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Narrowed it down to Woodwind or Bonaire Vista tour.


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We have never been to Bonaire and will be there in early March. I'm torn between seeing the sights on land versus underwater! We will only have time for one tour and I've narrowed it down to Woodwind for snorkeling or Bonaire Vista for a land tour.

 

This will likely be our only visit to Bonaire. I've heard that the snorkeling here is spectacular, is that true? We've been spoiled by snorkeling in a few amazing places.

 

I've also read that Bonaire is far better under water than it is above. Is that true? Obviously that would help us decide.

 

But I can't imagine visiting an island and not exploring it. Definitely torn! :confused:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Great choice! I have never seen such beautiful coral or fish as the morning we snorkeled on Woodwind. Such a treat for you to go to Bonaire!

 

Thanks, we're really looking forward to it and they have been wonderful to deal with so far. :)

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry- just saw this. We booked Woodwind last year and thought it was excellent. You won't just be "dropped off" at the site, you'll get help with and information on your equipment and how to use it. The crew will also divide you into groups so the new or slow snorkelers won't slow down more experienced swimmers. Each group has a guide to point out the incredible sights. Good choice!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bonaire is one of the Caribbean's premier diver destinations. If you do not dive than snorkeling is a great alternative. No doubt the island itself is beautiful but most go there to experience the wonders found underwater.

 

I just returned 2 weeks ago from a tour with Woodwind Snorkel. I posted 5 ***** feedback on Tripadvisor because it was such a fantastic tour.

 

You will not find a more safety orientated tour or better customer service anywhere. No one on my tour wanted it to end, nor did the guests from the tour before us.

 

You most certainly made the correct choice. Enjoy your tour with Woodwind Snorkel. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with all of the above comments about Woodwind.

 

We have snorkelled all over the world and the drift snorkel off Klein Bonaire was excellent.

 

The crew are great. Dee was very knowledgeable and informative. They split the group into three - experienced snorkellers, less-experienced and newbies.

 

The waters were clear, we saw turtles, eels, barracuda, numerous fish and lots of different coral.

 

I highly recommend this excursion.

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We have 8 of us from our rollcall booked to do the Woodwind trip in the morning. After reading so much positive feedback on these boards, we are really looking forward to a wonderful day in Bonaire.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Woodwind was amazing!

 

The amount of fish we saw was incredible!!!!!!

 

Don't miss the snorkeling here...we went snorkeling at a few other islands on our cruise, but nothing compared.

 

First class crew on the boat!

 

Drinks and snacks were real nice too.

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Bonaire

 

We were in Bonaire on December 27th, 2013 from 7:00 to 2:00 and we were the only ship (Legend Of The Seas) in port. Bonaire is known for its snorkeling/scuba diving so that’s what we did and we loved it!

 

Woodwind Cruises

 

I researched a few different choices but was very happy with my decision to go with Woodwind. It is run by a husband (Ulf) and wife (Dee) team. Everything was organized through email and they were always prompt with replies.

 

So the nuts and bolts…

 

Time - 8:00 – 12:00

 

Cost - $65 for adults and $32.50 for children ages 12 and under (you pay cash/credit card at the end of the cruise)

 

Meeting Time and Location - the time to meet is at 7:45 at the end of the dock, this is a little confusing because we waited here for a little while then realized that you need to walk to the left hand side. There were various tour guides set up under those collapsible sun shelters. This is where you will find Woodwind. You will be given a ticket and then told to walk straight to the “casino”, don’t think you are going wrong, it is about a 10 minute walk. When you enter the casino/resort complex, the Woodwind building is at the very end (right after the pool which will be on your left).

 

Pictures - the Woodwind has an underwater photographer who will take photos of the whole tour, at the end you can view the photos and purchase a CD of about 100 photos for $25 (I know what an amazing opportunity to have wonderful photos of your adventure)

 

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We board the 37-foot trimaran and we start the tour off with a drink, the choice of a glass of water or juice (orange or mango), in a real glass (not plastic). Beer was also readily available throughout the morning. As we start to sail out to the snorkeling location, sailing right by the Legend, Dee comes around to size and give out masks and fins. I have never snorkeled (My husband and 2 daughters snorkel all the time in Florida) because I wear glasses but Woodwind has prescription masks (lots of different strengths of lenses). There were 25 of us on board today, all from the Legend. Dee did an amazing job explaining how to put on a mask correctly and how to use the fins. A great tip, to defog (clear) your mask is to dip them into water with soap detergent. She also explained the history and geography of Bonaire and especially about the reefs at Klein Bonaire (Little Bonaire), a small, uninhabited island where we would be snorkeling.

 

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We were divided into 3 groups (beginners, middle of the road, and advanced), apparently I must have looked athletic because we joined another family of 4 (a great family from the Detroit area) in the advanced group. So the 8 of us jumped in (well I held tightly on to the ladder and crawled in). I must say I felt a little panicked at first, I think it was a combination of the cold water and being new to snorkeling. Each group had its own guide who would go under water to show and explain the sea life along the reef.

 

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We drift snorkeled, which means you float along in the current, while the trimaran follows along. But I adjusted fast and enjoyed the wonders beneath us.

 

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More snorkeling photos….

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The girls would be quick to point out that I was the first to head back to the ship from the “advanced” group. The jellyfish were really stinging; it feels like an electrified bite (irritating but not tour ending). When all groups came out of the water we sailed to our next snorkeling site. During the ride over everyone got into snorkeling wetsuits to prevent Jellyfish stings and they also keep you warm. I opted out of going in the water again.

 

They swam with some turtles……

 

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The girls in their wet suit, notice one of my daughters hiding her hands from the jellyfish….

 

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Then on our sail back to the marina the crew came around with more drinks and various yummy snacks (like devilled eggs, sausages, cheese, bread sticks). It was a beautiful tour from beginning to end and I would highly recommend it.

 

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When we walked back to the dock, we walked around for about 20 minutes, there are some small stalls set up with various local crafts. The small port town looked very welcoming.

 

In summary, Bonaire is a snorkeling paradise!

 

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  • 3 months later...

Amazing pictures!!! $25 is a lot less expensive than buying a good quality under water camera, that's for sure. Looking back, honestly, do you feel like you missed not seeing the island on shore? I really want to do both! Even if it's just to be driven around the island for just an hour to see briefly what it looks like. We will be there from 8-4 next April.

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Amazing pictures!!! $25 is a lot less expensive than buying a good quality under water camera, that's for sure. Looking back, honestly, do you feel like you missed not seeing the island on shore? I really want to do both! Even if it's just to be driven around the island for just an hour to see briefly what it looks like. We will be there from 8-4 next April.

 

How interesting that you ask this question. I am the original poster of this thread. I ended up choosing Bonaire Vista Tours instead of Woodwind for our visit this past March. It was our first visit to the island and I really wanted to see it. Plus we had snorkeled the day before in Grenada at the Underwater Sculpture Park.

 

We loved our tour with Brian and he really was the best guide for us to see pretty much all of Bonaire! And the price was incredibly reasonable.

 

But.... I know Woodwind offers an amazing excursion as well. We will be returning to Bonaire next year, and I've already reserved our spots with them. This time we will do our snorkel day with Woodwind for sure!

 

Both this year and next we only had a half day in Bonaire. Maybe you can manage both with a full day visit?

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How interesting that you ask this question. I am the original poster of this thread. I ended up choosing Bonaire Vista Tours instead of Woodwind for our visit this past March. It was our first visit to the island and I really wanted to see it. Plus we had snorkeled the day before in Grenada at the Underwater Sculpture Park.

 

 

 

We loved our tour with Brian and he really was the best guide for us to see pretty much all of Bonaire! And the price was incredibly reasonable.

 

 

 

But.... I know Woodwind offers an amazing excursion as well. We will be returning to Bonaire next year, and I've already reserved our spots with them. This time we will do our snorkel day with Woodwind for sure!

 

 

 

Both this year and next we only had a half day in Bonaire. Maybe you can manage both with a full day visit?

 

 

Thank you for the quick response! If we aren't going until 4/4/15, should we book now with Woodwind in order to get this specific tour group? Maybe we can do this early and if we still have time left over we can do a quick your after. I'm in no hurry to return to the ship early since we have four 'at sea' days. I'm betting We will want to enjoy as much land time as possible.

 

 

 

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Edited by t1adams
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Thank you for the quick response! If we aren't going until 4/4/15, should we book now with Woodwind in order to get this specific tour group? Maybe we can do this early and if we still have time left over we can do a quick your after. I'm in no hurry to return to the ship early since we have four 'at sea' days. I'm betting We will want to enjoy as much land time as possible. Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

 

I would book it asap to be safe. Someone else posted recently that Woodwind was already totally booked for the day in February 2015 that they wanted. With such a long day in Bonaire, you might even have a choice of a morning or an afternoon tour with them. :cool:

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Thank you for the quick response! If we aren't going until 4/4/15, should we book now with Woodwind in order to get this specific tour group? Maybe we can do this early and if we still have time left over we can do a quick your after. I'm in no hurry to return to the ship early since we have four 'at sea' days. I'm betting We will want to enjoy as much land time as possible.

 

 

 

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Yes, if you are sure that is what you want to do. They only have spots for 25 on each of the two time slots. We are going to do this on the 3-15-15 Pride Repo. The ship was originally going to go to Curacao, but a couple of weeks ago Carnival replaced Curacao with Bonaire. Less than 48 hours after the announcement, Woodwind was sold out for both the morning and afternoon snorkeling trips. However, we have quite an active roll call for this cruise and a couple of us booked it right away, announced it in the roll call and before you knew it, posters were saying it was now sold out.

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Yes, if you are sure that is what you want to do. They only have spots for 25 on each of the two time slots. We are going to do this on the 3-15-15 Pride Repo. The ship was originally going to go to Curacao, but a couple of weeks ago Carnival replaced Curacao with Bonaire. Less than 48 hours after the announcement, Woodwind was sold out for both the morning and afternoon snorkeling trips. However, we have quite an active roll call for this cruise and a couple of us booked it right away, announced it in the roll call and before you knew it, posters were saying it was now sold out.

 

 

Okay Thanks!

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

yup... boohoo... they are totally booked for the Pride Repositioning... I'm on the waiting list... but I doubt anyone will be cancelling this tour unless they cancel the Mar. 15/15 cruise entirely! Not that I hope anyone does.. but I do home someone changes their mind on this tour!

 

 

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I just requested spots for our March cruise- hoping that they are not sold out already!

 

They are very good with responding quickly to emails. Last month I confirmed our reservation for next March (that I made in April) just to be sure, and they still had room on our day. Fingers crossed for you! :)

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