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  #1  
Old April 12th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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Default Need Buck Island info

We will be in St Croix in October and if we book a tour to Buck Island, how long do they usually stay there? What is there to see on the island? We just want to stay on the beach for 10 minutes to take pictures. Should we just take a taxi to some of the St Croix beaches then?
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Last edited by Seabeacon; April 12th, 2012 at 03:59 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Nobody?
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Old April 18th, 2012, 07:50 PM
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I've read quite a bit about St. Buck, as well be in St. Croix in December. We're searching for what to do while we're there, so I was happy to see your post. We're interested in going there, but looking for suggestions/reviews from people who have been there. I've already checked out Frommers, Fodor's, etc. and looks like there's two great charters who go out there, but you know everyone has their opinion. The Reef National Monument is out there and anyone w/any input on their snorkeling would be appreciated.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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I've been told it's pretty, but I'm not one to just lay on the beach. I need other things to do, so I'm curious what's there.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Well, it's been quite a few years since I went to Buck Island, but I can tell you what we did. DH and I were staying on St. Croix for a week, and we booked the trip on our own.

I don't know how much time you'll have, so I would investigate how long the tour to Buck Island is especially if you do it on your own and not through the ship. Ships dock in Frederikstad, and I would imagine the tours to Buck Island mainly go out from Christiansted which means you first need to get over there.

The main thing I remember about Buck Island, and a major reason a lot of people go, was the coral trail. We were given snorkel equipment and go in a line and swam along a marked trail in the sand so we could see all kinds of incredible coral as well as whatever sea creatures were around.

We had a little beach time but did not go inland at all.

Again, this was about 12 years ago, but maybe it will help just a bit.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 10:37 AM
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Default We just returned from St. Croix

We did a snorkel tour with Big Beards. You will arrive in Frederiksted, and if you want to do a snorkel tour to Buck Island, you have to take a 30 min taxi ride each way to Christiansted. Most of the Buck Island snorkel tours leave from Christiansted. Teroro leaves out of Green Cay.When you get off the ship, you walk out of the pier area. You will see a couple of ladies sitting at a table. They sell round trip taxi tickets to Christiansted for $16.00 pp. Keep your ticket, as you need it to return to Frederiksted after the snorkel tour. The taxi drops you off in front of Big Beards and picks you up in the same place.

The Big Beards 1/2 day tour was $69.00 pp. It was scheduled to begin at 9:30 AM & end at 12:30 PM. When we arrived at the taxi stand outside the pier, we had to wait for enough passengers to gather to fill a van to go to Christiansted. So, we arrived at Big Beards about 9:45 AM. There was something wrong with the boat, so we were told we wouldn't return until 1:15. We didn't actually return to Big Beards until 1:45. All aboard was 3:00, so we were cutting it close, considering there was still a 30 min. taxi ride back to Fredreriksted.

The taxi was waiting at Big Beards to take us back to Frederiksted. The problem was, there were several other people from the ship (not on the snorkel trip) waiting to return to the ship. The driver said they were there first and allowed all of them to get in the van first. There were 2 seats left and 3 of us who had done the Big Beards tour. After several more minutes of discussion, anxiety, and rudeness from the passengers on the van that didn't want to let us ride back. They didn't want to be crowded. My DH sat on the floor, in a very small space on the wheel well, all the way back. We arrived back at the Pier about 30 min. before all aboard.

We learned later, that we could have gotten another taxi back to Frederiksted if we paid $8.00 pp. The driver we had did not tell us this. We learned it when we returned to the ship. The other taxi would not honor the RT ticket bought at the pier. It is very likely if we had taken another taxi, it would have waited until it was full before leaving Christiansted, and who knows how much more time that would have taken.

Now, to describe the tour. We took about a 20 min. boat ride to Buck Island. There were about 40 people on the boat. There’s barely room for everyone to have a seat. Water was the only beverage offered. No food. There was a toilet. They stopped at Turtle beach and spent 45 min. there for the inexperienced snorkelers to try out their gear and learn how to snorkel. The others could swim, walk the beach etc. There was a ladder you walked down into the water. The beach was pretty, but there's no real snorkeling here, and I felt it was a waste of time.

After the stop at the beach, the boat moves to the other side of the island, and moors in 10 ft. of water. A guide takes you quickly around the snorkel trail, and then you can snorkel on your own. We stayed at the reef for about an hour. The water was a bit rough, so we had to be careful of the current. The reef was pretty, but there was also a lot of dead coral. It was a bit tricky getting onto the ladder to get back on the boat in that deep of water. They used the sails to return to Christiansted, and not the engine. So the return trip back was much longer than the trip to Buck Island.

Overall, I think going to Buck Island was worth seeing. I don't think I would I go back for a second visit. If I had it to do over again, I would not go with Big Beards because of the taxi situation. They did not seem to be as concerned with ship passengers time restraints as many of the other private tours we have taken. I would have gone on the ship excursion.
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  #7  
Old May 9th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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thanks for your detailed info- did you see the boat excursion at buck island that had the cruise passengers on- that was booked thru the cruise? if so was it packed? thank you.
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  #8  
Old May 12th, 2012, 03:23 PM
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Default Yes we saw it

We saw the ship excursion boat. It wasn't any more crowded than Big Beards. About the same # of people. I would choose the ship excursion due to the uncertainty of the taxi situation. We almost always do independant tours. Having to travel to Christiansted, especially if you have a short cruise day, like we had, uses up a lot of your time.
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  #9  
Old June 1st, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for the recommendation. I have always heard that Buck is. had great snorkeling but now wondering if that is so and is it worth the cost of the excursion- which is pricey?
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  #10  
Old June 25th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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Default not so great!

we took the Celeb excursion to Buck Island St Croix in April-- It was a very long bus ride to Christianstad..and not a very scenic trip ...neither is the town there...just a few historic sites & bldgs. not in the best condition.

There was a fairly long ride out to the Island site..(we did not go to the beach) The trail was narrow & had some very sharp coral we got caught up in...not many fish & not much to see....

Our boat was not overcrowded....The crew of our boat was excellent & very helpful--esp. with the coral reactions, but the trip itself was not worth it --it had been billed as not to be missed but we wish we did!! Have enjoyed snorkellling much more at other spots...

If we return to St Croix we would check out the beach closest to the pier....and call it a relaxing day!

Last edited by hcat; June 25th, 2012 at 02:01 PM.
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  #11  
Old October 21st, 2012, 10:01 PM
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Default Teatro - capt heinz

I did this tour twice, it is great, the best snorkeling ever, even better than Bonaire.

The ride is great but I have to say that both time the ride was a bit roughe and there was a lot of waves, was difficult for my 13 years old to stay afloat. Fortunatlly the guide had a float that he could hold on to.

Great day, I definetely recommande, we will be there this winter and will probably do it again
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  #12  
Old November 1st, 2012, 09:18 PM
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Default Buck Island

Due to the timing in port, ( the Summit was leaving St Croix an hour earlier than expected) we chose to do the Celebrity excursion to Buck island. The boat was crowded as they had compressed the morning and afternoon tours together, but manageable. The crew were helpful and friendly. We found the snorkeling to be quite good. It was rougher than Sapphire on St Thomas but we saw lots of tropical fish and a barracuda. Several saw a small shark.
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  #13  
Old November 27th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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How is the coral there? I heard it had been destroyed years ago due to Hurricane Hugo.
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