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Just back - Woodwind tour


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Before we left I was debating between the Woodwind tour or just taking the ferry out to the island.  We ended up deciding on the tour but next time we will just take the ferry.

 

We docked in plenty of time.  The walk to the entrance was really only about 5 - 10 minutes but then it's another 5 through the resort.  Basically you just hang out until 8:30 then they load the boat (pay when finished).  If you want a place in the shade get on early as many of the covered seats were taken right away.  We had a full boat but it didn't seem crowded at all.  Very nice boat.

 

We sailed up the coast a bit while they got everyone a drink then fitted for masks and fins.  We had our own and just used their fins.  They even have prescription masks if needed.  

 

Dee broke us up into 3 groups.  We were in the first group and were soon in the water.  What can I say.  It was fantastic.  Not just the fish but the coral was amazing.  Unfortunately our guide was filling in for someone and he didn't point out anything.  Heard from the other groups about how much their guides pointed out.  But it was still great.  We were actually in the water for about and hour which was plenty.  For some reason I thought we had another stop but it was not to be.  On the way back the fed us a nice lunch, you can see pictures online.  

 

I would do it again in a heartbeat but maybe not with Woodwind.  Nothing wrong with them, they were fantastic.  But it takes about 3 hours and $55 each to get in 1 hour of snorkeling.  I think next time we will just jump on the ferry and snorkel on our own.  If you are not experienced, by all means go with them.  If you are experienced it is very easy to do the same snorkel on your own.

 

After we finished I went for a swim as the water, even by the dock was beautiful.  I couldn't resist.  We then walked to the shops in town which are about 1/2 mile away at most.  Not the most shops but my wife managed to buy some costume jewelry and some salt.  There are also shops right next to the pier.

 

Overall a good day.  Next time I think we will grab an early ferry, snorkel, then grab some transportation to check out the island.  I couldn't go here without snorkeling though.  Some of the best in the world!

Edited by Duanerice1
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Thanks for the review.  We are booked with Windward in January for their morning snorkel.  We have only heard positive reviews about their staff and the snorkeling experience.  How was the lunch? 

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Lunch was very good.  Check out TripAdvisor and some people have a picture of it.  And like I said, they were great, no issues at all.  It's just we really aren't excursion people.  Much prefer to go on our own.  But if I had to choose I pick them again.  Very caring and helpful!

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4 hours ago, NateUpNorth said:

Hi Duanerice1,

 

Just curious about reports of cruise pier construction/renovation.

Which cruise line were you with and did you have any issues with disembarking? 

We were on Celebrity and yes, they were working on the pier.  Most of the work was under the pier but they were working all day.  It didn't affect disembarking at all.  It made the usable pier area a bit smaller but it was no issue, just a bit noisy with the jackhammers.

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I am glad I read this.  We had a morning excursion booked in April with woodwind.  We have been snorkeling for years and use our own equipment plus my husband has free diving fins.  The way I read the reviews after yours, it appears that this is more for the inexperienced and those looking for a good sail and lunch for a few hours.  Plus staying with a group is not to my liking as I have been kicked before in groups of 8-10 and it isn't worth it to me.  I do have another excursion booked but its just my husband and I so far.  The boat only holds 4-6 and they are pretty open to where we want to go for 3 hours.  We have been to Bonaire before but not to Klein Bonaire so we are pretty excited about it.  We would have done the ferry but there were a couple of reefs that my husband wanted to see so the new company is going to accommodate us.

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On 10/25/2018 at 9:20 AM, jean87510 said:

I am glad I read this.  We had a morning excursion booked in April with woodwind.  We have been snorkeling for years and use our own equipment plus my husband has free diving fins.  The way I read the reviews after yours, it appears that this is more for the inexperienced and those looking for a good sail and lunch for a few hours.  Plus staying with a group is not to my liking as I have been kicked before in groups of 8-10 and it isn't worth it to me.  I do have another excursion booked but its just my husband and I so far.  The boat only holds 4-6 and they are pretty open to where we want to go for 3 hours.  We have been to Bonaire before but not to Klein Bonaire so we are pretty excited about it.  We would have done the ferry but there were a couple of reefs that my husband wanted to see so the new company is going to accommodate us.

What is the name of the tour company you are going with?

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  • 1 month later...

Just completed a Woodwind tour December 12th. New Cat was spacious. Dee and the rest of crew were super helpful. Don't be worried about finding them, the gate to the pickup pier is well marked with a sign. 

 

Both reefs at Klein were enjoyable and interesting. The Woodwind crew are very experienced. You will have a great snorkel excursion.  

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14 minutes ago, Johnamac123 said:

Just completed a Woodwind tour December 12th. New Cat was spacious. Dee and the rest of crew were super helpful. Don't be worried about finding them, the gate to the pickup pier is well marked with a sign. 

 

Both reefs at Klein were enjoyable and interesting. The Woodwind crew are very experienced. You will have a great snorkel excursion.  

We have booked with them in January-my travel mate has never snorkeled before which is why I booked with Woodwind.  Hoping she has a positive experience.  I’m more for get me in the water to snorkel not a long boat ride so this will be different for me.  

 

Hubby and I snorkeled Klein Bonaire last year and it was great.  

 

Thank you for everyone who posted.  

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On ‎12‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 8:31 AM, Johnamac123 said:

Just completed a Woodwind tour December 12th. New Cat was spacious. Dee and the rest of crew were super helpful. Don't be worried about finding them, the gate to the pickup pier is well marked with a sign. 

 

Both reefs at Klein were enjoyable and interesting. The Woodwind crew are very experienced. You will have a great snorkel excursion.  

Can you tell us more about the tour? You went to two spots? Was there lots of fish? How was the food?

Thanks

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19 hours ago, merinski said:

Can you tell us more about the tour? You went to two spots? Was there lots of fish? How was the food?

Thanks

 

Was on the morning trip same day as Johnamac. (he was PM trip)

The meeting spot is literally a 3 minute walk from the dock and easy to find if you can figure out how to walk off the ship and turn right.

Morning trip had two spots and lunch served. 

Nice trip out to the first spot, approx 20-30 mins, accompanied by loads and loads of "flying fish" racing the catamaran. We sat on the nets out front, there was no worry about space on the catamaran. (I believe our trip was "sold out")

First spot was about 40-45 mins in the water. Very calm water. AMAZING coral, a good amount of fish.

Second spot a bit less calm, seemed like 30 mins or so in the water, still had amazing coral. One group saw sea turtle(s)

Beautiful boat trip back along the coastline where they served drinks and lunch, which was both large portion and delicious.

They have a photographer who will snorkel with you and take pics. The pics turn out amazing. $40USD, you receive a link to download them. I think there was +/- 100 pics total for our snorkel group, and she makes sure she gets everyone in a least a few pics, along with the coral and sea life you are seeing.

Each group in the water was 5-6 people swimming, and each group had a guide, whom I'm told was very informative and gave a brief description of what she was seeing before diving down to point it out. (I just went on my own for most of the drift, didn't really stay with the group)

 

We had our own gear, however was very impressed with how diligent they were in making sure others were fitted correctly and ready to go. Notably however they did put our two kids (5 and 7) into wetsuits as they felt their suits/rash guard shirts might not keep them warm for the full 45 minutes we'd be in the water. Certainly not a bad idea and happy they gave us the choice!!

Edited by NateUpNorth
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3 minutes ago, NateUpNorth said:

 

Was on the morning trip same day as Johnamac. (he was PM trip)

Morning trip had two spots and lunch served. 

Nice trip out to the first spot, approx 20-30 mins, accompanied by loads and loads of "flying fish" racing the catamaran.

First spot was about 40-45 mins in the water. Very calm water. AMAZING coral, a good amount of fish.

Second spot a bit less calm, seemed like 30 mins or so in the water, still had amazing coral. One group saw sea turtle(s)

Beautiful boat trip back along the coastline where they served drinks and lunch, which was both large portion and delicious.

They have a photographer who will snorkel with you and take pics. The pics turn out amazing. $40USD, you receive a link to download them. I think there was +/- 100 pics total for our snorkel group, and she makes sure she gets everyone in a least a few pics, along with the coral and sea life you are seeing.

Each group in the water was 5-6 people swimming, and each group had a guide, whom I'm told was very informative and gave a brief description of what she was seeing before diving down to point it out. (I just went on my own for most of the drift, didn't really stay with the group)

Thank you , sounds really good. Looking forward to it in Feb.

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3 minutes ago, merinski said:

Thank you , sounds really good. Looking forward to it in Feb.

You will not be disappointed in either the marine view or the excursion operators!

After this trip we would think twice about booking the numerous Aruba/Curacao trips that don't make the Bonaire stop!

If you're "ocean people" you'll agree completely!!!!

Edited by NateUpNorth
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2 hours ago, merinski said:

We have it booked and yes we are ocean people, love to snorkel, so excited about the abc islands.

We also have a snorkel trip booked for Aruba.

Which one are you doing in Aruba?   We’ve got snorkeling excursions in Curaçao and Bonaire booked but nothing in Aruba.  

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9 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

Which one are you doing in Aruba?   We’ve got snorkeling excursions in Curaçao and Bonaire booked but nothing in Aruba.  

We are doing the Delphi water sports tour on the cat. called the Dolphin, it sounded good. There are more reviews on TA.

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8 hours ago, merinski said:

We are doing the Delphi water sports tour on the cat. called the Dolphin, it sounded good. There are more reviews on TA.

Thank you for the info.  We may be too old to get the full enjoyment out of it.

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7 hours ago, canadianbear said:

Thank you for the info.  We may be too old to get the full enjoyment out of it.

 

We did the Sailaway Tour.

First stop might be a bit much given your caveat, however the other two snorkel spots were quite manageable. 

The boat itself is also very accessible. 

Our 5 and 7 years olds had a blast.

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11 hours ago, canadianbear said:

Thank you for the info.  We may be too old to get the full enjoyment out of it.

I don't know how old you are, but if you are doing others, you probably could do this one. You take a taxi to Palm Beach, I think it's at the Hilton. 

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1 hour ago, merinski said:

I don't know how old you are, but if you are doing others, you probably could do this one. You take a taxi to Palm Beach, I think it's at the Hilton. 

  We are mid 60’s and snorkel a lot on vacation (just did the whale shark snorkel in La Paz which was fantastic!). 

 

Thanks for the encouraging words-I’ll check into it a bit better.  

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3 hours ago, canadianbear said:

  We are mid 60’s and snorkel a lot on vacation (just did the whale shark snorkel in La Paz which was fantastic!). 

 

Thanks for the encouraging words-I’ll check into it a bit better.  

The only thing I was concerned about was that they take you in a smaller boat and you  transfer to the catamaran. I've been told they help and so we are going to try it. We live in B.C too.

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