I was a bit hesitant about booking with a small charter, but now I wouldn’t travel the Caribbean any other way. The trip on Mango with Captain Kelly and Chef/First mate Dianne was incredible. Our family booked all three cabins For a 9 day USVI/BVI trip.
The boat–is great! We loved just hanging out on the “trampoline” out front whether sailing or not.The food was amazing! Having been on “catered” day sails where everything was packaged food, this really blew us away. Freshly made scones and cakes; sea-fresh fish tacos with homemade mango salsa. Great coffee (we’re from Seattle, after all), and even better pain killers in the evening.
Because they live there and love the islands, the crew on Mango knows the best, and most uncrowded places to snorkel. There were many times when we could snorkel and not see anyone else (unlike those huge charters where you jump in with 150ish other folks). Captain Kelly really knows her fish, and the island history.
It was great for us to learn so much. They even dropped us off one day to walk up to an old sugar/rum factory. This is a perfect family trip–and the next time we were aboard, we left the kids at home and went back as a couple! Great for that too.
~Barbara & Frank
Captain Kelly and First Mate/Chef Dianne provided amazing accommodations and company! We sailed both the U.S and British Virgin Islands. The scenery, of course, is beautiful. But what made my adventure spectacular was the fact that they catered to my personal preferences.
Prior to departure we spoke about my vegetarian diet and discussed things I like to see and do. From the moment I stepped on board, it was my dream vacation! I am a foodie and being vegetarian, I always expect to face some challenges. However, Chef Dianne is INCREDIBLE in the kitchen! Check out her resume! She made it look easy with her professional level skills, making every meal from scratch. Homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and pizza for dinner…on a boat?! Who does that?! It didn’t stop there. From Indian to Caribbean, the varied cuisine on board was awesome! It was pretty much gourmet dining the entire trip! Her spin on vegetarian meals far exceeded my taste buds’ expectations!
Oh ya, the sailing and snorkeling! Captain Kelly knew the perfect spots. Every sail was a fun adventure and each bay was filled with exciting sights. Both Kelly and Dianne are just a joy to be around and with a great sense of humor, we really had such an enjoyable time. I’ve already booked my next charter with them!
~Atsumi & Jenny
We want you to know what a wonderful trip we had. You two went out of your way to make sure we had a good time. It was so nice to be in the hands of such good sailors. We wish you all the best! Thank you for making this a vacation of a lifetime.
~Bill & Sharon
If you are looking for a relaxing fun virgin island experience, these folks know how to do it right!! We signed up for the 7 day tour of the islands. Kelly and Dianne are very good about listening to what your desires and needs are and they thrive to meet them. Dianne is a gourmet chef and will cook just about anything you ask for. She also gave me some ‘cooking lessons’. Dianne is a great bartender as well and was able to provide outstanding smoothies and cocktails.
The boat was very clean. The bed was comfortable. They have all the necessary safety items on board and never did we feel unsafe. Kelly is a great captain. They know all the islands. We learned much about the history. They know where to take you for those, little out of the way spots and where the best snorkeling is. We have traveled the world and I have never had such a good snorkeling experience. They know how to identify all those fish and coral.
Kelly also taught us a lot about the stars and night sky. At night it feels almost like you can reach out and touch the stars. So many! So bright! So beautiful! We generally seek high adventure during our travels and we were able to amuse ourselves with going island hopping and visiting some the rarely visited spots, kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding, diving off boat, taking sailing lessons and snorkeling. We even went on one 3rd party excursion that they recommended for us that was really cool: a helicopter tour of the islands. Kelly and Dianne will not disappoint you if you decide to go with them. They exceeded our expectations.
~Mary Paul & Dick
Thank you so much for a wonderful experience aboard Mango. You truly helped make our honeymoon the trip of a lifetime.
~Liz & Dan
Our 3 night/4 day charter has been amazing, you ladies have showed us a side to nature we don’t get to see very often. We have loved our adventure with you so much. Our favorite day had to be swimming with the petting zoo. The turtles, octopus, southern rays, spotted eagle rays, and fish were unbelievable. It was like they all came out to say hello! A day we won’t forget. Oh and the barracuda under the boat and all the squid too. Such an adventure.
No review would be complete without a rave review to Dianne. Our personal chef from the school of Le Cordon Bleu is the best we have ever had. I can’t even tell you my favorite dish, they all ranked at the top. The shrimp scampi, the cheese plate with pears and the delish ginger pancakes. So wonderful. You ladies treated us like family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. An incredible journey.We can’t wait to do it again in the BVI’s!
~John & Jill
First let us just say “WOW”! This trip was beyond spectacular!! Being the first time on an overnight sail charter we were a little apprehensive. Within the first hour we were like “this is amazing”. By the afternoon of day two we were jello and by day four we were so relaxed and had so much fun we didn’t want to leave this beautiful Catamaran or the wonderful crew.
Throughout the duration of the trip the crew go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of….drinks, tunes, quiet conversation, food, games – just a totally relaxing time as they take you through the waters, to the snorkeling spots, and drop you for a land excursion of rum hunting. But beyond the beautiful boat, sea and sky the biggest standout for me was the food. The creative genius they come up with on a boat is insane and I am a well-traveled foodie. Biggest standouts for us were the Steak Pizza (filet mignon and caramelized onions)…and the Shrimp Scampi (good sized shrimp, butter, and garlic)…pure heavenly goodness.
We sailed for three nights and four days and our only complaint is that the trip was too short. Kelly and Dianne are professional, take a personal interest in your joy, and make sure your meals and itinerary are based upon your personal choices. This is a must do for anyone who really wants to see the beauty of the USVIs and/or BVIs.
~Suzanne and Kelly
The short version: This was an amazingly unforgettable experience that we would not hesitate to do again! We could not have asked for a nicer and friendlier crew, better food or a cuter vessel. A+ experience overall! The all-inclusive package was awesome, so we didn’t have to worry about mooring fees, fuel, beverages, etc. The hardest decision we had to make all week was what we felt like drinking and if we wanted to snorkel or just sit in the sun. Thank you, Dianne and Kelly, for being such great hostesses and new friends!!!
The long version: From the moment Kelly picked us up in Red Hook and delivered us to Mango, where Dianne was waiting, to the time we got off in Tortola, we were so spoiled. Our 4-night itinerary included stops at Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Cay, Virgin Gorda, Marina Cay, Cooper Island and Norman Island. It was the perfect balance of seeing the sights every visitor wants to see when they come to BVI, like the Baths, and seeing other more out-of-the-way spots that honestly we’d never even heard of before we got there. So glad we gave them full control of our itinerary, because these ladies truly know their stuff. No matter where we explored or were moored for the night, they had suggestions to keep us entertained and happy… but there was plenty of quiet time for chilling and relaxing when we wanted it.
Our favorite stops: Sandy Cay for the beautiful white beach and easy, pretty hiking. Cooper Island for the rum rum rum rum, and there is truly nothing like the Baths. On a typical day, we would get up, eat breakfast, snorkel a bit, then take off for a destination to explore. Then we’d head to where we would moor for the night.
Now on to the best part… The food! The rest of the trip while we were in a villa on Tortola, we kept saying “I miss the food on Mango” and joked that we were going to set out to find them again. Not only because it is so nice to be pampered and have three gourmet meals a day, but also that Dianne and Kelly are super familiar with the islands and it shows. it’s not always easy to find the best grocery shopping if you don’t know where to look, and I know some items can be scarce in the islands — but everything they had was fresh and so expertly prepared. We really looked forward to mealtime every day, because it was nice to chat with our hosts too. Our favorites: the steak with mushroom pasta, the basque salad, and the adorable coconut cocktails. Oh and the scampi! And the guava tarts! Maybe too much to list…
Mango itself is a really beautiful sailing vessel, and it never felt cramped. It is very well cared for, and decorated so cute! It is perfect for one couple plus crew, and if everyone’s very good buddies then maaaayyybe even two couples! Your days will start early with the sunrise (who wants to miss a moment of daylight in such a gorgeous place?!) and, if you’re anything like us, you’ll be ready to kick back on the trampoline and enjoy a few drinks before an early bedtime. We learned that the “sailor’s midnight” is around 9:30 p.m. Being a catamaran, the boat feels very level and secure all the time, so if like us this is your first trip like this, fear not.
Some more random highlights:
-Washing my hair in the ocean, what a fun feeling… it’s the little things
-All the great snorkeling… can’t say enough what gorgeous underwater landscapes we were able to see! And no darn jellyfish will spoil those memories.
-The fun dinghy rides
-Sleeping out on the trampolines under the stars
-The caves at Norman Island
-Every sunrise and sunset!
There was no point where Captain Kelly and First Mate/Chef Dianne didn’t go above and beyond… they even helped us pick out the best spots for our second leg of the trip, when we stayed on Tortola. Arriving home to a nice folder of great photos they took for us was such a nice way to remember everything. If it’s ever feasible to take a second honeymoon (hey why not?) then we’ll see you again, Mango!
~The Burness group
Our trip aboard Mango was amazing and one of the best adventures of my life. Diane’s food was delicious and healthy, Kelly was a great captain who took us to the most beautiful spots in the BVI. They both bent over backwards to accommodate all of our needs.
~The Rector family
Kelly and Diane were extremely friendly and invited us in to their home like we were family. Diane made incredible dishes – we are not at all used to eating that well!
This adventure is considered by everyone in our party to be the best vacation ever.
We have made new friends and they have shared their world with us. We woke up everyday thrilled at what Kelly had planned and at what Diane had in store for our meals. We went to 12 different places and never felt busy or rushed. This was our biggest conversation coming back home. We decided that staying at a hotel the night before and after our trip was wise. We will be telling everyone we can about Kelly and Diane and the amazing adventure they took us on forever. People that charter a boat without a crew have no idea what 2 dedicated and professional crew members can do to improve this type of vacation. We are extremely happy with our time on Mango. We hope to get more friends to go with us back to visit Kelly and Diane as soon as possible
~The Salmon Group