Please excuse my repost: I put this in the Carnival section and got little response, so I was hoping that one of you friendly people could help.
Has anyone tried SNUBA in St. Thomas or elsewhere? Sounds like a ton of fun, but I have a few concerns: How much of your time (of 3 hours?) is actually spent SNUBA-ing. Was it worth the money? Does it take place in areas populated with fish/coral/buried treaure/free beer? I'll be be going in early September, by the way (Carnival Miracle).
The other excursion I'm considering in St. Thomas is the Kiyak/Hike/Snorkel adventure. It's a bit cheaper, and you seem to get to do a whole lot (after all that food, I'll need activity). I'm wondering if the snorkel portion is any good, so comments on that would also be great.
The group that I saw when we were on a snorkel was down for about an hour, now whether they went to another spot or not, I don't know. We were on a catamaran sail/snorkel and they were diving in the same spot. We were there for an hour, but enjoyed a wonderful sail with free rum punch back to the dock. Where does the kayak trip take you snorkeling? It sounds like it would be a fun excursion.
here is the description for the kiyak/hike/snorkel. It sounds like it could be great, but for some weird reason i get a funny feeling that it might not be as good as it sounds. I think I'm just being paranoid. I just really want to get some snorkeling in, but would like a variety to please the whole group. Let me know what ya think:
A unique, multi-eco experience awaits you in St. Thomas’ Mangrove Wildlife Refuge & Marine Sanctuary.
On this excursion you will:
-Kayak, snorkel, and hike through a 16-acre uninhabited island with breathtaking views.
-Leave the pier in an open-air safari bus to the marina.
-Be provided with a safety briefing, instructions and equipment. Board your two-person sit-upon kayak and paddle through the tranquil waters and protected mangroves of the inner lagoon.
-Make three stops for informative explanations of the area’s ecology and wildlife along with amusing local folklore. Keep your eyes open for iguanas, egrets, herons, pelicans, and frigates.
-Leave your kayak at a scenic beach for an invigorating hike to Red Point cliffs, tidal pools and a blowhole.
-Don your mask and plunge into the fascinating underwater kingdom. See starfish, conchs, stingrays, and puffer fish as you explore a beautiful coral fringed mangrove nursery.
-Enjoy a snack and then glide your kayak back into the water for your return trip to the marina.
Mike I just returned from St. Thomas a week ago and although I was scuba diving there the SNUBA-ers were right along side us. Basically the SNUBA folks have the tanks floating on the surface with a long regulator tube goign down to them. Up to four folks can use the float. This setup frees you from the weight of the gear on your back and offers more bottom time then snorkling. Most of the 3 hour trip is spent driving, boating, learning. You have around a 1hr bottom time, DEPENDANT ON AIR SUPPLY, this is something noone talks about. If there are only 1 or 2 folks on the bottle then it last around 1hr 4 folks on the max of 2 tanks will give around 45minutes. There was a group that in their excitment of the georgous underwater fauna ran through the tank in under 30 minutes.
As for what you will see... many species of fish and coral (yes coral have species as they are living organisms) chances are there to see baracuda, stingrays, turtles and if you look close many flounder. They guides are all PADI certified and very well versed on their habitat.
Go and enjoy. Dont worry about all the details, so many they can get confusing. Go enjoy seeing the underwater world that few folks get to enjoy.
That excursion rocks. It has something for everyone. Hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling. So far, maybe we've been lucky, all the excursions we've done through the ship have been great and they contained exactly what was advertised. Now I have heard people complain about excursions they were on, but most were compensated if they went back to the tour desk and explained (rationally) why they were unhappy. Maybe we HAVE been lucky, but it might be that I'm having so much fun that minor things just don't matter. I think you'll have a great time on that excursion. Best wishes!
No, I haven't been on that exact tour. We've done 4 catamaran sail/snorkels, 10 Trunk Bay via ferry, and 2 sailboat snorkels. The excursion you described sounded like it would fit your agenda and that's why I asked where the snorkeling was. I know Sapphire Beach and Coki Beach have pretty good snorkeling, Magen's Bay was ok. It sounded like they were going to take you snorkeling on St. Thomas itself and not to Buck Island or St. John. I love Trunk Bay, so that's where we usually go.
I haven't been on a cruise before but have done the Snuba experience off a catamaran in Aruba. It was definitely a memorable and great experience but between all the people on the boat we didn't get a whole lot of time to use the Snuba attachments. There were four or six but with so many people I think we had a max of ten minutes each. The other thing to take note of is that if you don't know how to dive down, it's useless.
If you can do a Snuba experience off a pier, it's probably worthwhile since you would probably have much more time on the Snuba tanks.