My wife and I have done a number of crewed charters in the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, and the Florida Keys, and this one was second to none. It was our first exposure to boating on the Gulf Coast, and even though we heard great things about this area, our experience easily exceeded expectations. The scenery was spectacular as was the weather, but let's give the real credit where it's deserved...to the boat and its captains.
The boat was magnificent. It was fast under sail, yet very comfortable. The interior was roomy, well-appointed and spotless. Outside it was very easy to move about on deck and in the cockpit. It was also easy to get on and off the boat both from the dock and from the dinghy. This was important since one in our party of four walks with a cane.
The crew catered to our every need. We enjoyed three gourmet meals each day around the table on the aft deck. By the way, there's no better place to watch a sunset. Agnes did everything possible to spoil us, and Dan was a very capable captain. He knew his boat and how to keep everyone on board safe. Both were personable and cordial. They really made us feel welcome.
Not being familiar with the area, we left the itinerary to our crew. They proved us correct and filled each day a variety of sights and activities. We saw beautiful beaches, swam in the Gulf, sailed with dolphins, and saw numerous species of native wildlife.
To say that we enjoyed it would be an understatement. We liked it so well, we extended our charter by a day. I would not hesitate recommending this boat and crew to anyone. Whether you're new to sailing or an old "salt", you will find plenty to enjoy. We can't wait to do it all again !
Visited February 2014
“Best vacation ever”
This December myself and two co workers chartered a trip on Smoke and Roses catamaran and could not have asked for a better experience. Agnes and Dan were very professional and accommadating as they fixed some great meals on the days we were on the boat. They took us wherever we wanted to go and allowed us just to relax on the boat as they attended to all the details. This was by far the best vacation I have ever been on and would highly recommend their sailing charter. I know we will be booking reservations again in the future. They made us feel right at home and treated us more like old friends than customers. Thanks again for a great vacation and we miss you guys already. Eddie Schmidt
Visited December 2013
“Three day sail on Charlotte Harbor and the inland waterway.”
Our group of three women and two men (all seniors) is no stranger to sailing and sailboats. We are all experienced sailers, some moreso than others, two are retired US Sailing instructors and all the women are certified Red Cross Sailing Instructors in small sail boats. My point in explaining this experience is to underline the degree of professionalism and competence we found in the entire Smoke & Roses adventure. We arrived dockside at the appointed hour to be met by Agnes and Dan Long, both certified captains, and their 47 foot Catamaran, Smoke & Roses. The day was bright and clear and the moderate breeze made sailing a distinct pleasure. Our first impression was that this could not be an 8 year old craft, it was too pristine. All running gear and ships equipment appeared brand new. The decks were spotless and accommodations were lavish. The main cabin was tight and ready for inclement weather. Agnes spent considerable time there preparing gourmet meals both nights while Dan did his magic on the BBQ grill at the stern. We spent two nights anchored out from two separate ports of call and were ferried ashore by Dan in the inflateable to do some shopping, hiking and beach walking. Back aboard our hosts intertained us with games and stories until the late hours called us to bed. The third day dawned with grey skys and a decidedly stiff breeze out of the North so Captain Dan decided to motor North towards home instead of beating against a direct headwind that would require a lot of tacking and less comfort. The wide (25 foot) beam of the Catamaran makes it a steady platform even in choppy conditions so we were very comfortable on the homeward leg of our journey even though our Captain had to don foul weather gear and soak up a bit of spray at the helm. We arrived at the home berth all too soon and really didn't want to leave. We lingered for group pictures and a send off refreshment and when we started our cars to leave we felt we were leaving two long-time dear friends in Dan and Agnes instead of recent acquaintances. We do so hope we can do it again.
Visited November 2013
“Smoke and Roses Luxury Catamaran Cruises"
This luxury catamaran cruise company which travels the waters of Charlotte Harbor, FL is the most outstanding sailing cruise we have ever been on -- and we've been on about twenty. The service is the very finest ... the catamaran is spotless, the service fit for a king, and the skipper and first mate/cook, a married couple, were perfect hosts. We felt like we were guests on a Greek tycoon's private yacht in the Med. Can't wait to go again.
Visited November 2013
Enjoyed being on the water sailing on this beautiful catamaran and its awesome crew. Highly recommend the trip. We saw beautiful sunset and got to watch the manatees play in their enviroment unafraid. It was very relaxing and the food was outstanding. Very comfortable. We anchored a couple of times and got some beach time, beach walking and some geocaching accomplished. The sleeping quarters were very comfortable compared to other sailing cruises that I have done.
I highly recommend this cruise and would like to do a longer one to Key West sometime in the future.
Outstanding. Cannot say enough wonderful things about the trip.
Carol Hood Visited November 2013
“The most beautiful and perfect sunset wedding cruise”
My husband had the wonderful idea for us to get married and say our vows during sunset onboard this beautiful and catamaran. It was the absolutely perfect and most romantic ceremony one can imagine. Captain Dan and his wife Agnes helped us plan the event, gave us wonderful ideas, took care of the decorations, made all necessary arrangements and even wrote our vows and ceremony for us – it was an absolutely perfect and personal dream wedding.
The service was exceptional and they both were extremely caring and catered to all of our needs. We sailed out on Charlotte Harbor and dropped anchor when the sun was starting to set. The ceremony performed by Captain Dan was very romantic and brought us to tears – we could not imagine a more beautiful way to get married! We will never forget this lovely moment and are definitely planning a longer trip with them on their beautiful ship.
Thank you very much Agnes and Dan,
Claudia and Alex
Visited October 2013
“" Smoke on the Water"”
We spent two days and one night sailing on this beautiful catamaran. We sailed through the Gulf of Mexico and through the intercoastal water way. We spent the night anchored at gorgeous Pelican Bay, where we spent a memorable sunset watching manatees play in the water and sea turtles swimming around. We cannot say enough about how knowledgeable both Dan and Agnes are about sailing and the surrounding Charlotte Harbor area. They were also extremely accommodating, ensuring that all our wants and desires for the trip were met. We highly recommend this charter to anyone looking to relax and get back to mother ocean. We look forward to our next sailing trip on "Smoke and Roses".
Visited September 2013
We spent a wonderful day on this beautiful catamaran sailing the harbor. Dan and Agnes were wonderful hosts. Very knowledgeable about the estuary and the plants and animals that inhabit it. They were very accommodating with our requests and did their utmost to make it a special day for us. Highly recommend them.
Visited August 2013
“Along for the race!”
We did a ride along on the Smoke and Roses and it was amazing. Dan and Agnus were perfect hosts, Agnus gave us a tour of their boat, made sure we knew how to be as safe as possible moving around the boat as we sailed and then gave us a brief history of the Charlotte Harbor. It was really exciting watching Dan Captain the boat along with 2 mates. We are looking forward to sailing again on board Smoke and Roses with family and friends.
Visited August 2013
This was one of the most delightful experiences we've had in Charlotte Harbor -- from the greeting to the farewell we were made welcome and comfortable. I've sailed most of my life but my wife is a novice. We were both very comfortable while excited to be on the water. It was a sunset cruise and an anniversary celebration for us and we were very glad we cose this way to celebrate. Agnes and Dan were great hosts and old pros at sailing and we will definitely cruise with them whenever the opportunity occurs.
Hall Elliott and Jackie Ogden
Visited February 2013
My husband and I spent a week on the Smoke and Roses Catamaran and had a blast! We usually take a trip to Mexico every year and we opted for something different this time. It was incredible and more enjoyable than we could've imagined! We arrived in St Thomas in the evening, so we had no idea what view we would wake up to. Let's just say it was AMAZING! We set sail and hung out on the trampoline, bouncing through the waves and enjoying the splash of the warm ocean water. Full of butterflies and excitement, throughout the week we traveled to several islands, tourist attractions, snorkeled and my husband got in as much scuba diving as he could. The Bathes were very unique-you climb through the rock formations and can even build a tower of rocks if you like. We had strong Pina Coladas at Mad Dogs and enjoyed the wonderful flowers on the walk back down to the beach. We had dinner ashore and watched the Jumbie Dancers dance around on stilts-very talented group. We spent one night at the Willie T and enjoyed rum punch- too much, perhaps:)
Dan and Agnes were great staff and attended to our every need. We were able to enjoy great company and delicious meals on the boat. I am a picky eater and Agnes accommodated me well. Dan even got me to eat lobster....twice! We were also given our personal time. One afternoon, we even fell asleep in the hammock-very relaxing. I would highly recommend this vacation and hope we can do it again soon!
Scott and Angela
We truly enjoy our experiences with Dan and Agnes while on their boat. We have been on two trips with them and look forward to many more. They are a couple who truly take care of your needs and go out of their way to make your experience worthwhile. Thanks Dan & Agnes for the good times, great diving, and most of all, great company. We look forward to our next adventure together!
Bob and Carolyn Vosburg
Sioux Falls, SD - March 2009
Smoke and Roses will show you a GREAT time. The wreck dives were beyond believe.Dan & Agnes will do just about anything to please. You will consider them some of your friends after a trip with them.
Never judge a man by the size of his dinghy….
Harold and Kathy Douglas
Sutton, NE - March 2009
"The greatest experience in my life was my week long trip on the Smoke & Roses, its a trip of a life time from the trade winds making you feel like your back in the pirate days to the beautiful islands that take your breath away each and every day.... The boats amenities were perfect for a week long adventure that I shall never forget !!!!! Its a trip to let you forget anything other then the paradise you are in at that moment !!!!!! "
North Port, FL – February 2008
We thoroughly enjoyed our two trips on Smoke & Roses. The accommodations & hospitality were top notch. I especially enjoyed the delicious meals and also the calm evening breezes on the boat after dinner. The rocking motion & sound of the waves will definitely put you easily to sleep at night. We would love to travel again with Smoke & Roses and will look forward to our next adventure wherever it takes us. Thank you for the wonderful trips you provided us! Sincerely,
Dave & Jill Lorang
Sioux Falls, SD - March 2005 & January 2006
It was a spectacular trip. Only regrets is that I can do it two or three times a year. You two as hosts, are beyond comparison, so much fun, and as genuine as two people can ever be. I am bless for having come across your path for you have added much fun and joy to my life.
Tampa, FL - November 2005
We had a wonderful time on the Smoke and Roses. The boat was beautiful , and the Hosts were fantastic!
Would love to sail again-- a grand vacation!!! Try it-- you"ll love it!!
Sallie and Darhl Timm
Sioux Falls, SD - January 2005
Had a terrific vacation, would definitely do it again.
Marty and Janet Wiedman
Hartford, SD - November 2004
Some of the testimonials above are
taken from Trip Advisor Reviews.