- not Solway’s fault, but snorkelling just wasn’t good. Tyfoon Debbie (March 2017) apparently destroyed most of the coral, so snorkelling was kind of boring. Visibility was poor as well.
- we had 21 women and 9 men on board and still food was always finished at the end of each meal. Therefore, I can totally imagine people going hungry if there would have been more men on board (as previous reviews have complained).
And then the ugly...
We had an incident with one of the crew members partying a bit too hard on the third night (which was his final night on Solway) according to two Australian girls at least, who complained. I think the 28 other guests had a lot of fun actually. After the complaint, around 22:00 hours, the captain decided to kick the relevant crew member off the ship in Arlie Beach which meant driving the ship back and forth for 8 hours at night.
For me this decision was irresponsible, unprofessional and not in the best interest of 28 out of 30 guests, because: (i) there was no communication whatsover. No crew member told us what happened when we suddenly heard the engine starting or gave any explanation on the change of plans etc. We were told nothing. Not that night, not the day after, never; (ii) everybody was very drunk and dancing on the deck or laying in the nets out front. What if someone would have gone overboard?! To me that was not an unlikely option as some people could hardly stand and there were quite some waves. It was pitch dark, noisy (music going, windy) and no one was wearing a life jacket. If someone had gone over, I think he/she would have drowned; and (iii) the crew obviously had a rough night which for the guests meant that the eggs for breakfast came way too late (1,5 hour after breakfast time, so after everyone had already eaten toast with jam. No one knew eggs were coming because, of course, no communication whatsoever). The captain slept until the minute before we left back to Airlie. I think this is also why we didn’t sail on the third day and snorkelled at a rather boring spot - but again: no one told us anything so I can’t be sure.
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