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TradeWinds Cruise Club

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We have a a catamaran yacht liveaboard cruise booked out of Tortola with TradeWinds Cruise Club. Can anyone tell me anything about this company and what we can expect?

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    Hi Ithollo - Sorry I didn't see this before or I would have replied earlier. We did Tradewinds last June, and had a good time, but it would have been better with a different captain -- ours was quite new to the area, so he was not comfortable going to Anegeda (which we really wanted to do). The itinerary is more or less what you see on the website, with two or three stops for snorkeling each day, and a different mooring each evening. The first and last night were both spent in port at the main dock (the first night makes sense in case someone's plane is late, but the last night would have been better spent somewhere else, in my opinion). The first mate was an excellent cook and was also a dive master, so we were very lucky and didn't have to meet up with a separate dive boat for the days that we wanted to dive (we didn't do a lot, but the Indians and the Rhone are absolute musts). Meals are fabulous and plentiful, they have several different wines available with dinner, the cooler is constantly stocked with beer and soft drinks and water, and they usually pull out the blender for happy hour beverages each evening after they are moored for the night. The thing with Tradewinds is that there are three boats that go out at the same time and travel more or less in tandem, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how strongly you feel about wanting to go someplace different. They also have no air conditioning in the cabins, so after the first night we all decided to just leave our cabin doors open to improve the circulation (you will leave your porthole open in your cabin, but since it is right over your head you will wake up and close it in the middle of the night if it starts raining on you). Fortunately, we had a good group of people that all got along great - not a high maintenance person in the bunch. You will definitely hit the major stops that everyone thinks about -- the Baths on Gorda, JVD (both Soggy's and Foxy's), Norman Island for the Willie T and the caves, and the Rhone for diving or snorkeling. For our trip, we moored at Cooper Island, Savannah Bay on Gorda, Trellis Bay, Diamond Cay on Jost, and Norman Island. Unless you are planning to spend any extra time on Tortola before or after the trip, you won't see any of Tortola, except probably Soppers Hole and Trellis Bay when you are refueling. Not sure what time of year you are going, but the temperature doesn't change a whole lot, and you shouldn't plan on bringing any clothes other than several swimsuits, a couple of pairs of shorts, sunglasses, a hat, and lots of loose t-shirts to keep the sun off. No shoes onboard, so you will only use them for two dinners ashore and the occasional beachbar, so only bring something that is easy on/off and waterproof. Other than the first and last night when you are actually tied up to the dock, all of the shuttling to shore is done via the dinghy. The dinners ashore are casual or fairly casual, so maybe one slightly dressier shirt that you can wear with shorts and you will be fine, but nothing that you are afraid to get wet! You will need cash for the occasional beach bar, cash or credit card for the dinners ashore, and cash for the crew tips. I think Tradewinds also prefers cash for the AI fee, but you can plastic that if you really want to. Also, if you dive, the dive fees are pretty steep, but that can also be settled up at the end via plastic or cash.

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    Ithollo- Thanks for your post. I am so appreciative of the reply by Tejana. My husband and I are going on a catamaran out of Tortola and the info in your reply, Tejana is very helpful. I have not dived in several years and am wondering if they do a little review of sorts.

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