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Water Taxi Warning #281695
05/05/2022 08:49 AM
05/05/2022 08:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline OP
Traveler
GeorgeC1  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
I have been using Dolphin Water Taxi for several trips with excellent service. On the last trip we had a 10 AM pickup at the Moorings reserved. During the charter we were contacted mid-week and asked to depart at 9. The reason given was a larger boat would be used because of forecast bad weather and they had guests with 1:30 departures. I did not understand the weather issue since I check the weather several times a day and really wanted to do some dives on Thursday and Friday that required lighter winds. It had been 15 to 20 all week. Thursday and Friday were however forecast to be very nice 10-15 knots so no weather issue. I was reluctant to pickup early because our last night was planned at CGB. The option offered was to cab to WestEnd for pickup. After thinking it over decided to go early at 9 and moved our flight to 1:30 with a last night at Peter.
Friday at pickup there were 20 or so passengers and a small 49 passenger ferry arrived to pick us up. We departed a few minutes late and the ferry was slow. On arrival in Cruz Bay there was no room on the dock for the ferry as a scheduled ferry was there. We sat for a extended period of time waiting for room. As we waited at least a dozen water taxi’s of the normal size showed up and the customs line got longer and longer since they had room to dock and did not wait. We eventually docked and cleared customs. The ferry was hot and the AC inop during the 90 minute wait. The final result was getting to the airport at 12:35 after a scheduled 9am departure. Passengers on the 11 am ferry arrived at the airport only a few minutes after us. Passengers who booked water taxi’s at 10AM with other companies all beat us in.
I contacted the company to discuss the issues and found the owner quite hostile. I would love to reprint the text exchange but won’t do that without permission. The real lesson is that if you want prompt service don’t accept a swap to a ferry unless your flight is after 2:30. Stick with a private or semi private fast boat. The owner did inform me that despite our 12:35 airport arrival his clients made a 12:50 flight and we should have made our 1:30. I am a bit dubious on that claim as the customs line was a mile long and even global entry backed up!
G

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 05/05/2022 08:55 AM.
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Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281706
05/05/2022 10:12 AM
05/05/2022 10:12 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,074
Maryland, US
gordapeak Offline
Traveler
gordapeak  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,074
Maryland, US
Thanks for the warning. After reading several recent less than pleasant Dolphin occurances, we just made reservations with Island Time. So far Julien has been very responsive.


"Confidentially, I've had these problems with the tides before"

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281707
05/05/2022 10:14 AM
05/05/2022 10:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
Traveler
tradewinds  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
I went last year on one of their boats with 3 other couples, but since I was by myself, he wanted me to pay for 2 fares.

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281708
05/05/2022 10:17 AM
05/05/2022 10:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 766
M
MIDiver Offline
Traveler
MIDiver  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 766
Island Time is fantastic - our go to. I gave up on Dolphin after a cancelled run last year.

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281719
05/05/2022 10:55 AM
05/05/2022 10:55 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 128
Southeast of Disorder
Time Will Tell Offline
Traveler
Time Will Tell  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 128
Southeast of Disorder
Another vote for Island Time! Have only done it once, but they were great both ways, and whenever possible, that is how I plan to get to the BVI. In June I am going to St John with a group of about a dozen, and are slated to use Dolphin for that trip since Julien doesn't do St Thomas - St John. Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes well!


Peter
s/y Time Will Tell
peter@syTimeWillTell.com

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281724
05/05/2022 11:30 AM
05/05/2022 11:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
Traveler
tradewinds  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
We've used Tender Too and Ocean Dreams with great luck.

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281726
05/05/2022 11:39 AM
05/05/2022 11:39 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,359
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
Traveler
JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,359
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Roan at Tender Too is the best!


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281731
05/05/2022 12:04 PM
05/05/2022 12:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
Traveler
tradewinds  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
He is! He's taking us from Red Hook to Anegada in a couple weeks.

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281736
05/05/2022 01:18 PM
05/05/2022 01:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 71
Charlotte, NC
T
TC42 Offline
Traveler
TC42  Offline
Traveler
T
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 71
Charlotte, NC
We too used Dolphin a few weeks ago for 9 of us for a round trip to and from Scrub. Two days before arriving they said that the weather looks bad and they are going to have to take us to West End and drive us across the island to Trellis Bay where we will then take the free Scrub island ferry. On the trip to West End the weather and water looked fine. The owner claimed it was much worse up by Scrub and on the East side. Hmmm…needless to say, that wasn’t what we paid for. It was a long hot taxi ride to Trellis.

Not surprisingly, they did the same to us on the return trip (claiming bad weather again) but it was worse. The Dolphin owner texted me the night before and told me they could now pick us up at Scrub. Great. We packed up and waited to be picked up. The local Scrub employee asked us who was picking us up and we told him it was Dolphin, and all he said was “good luck”. No Dolphin boat showed up. My phone rings and it’s a taxi driver at Trellis asking why we didn’t get on the Scrub ferry to Trellis. I told him Dolphin said that they would get us at Scrub.

It became clear that the Dolphin guy messed up and sent me the wrong text saying they would pick us up at Scrub. So clearly they were picking up people at Scrub (we saw them get people with a 3rd party boat) just not us. We got on the next Scrub ferry to Trellis and got in a cab and drove to West end and then got on a Dolphin boat to Cruz bay, cleared in and then on to Red Hook, then a cab to the airport.

All in all it wasn’t a good experience and the owner refused to adjust the pricing. Not using them again. Buyer beware.

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281788
05/06/2022 09:52 AM
05/06/2022 09:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 81
P
PEDCO Offline
Traveler
PEDCO  Offline
Traveler
P
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 81
Realizing the water taxi business is not easy with mechanical issues , staffing , time delays ,weather etc.

I have used Dolphin x 3 ,Ocean dreams x2 and Island time x1 -

I will gladly rebook with either Island Times or Ocean Dreams again

Dolphin promotes itself well but always left a bad feeling and uncertainty with their reliability- sort like the airlines

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281794
05/06/2022 10:50 AM
05/06/2022 10:50 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 884
Louisville, KY
NoelHall Offline
Traveler
NoelHall  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 884
Louisville, KY
It was several years ago I got the "Sorry, but it's not our fault." from Dolphin. My response was it's certainly not my fault you can't deliver what I paid for. They were to clear us through Customs & Immigration and deliver us to our charter boat. Instead, the captain returned from Customs office to tell us he would not be allowed to take us to our charter boat, that we had to unload our luggage onto the West End Customs dock and take a taxi to the charter base. Once we unloaded our luggage on the dock he left, telling us to take it up with their office.


Noel Hall
"It is humbling indeed, to discover my own opinion is only correct less than 50% of the time."

www.noelhall.com
Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281803
05/06/2022 12:30 PM
05/06/2022 12:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 64
C
CDavis2 Offline
Traveler
CDavis2  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 64
We used Ocean Dreams earlier today from Nanny Cay. 56 minutes from our boat to the drop off at Sapphire Beach including clearing customs in Cruz Bay. Record time for us. On the trip over one of our guests realized that he left his wallet on our boat in Nanny Cay and Captain Christopher picked it up on his next run and had it delivered to the St. Thomas airport before our departure. Incredible service.

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: NoelHall] #281805
05/06/2022 01:25 PM
05/06/2022 01:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
Traveler
tradewinds  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
A few years ago, Customs did prevent the water taxis from going past the West End dock, but I thought Dolphin advertised that they were the only ones allowed to go anywhere.

Re: Water Taxi Warning [Re: GeorgeC1] #281839
05/07/2022 10:06 AM
05/07/2022 10:06 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 884
Louisville, KY
NoelHall Offline
Traveler
NoelHall  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 884
Louisville, KY
Our group was promised by Dolphin Water Taxi they would take us directly to our charter boat after the captain cleared us through Customs while we waited on the boat with our luggage. After the Custom's officials prohibited our captain from taking us directly to our charter boat, our captain told us to unload our luggage on the Customs dock and we would need to take a taxi to the charter base. The representative at Dolphin claimed to be 'blindsided' by the new policy, and not their fault they couldn't perform as promised. I remember getting a "Sorry about your bad luck, but nothing we could do.". I don't know what the whole truth may have been, but I didn't feel much 'love' from the Dolphin folks.


Noel Hall
"It is humbling indeed, to discover my own opinion is only correct less than 50% of the time."

www.noelhall.com

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