VENTANA GUESTS COMMENTS
Thank you so much to Captain Tim and Chef Jason for making our bucket list vacation sailing through the Virgin Islands a trip we will remember and cherish forever. The week was the perfect combination of relaxation and action as we cruised our way from Maho Bay snorkeling with the sea turtles, to Jos Van Dyke enjoying sunset and painkillers at Soggy Dollar Bar, to the rum distillery and sunset at Cane Garden Bay in Tortola, the Baths and dinner at Saba Rock on Virgin Grande, snorkeling and rum tasting at Cooper Island, a private bonfire on Thanksgiving night at Salt Island, snorkeling The Indians and Caves at Norman Island, Willy T’s at Norman Island jumping from the top deck, ending with a final night at Caneel Bay and dinner in town at Cruz Bay, St. John. It was an amazing week, and Captain Tim knew just the places to go to make it so memorable for our family of 10, ranging in age from 7 to 70. Chef Jason crushed the meals for our family, dealing with food allergies and picky kids! Every single meal was amazing, and he even prepared a full Thanksgiving feast on the Ventana! We enjoyed hearing their stories and learning the history of the islands as we sailed past, saw many sea turtles and dolphins from the boat, and enjoyed evenings of charades, guitar playing by Captain Tim, and Tim & Jason taught us a new card game (31) that kept even the kids up past midnight in intense competition! We loved our time on the beautiful catamaran, Ventana, and have gained two new friends that we look forward to sailing with again!
I just wanted to drop a note to tell you what a great job Tim Montgomery and Jason McKay did for our group in our BVI trip recently. We were thrown a curve ball the week befor we set sail with no air conditioning on the boat. We had some hesitancy abouthe trip but decided to go. Tim and Jason had multiple fans in each for us and did a great job making us forget all about it!
We vacation as a group almost every year. Tim and jason made this trip especially memorable with their professionalism, great personalities and outstanding service. The trips to each island were fun, the food was incredible and the service was first class.
My family sailed with another family on the Ventana for one week in the USVI. Michelle with Epic was fantastic throughout the selection and planning process and her insight was invaluable and much appreciated. We will work with her again and have already recommended her to other friends. The Ventana is a Lagoon 52 foot catamaran and the boat was perfect for our group. I can’t say enough good things about Captain Kennon and Chef Stephanie. From the food and beverages to the service and itinerary, it was all phenomenal and we felt completely pampered for the entire trip. They worked tirelessly so that we could relax, adventure and truly enjoy our time on vacation. We commented that it seemed not just a job for them but a true joy for them to ensure that we were happy and having fun. We would love to sail with them again!
Yacht & Crew
Please answer the following questions pertaining to the yacht you chartered and the crew.
Rating of Yacht & Crew:
(5 Being the Highest) 5
Was the yacht comfortable and clean?
Was the yacht well ventilated?
Was the crew friendly and accommodating?
Yes. The crew was great! Kennon and Stephanie are awesome. We couldn’t have a better crew. We had both kids an adults. And everyone would say they are the best!
Was the food good and well presented?
Yes. It was delicious. You will not go hungry. Everything was made from scratch. We ate like kings and queens. We had a couple picky eater and one with a food allergy. The chief accommodated for everyone.
8. Additional comments about the yacht and crew?
Cannot say enough good things. They were great.
Did you like the area you chartered in?
Loved it. Each stop had something different but still beautiful
Kennon and Stephanie,
It has been absolutely fantastic from the minute we met to the day of departure! Hope to see you again soon, love and hugs! We can’t thank you enough for your hospitality!
Kennon and Stephanie,
This trip has exceeded expectations on every level. The boat is beautiful and the islands and water are spectacular but the crew of Kennon and Stephanie is what topped the charts! They are amazing taking care of every need, want and thought – they listen and try to do What they can to make the trip perfect and he succeeded at every turn. This was a special trip for Bob and Norma and it became a trip of a lifetime for all of us. We are forever grateful and this will stay in our memories forever!
They far exceeded expectations! These guys are truly professionals. We wanted far nothing for the entire trip, are made return, and what a great group…who knew it would turn out so well! Love, love, loved every minute. Look forward to our next excursion with Kennon and Steph friends for life! Mi casa es su casa!!
Kennon and Stephanie,
We have had a great time, made new friends and have totally relaxed and enjoyed ourselves for services impeccable so appreciated. The crew any the accommodations are beyond exceptional and will be highly recommended! You know have friends in Western Colorado!
Kennon and Stephanie,
This vacation will be tough to beat and will set a high bar for the future. The crew Kennon and Stephanie were amazing with the service, food and keeping the whole group entertained. There was so much do from games, water activities, relaxing and lots of firsts for all of her family. Thanks so much and we will be back!
Y’all’s hospitality has given me the most cherish-able memories to last throughout my life. The food and drinks succeeded my expectations. I will be returning without the drink cloud next time. No algae bloom on rainy days.
Kennon and Stephanie,
Thank you for exceeding expectations on every level. This bucket list trip was almost never happened was so many obstacles thrown away. We were positively thrilled when we actually stepped on board Ventana. And the thrills, surprises, and moments never stopped after we landed. Thank you Stephanie Kevin for everything. You are the best crew we could have asked for. Everything was outstanding! Meals were five star. Experience was six star! Hugs!
1. Crew Friendliness: TOP-NOTCH
2. Crew Knowledge: TOP-NOTCH
3. Quality of Service: TOP-NOTCH
4. The Professionalism of Crew: TOP-NOTCH
5. Value of the Cost + Expenses Charter: JUST RIGHT
6. On-Board Cuisine: AMAZING
7. Destination / Location: BEST THAT COULD BE DONE
8. Water-Sports: PERHAPS ADD A KAYAK
9. Overall Satisfaction: EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS
What was the most memorable highlight of your yacht charter vacation? WHO COULD NARROW DOWN TO ONE? LAUGHING ON A RAINY DAY EXCURSION, UNEXPECTED AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE, SURPRISES FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR DINNER, WATCHING THE SEA ANIMALS FROM BOAT AT NIGHT
I love their time on the Ventana! We have made so many great memories that will always carry with us! Our favorite memories were seeing a starfish while on the subwing, feeding scraps to the remora, snorkeling with Stephanie, all the food! Floating on the ring of love, and all the laughs!
Thank you Stephanie and Kennon! Beside the highlight up the trip would be the boat – but two of you in your hospitality, kindness, took experience to another level. Thanks for making us feel so welcome – teaching us, and laughing with us! Thank you for a great week of fun and incredible food. Hopefully our paths will cross again! You are always welcome in Colorado!
100% exceeded our expectations! Kennon and Stephanie were well above call of duty to accommodate our every need! Our favorite memories were snorkeling, paddleboards, sailing, whale watching, sunsets from the flybridge… everything!
I imagine it’s tripping fabulous but I never dreamt of how amazing it would actually be. Stephanie and Kennon seemed to anticipate every need and fill it! I felt like a rockstar on my very own yard. Thanks for the super great food and drinks and warm friendly hospitality. And for saving my hat!
We completely enjoyed every aspect of this amazing trip. Or expectations were more than expected in every way. Stephanie treat us to gourmet meals every day. I don’t think that any of us have ever eaten so well. Kennon was a fabulous continent host. Our drinks were never empty and his positive attitude started and ended every day with a smile. We thank you so much for your incredible hospitality!
We can’t thank you enough for your hostility and amazing food. The ladies loved all of the water sports and every spot you chose was perfect. Best New Year’s Eve and day ever! We look forward to returning!
Thank you for an amazing family vacation! Your hospitality was unbelievable over-the-top every single day! Stephanie, the snacks and meals were absolutely wow! It was fun to sit down and wait to see what you have prepared for us, you truly have an art and passion for cooking! Thank you both for everything. So hope to travel with you again in the future!
We hope you enjoyed your charter! We would really appreciate it if you would take a moment to complete this form. Naturally we hope that everything was perfect, but we also would like to know if there were any (small) problems. All comments are helpful!
When you arrived, your first impression of the yacht was:
1. Wait, we didn’t rent David Geffen’s boat? Shoot, that was a miss.
2. Wow, the photos really do look like the boat; these rooms are great!
3. Holy moly, there’s an inflatable flamingo on board with us.
4. Who cares about unpacking and getting settled; this shrimp salad thing is everything we want
right now for lunch!
What did you think about your accommodation? Cabins, beds, bathrooms:
The accommodations were really comfortable. If there were questions about how things worked in the cabins/bathrooms, the crew showed us. There were lots of nooks and crannies to stash things, which was awesome.
Salon, cockpit, deck space:
These spaces were great, but we spent nearly all waking hours outside and didn’t use the salon or cockpit areas. As expected, we really had to cram in at meals since the deck table isn’t made to sit 10 -- but no one minded at all.
Was the boat kept clean during your charter (your cabins, the bathrooms/heads, your towels, bedding, the cockpit, the galley)?
Yep, it was kept very clean. We could have done without the mid week linens change -- none of us change that stuff out at home in under one week, and we didn’t see the need to do it while on vacation either. It felt like it made unnecessary work for Kennon and Stehpanie!
Did you miss anything on board?
Not sure what this question is actually asking, but we wish we made time for and/or stayed up to karaoke at least once. We also didn’t get a chance for Kennon to play his mandolin.
What did you enjoy the most on board?
The many places to hangout on the boat. Any beverage available at any time, for any mood.
Please describe your Captain (professional/outgoing/friendly etc.)
Kennon is wise beyond his years, and we felt like we were capable, experienced hands. He made sure all things water were as easy, quick, comfortable, and safe as we could want -- whether we were sailing, on the tender, going for a swim/snorkel, or hanging out in the water around the boat. Kennon was also incredibly service oriented and never let more than a 20 min go by without asking if anyone needed anything. Additionally, he had a deep bench of dad jokes, and was workshopping more, which kept people laughing.
What do you think about your itinerary, the places and bays you visited and the activities you have done?
Outside of two dive days we had pre-planned, we mostly made it up as we went along. We were consulted about options for every available choice (though we tried to get Kennon to make the choice a lot of the times), and as a result our group was super happy with everything we did.
Please describe your chef (professional/outgoing/friendly etc.)
Stephanie is a complete professional with command over all essential things for the boat life. In addition to her aptitude with cooking, sailing/driving the boat/tender, and all things underwater, she was warm, kind, and constantly paying attention to and remembering people’s needs/preferences. She made people feel truly taken care of because of her strong orientation to high touch hospitality and a highly attuned EQ. She was also friendly and open, sharing some of her own story about how she made her way to this work and what keeps her doing it.
Please describe your meals (presentation, quality, quantity)
The meals were tasty and variable -- we didn’t get tired of anything. Everything was also presented in a visually thoughtful way. Lunch dessert was a group favorite (and a total surprise on the first day), and our happy hour apps were always very appreciated. We still don’t understand how Stephanie prepares these meals from the NYC apartment-sized galley.
Do you feel the meals and drinks reflected the requests you made in your preference sheet?
Yes, everything we said was reflected (but we were a pretty easy group to cook for with very few true problem areas to work around). We could have been more specific had we really known to be, eg: our group prefers savory breakfasts over sweet ones; or, we don’t all eat the same amount (ie big dudes vs smaller women) so having identically-sized plated meals doesn’t necessarily match people’s needs. We mentioned all of these things to Stehpanie when we realized we never said anything about this earlier -- but the preference sheet could be updated for these kinds of nuances.
If you had children in your party, what did the crew do to make their vacation special (food, games, toys, etc)?
No actual kids in our group, just the adult variety.
Did you receive enough information from us before your trip, was the description of the yacht and crew accurate?
Yes, I think we had all of the info we needed. The one thing that was on the boat that wasn’t called out ahead of time on the materials was that there are beach (Turkish) towels on board. Kennon let me know ahead of time because I asked, but otherwise everyone would have brought their own quick dry towel (though most of us did anyway) for post-swimming.
Would you sail with us again?
Yep, we want to come back to actually go to the BVI -- but we want the same crew. Possible??
Any other notes or special remarks you have:
They took such good care of us, almost to a fault. We wouldn’t have minded pitching in a bit ourselves (we got the side eye when we tried to clear our own plates) if it meant we would have materially lightened the load for the crew and/or gotten more hangout time with Kennon and Stephanie, whose company everyone enjoyed. However, as a result of how well our every need was met, no one was able to properly feed themselves for at least 24 hours after returning home -- as if we all forgot how to.
May we use your comments as a reference for future guests? Sure.
Destination? Virgin Islands
How was the Yacht? The yacht was absolutely perfect. Right size for our group - plenty of shade,
nice seating and the upper deck was fantastic.
How was the meals? The meals were excellently prepared and delicious. The presentation
How was your crew? Captain Richard was absolutely fantastic. He was measured and personable - with a great mixture of suggestions on what to do, while also allowing us to do what we wanted. He was extremely attentive and clearly knowledgeable about the areas we visited and of course all things in the boat. He was great about making sure we had access to the toys in a safe way and would offer to do anything that would help us have more fun at our particular spots. I would definitely go on a boat with Richard again. Christina was a great chef - the execution on her meals was excellent.
Thank you both so much for an unforgettable week for all the right reasons! The Food, Activities, Etc. have all been better then we could've imagine or wished for.
We loved getting to know the two of you and spend time together. Were already looking forward to our next adventure with you two.
Richard & Christina
Everything exceeded our expectations. You make a great team so glad our crew and your crew made such an awesome connection!
See you soon, until then Cheers to our next adventure
Mike & Beth
Wow ! What a week you helped our two families experience your hospitality, knowledge of the islands, pace of travel and amazing food made for life time memories for all and a much needed respite.
On top of that you made both 21st birthday and Christmas celebration uniquely memorable. I'm telling you with certainty no other boat has an "Elf on the Shelf" like Ventana!
All the best the best to both of you and we hope our parts cross again on the beautiful waters of the USVI.
Bob, Kara& Family
Tina, Matt & Family
Wow! Best crewmates of all time. The food was great and the winds was high. Richard at the helm of the great Ventana, thank you for caring us through massive swells and making sure our drinks were full. Christina, the best dam cook in any island, ever. let us know when little Italy : a taste of Ventana comes out . These adventures will be remembered for a very very long time and never forgotten. We can't thank y'all enough. The next time you hear werewolf or hear a bud light open we can only hope y'all think of us. This vacation was everything we hoped for and beyond our expectations. 2020 was the worst year of our families lives and this vacation was what we needed for the start for the new year. Song of the week : Feel something different by Ben Miller & Amine.
Thanksgiving 2020 - Broker provided comments
1. Crew Friendliness: A++
2. Crew Knowledge: A++
3. Quality of Service: A++
4. The Professionalism of Crew: A++
5. Value of the Cost of the Charter: Well, of course, we would love for it to cost less but you get what you pay for!
6. On-Board Cuisine: OMGOSH: THIS WAS ABOVE AND BEYOND IN EVERY WAY ON EVERY MEAL. If you have not experienced Christina's culinary extraordinaire experience, then I think you guys need to indulge.
7. Destination / Location: Absolutely love the location of the USVI's and even more now that I do not want to spend our money where it is not welcomed, i.e., the BVI's
8. Water-Sports: I did not personally do any water sports other than stand-up paddleboard and apparently, I am not very good but still had fun. Kids loved them.
9. Overall Satisfaction: Completely satisfied with all that you delivered. We will go again when we can.
What was the most memorable highlight of your yacht charter vacation?
The Thanksgiving Feast prepared by Christina (Seafood Feast); Captain Richard's knowledge and love of what he is doing. Pure relaxation and enjoyment had by our two families.
Any additional comments you would like to make regarding your vacation experience?
We would highly recommend this charter by your company to others along with the recommendation of The Ventana, Capt. Richard and Christina as crew. They worked themselves to the bone and did so with smiles and love. Also, our driver that picked us up at the airport to dock and return was an absolutely wonderful man too. I would recommend him as well.
We want to thank you for supplying us with all the information we needed to get through the COVIDmania traveling. The only thing that could have made this trip better would have been to delete COVIDmania and allow us to be onshore together at a restaurant. We usually enjoyed going ashore for a meal or two but didn't even bother since we could not sit together and wanted to avoid all the hysteria.
Again, thank you for a memorable experience.
Dear Richard, we can't thank you enough for your generosity and hospitality. We loved tubing in Magen's Bay, stargazing off St John and snorkeling in countless beautiful coves. Suzanne, the food was incredible - we especially loved the banana pancakes, crab cakes, sun dried tomato ravioli and ALL the deserts! Richard, you make the best "Painkiller", if this Captain thing doesn't pan out, you'll make an excellent mixologist. Thanks for sharing evening card games and giving us a vacation we'll never forget. Although a few dolphins would have been nice lol!
-Nick, Katherine, Sloan, Reese & Grace
I've had several people ask about our recent vacation. It was AMAZING btw!! If you're interested in booking a charter for your family, please reach out! Captain Richard and Suzanne were THE BEST!! And don't worry, you won't have to do ALL the work! Seriously what an experience! I highly, highly recommend!
We had the absolute best vacation on the Alladora (previous boat) and I would attribute it all to the experience that these two provided. From the very moment we met them, we felt comfortable and felt accommodated for! They make a fantastic team working together and the vibe they had together made for a fun relaxing and amazing time.
Christina is a little spitfire and we all fell in love with her instantly. We would NEVER have believed we would be served such elegant food on the boat. Her meals were always over the top and the presentation and unique options were out of this world. Each morning we were greeted with tea and coffee, Bloody Mary's or Mimosas which was a nice treat.
I honestly cannot say enough great things about these two! I will definitely be on a charter trip like this again and will not accept any other skipper or chef except for these two. They both catered to every individual person's needs the entire trip, cooking separate meals when some guests did not like certain ingredients, they played taxi on the dingy for anyone who ever needed to get to shore and never once seemed annoyed or inconvenienced.
We love the BVI's and will be back for another amazing experience with Jacob and Christina.
New Years 2019/2020
The seven nights we spent on Neverland were absolutely spectacular! Our tour of the British Virgin Islands featured great snorkeling and swimming, beautiful beaches, and interesting ports of call, but what made the vacation truly special was our crew, Jacob Beman and Christina Astuto. Jacob is a skillful sailor, Christina a magical cook, and both of them have a touch of MacGyver in their personalities. (Our first day out featured Christina being hoisted to the top of the mast for some impromptu problem solving!) Christina’s touch in the kitchen really took our breath away as she daily turned Neverland into a floating gourmet restaurant. Additionally, Christina and Jacob worked with us to curate a selection of Italian wines that were a constant delight. When we weren’t drinking wine, Jacob’s rum punch and Christina’s negroni's and old fashions were memorable. And when we weren’t busy eating and drinking, Jacob had a knack for effortlessly managing our itinerary, changing plans when needed to fit the weather, our interests, and our moods.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, Christina and Jacob are a real pleasure to spend time with. Never less than professional, C & J are lively, interesting, fun and funny. We could not have wished for better company!
We were fortunate to book two day trips with Capt. Jacob Beman and Christina Astuto on the Pau Hana catamaran during the week of March 17, 2019. Our group consisted of three couples, several of whom had lifelong boating experience and a couple who frankly weren't sure they were ready to spend an hour, much less a day, on a sailboat.
Jacob and Christina immediately took charge of the charter, making sure we were comfortable as well as oriented to the safety procedures aboard the boat. The main challenge our group presented was that half of us wanted to go somewhere to socialize, drink painkillers, and buy t-shirts to bring home, while the other half did not want to see, much less talk to, another tourist if at all possible. Jacob was able to "read the room" & plan a full, fun day that made everyone happy. They were also exceptionally tolerant of the music choices of their guests...even if it was early 90's Hair Bands! Jacob and Christina demonstrated an intuitive talent for customer service, anticipating our needs before we had a chance to ask. Their ability to make us feel taken care of and a bit spoiled while still treating us like long lost friends is an interpersonal skill that can't be taught.
One of the more important and appreciated things I noticed was that both Jacob and Christina demonstrated their knowledge of and respect for the ecosystem around them in the way they operate the boat and the locations they chose to show us. It is clear that they both love this gorgeous corner of the world & want to conserve its beauty for future generations.
I feel that any well balanced review should include some constructive criticism. I struggled to find something to critique about the service we received, but here it is. Jacob's fashion sense is atrocious. The patterns in his shirts and shorts clash to the point of distraction. Christina assured us she is working on the issue, so hopefully improvements will be made in that area.
We enjoyed our time on St. John immensely, but the days we spent on the water were certainly the highlight of the week. After an amazing trip, I believe one's flight home should be spent planning the next vacation. It was the unanimous decision the group that our next getaway would be planned based solely on where Jacob and Christina are working. I just hope they’re prepared for that!
Regards, Brooks & Roisin
Praise from Charter Broker on three well done charters
I have now had 3 charters with Jacob and Christina absolutely nailed it each time.
The planning, the food, their personalities. . . . everything! It was very different groups from a family to a 35 wedding anniversary and all the clients were full of praise.
Sundowners and The Big Blue - what could be better?! Our time aboard SY Rapscallion was absolutely perfect! Captain Richard and Suzanne were THE BEST!! Great dynamics!! Very welcoming and genuine! Perfect for our family. Love the laid back atmosphere and even though the covid-19 threw us a challenge, we managed to stop in amazing anchorages and enjoy the vast snorkeling opportunities! The pier @ Fredriksted is an absolute must when visiting St Croix!
Suzanne, many thanks for your wonderful cooking skills! Everything was beautiful and so so tasty! (Kudos on the homemade sweet and sour mix!) Amazing job! Cannot stress enough! Above & beyond!
To both Captain Richard and Suzanne -
Humble thanks for sharing your sailing knowledge! As we've mentioned this is our dream to live aboard full-time. Appreciate your patience and involvement more than you know! Will has been in his happy place for the last 10 days for sure! haha
Seriously you both have been great! Many many thanks for making this a most memorable trip for our family! I bet Emory will talk (& talk, & talk, & talk..) about her time aboard for years to come! haha Until next time...
Fair winds & following seas,
Will, Rayna, Elle, Emory & Ryan
PS - Mind the "sugar cubes"