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Belize....your favorite snorkeling excursion?

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Our first trip to Belize is in May. We love to snorkel and won't miss this opportunity to snorkel the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world (enjoyed the Great Barrier Reef in Australia a few years ago). We are looking for an excursion that will allow us to dive while snorkeling....some tour guides have gotten upset with us when we dove during a tour. What was your favorite snorkeling tour in Belize...either private or booked with the ship...and why?

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My family's favorite excursion of any cruise was when they snorkeled at Shark Ray Alley and Coral Gardens in Belize. This time they are going to Hol Chan Marine Park and Shark Ray Alley with a different private company.

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My family's favorite excursion of any cruise was when they snorkeled at Shark Ray Alley and Coral Gardens in Belize. This time they are going to Hol Chan Marine Park and Shark Ray Alley with a different private company.

 

 

Can you share which company you booked Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley with as well as the price? I'm wanting to book this same excursion. Thanks!!

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My family's favorite excursion of any cruise was when they snorkeled at Shark Ray Alley and Coral Gardens in Belize. This time they are going to Hol Chan Marine Park and Shark Ray Alley with a different private company.

 

 

Thanks for the info!

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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We are considering this as well --- found it from ecotoursbelize --- does anyone know if this is reputable? Is there a better option?

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I ended up booking Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan with Ivar.

 

 

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I ended up booking Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan with Ivar.

 

 

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I just saw on Trip Advisory a good review for Coral Breeze and Ivar was their guide. I am comfused, does Ivar work for Coral Breeze:confused:

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Our first trip to Belize is in May. We love to snorkel and won't miss this opportunity to snorkel the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world (enjoyed the Great Barrier Reef in Australia a few years ago). We are looking for an excursion that will allow us to dive while snorkeling....some tour guides have gotten upset with us when we dove during a tour. What was your favorite snorkeling tour in Belize...either private or booked with the ship...and why?

We took a Princess excursion with Hugh Parkey to a spot off Spanish Lookout Cay near where Sergeant's Cay used to be, and then out to the reef. Had a good time, and got a little beach time afterwards at a small private beach area.

 

Dive? You mean, surface diving, or diving with tanks? I'm a little confused.

If you are talking about surface diving to look more closely at things, I did it on our excursion -- the problem is, of course, the buoyancy vest they make you wear. Even having squeezed all the air out of the vest, it still makes you more buoyant than you'd like and makes surface diving hard.

 

I have never had a problem with guides telling me not to surface dive on any snorkel excursion.

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If by surface diving you mean diving down with snorkel gear on that is what I mean. We usually dive down 15-30 feet while snorkeling (no tank) and have gone as deep as 50ft.

 

 

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If by surface diving you mean diving down with snorkel gear on that is what I mean. We usually dive down 15-30 feet while snorkeling (no tank) and have gone as deep as 50ft.

 

 

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That is what I assumed you meant -- and you have had guides get after you for doing that.... well, I am not surprised, as that sounds very deep for surface diving -- I can't go nearly that deep! (I don't know how to relieve the pressure in my ears -- although I imagine someone could teach me how to do that... Don't scuba divers learn that in class?)

 

I should think that it would be a liability problem for most excursion operators to have their snorkelers diving so deep. As I said, every excursion (private or ship-sponsored) we've been on has required us to wear an air vest for liability reasons.

 

You might have to venture out on your own to be able to do what you please -- but even a guide who would take you out in his boat to get you to a reef might not want the liability of having you "free diving" to 50 feet! On the other hand, the water we were snorkeling at in Bellize was nowhere neer that deep, so you might be OK to be underwater if you can keep yourselves down in spite of the vests. As I said, no one stopped me while we were on the Hugh Parkey excursion.

 

Hope you can find something that works for you -- I know the restraints of excursions can be annoying sometimes.

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Thanks for the info. Never had a problem popping my ears. Many people we snorkel with regularly free dive to these depths. Wasn't until we took our first cruise excursion that we learned that most people don't dive when snorkeling. Diving is what makes it fun because you are able to see so much more looking under reef shelves and into holes, etc. we've only had a couple of tour guides not want us to dive and then it wasn't the depth, they just didn't want anyone underwater.

 

 

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Edited by Wayfairers

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I just saw on Trip Advisory a good review for Coral Breeze and Ivar was their guide. I am comfused, does Ivar work for Coral Breeze:confused:

 

I was wondering this myself. We used Coral Breeze a few years ago with Ivar. We have been fb friends since and we are going back to Belize in November so I contacted him. He is still in tourism but not sure if he is on his own or not. Waiting for his next reply.

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I was wondering this myself. We used Coral Breeze a few years ago with Ivar. We have been fb friends since and we are going back to Belize in November so I contacted him. He is still in tourism but not sure if he is on his own or not. Waiting for his next reply.

 

We're booked with him for next week. I think he does both independent and some for companies, according to bookings.

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Be very aware who you book with, Splash Wave Tours and Coral Breeze are one in the same and are not truthful in where they take you. They may say they are going to Hol Chan, but really take you to Coral Gardens, which is not the same. If you want to best pay the extra money to fly and go to Hol Chan cut and the real Shark Ray Alley.

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We used Coral Breeze for cave tubing a few years ago and they were amazing!

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I was wondering this myself. We used Coral Breeze a few years ago with Ivar. We have been fb friends since and we are going back to Belize in November so I contacted him. He is still in tourism but not sure if he is on his own or not. Waiting for his next reply.

 

Thanks, please let me know how you make out. I looked into Ecotours but was told they have to have 15 people for the excursion.

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We decided to do Rondezvous Cay with the ship. It was wonderful. Good snorkeling with the typical fish, large variety of coral, colorful fans, no current, small waves and we were allowed to free dive all we wanted. $3 9oz Belikin beers after snorkeling was great.

 

 

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We decided to do Rondezvous Cay with the ship. It was wonderful. Good snorkeling with the typical fish, large variety of coral, colorful fans, no current, small waves and we were allowed to free dive all we wanted. $3 9oz Belikin beers after snorkeling was great.

 

 

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Glad to hear you found what you wanted! What company provided this excursion for Carnival? How many people were in your group?

 

Your ship must have been at anchor in quite a different spot than ours and the 3 or 4 other ships that were at anchor when we were in Belize -- Rendezvous Cay is quite far south compared to Sergent's Cay, where we snorkeled with Hugh Parkey. (Princess excursion)

Edited by SeagoingMom

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Sorry but I don't know who provided the tour for Carnival. Rondezvous Cay was about a half ride boat ride from the ship and we anchored off of Belize City.

 

 

Done..

7d Royal Caribbean

7d Celebrity

10d Princess

14d Carnival

75d Holland America

 

Next..

7d Carnival Conquest

21d Carnival Triumph

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