Reviews

COMMENT RECEIVED IN THE MAIL ON 7/13 FROM RECENT GUESTS ABOARD BEL AMI (plus a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans)
“Greetings! Hope these arrive fresh. Those are Fair Trade Honduras coffee beans roasted on Independent Day. Dave, grin and enjoy when Bobbie will let you have some caffeine. 😉

Thanks again for a wonderful week and for helping me earn the 2017 Husband of the Year Award!

Fondly,
Garin and Carolyn

An anniversary trip we won’t forget!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Captain Dave and Admiral Bobbie Rae provided a magical vacation for us aboard Bel Ami. My husband and I were looking into our honeymoon trip when we stumbled upon Captain Dave’s listing. The reviews really swayed me over, so I started inquiring about dates and details with Captain Dave. We eventually decided to make it a 1 year anniversary trip, and Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae made it well worth the wait!

Before the trip even began, they made time to call and talk to us to get an idea of what we might like and our food interests for the week. Once we touched down in St.Thomas they picked us up and took us on a lovely island tour. From there we went aboard Bel Ami and began our sailing adventure. Captain Dave customized our path/itinerary to what he thought we’d most enjoy and that really made this a one of a kind experience.

We did some snorkeling, went on lots of hikes, had some wonderful island tours, and spent the week enjoying sailing and discovering the Virgin Islands. As for the food, Captain Dave is an amazing chef and all of our meals were delicious.

Overall, we were treated to an absolutely beautiful week in the Virgin Islands. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants a vacation that’s catered to them, is up for a little adventure, and wants to make some wonderful memories they’ll never forget!

Date of arrival
May 27, 2017

Far better than we ever could have imagined — sailing, snorkeling and exploring the US and BVI
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I booked Bel Ami Voyages with Captain Dave and Admiral Bobbi Rae as my wife’s surprise 50th birthday present. My wife is at least one-half mermaid and has always loved the Caribbean and being on boats, but neither one of us has ever sailed. For those who want to fast forward to the summary, here it is: the sailing trip completely blew away my wife and me. I’m sure to win husband of the year!

Dave and Bobbi are magnificent hosts and knowledgeable tour guides. Even though we arrived three days before our charter to enjoy some time on St. Thomas, they picked us up at the airport and gave us a driving tour with stops at attractions around the island before depositing us at Secret Harbour Resort. (Dave was instrumental in helping us schedule our first scuba dives at Aqua Action while we stayed at Secret Harbour — another check off of my wife’s bucket list!). They carefully interviewed us regarding our itinerary and food and beverage choices before we came aboard and then proceeded to intuitively design a perfect week for us.

Dave is an accomplished sailor who was generous and patient with instruction about the boat and sailing. Bobbi is a competent first mate who allowed me to assist with some of her duties as I caught on.
The captain is a wonderful chef (as is Bobbi). Two carnivores by nature, my wife and I chose a week of absolutely delicious vegan cuisine (except for two almost vegan meals!).

Dave is also an accomplished musician and Bobbi a vocalist. Each evening we were able to relax on board with drinks and music while anchored in beautiful bays, unless we decided to head on shore for drinks and/or dinner.
But that was our voyage. What became clear to us was that Dave and Bobbi have the knowledge and insight to tailor a charter to anyone’s interests. Whether we wanted to spend all or part of our time sailing, snorkeling, hiking, shopping, or sitting in a beach chair or on a stool in a beach bar they were dedicated to making it happen. They knew the best spots and how to get us there. If we had chosen vegan, Mediterranean, or Adkins they gladly would have prepared our outstanding meals accordingly.

And most important, when they delivered us to the airport at the end of our adventure, we shared sad goodbyes (until later) with new friends.

Date of arrival June 10, 2017

AMAZING 50th BIRTHDAY WEEK CELEBRATION” for Patricia!!

*****5 Stars

Date of Stay Apr 16-23, 2017 Thank you for providing the most “AMAZING 50th BIRTHDAY WEEK CELEBRATION” for Patricia that we could ever have imagined…know what, it even fulfilled a lifetime dream for me. Amazing does not begin to capture the experience provided by the Bel Ami with Admiral Bobbie Rae and Captain David Goodman, two of the most “gracious and knowledgeable” people on the entire planet. Since Bobbie Rae was a little under the weather on our first day Patricia helped as a “swabbie” on deck, with her love of water and skill, was quickly promoted to first mate and helped “man the sails” with Captain Dave when the winds shifted. As Dolly Parton once said; “we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”. We enjoyed the many options given on a daily, actually at a moment’s notice, to enjoy “paradise” here on earth. Captain Dave’s knowledge is rooted in experience of sailing, snorkeling, hiking, and dinning of every square foot of the Islands since 1977. Yes, we found “paradise” and took the suggestions of Captain Dave seriously as we followed rigorously through trails leading to old sugar mills ruins, grave sites, and many other industrial sites that once provided commerce. We snorkeled the Great Saint James, Christmas Cove, The Bight on Norman Island, Salt Pond Bay, and Hurricane Hole. The sites we saw under water were breathtaking and unbelievable, color that was unimaginable with different kinds of sea life!! Our exquisite taste for food was complimented by great natural prepared snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner fit for Royalty, as we were made to feel. Captain Dave’s cooking skills must have been earned from the “Institute of Culinary Education” in New York City…and, yes, it was done on the yacht, unbelievable, fresh tropical fruit was always abundantly available. “We really never saw the moon”, but the stars were crystal clear as we looked over the water into the gorgeous sky while listening to Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae sing our favorite songs while playing the accordion! Patricia and I were extremely well informed of what our voyage would entail and how to stay as comfortable as possible with any changing weather conditions. Yes, our entire voyage was planned according to our wishes, not cookie cutter, but a “custom planned” vacation of a lifetime!! We highly recommend the Bel Ami for adventure seekers and romantic getaways, and, “we shall return”!!

Vacation of a lifetime!!

*****5 Stars

We boarded Bel Ami for a special 25th Anniversary trip. Little did we know the trip would be one of our best ever!! Dave and Bobbie Rae are great hosts and tour guides. We snorkeled , hiked, and partied throughout the US and BVI. The food was outstanding. Dave is a great chef and can play the accordion like a rock star!! For anyone looking for the intimate sailing experience the Bel Ami is for you. We snorkled Great Saint James, Christmas Cove, The Bight on Norman Island, Salt Pond Bay, Hurricane Hole, and Leinster Bay. We took hikes as well on Norman Island, Ramshead at Salt Pond Bay, and the sugar mills ruins on Leinster Bay both on St. John, We returned to end the week at Secret Harbor on St. Thomas. Dave, Bobbie Rae, and ourselves took off for a last night of entertainment. Dave took us to Carigas where he played accordion with Sassafras. Once that gig what was complete we traveled to Latitude 18. The Fiddler was playing and when we arrived they were playing “Rocky Top” which was fittting since we are from Tennessee. Dave quickly joined the band here and we all proceeded to have a great evening. It was a great last night with Dave and Bobbie Rae. For anyone looking for that once in a lifetime trip, the BEL AMI is for you!!

– Bob and Michelle, February 2017

Our Expectations Were Exceeded! Lifetime Memories Made!

*****5 Stars

My wife and I booked this trip for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We had no real prior sailing experience but my wife wanted to try something adventuristic instead of going to a typical luxury resort in the Caribbean. We had the time of our life on this trip!!! Captain Dave and his wife Bobbie were excellent hosts, and Captain Dave is an extremely knowledgeable sailor. I never worried about our safety, and completely trusted Captain Dave’s knowledge and expertise. In short, Captain Dave and Bobbie allowed our brains to check out from the worry and stress of daily life, and just enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of the ocean and the islands we visited. I read the other 5 star reviews before booking this trip, and they are an accurate representation of what we experienced on our amazing trip. We enjoyed our trip so much that my wife and I are now signed up for sailing lessons because we have visions of buying our own sailboat someday so that we can enjoy the life that Captain Dave and Bobbie experience every day!

– Jeff and Jeannie, January 2017

Perfect Birthday Gift!

*****5 Stars

My wife wanted to go sailing for her birthday so we booked a week on Bel Ami for a trip of a lifetime!! Not knowing anything about sailing, we were a little bit apprehensive at first but after a couple of days we felt right at home! It is amazing the amount of knowledge and expertise involved in sailing! Captain Dave and first mate Bobbie Ray really know their stuff! We now have just a little understanding of keeling, tacking, coming about and lots of other nautical terms. We got quite the education from them not to mention being pampered and spoiled with their gourmet meals. We enjoyed eating on the islands as well as there were hospitable open air restaurants or bars everywhere we stopped! The highlight meal was a lobster dinner at the Anegada Reef Hotel. Simply delicious! Captain Dave knows the Islands like the back of his hand. We must have visited at least a dozen of them. The sights were interesting, hiking and views were fabulous and the snorkeling was terrific! My wife had a memorable birthday week and we both are looking forward to coming back soon!

– Jane and Kim, New Years 2017

Unique, amazing, relaxing trip. Great vehicle to celebrate life, love and friendship
*****5 Stars

This was truely a relaxing adventure with world class new friends. My partner and I spent a week aboard the Bel Ami early November. From the time we landed in St.Thomas until we took off, we were pampered by Captain Dave and Admiral Bobby Rae. They anticipated our needs, from suggesting hikes, taking us to beautiful snorkling spots, to cooking gourmet meals, and surprising us with delicious drinks. Although not new to the boating world, our accomadations exceeded our expectations. We had plenty privacy in our relatively spacious quarter, and enjoyed the efficiency of the amenities on board. We often left it up to Captain Dave to decide where to set his sails, and he never took short cuts, and every place we visited was charming, and some were really magical. We were looking at spending a week, reliving some of my boyfriend’s early memory, and celebrating our love, and friendship. We wanted a laid back escapade indulging in the beauty of the Carribean. Bel ami, Captain David, and Admiral Bobby Rae delivered this and more.

– William and Ghanima, November 2016

Dream Honeymoon
*****5 stars!

Sail Into Romance, Perfect for 1 Loving Couple!

My wife and I spent a week aboard the Bel Ami for the week of the July 4th, 2016. From the moment we arrived in St. Thomas it was a dream vacation. Dave picked us up at the airport and wisked us away to a lunch with a view. Soon we were aboard the Bel Ami and set sail. I’m a pretty novice sailor to say the least, and my wife had never even been aboard a sail boat in her life. Its pretty comical to see her face as we set out in to the open winds of the Caribbean and keeled the boat over pretty good the first time. Dave and Bobbie Rae quickly gained trust in our sea legs and we sailed the majority of the USVI’s and BVI’s over the course of our trip. Each night after dinner, we’d pull out the old map and decide on our adventure for the next day. We snorkeled for hours, toured various beach bars, watched live music, saw the pirate bar on Norman Island, snorkeled in caves, went to the baths at Virgin Gorda, and finished at the most amazing beach at Jost Van Dike. Captain Dave is a modern day renaissance man (Sailor, singer, musician, doctor, cook) and Bobbie Rae is his equal companion. She’s literally one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met. If you want a laid back adventure at one of the most beautiful places in the world, look no further than the Bel Ami. The ship itself is a very heavy luxury sail boat. We had plenty of room in our cabin and our own bathroom. We hope to return sometime in the coming years to re-live our amazing experience.

– David and Denay, July 2016

We recently returned from an amazing week-long charter on the Bel Ami with Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae. We booked the vacation almost a year ago to celebrate our 10th anniversary. In the time between booking and arrival, we had several conversations with Dave about our interests, concerns and desires for the trip. Without exception, the vacation lived up to all of our expectations.

Captain Dave enthusiastically greeted us at the airport, brought us to the Bel Ami and we were off and sailing within an hour or two of landing. The first day was spent orienting ourselves to the boat and seeing how we adjusted to sailing. Captain Dave took great care to gauge our aclimation to sea life (I wore a trans-dermal patch, my wife did not). We spent the remainder of the day snorkeling (with Captain Dave as a fantastic guide), eating and relaxing.

The rest of the week was spent sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, eating, drinking and enjoying life to its highest potential. We visited twelve different islands in seven days. We indicated several places that we wanted to visit, but based on numerous reviews, we allowed Dave to tailor the trip to our interests using his vast knowledge of the Virgin Islands. We were blessed with fantastic weather and favorable winds. We went to the Baths on Virgin Gorda, but Captain Dave was experienced enough to check the cruise boat schedule to make sure we didn’t share the site with hordes of people from the massive boats. It was a special pleasure to jump into the perfect, azure water to swim to shore on Sandy Spit and Sandy Cay, and an even more special experience to then have Captain Dave bring our towels, camera and sandals to shore in the Bel Ami’s dinghy. Captain Dave offered advise on hikes to take and was polite enough to ask if we wanted to go on our own or with him as a guide. The same was true of meals. We ate many meals together as a foursome, but we were offered as many private romantic meals as we wanted. And the food! Captain Dave is a fantastic cook. The meals were varied and excellent. He had emailed a detailed food preference questionnaire prior to arrival and he tailored our meals to the information we provided. For instance, my wife made special mention of her love of corn, and there it was in our first meal. The attention to detail is amazing.

If a sailing vacation has ever been on your bucket list, then this the boat to take and these are the people to take you.

-Ali and Phil Jensen, July 2016.

Amazing….Just Amazing
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We can’t say enough great things about how amazing and wonderful our trip on Bel Ami was with Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae. From the beauty of the boat, the wonderful meals, the indescribable views, and the enjoyable company, we had an amazing honeymoon. The advantage of the sailboat is the ability to both cruise along and see the beauty of the islands, while being able to drop anchor at some amazing locales (St. Thomas; Tortola; Virgin Gorda; St. John; Water Island). The snorkeling, the hiking, the jaw dropping sunsets from a beach bar, we were able to sample a taste of what USVI/BVI can offer. But the real value add is the guidance and back stories from Dave and Bobbie Rae that made the experience that much better. They were the best travel guides we could have had. The cost was worth every dime and more. We would (and will) do this trip again as it’s the best way to experience the islands and all they can offer.

– John and Tina, June 18, 2016

Wonderful honeymoon vacation

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My husband and I decided to spend our honeymoon visiting the beautiful caribbean islands. We were lucky enough to find Bel Ami and have the most amazing vacation ever. Captain Dave is very professional and has a boat in excellent conditions. He is also a lot of fun and will take you to the most amazing places in the Virgen British and US islands. Bobbie Rae makes sure all your needs are taken care of and helps Captain Dave cook delicious food. My husband and I were very eager to learn sailing and Captain Dave helped us fulfill that dream, and yes, we were sailing the boat at the end of our trip!!!!

-Keith and Lucia, May 9, 2016

A Warm Thank You!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Hi Dave, Hope you are doing well and having a wonderful start to the week! Gary and I really wanted to thank you and Bobbie again for such a wonderful, once in a lifetime Honeymoon…..it was simply amazing!!! We can’t stop talking about what a great time we had! We have lots of people that we gave your info too, hopefully you get some business from them. We are certainly considering doing a sail each year! I wanted to thank you so much again for everything. What a nice surprise to not only have an unbelievable Honeymoon, but to also come out of it with some new friends. If you are ever in the area, please look us up!!!!

-Sandy and Gary, May 1 2016

Quiet Anchorages, Great Snorkeling, Wonderful Vacation
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My husband and I went on an 8 day trip on the Bel Ami. As long as you go into it with the understanding that you’ll be sharing a boat with two other people for a week and let Dave and Bobbie Rae know what kind of trip you are looking for, then you should really have an amazing time. My husband and I hadn’t been on a trip alone in a few years and were looking for quiet spots, personal space, and a generally very relaxed time, and we let Dave and Bobbie Rae know that upon arrival. Dave and Bobbie Rae made an effort to give us the kind of trip we wanted. They turned in early enough every night that my husband and I were able to have dinner alone, Dave sought out private anchorages and great snorkel spots which we indicated was important to us, we went on hikes alone and adventured by ourselves. When we did need a dinghy guide or advice, Dave and Bobbie Rae were more than happy to oblige. The boat is big enough to find a quiet spot to read during a sail and the living quarters are on opposite sides of the boat, so you feel privacy when you are down below. When we did chat and do activities with Dave and Bobbie Rae, the conversation was easy and they didn’t detract from the enjoyment of our vacation at all (which I was worried about, you never know how you’ll get along with two strangers sharing a boat for a week). Whether you are looking for privacy/romance or for more of a guided vacation, you can sail Bel Ami and get what you want.

– Tara and Kyle, April 2016

Seven Days of Adventure, A Lifetime of Stories

We recently returned from an amazing vacation aboard the beautiful Bel Ami with Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae. Our trip was quite an adventure, unlike any vacation we’ve experienced before. The islands are beautiful; each stop was breathtaking and exciting in it’s own way. The Bel Ami is a very comfortable place to call home for a week. Our stateroom was cozy and private, the common areas were spacious and inviting and Bobbie Rae kept the whole boat so clean and tidy. Captain Dave is a superb sailor, an experienced guide and an amazing chef. It is clear he has decades of sailing experience and a deep understanding and love of the Virgin Islands. He tailored our week to our interests and was willing to change plans to accommodate our unique preferences. When we discovered how much we loved kayaking off the boat and that we weren’t interested in snorkeling (shocker!) Captain Dave spent extra nights in perfect kayaking locations. He guided us on the most amazing hikes that we never would have found on our own. And we were continually amazed by the delicious food and drink Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae provided. The frittata a la Bel Ami, yellow split pea soup, fried grouper and banana daiquiris were some of our favorites. Everything was homemade, fresh and a perfect compliment to our days on the islands. A few of our most memorable experiences include a hike across a forested mountain on St. John in the pouring rain, celebrating life and love with the pirates at Happy Arrr and an accordion serenade under the stars by the Captain himself. And each of these experiences would not have been possible without Captain Dave, Bobbie Rae and the Bel Ami. Thank you all for the stories, the memories and the adventure!

-Karen and Tony, March 2016

Contact Us Today!    608-772-0634     captaindave@belamivoyages.com