After my family and I took the BOB Underwater Adventure tour in St. Thomas, we all agreed that it would have been better and cheaper to have taken a snorkeling tour instead. Thatís mostly what you do in the BOB tour, anyway.
The actual ride is quite nice once you are in the scooter, but the tour program is poorly thought out. As there are far more people than scooters three groups have to take turns on the BOBs. The ride in the scooter lasts
only 20 minutes, hardly enough to go a hundred yards from the boat and back. Also, the scooters are past their prime and some people find them hard to control, bump into each other, or go in circles. Itís hard to watch and
enjoy the marine life when you are busy trying to steer and operate a vehicle you are not familiar with UNDERWATER, with divers communicating with you in diver sign language the rudiments of which you have just been told
along with many other instructions. Itís not for children of any age, but some adults in the tour could not get into the scooter either, for it requires a fair amount of dexterity underwater. A lengthy briefing on how to enter, exit, and operate the BOB scooter and the deployment of the scooters takes much
time, and getting the people in and out of the scooters takes as long as the ride itself if not longer. Itís a tall order for many, but even if you manage to assimilate the instructions, by the time you have figured out how to ride the BOB straight and you are getting into it, itís over.
St. Thomas has excellent spots to snorkel but the one chosen for the BOB experience was not one of them. The water was not clear and neither the fish nor the vegetation was what I expected to see in a Caribbean coral reef. It was nothing to write home about. In better tours the crew puts food in the water to attract fish often with spectacular results, but that was not the case in the BOB tour.
In sum: donít bother. A snorkeling tour without gimmicks is much better value for money and more and easier fun.