Two years ago in March 2009 I wrote an article about my bad experience with St. Thomas Nauti Nymph Power Boat Rentals and compared it to good experience of renting from their competitor See and Ski. I guess Nauti Nymph is really on St. Thomas time as this is the email I received from them yesterday:
I am one of the owners of Nauti Nymph and just came across your website once again.
There is a slanderous write up about us which compares a captained boat rental from one company to a bare boat boat rental from us. Obviously, this is an inaccurate comparison. I believe, you wrote this blog.
Furthermore, I seem to remember, that one of our customers had written a rebuttal not too long ago and you apparently took it down.
Please comment or remove damaging blog so we do not have to pursue this further.
Okay now folks I’m sure some of you are personal friends of Ute or Nauti Nymph. I don’t know her and we only rented from them once. If you’re friends with her understand that this is just my opinion of my experience with her company and not a personal attack on her. I wrote this blog about my experience with them here: http://www.stthomasblog.com/?p=1895 but here are some excerpts since she is claiming “slander”, but first let’s define slander: a false, malicious statement (spoken or published).
So let’s jump in to where we could have been “slanderous” shall we.
First, they make (See and Ski) renting VERY easy (unlike our experience at Nauti Nymph, which was horrible). There’s one form to fill out and you’re done. We spent about 30 minutes filling out form after form at Nauti Nymph. Then we had to put an $800 deposit down on the boat and were pressured into buying “their insurance”. It’s like night and day between the two boat rental companies.
I have a boat full of locals that will say that everything I wrote above was true. Including the “captain” that we hired for the day because we’ll all be under oath. If it’s true it’s not slander.
Second, their rates are the most competitive by far. The boat we rented from Nauti Nymph was smaller, more expensive and beaten up. We laughed as they gentlemen who gave us the walk through on the boat just kept saying, this doesn’t work, this doesn’t work…I felt like saying, does it float?
Again all true. I have a boat full of locals that will say the employee at Nauti Nymph was very nice in showing us everything that didn’t work. And it was indeed more expensive than we’ve ever paid at See and Ski, I’m sure See and Ski will pull out one of my old rentals so we can show that.
Third, they (See and Ski) have great Prowler Catamaran Power Boats. They take the seas really well.
Um, that’s a fact.
Fourth, they (See and Ski) have great captains to choose from if you don’t know how to drive a boat or you’re going to be drinking. We hire a captain every time we go out.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. For some reason Nauti Nymph believes we didn’t hire someone. We did indeed hire and pay someone to drive our Nauti Nymph boat (the same person that drives our See and Ski boat), it just wasn’t one of their people. I’ve made them aware of that fact. We called that person the “Captain” because they were hired, paid and drove the boat. Period. So indeed when I rented from Nauti Nymph and See and Ski they were both bare boat rentals as this particular driver also took us out with See and Ski regularly. Apples to apples.
Those my friends are all facts. Since See and Ski is not and advertiser nor have they ever been and I have no personal relationship with them or their owners this can’t be malicious. I also do not know Ute or anyone at Nauti Nymph and have no motivation to speak poorly of them other than the experience I had with them.
So I wrote an honest review based on the dealings I had. We even told them we were locals so they knew.
Here are a few other poor reviews I found on Nauti Nymph (there were more but I didn’t want to list them all) :
Taken from Trip Advisor (we cannot guarantee the validity of these postings):
1. Headline: Do NOT Charter Nauti Nymph:http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147404-i172-k103336-Do_NOT_charter_Nauti_Nymph-St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html
We rented from Nauti Nymph 5 years ago and hoped to repeat a great time, so we emailed ahead with a credit card and our schedule – confirming that we were coming from a cruise ship. Instead, we paid extra fare to Red Hook only to find no boat and no people and no one to answer the phone at Nauti Nymph. After wasting a precious hour on the dock, we found they had given our charter away. No apologies and no explanation. Others on the dock confirmed Nauti Nymph is UNRELIABLE. Do NOT charter Nauti Nymph.
I recently got back from a trip to St. Thomas in which we rented a twin engine power boat for a half day. As a first time boat “renter”, I was unaware that there was a lot of time consuming paperwork and instruction involved. The person that I spoke with said that a half day boat rental is from 12 noon to 4 PM. While making that reservation, I was told to be there at 12 noon! Not 11:30AM! So we get there at 12 noon with no help from their poor directions on how to get to their exact location. We had not problem getting to Red Hook but the woman had me looking for the most hard to find ice cream store when all she had to tell me was make a left at Molly Malone’s a well known and well seen establishment! Anyway, as we began filling out paperwork, the girl at the outside desk says that the boat is to be back at 3:30PM!!! My reaction is: WHAT??? We’ll be in the boat by 12:30 PM by the time the instruction is over and we need to be back at 3:30PM and we are paying for 4 HOURS??? What is that?!?!? While going over the map of the islands, with 3 hours of boat time in mind, the instructor recommended 3 different places to go knowing that we were stopping for snorkeling. Not only that, but just asking about how much gas we’ll use going to the ONE and only spot on St. John that we had in mind, our instructor estimated that we would only use $75 worth of gas & oil. Upon return we found out at the gas pump that we in fact used $155 only going to Leinster Bay, St. John (1 hour of that time the boat was off and tied to a buoy!). What a tourist trap if you have never rented a boat before and don’t expect to pay that much for 2 hours worth of gas and 3 hours use of a boat! We spoke to the Nauti Nymph staff about the timing issue prior to departure and said they’d talk to us upon return. Well guess what? They said they wouldn’t do anything and that we should have ASSUMED that there was a lot of time consuming paperwork and instruction involved even though we were instructed to be there at 12 noon. Of course they wait ’til after we return to tell us that! Shame on Nauti Nymph for telling a first time renter to “assume!”
For those who are thinking about renting a powerboat but have never have before, don’t bother! It’s overrated, if not just a rip-off! Take a group charter! Although I had a generous budget for fun on vacation, this was one expensive excursion – $455 total(rental & gas)!
I would also like to mention that there were positive reviews as well.
So readers of the St. Thomas Blog I will keep you posted on this every step of the way. I’ve given Nauti Nymph the name of our attorney and really look forward to protecting that little thing called freedom of speech. If you provide a bad product/service don’t think you can bully around someone writing an unbiased honest review because you’re barking up the wrong tree with me my friend.
So the first legal battle possibly kicks off…
Please feel free to comment in and share your thoughts. As long as the comments are relevant to the story we’ll post them.