My group comprises of 13 people (including 6 children of ages 9-13). My process started with inquiries to several companies that offer catamaran snorkel tours. I decided to book with El Tigre because the email replies from Jessica of El Tigre were all timely and concise. I booked the 5-hour catamaran cruise that include swimming with Sea Turtles, Snorkeling at a shipwreck site and lunch. There were a total of around 25 people on our boat (this is probably one of their more crowded days because of our big group).
At about 9:45, We were greeted by an El Tigre staff and picked up at the cruise ship terminal#1 by a small bus that drove us through the busy town of Bridgetown. We arrived at the marina where we boarded the catamaran. There were already about 10 people on board waiting. We were the last to board. The boat is very clean and has plenty of room to roam around. There were 4 crew members on-board including the captain. The crew were all very friendly and fun to be around with. Their service and cater to you are of first class !!! The crew brought us drinks (and beer or wine) as we sat back and sailed toward the open sea. We passed by our ship the Destiny then toward the snorkel sites. About an hour into the trip, we arrived at the Sea Turtle site. There were already 3 or 4 other catamarans anchoring there. We were briefed by the captain and then handed our snorkel gears. The crew got into the water and fed the turtles. We saw turtles but they tend to be shy and swam away quickly. The visibility at this site is ok but not the best. After about 20 minutes in the water, we headed to the next site which is a shipwreck and a coral reef offshore (maybe about 400-500 ft from shore). I recall the crew member said "Paynes Bay" is where we were. Again there were 2 other boats anchoring here before us. We got in the water and followed the one crew member guiding us to the shipwreck below (maybe about 10 ft deep). This site is fantastic ! The water is very clear and the fish are abundant not to mention colorful ! I have never seen this many fish in one place before. Everywhere you look, there are fish. After about 20-30 minutes, our guide took us back to the boat. I wish we had more time here. Back on the boat, as we sailed to our next destination, we were served lunch (bbq chicken, breaded fish, rice, maccaroni, rolls and salad,...) and of course wine, beer, punch. The food & drinks are all you can eat. We then headed to a secluded beach nearby where we anchored again offshore. The turquoise water here is so clear that you can see right to the bottom. Those who wanted to walk on the beach can do so by swimming a short distance to the shore. Everyone in our group did so. We took a stroll on this beautiful sandy beach and took in every bit of the peaceful scenery surrounding us. Just a short walk from our boat are huge mature trees that provide canopies of shade over a couple picnic tables. After about 20-30 minutes, our captain blew the "horn" to signal us that it's time to head back to the boat. Again, we could have enjoyed another half hour on this beach. The rest of the trip is just relaxing and laid-back as our catamaran cut through the wind and headed back to the marina. The crew interacted with everyone on-board and took pictures of us with our own cameras. It was the best excursion ever ! Finally a mini bus took us back to the ship by about 3:00pm.
Everyone in our group including the children agreed that this was the highlight of our Southern Caribbean cruise. We are still talking about this excursion at many of our gatherings today ! Thanks El Tigre for making it such a memorable moment of our caribbean vacation.