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Ocean Spray Boat Review - Highly Recommended!

Woodinville...
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66 posts
16 reviews
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Ocean Spray Boat Review - Highly Recommended!
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Our one-week Galapagos cruise on the Ocean Spray (Luxury class catamaran) in April 2022 was simply outstanding. I cannot overstate how much we enjoyed the trip and how much of our experience was attributable to the fantastic crew and boat.

Starting with the boat: it’s beautiful, well-kept, spacious, stable, and comfortable. With only 16 passengers, there was always room to stretch out on the giant daybed on the skydeck. There were no significant queues to get food at mealtime or for any activities. The overall vibe was incredibly relaxing, despite going out for three or four activities every day.

I found our two-person cabin on the upper deck surprisingly large, and apparently the same type of cabin on the main deck below us was even larger. We really appreciated the king-size bed, as many boats have only a queen. We also learned to be very thankful for the balcony with chairs; there were a few times when the sea was a bit rough (not terrible), and staving off seasickness was way easier sitting outside. Plus, on the day when dolphins were swimming in the wake, we had a front row seat to the show from our balcony.

Our daughter had the one single cabin, which was perfectly sized and also had its own balcony. Of note, Ocean Spray does not charge a single-supplement for that room, which makes the boat perfect for a three-person family. I think this arrangement with two cabins and two bathrooms was far better than some other boats on which we would have had a triple-cabin with one bathroom.

As for the food, it was far better than we expected. Our favorite meals were definitely the lunches, which tended to be the largest meal of the day. The seafood was plentiful and very tasty. There were two days when we ate BBQ outside on the bar deck - octopus, lobster, crab, fish, meat, poultry - it was amazing. There were always plenty of vegetable options to go along with the main protein. Breakfast included a few slightly different choices each day, but there were several staples, including a cooked-to-order omelet or any type of eggs every day. Dinners were very good, though the portions were much smaller than at lunch, so there were a few times when we could have eaten more. Pro tip: there were pre-dinner appetizers every night on the bar deck, but we didn’t always take advantage of those - we should have. Cocktails/wine were about as pricey as you would expect for a venue like this, but the pour was 1.5-2x as generous as what I would have poured myself, so I found it reasonable.

Regarding the activities, we generally had 3 off-boat excursions every day, split between the morning and afternoon. At least one of the daily excursions was snorkeling (occasionally we snorkeled twice in one day). If you don’t want to snorkel, you could kayak or use one of the two standup paddle boards.

Obviously, the snorkeling and the short hikes were mind-blowing; that’s why you’re going to the Galapagos, right? The only weak part of our trip, in my opinion, was our naturalist. While he was extremely knowledgeable and perfectly nice, his delivery was somewhat robotic. We often found ourselves losing the thread of his narration. We would have preferred a guide who wove stories into the narration, but he was more of a just-the-facts type of guide. I must stress that a few others on the trip seemed to love his guiding, and our lack of connection with his style did not dampen our overall enjoyment of the trip. Further, he works for multiple boats and companies, so I would not use this as a strike against taking this particular boat.

Upon return to the boat from a snorkeling excursion, a crew member would put a dry, hot towel around our shoulders the second we had stripped the wetsuit down to our waist. This sounds like such a small gesture, but after being in the water for 40+ minutes in a slightly ill-fitting wetsuit, I was cold. So I loved this. The crew also would have different types of hot drinks to hand us after snorkeling, and there was also a tray of appetizers prepared by the chef to snack on. We felt completely cared for.

I’ve alluded to the great crew above, but I should explicitly state that every member of the crew was eager to please - not in an overly obsequious way - they just wanted you to feel taken care of and happy. As just one minor example, our cruise director quickly learned that we liked to bring a thermoflask of ice on excursions. A few minutes before the pangas were about to leave, he would seek me out and ask if I wanted him to fill my flask with ice (the ice machine was below decks in a restricted area). There were so many little things like this that made the trip great.

In summary, I strongly recommend the Ocean Spray for your bucket-list trip to the Galapagos - you will not be disappointed!

3 replies to this topic
Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
13,804 posts
113 reviews
133 helpful votes
1. Re: Ocean Spray Boat Review - Highly Recommended!
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Sorry for overlooking your nice report, Jennifer. The boat reviews in the Top Questions were disappearing as fast as I could add them, but I think I've got it straightened out. Thanks for posting, and wow, no single supplement!

Greer, South...
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127 reviews
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2. Re: Ocean Spray Boat Review - Highly Recommended!
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Thank you for such a detailed trip report! The Ocean Spray in on our radar for the family trip we are planning. My husband & I hesitate to do a cruise because two family members are prone to motion sickness. One member does not respond to oral anti-motion meds and previously had a rare, adverse reaction to transdermal patches.

Could you let me know if sea sickness was an issue with any of the passengers? Did the boat roll side-to-side or just a slight bob in the water?

Thank you in advance for your first hand feedback1

Woodinville...
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66 posts
16 reviews
9 helpful votes
3. Re: Ocean Spray Boat Review - Highly Recommended!
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We specifically chose April for our trip because the seas are supposed to be calmest around that time. Nonetheless, there were a few crossings - with the longest one being the first night - where the boat was rocking and rolling to some extent. We did wear scopolamine patches intermittently during the trip, as each of the three of us is at least slightly prone to seasickness. One of us had no issues the entire trip and barely wore the patch after the first night. One of us was a little queasy briefly and missed one meal because of it, but that was also the person who seemed to have the most side effects from the patch, so it's hard to say what the symptoms were due to. The last one of us had some brief, intermittent queasiness that didn't make a huge impact on the enjoyment of the trip.

Of the other passengers, more than half wore patches the entire time. Very few, if any, people seemed to have any extended issues with nausea. We found that, after being on the boat for 1-2 days, we were used to the constant motion and it was no big deal. Overall, the boat's design (catamaran) seemed to be helpful for stability.

They also served real ginger tea, which the crew swore was a magical cure. We drank some, as did others, and I think we all benefited from a dramatic placebo effect (with a little actual effect thrown in there).

All told, I think we mitigated against any serious issues by booking in April and using the patches prophylactically. If one person in your group cannot use the patch or the typical OTC oral meds, it would be a good idea to have some other measures on hand, just in case.

It seems that the only way to dampen the motion further would be to book one of the big boats, which obviously would be a totally different kind of experience than on the Ocean Spray.

Please let me know if I can provide any further clarity.

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