January 3, 2014
We have just returned from our trip on the Yorktown visiting the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, offered by Travel Dynamics International (TDI). Rather than repeat the information about the ship’s provenance or the company and its target audience, etc, as reported in the editorial and passenger review preceding this, I will focus on our experience on and off the ship and with its crew.
First, the original trip was canceled while it was still in dry dock due to a delay in receiving US Coast Guard certification; that should have sent a signal. We chose to go on the next passage, because it was still over the holiday period (paid time off). Just before leaving, we were told the ship, heading for Saint Thomas from Florida, had encountered rough seas and strong currents and could not make it to its destination in time. We were sent tickets for a connecting flight to San Juan where we were to meet the boat after dinner at a nearby hotel.
Our cabin was worn and somewhat shabby. There were loose fixtures on the ceiling that could have been fixed with a screwdriver. The shower was very tight, and at 6 feet John had to duck to get under it. At one point it only produced scalding hot water (others had this problem) and they fixed it pretty quick.The PA system was loud and the volume controls did not work. We could get past the annoying and loud ship-wide announcements, thanks to a secret passed on by the hotel manager; you could position the switch between two numbers and find a “sweet spot” that would cut out the speaker. Also worth mentioning is the temperature control; it did not really control the temperature, which was a fixed level for the ship. The “control” merely varied the air flow into the cabin, not the temperature. It was never what we wanted and varied on its own.