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so we were just there last week...and unfortunately, I was very disappointed. We saw a very limited number of fish - mostly parrot fish. We had a great crew and group of people to tour with (Big Beards) but the snorkeling itself was severely lacking.
I cannot say enough good things about Big Beards tho! Friendly and helpful...great BBQ at a secluded beach afterwards with some curious mongoose (mongeese? lol) The capt and the first mate were super friendly. We had about 12 ppl on the boat, which left us with plenty of room, not crowded at all.
Its too bad the snorkeling was so bad though...this was just our one day tho, perhaps its not always like that?
Could you tell me a bit more about your excursion? How many hours, what was for lunch, where did the trip start, etc.
I'm also trying to decide what to do on St. Croix and I think we would like to do something on the water, snorkel, sail, beach. We aren't interested in ATV tours (we use them every day for work so it's not that fun for us!)
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As I mentioned, we used Big Beards and they do offer a full day OR half day trip. We did the full day and had to be at their dock by 9:30 and we were back at our ship at 4pm. Lunch was hot dog and hamburgers and mahi mahi in our case...but the seafood option changes from day to day. I heard they sometimes do shrimp, etc.
The boat ride to the reef takes about an hour...so you feel like it takes forever to get there. They stop at a practice beach where there are no waves or current but also no fish! its a sandy beach so no places that attract fish...you are there for about 20 minutes.
Then they continue to the main reef and you are there for about 30 minutes, perhaps a little longer, but not much. I was told the total snorkel time for both stops was 1 hour.
Then you travel about half way back to the dock before stopping at a secluded beach area for lunch. They have a grill and tent set up in the trees so its quiet and a great time to get to know your boat mates. There are lots of mongeese at this place because they have grown used to receiving the leftovers. There may be a couple of locals at this beach, most were kite surfing, only one was relaxing on the beach.
Then back to the boat dock where you catch your shuttle back to the ship.