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Which Tour to Buck Island?

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We will be in St. Croix in April.

 

Looking at doing a snorkeling trip to Buck Island.

 

Choices seem to be the cruise line or Big Beard's (feel free to suggest other ones).

 

Big Beard's is a bit more with transport to their location, but is a longer tour and includes lunch.

 

Suggestions?  Comments?

 

 

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Big Beard is the best. End of story.

Not sure who the cruise ship is using these days but they won't be as good.

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Are you going on the 4/6 cruise? If so how much was big beard with transportation? We are group of 6. Looking at the same experience. 

Thanks 

Lisa

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Here's the website, Lisa: https://www.bigbeards.com

I was researching our first trip to St. Croix and it keeps coming back to Big Beard's.... Their ratings on TripAdvisor are 5 out of 5 and over 1400 reviews. There are several outfits with really high reviews, but Big Beard's had the most reviews for that type of tour. They charge $75 for the half day tour, plus $16 pp roundtrip for a taxi that they arrange for you. To those of you that are advocating for Big Beard's, I was surprised at how many people their website shows for their tour: 49 people. That seems like a LOT of people! Is that the capacity with several boats or do they actually have that many people on the one boat. Just seems like a ton of people! Also, do you snorkel off the boat or off the beach? One other perk I noticed was that they have a staircase off the boat instead of a rickety ladder where you need upper body strength to get back on the boat. 😂

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Posted (edited)
On 3/26/2019 at 7:36 PM, amyj23 said:

Here's the website, Lisa: https://www.bigbeards.com

I was researching our first trip to St. Croix and it keeps coming back to Big Beard's.... Their ratings on TripAdvisor are 5 out of 5 and over 1400 reviews. There are several outfits with really high reviews, but Big Beard's had the most reviews for that type of tour. They charge $75 for the half day tour, plus $16 pp roundtrip for a taxi that they arrange for you. To those of you that are advocating for Big Beard's, I was surprised at how many people their website shows for their tour: 49 people. That seems like a LOT of people! Is that the capacity with several boats or do they actually have that many people on the one boat. Just seems like a ton of people! Also, do you snorkel off the boat or off the beach? One other perk I noticed was that they have a staircase off the boat instead of a rickety ladder where you need upper body strength to get back on the boat. 😂

I don't believe I've ever been on board with that many but I'm sure the boat could handle it. The half day is aboard the Adventure, it's a 42' catamaran with a wide beam, plenty of room for everyone. They take you to the beach first where everyone gets comfortable with snorkeling for a little while (some people are first timers). Then they take you around to the reef where you snorkel from the front of the boat. Both of the Big Beard catamarans were custom built for snorkeling at buck island, the stairs were well thought out.

Edited by drake2014

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On 4/3/2019 at 2:17 PM, drake2014 said:

I don't believe I've ever been on board with that many but I'm sure the boat could handle it. The half day is aboard the Adventure, it's a 42' catamaran with a wide beam, plenty of room for everyone. They take you to the beach first where everyone gets comfortable with snorkeling for a little while (some people are first timers). Then they take you around to the reef where you snorkel from the front of the boat. Both of the Big Beard catamarans were custom built for snorkeling at buck island, the stairs were well thought out.

This is great information! Thank you!

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We went with Big Beard's in November--not the one with lunch.  All was fine.  The snorkeling was not very good, because of water conditions, and hardly anyone stayed in the water more than a few minutes.   It was hard to see much of anything and exhausting fighting the water.

 

I realize this happened to be the conditions that day.  My husband and I are both very experienced snorkelers and excellent swimmers, but waves and a current just made it too difficult to see much.  It was a disappointment because many years ago, the Buck Island Reef was some of the most spectacular snorkeling we'd ever seen.

 

From what we did see, the reef is nothing like it used to be.  It's so unfortunate that so many reefs around the world are dying.

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I was looking at the pictures and to me, it does not look like there is any shade on the Big Beard boat.  Is this accurate?

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it seems to me that there was some shade, but I can't guarantee it.  They also have more than one boat, I think.

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On 6/30/2019 at 12:14 PM, rebeccac said:

I was looking at the pictures and to me, it does not look like there is any shade on the Big Beard boat.  Is this accurate?

No I would not say that's accurate. There are plenty of shady spots on board both vessels.

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We went with Big Beards and had a great day. I have a complete review (in my signature line) with tons of pictures from that day. The only thing that worried me was getting back to the ship on time...we were REALLY pushing it and everyone was REALLY freaked out that day. We did the all day tour (only because the half day was booked up) and I really wanted to go. If you can do the half day, I'd definitely do that...to keep you sanity! The one good thing about it was they took us right down the pier dock and to the entrance of the ship with their van (that's how close we were cutting it!). Whew! LOL

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