The Complaint Department

Written by: Chrissann


A real life Complaints Commissioner. And you think you hate your job...

A real life Complaints Commissioner. And you think you hate your job…

After reading this recent compilation of actual tourist complaints from Thomas Cook, I was inspired to put together a list of our own – one that is specific to visitors of our rocks.

While tourists certainly have their fair share of valid complaints to make when visiting our islands on vacation (this area of the world is not exactly known for its stellar customer service), they still find plenty of time to make an equal amount of ridiculously laughable gripes as well.

So without further ado, here is a list of  20 COMMON CARIBBEAN TRAVELER COMPLAINTS compiled by your very own Women Who Live on Rocks writers, in no particular order…

  1. Someone needs to move the palm tree that’s to the left of my balcony. Its fronds are blocking my ability to take a full panorama photo.
  2. You should do something about these mosquitoes – they’re ruining our vacation. Hasn’t someone invented a machine by now that gets rid of them completely? Your resort should really look into this.
  3. Why don’t you guys hand out leis at the airport like they do in Hawaii? It’s a much nicer arrival experience – we only got a rum sample, which isn’t a souvenir at all. 
  4. You need to move your signage – it’s ruining my view on the island webcam I follow. (Heated discussion posted in an online travel forum.)
  5. This ____ (insert pretty much anything here) is so expensive. It only costs $___ (insert envy-worthy low sum here) back at home. This place is ridiculously over-priced – everyone seems to be trying to rip us off.
  6. Why isn’t there a Starbuck’s here?
  7. Snorkeling is exhausting. I feel more tired now than when I arrived on this trip to relax.
  8. The sun here is too intense. I don’t normally wear sunscreen at home and got a sunburn and heat rash here after only 30 minutes on the beach. It doesn’t make any sense.
  9. I was told that everyone spoke English here, but I can’t understand anything the locals (or, from the more offensive visitors, “the natives”) are saying.
  10. You should really remove all of those urchins in the water off the beach. They’re dangerous. *click for image credit
  11. Everything here is so touristy. We were hoping for a more authentic Caribbean experience (says the cruise-shipper on his mega ship’s pre-packaged excursion).
  12. There’s not enough to do here. We aren’t really beach people and the kids don’t know how to swim.
  13. There’s not enough fish in the water. My daughter really wanted to see one of those Nemo fish and we couldn’t even spot one. (Referring to the Pacific fish, somehow missing from the Caribbean sea.)
  14. The sand isn’t as white and the ocean’s not as “see through” as it looked in the pictures online.
  15. No one is able to give me simple directions with route numbers. This place is impossible to navigate.
  16. I thought there would be more fresh fruit and freshly caught fish here. This island isn’t as exotic as I thought it would be.
  17. It would be more authentic if the people here spoke with a Jamaican accent (said on every other Caribbean island other than Jamaica).
  18. Your island should have an airport. It is a huge inconvenience to have to take a ferry here.
  19. The ocean here is too warm. With it being so hot outside, it would be much more refreshing if it could somehow be cooler.
  20. The construction site up the hill is too loud. Can you ask them to wait to start work until after 10 am? We are on vacation after all…

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Did we miss any? Share your stories of funny tourist bellyaching in the comments below!

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Chrissann Nickel

About Chrissann Nickel

Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands, against all logic, feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the Caribbean, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps, but these days, she’s a card-carrying member of the Barefoot Nation. She is utterly enchanted with vinyasa yoga, especially when practiced on somewhat precarious, deliciously Instagram-able surfaces (she's @WomanOnARock) such as paddleboards, boats, cliffs, or even the occasional willing friend’s body. She vehemently believes that toucans are the best animals ever (period.) and there is no convincing her otherwise (though imperious roadside goats come in as a close second).

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends a lot of her time working from home all by her lonesome writing, editing, and cultivating content designed to make her fellow islanders laugh. Besides her writerly pursuits, she moonlights as a yoga instructor, and attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people. If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous personal website,




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33 thoughts on “The Complaint Department

  1. Tourist says in disbelief – Do you live here all year round? Me -Yes, 365 days. Next question – Do you like it? Me – Well, yes, I do. Tourist – How long have you been here? Me – oh just a little while, about 31 years, I’m still trying to save up enough to leave. Tourist – Well where do you go for vacation? Me – Cincinnati. Touri Tremendi – Huh??????

    • Actually, Phil, we had quite a lot before tourists…life here in the 1960’s and early 70’s, with very few tourists, was pretty ideal.

    • Hi Phil, Sorry if the post offended you in any way. It was just meant to be in good fun – a little locals vs tourists jesting that people enjoy in any tourist destination. And while I don’t really consider the rocks we live on as “3rd world”, we certainly do appreciate the tourism that keeps our economy afloat. 😉

    • Thanks, DAD, for your support of my creative project. I really appreciate all of your kind words and enthusiasm. Who knew that the 2nd negative remark in 9 months would come from one of the writers own fathers!

  2. I work at a hotel and my favoeite ones are ‘ can you swim under the island?” One time I had a guest swear that we had moved Buck Island since the last time they were here. ( yeah, we got out the tug boat just to make you mad). I did have a lady ask if there were orgasms (she meant organisms) in the ocean. I said I didn’t know but I would volunteer to find out!

  3. love them all! #12 is one of my favorites! would have loved to have been there in the 60s and 70s! my term was 1997 to 2011 – and hoping and praying to return one day soon!

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