Unfortunately, my first post is a negative post. I have searched the internet trying to find positive reviews for Blackbeard's and have found very few, so it is a shame that I cannot post my experience as a "balance" to someone else's positive one.
Tornados and strong winds shut down Olive Branch, MS (just south of Memphis, TN) and prevented us from leaving home to board the Blackbeard's ship in Freeport Bahamas. When we called to let them know and asked about rebooking, we were told there are no refunds which their website plainly states advising clients to buy trip insurance with DAN or Dive Assure (which we thought we had, but turns out it didn't cover this since it was not a named storm). However we thought that since they already had our $1758, that they would simply let us rebook on another date that had open spots. After accusing us of being incompetant (because we were not able to find the "one working phone in Memphis".. their words, not mine) and thiefs (somehow by asking to rebook, we were accused of trying to "steal" revenue from them), they agreed to let us rebook on a Stand-By basis only. Meaning, we call on any given Friday to find out if there are open spots for the following Saturday departure. If there are available spaces, we can then use those 7 days to schedule time off work, get dog sitters lined up, buy international airline tickets and try again.
We suggested they charge us a 10% rebooking fee and allow us to confirm for October 3 (or original trip was supposed to be June 13) since they currently have four open bunks. They asked me if I truly felt it was fair to have them "lose $1758" just because our airline could not get us to them on time. I told the owner, Bruce, I didn't see how they lost revenue when they already have our $1758 and have not serviced us in any way other than to insult us via e-mails and telephone.
We understand not bumping other paying customers with reservations. We would even understand a rebooking fee. We do not understand the condesending manner they have nor their unwillingness to book us for a date that is during their admitted slow time of year when they have the benefit of our entire payment already in hand.
Be aware that DAN and Dive Assure cover trip cancellation due to medical emergencies or "named" storms so our trip insurance was not the coverage we thought. And Blackbeard's office attitude is that they have no reason to be accomodating or courteous for that matter. Even worse, with the attitude which comes from the top all the way down, we have no real hope that we will call and ever get a positive "yes, we have space available" anyway. But we will try. They specifically asked me not to say bad things about them, to which I could only give my word not to say FALSE things about them.
I do not have a review of the actual experience of being on a Blackbeard's Cruise ship, but if you are planning a trip, be absolutely sure you have trip insurance that covers cancellations for ANY reason. Even though the local media "named" our storm "Hurricane Lisa Marie," that was not good enough for Dive Assure :)