Searsport Shores in Maine is NOT recommended!
My husband and I would disagree with those other ratings of people who say the owners of Searsport Shores in Searsport, ME (www.campocean.com) are a bit prickly. We feel like they are downright rude and a bunch of thieves! We feel like they are completely insensitive and uncompassionate. Being in the hospitality business does not suite their personalities whatsoever.
After researching ocean front camping, my husband booked Searsport Shores for our 1 yr anniversary. We primarily chose this place due to the ocean front location and the fact that they offered a Lobster Bake which seemed like fun. Upon booking Astrig stated there was a min. stay for the premium ocean front sites and there was no flexibility in that policy. My husband owns a business and our vacation was scheduled from Thur. 8/25-Mon. 8/29 with no flexibility. Finally, after a few calls and emails my husband agreed to pay for Wednesday too so we could have the premium site and they could collect all of the money they so adamantly required. Technically speaking Astrig booked us in her calendar for arrival Wed. 8/24, although she always knew we weren't due in until Thursday. We had also booked 2 spots for the Saturday night Lobster Bake.
A week before our arrival, they called us to cancel the Lobster Bake. When my husband asked why, he was told “because Astrig said so.” We suspect that she was probably hoping to attend the Folk Festival in Bangor rather than putting her guests first. Anyhow, it was canceled, we were disappointed but there was nothing we could do other than cook our own lobster if we wanted it that badly.
Early Wednesday morning my husband emailed concerned about the threats of Hurricane Irene. We live in NY (where much devastation occurred) but there were warnings for the whole Northeast including ME. Irene was being taken very seriously. Given the weather reports, I was scared to death to camp in a pop up right ON the ocean with heavy rains, thunder & lightning, the potential of flooding and strong winds. Not to mention to be that far from home when the route was right in the line of fire seemed risky. When he finally spoke to Astrig, she didn’t seem to care about the storm whatsoever. In fact, according to her forecast on Intellecast, “they were only expecting 3 hours of rain” and we were canceling on the day of arrival. My frustrated husband then asked that I call and try to reason with her. I mean, this was not just another rainy day of camping. We’re used to that. It was a major threat, a HURRICANE. When we spoke, her “prickliness” was apparent upon answering the call. I explained our concerns and then was told “I don’t have a magic crystal ball that can predict weather when people are making reservations.” I asked for us to be able to reschedule for the same time next summer (not to be refunded) and was told that since we were canceling the day of arrival she didn’t have to do anything for us but she would permit us to reschedule at off peak times, before October 15th of this year (which btw, they are offering as a free camping weekend) or before June 15,, 2012. I asked why the restrictions since we were paying peak rates and even for an extra day and she was quick to remind me “Your husband booked and paid for exactly what he wanted.” UM…Yeah…No Kidding Astrig. He wanted us to have a wonderful trip away for our wedding anniversary. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out! Anyhow, long story short Astrig hung up on me. Later that afternoon, my husband received an email asking what we were going to do. Initially, I responded that we would go and suck it up but once my husband got home we checked the weather once again and saw Governor Cuomo on the news talking about a possible state of emergency for NY. In fact, President Barack Obama said all indications point to the storm being historic. “I cannot stress this highly enough. If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now,” Right then we knew we should not go to Maine, and we emailed once again explaining that we would not be going to Searsport Shores. At that point we were willing to lose the $200 deposit we paid as our wellbeing was more important money. However, we were clear that they did not have permission to bill the remaining $119.
On Thursday NY was declared as a state of emergency. Cuomo and Bloomberg ordered mandatory evacuations and Obama even ordered federal aid to support state and local response efforts. By Friday ME was declared a state of emergency and the Bangor Folk Festival which was supposed to run from Friday to Sunday decided to shut down a day early. They canceled all festival activities for Sunday as ME was expected to start getting heavy rains and strong winds on Saturday night.
By that point, my husband and I were hoping that Astrig would see what we were worried about. We then requested a refund of our $200 deposit. I mean, after all of this, the way we were treated, disregarded, hung up on…we’d never would we want to step foot in that campground or give them another cent. Steve responded to my husband’s email, so kind to include a photo of guests “sitting at their campers waiting for the TV forecast,” which he added, would not be possible if they were fearing any weather, and therefore they would be sticking with their policy and not be refunding our money.
Our hometown was hit hard by Irene, so $200 to us is nothing compared to what others have lost. Honestly, Searsport Shores had refunded it we would’ve probably donated it to a relief effort.
To add insult to injury, Astrig and Steve took the time to go frolic in the sea foam and video tape it for their blog during the storm. http://searsportshores.com/2011/08/29/what-if/ In the video, Astrig states “Those wussies down in NJ were all worried about the weather.” An absolute statement of disrespect! This storm is anticipated to cost over $7 million in damages, one of the costliest catastrophes in US history. Over 40 people lost their lives and NJ was was of the hardest hit, with flooding and water as deep as 19 ft in some areas. In Maine over 200,000 homes lost power, so for Astrig to call Irene a bit of a letdown for Maine is absurd. The think the term “wussies” should not be used for the folks in NJ, perhaps it would be better suited for 2 campground owners in ME frightened to take a small hit to their wallet to accommodate people during a natural disaster. But then again, there is that lil ole thing called Karma and I guess those of us who have been ripped off by Steve & Astrig, as well of those who are the subject of their humor will be counting on that.