Agreed, take the 5 star reviews
with a grain of salt
. I've done at least 8 charters in the Caribbean
in the last 4 years, and have yet to leave the base with a 100% perfect boat
. Keep a list of what you find deficient the day you arrive and over the week keep it updated for when you get back for the debrief, they will appreciate it. But in high season, it's common for a popular boat
to return from a charter Saturday at 11:00 and have be cleaned and ready for another party arriving that afternoon. They do their best, but there just isn't enough time to fix much once they start doing boarding briefings so they can get home. What I have seen twice is if they have a significant issue with the boat you were going to get, they upgrade you to something similar and likely bigger if available, at least Dream did that.
Lastly, the charter bases have been dealing with the same employee retention and turnover issues seen everywhere since the start of the pandemic. Familiar faces with local and relevant experience have moved on, and the quality of the chart and boat briefings is hit or miss.
That said, you should have a fantastic time introducing the family
to cat chartering. St John is a gorgeous National Park with plenty of beach walks, snorkeling and vigorous trail hiking to occupy everyone, sometimes all in the same day. Message me if you want some itinerary highlights. The sailing distances are short, so you have plenty of options.