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Catamaran Experience - CLOSED
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Wonderful trip, very nice people

My wife and adult children spent 3 nights on the Arcadia with Franco and Paula and had a wonderful... read more

Reviewed 18 September 2019
oui4
,
Seattle
Wonderful experience with Franco

Franco is a very professional Captain, and I completely respect all that he did for us.... First... read more

Reviewed 27 March 2018
DouglasK825
,
Santiago de Veraguas, Panama
via mobile
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Reviewed 27 March 2018 via mobile

Franco is a very professional Captain, and I completely respect all that he did for us.... First the boat was in perfect condition and it was due to constant care Franco took of his equipment. I also have a similar boat, and I know what it takes to look after it.
Franco did not have any hard alcohol on the boat and (since I do not drink), it was fine with me. The Russians I was with on the other hand,,, will drink anything that looks like liquid. In fact, they went hunting for alcohol at one of our stops. Clearly Franco was not enthusiastic about this and mentioned that there had been bad experiences with guests drinking too much.
At the end of the day, the Russians behaved themselves and the boat trip was a wonderful experience. In fact, it would be difficult to imagine any criticism.
You have to remember that you are guests at someones boat, which is also their home.
Thank you Franco..

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank DouglasK825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2017 via mobile

We travelled from Brasil, 3 couples at 40's, just to spend few days in St Blas.
Wonderful experience at Arcádia, where Franco and Paula were absolutely perfect hosts!
Franco left us confortable and Full of confidence to explore the place, while Paula was making sure we were happy with the food she was cooking.
They have a good relationship with the Kunas (natives) and a good Control of the boat and the área.
Franco uses his experience as a hostee in Spain and Ibiza, always in a good mood, trying to make us the best use of the time.

I fully recomend their boat and services, and I would do It again.

Thanks to Franco and Paula for the unforgetable experience!

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank boris c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2017

I recently took a 4 night cruise to the San Blas Islands and I will start by saying you should definitely go! It is beyond beautiful just make sure you do not go on this boat. I would also like to say I know peoples businnesses rely on reviews so I did not want to write this but felt I had to for the safety of any future travelers on the Arcadia 40 Ft Catamaran with Franco and Paula. The first two nights were amazing they were attentive and the food was great. However on the 3rd and 4th night it turned into the vacation from hell. Paula drank too much and could not cook for us the 3rd night so Franco did and the final night they both got drunk which lead to them arguing and beating each other up in front of us. She pulled a knife on him and then she was knocked out cold and unresponsive. My friends and I were on a boat in the middle of no where with no one to call - it was terrifying and could not sleep. It went on for hours. There is a restaurant on one of the islands and the people there warned they were always like this. It was not an enjoyable vacation at all and when we confronted him and the tour company they tried to turn it on us by said you were drinking too! Which is true but we were on vacation, not beating each other up and certainly not drunk. We entrusted our safety with the captain and his boat. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do not go on this boat. FIND ANOTHER and do not use San Blas Tours (sanblastour.com) wit Cedric- find another way to book.

Date of experience: February 2017
10  Thank Andrea D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
catamaran e, Propietario at Catamaran Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2017

They came on the 2nd of January, post as farts from the Waldorf Astoria taking with them pillows, towels, and as a matter of fact, they could not go back to the hotel, they boarded many bottles, then I realise it was all spirits: vodka, Rom, they were drinking from the morning, too late at night, they have been disrespectful with the locals, the atmosphere was tense, Paula was nervous, their interest was in gossips and drinking,
They tried with the Visa to have their money back, then half, at the end with all the proof provided by as and San Blass tour and the hotel the Visa decided they were not entitled to a recount. That way 4 Months after as a last retaliation they wrote this nice review on trip adviser. People that know me they know that while on board, I don't drink at all that is my rule N 1, I am a professional skipper from the RYA and that is an obligation that we have.
I recommend people to come to Guna Yala (San Blass) is a wonderful place, but if you want to party like crazy go to Ibiza, Miami

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2017

There were 7 of us on the 60' catamaran for 4 nights. The accommodations were nice, clean and fairly spacious. The Captain and his Mate were friendly though spoke about as much English as my Spanish which needless to say it was very difficult to communicate. Our room was a descent size as we had one of the king beds. The advertisements claim it sleeps 8 but two of the bedrooms have smaller than a double bed in them. Since we were traveling with my parents I thought we should bring a few movies so we could have a little quiet time to ourselves BUT even though they said every room had a TV and DVD player; they didn't. In actuality there were quite a few things that were advertised as true but weren't. It isn't a 3 person crew it is 2. They didn't have run even though they said they would. There were no DVD players. We put a lot of effort into communicating food allergies ahead of time so it wouldn't be a problem. It was a problem. They bought one bag of gluten free pretzels for 4 people for the 5 days. A much bigger problem was how they planned for someone who doesn't eat fish. They didn't. They fed my 220lb husband soup with less than 2 oz of chicken in it for dinner! When I told them that wouldn't cut it they explained to me that they will stop at an island tomorrow and HOPE that they can buy some chickens. HOPE???? Luckily I brought a loaf of bread and pbj. I made him 2 that night to get him through. The next morning I was pleasantly surprised to see nice GF bread on the table with the eggs (they cooked about 6 eggs for us and I didn't get any because I was late to the table) BUT then I found out they took it upon themselves to toast MY loaf of bread that was the safety incase they didn't make enough food. That was the worst experience as far as food goes. We spent over $16,000 for this trip and we expected to be fed a lot better. Lobster is great but not 1/2 cooked and not every night!
The vacation itself was every bit relaxing. The waters were rough all the time so we couldn't do much for snorkeling which I was bummed about. We did a whole lot of nothing, reading and drinking (we brought our own booze). For a sailing trip we sailed an average of 20 minutes each day except the last which was 2 hrs. Again, I expected to be sailing a lot more. The people on the islands are very nice and just want to sell you something but they aren't pushy at all.
Oh one more thing I was extremely upset over: One or both of them were smoking all the time. They thought they were getting away from us when they did it but apparently don't know anything about down-wind. One morning I woke to ashes all over the deck and table. GROSS! It never occurred to me to ask if the crew smoked.
I will definitely not go with this company again and I know important questions to ask if there is a next time. Hope this helped.

Date of experience: January 2017
3  Thank paydirt2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
catamaran e, Propietario at Catamaran Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 9 March 2017

Hello

I think what you write is not about our catamaran . We have a Lagoon 400S2 not a 60ft boat and also the photos what you attached is not from our catamaran . Please take a look and change the message .

Thank you

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Reviewed 14 February 2016

We are three friends who love to travel together and seek out unique experiences in exotic places. Our 6 day sailing trip in the San Blas Islands with Captain Franco Alpini and his partner Paula certainly met our requirements and exceeded our expectations.
The 40' Arcadia was spacious and sparkling clean. Each of us ladies had our own cabin and bathroom (complete with shower). Paula was not only a gourmet cook but a great fisher-woman. Fresh fish and lobster and tropical fruit were the staples & a fabulous seafood paella was one of the special treats. Franco was an expert skipper and encouraged us to join him at the wheel. We snorkeled and kayaked every day and even had a SUP to share. Visiting Kuna families and learning about their culture & shopping for their colourful Molas was a highlight of the trip.
The only sour note of the trip was being deceived by the charter company "Yacht Latina" with unnecessary charges for equipment that was already on the catamaran. Chartering directly with Catamaran owner would have been a more reliable way to go.

Date of experience: December 2015
2  Thank Marnie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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