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JP-Cruise

Whale shark encounter snorkel excursion with Carnival

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Hi.

 

If anyone has done this your can anyone tell me if the guides take your photos for you with either your camera or a progressional camera they have? And do they have photos available for purchase ?

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I too am interested in this. When do you go? I hope that you will report back if you do this excursion. I think it would be so incredible to see these. My concern is the length of travel and the $$ if there is a low chance of seeing them. Please share any info you find.

Thank you!

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4 minutes ago, shark&minnow said:

I too am interested in this. When do you go? I hope that you will report back if you do this excursion. I think it would be so incredible to see these. My concern is the length of travel and the $$ if there is a low chance of seeing them. Please share any info you find.

Thank you!

 

Well my friend, I am about to make your day with my review :). 

 

I just returned on Saturday  the 20th from my cruise and I am more than happy to give you a full detailed review of my experience.

 

First things first I cannot tell you enough how MUCH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DO THIS! It was literally one of the most life changing experiences! :). 

 

I did this excursion on July 18. The travel time was Completely worth it. I am still in shock at how many whale sharks there were. There were an estimation of 150!! Yeah one hundred and fifty!! lol. I had a whole panoramic view of WS’s! So I am totally connived July is the best month to do this excursion. 

 

So the travel time was well worth it. Me personally I love sightseeing, it was Part of the adventure and for me it lead to the anticipation of getting in the water with these magnificent animals. Regarding the travel time though it’s such a subjective part of this kind of trip because some people just can’t deal with long boat rides or whatever the reason may be. It’s all perspective.

 

the guides were absolutely amazing, so friendly and upbeat. You dive two people at a time, with a guide. I asked the guide if he could take pics of me swimming with the WS. And he did, he took the most phenomenal pics ever! Which of course I’m going to post for you, and others who are interested in doing this excursion. 

 

I knew these animals were peaceful and docile, but I didn’t realize just how peaceful they really are. The guide was really informative, and said as soon as they feel like people are getting too close to them, they just swim away from you. I totally felt completely safe in the water with them. 

 

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask. 

 

I’m already planning on doing this again next summer. But this time not with the cruise. Gonna stay at an all inclusive resort in Play Del Carmen or Cancun to avoid the half an hour ferry ride from the cruise ship. But If you have your heart set on a cruise and want to try this out for the first time. Highly highly recommend it once again. There is nothing that will prepare you for this incredible encounter ;)

 

The most important thing to remember, YOUR CAMERA :D. Here’s why lol....

 

 

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WOW!!! Thank you

Did you book with the cruise line? I am assuming that they only offer this excursion during the whale shark season. Our cruise is in May so I wonder if we'll be too early this time. 

Thank you again for posting this.I am so glad you did it and that it worked out so well for you!

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This is amazing and something I have always wanted to do. I didn't realize they had these excursions in Cozumel.

 

Is it only during a certain time of the year?

 

You mentioned the "travel time" and then also a boat ride and then said a ferry ride. Can you explain? Are you taking a ferry over somewhere and then getting on a boat out to the whale sharks? Or...???? I'm confused. How long was the ride (or boat ride)? You also said they allowed 2 people to dive with the instructor at a time. The pictures looked like you were snorkeling not diving? So just wondering. Also, what was the cost?

 

Loved the pictures and thanks for your review!

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7 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

This is amazing and something I have always wanted to do. I didn't realize they had these excursions in Cozumel.

 

Is it only during a certain time of the year?

 

You mentioned the "travel time" and then also a boat ride and then said a ferry ride. Can you explain? Are you taking a ferry over somewhere and then getting on a boat out to the whale sharks? Or...???? I'm confused. How long was the ride (or boat ride)? You also said they allowed 2 people to dive with the instructor at a time. The pictures looked like you were snorkeling not diving? So just wondering. Also, what was the cost?

 

Loved the pictures and thanks for your review!

 

No problem. The cost was $194. We were snorkelling. From Cozumel, we took a ferry to Playa Del Carmen. The ferry ride was about half an hour. Which picked us up directly from the cruise ship. Then from there we took a van ride to Cancun which was an hour. Then from Cancun took a small boat ride to the whale shark area. Which was about another half hour. We were 52 miles off the coast of Cancun. Like I said though, when you get in the water with these huge magnificent animals, the travel time so worth it! You will be in awe! 

 

We had to jump in in pairs. We got to jump in the water with them 3 times. 

 

Any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. Oh yes, July and August are the best months to see them because that’s when they’re all in the area, feeding on the plankton 

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5 minutes ago, JP-Cruise said:

 

No problem. The cost was $194. We were snorkelling. From Cozumel, we took a ferry to Playa Del Carmen. The ferry ride was about half an hour. Which picked us up directly from the cruise ship. Then from there we took a van ride to Cancun which was an hour. Then from Cancun took a small boat ride to the whale shark area. Which was about another half hour. We were 52 miles off the coast of Cancun. Like I said though, when you get in the water with these huge magnificent animals, the travel time so worth it! You will be in awe! 

 

We had to jump in in pairs. We got to jump in the water with them 3 times. 

 

Any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. Oh yes, July and August are the best months to see them because that’s when they’re all in the area, feeding on the plankton 

 

 

Thanks so much for your reply.

 

Is that $194 pp? Eeek. I knew it would be expensive but geesh (especially when there's 3 of us). Is there an age limit for children?

 

So you are talking 2 hours in one direction (then of course another 2 hours in reverse). Geesh. That is a long time. It still sounds absolutely amazing though!

 

Good to know about July and August. Since we will be in Cozumel in another week, I'm going to at least keep my eyes peeled for them as we pull in/out of port. Maybe we'll spot them in the water. 😁

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20 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

 

 

Thanks so much for your reply.

 

Is that $194 pp? Eeek. I knew it would be expensive but geesh (especially when there's 3 of us). Is there an age limit for children?

 

So you are talking 2 hours in one direction (then of course another 2 hours in reverse). Geesh. That is a long time. It still sounds absolutely amazing though!

 

Good to know about July and August. Since we will be in Cozumel in another week, I'm going to at least keep my eyes peeled for them as we pull in/out of port. Maybe we'll spot them in the water. 😁

 

It sure is worth it I promise you. Ya it’s per person. For children it’s 184. Haha don’t count on spotting them in the water near Cozumel. they’re only in that particular area off the coast of Cancun. And this excursion did sell out fast. I remember when I got on the ship, the excursion rep said there were only 5 tickets left. So this is one excursion I recommend purchasing on the carnival website 

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17 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

 

 

Thanks so much for your reply.

 

Is that $194 pp? Eeek. I knew it would be expensive but geesh (especially when there's 3 of us). Is there an age limit for children?

 

So you are talking 2 hours in one direction (then of course another 2 hours in reverse). Geesh. That is a long time. It still sounds absolutely amazing though!

 

Good to know about July and August. Since we will be in Cozumel in another week, I'm going to at least keep my eyes peeled for them as we pull in/out of port. Maybe we'll spot them in the water. 😁

We did this while land based on vacation in Cozumel.  It was well worth the time and money.  Call it a bucket list item.

The time frame is long- 45 min. ferry, 1 hr. van to north Cancun, orientation, 1 hr.to 1 1/2 hr boat ride depending on where the whale sharks are located that day, 2 hrs with the whale sharks and then transportation in reverse. 

 

It is snorkeling and you need to be pretty good swimmers. It is not like floating around looking at fish.  You need to jump in off the boat and kick hard to try to keep up with the whale sharks.  There are regulations against diving with the whale sharks and strict regulations about how many people in the water at a time and how close you can get.

 

We went during early June and saw plenty of Whale Sharks.

I believe there is an age limit of 12 years old?

 

Having done this and totally loved it, if I were to recommend to anyone, it would be to do it when land based in Cancun, Isla Mujeres, or Isla Holbox and not from a cruise ship in Cozumel. It would be about half the price and not so much travel time.

 

If going from a cruise in Cozumel, definitely need to do the ship's excursion and not independently as it is a long day and high possibility of not making it back to the ship on time. For us, it was a 12 hour excursion from Cozumel.

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3 hours ago, salmn said:

We did this while land based on vacation in Cozumel.  It was well worth the time and money.  Call it a bucket list item.

The time frame is long- 45 min. ferry, 1 hr. van to north Cancun, orientation, 1 hr.to 1 1/2 hr boat ride depending on where the whale sharks are located that day, 2 hrs with the whale sharks and then transportation in reverse. 

 

It is snorkeling and you need to be pretty good swimmers. It is not like floating around looking at fish.  You need to jump in off the boat and kick hard to try to keep up with the whale sharks.  There are regulations against diving with the whale sharks and strict regulations about how many people in the water at a time and how close you can get.

 

We went during early June and saw plenty of Whale Sharks.

I believe there is an age limit of 12 years old?

 

Having done this and totally loved it, if I were to recommend to anyone, it would be to do it when land based in Cancun, Isla Mujeres, or Isla Holbox and not from a cruise ship in Cozumel. It would be about half the price and not so much travel time.

 

If going from a cruise in Cozumel, definitely need to do the ship's excursion and not independently as it is a long day and high possibility of not making it back to the ship on time. For us, it was a 12 hour excursion from Cozumel.

 

Excellent job explaining the details ;). I couldn’t agree more with what you said about Staying in Cancun or Isla Mujeres do this. Strongly considering doing it again next summer this way. I’ve already been looking at the resorts in the area :)  so nice! 

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23 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

 

 

Thanks so much for your reply.

 

 Is there an age limit for children?

 

 

Mitsugirly,

  We snorkeled with the whale sharks on a land vacation in Cancun.  It was awesome.  There was a family on our boat, the youngest was 6.  She absolutely was in the water when her turn came.  Not sure of an age restriction with a ship sponsored excursion, but your daughter would definitely be able to do it on a land vacation.  I know you are quite adventurous, but there would be quite a bit of coordination to do this on your own from a cruise ship.  It was awesome!!

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