Jump to content

Woodwind Review with pics (Spoiler Alert: Awesome)


Recommended Posts

I reached out to them by email to double check all was set and was told they didn't have much interest in an afternoon tour and could we make the morning tour.  I told them that if the ship arrived at 8am there was no way I would get to them by 8:15 for the 8:30 tour.  They said everyone was from Freedom so not to worry.  So, now my question is how early should we be lined up waiting to get off the ship?  I purposely booked an afternoon so we wouldn't have to do this but I don't want to miss their tour.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC when we did the exact same trip on Freedom last year it was actually cleared to disembark a little bit earlier than 8am. Walking off took approx 5 mins.

Also it's quite literally a 5 minute slow walk from the pier to the meeting point.

You'll be fine. (I know, easy for me to say it........)

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review.  We are doing this next month. I can't wait.  

Eldaph, I checked their webpage a little while ago and now I only see them offering a morning tour. I sent them an e-mail asking to confirm that they have me down on the afternoon tour.  I'm like you, I need a heads up if NOT so I can arrange the rest of my day. And I would be SO disappointed if I was to show up at 12pm and they had only done the morning tour. 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Ken'swife said:

Thanks for the review.  We are doing this next month. I can't wait.  

Eldaph, I checked their webpage a little while ago and now I only see them offering a morning tour. I sent them an e-mail asking to confirm that they have me down on the afternoon tour.  I'm like you, I need a heads up if NOT so I can arrange the rest of my day. And I would be SO disappointed if I was to show up at 12pm and they had only done the morning tour. 


 

 

I still see a "Three Hour Tour" advertised which I believe is the afternoon trip?

*not sure if allowed to post the link, but it's definitley in the drop down options under "Cruise Ship Guests*

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, NateUpNorth said:

 

I still see a "Three Hour Tour" advertised which I believe is the afternoon trip?

*not sure if allowed to post the link, but it's definitley in the drop down options under "Cruise Ship Guests*

 

I did get a response from them.  They said they change their schedule when the cruise ships are in town and that we are confirmed for a four hour tour from 12pm-4pm.  Their website is very misleading.  I can imagine there are cruise passengers that don't book with them because they don't see the times they need. 
UPDATE: I don't see ANY times on their website now.  I guess they took that off...now you have to email them to ask about availability. Oh well, we are booked.  I guess that is all that matters. 🙂

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

to either the OP or anyone who has booked or gone on a tour through woodwind before, question for you;
how far in advance did you book the tour?
i just recently found out they were even a thing after it coming so highly recommended here on CC i was going to reach out and make a reservation. problem being im now here they book out pretty far and its probably a long shot them having availability for the first week of Jan. 
Any info helps thanks!

(Im still going to reach out either way, always worth a shot but curious on your experiences)
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/21/2019 at 11:42 PM, EDiamond22 said:

to either the OP or anyone who has booked or gone on a tour through woodwind before, question for you;
how far in advance did you book the tour?
i just recently found out they were even a thing after it coming so highly recommended here on CC i was going to reach out and make a reservation. problem being im now here they book out pretty far and its probably a long shot them having availability for the first week of Jan. 
Any info helps thanks!

(Im still going to reach out either way, always worth a shot but curious on your experiences)
 

 

Both times we've booked over a year in advance.

Having said that, let us know if you have success!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/1/2019 at 4:49 PM, bobmacliberty said:

We did a 3 hour (8:30-11:30) snorkel tour with Woodwind on 23 May and I want to provide some details to those looking for a snorkel tour provider.  Bottom line...they were fantastic.  Well deserving of the great reviews that they get on Cruise Critic.  We were 4 adults (all 50 somethings), two of which had snorkeled before a few times, and two of which had never done it before.  One person who had never done it was very nervous and even considered staying on the boat the whole time.  She ended up giving it a try and was VERY glad that she did.  One of the crew personally stayed with her the entire time to ensure that she was comfortable.

 

Getting there is very easy.  It's a short walk (5 minutes?) from the South Pier to the meeting point by the Casino sign.  See the blue line in the picture below.  The orange box is the Divi Flamingo Resort.  There is a locked gate to the resort property at the meeting point.  Ulf will open the gate and direct you to walk all the way to the other end of the resort property, where you will find a small desk and waiting area.  The boat will be docked here.

889109354_WoodwindDirections.thumb.jpg.257ed52f2d0d86f1a67f35fdd0b26f54.jpg

 

The crew onboard was Dee, a captain driving the boat, 3 other people who helped and were in the water with us, and a photographer.  Dee gave everyone a welcome, orientation, and safety talk before we boarded.

ABCIslands-44.thumb.jpg.00720d10a0b5e506020cf578f4907144.jpgABCIslands-43.thumb.jpg.bb0a00b3a8ab16cab6e698846353123b.jpg

You could sit in the rear covered area, or the front of the boat (cushions in the picture above or on the netting).  They put everyone's belongings inside the cabin to keep them dry and secure.  There were 2 heads with marine toilets available if needed.  We were split into 2 groups and Dee ensured that everyone had the gear that they needed.  She ensured that everyone's mask fit and if needed, provided prescription masks, and gave everyone flippers to fit their feet.  They had wet suits, UV shirts (highly recommended to avoid sunburning your back) and flotation devices if wanted.  We sailed to Klein Bonaire and began drift snorkelingMost of the passengers were fairly new to snorkeling and the surface waves were a little rough in the first place that we stopped.  They decided to move around Klein Bonaire to a different point where the surface would be less wavy.  As we floated along with the current, the captan kept the boat near us in case anyone wanted to get out of the water.

 

The photographer was great.  She got good shots of the boat, passengers on the boat, passengers underwater, and lots of underwater fish and coral.  For $40, she emailed a link to all pictures that she took...a bargain compared to our cruise ship and other excursions with photographers.  You can download some or all of the pictures for your personal use.  Here are a few of the pictures that she took.

BonaireSnorkel_-6.thumb.jpg.498578ba913f86c06097a8fdd26bc082.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-10.thumb.jpg.a910aaaeaa64e56862cd41f214269db5.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-13.thumb.jpg.c324918eafd8696c600cc7d347e9ff47.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-16.thumb.jpg.c18226c33ca6f140e0e5f16494d6de30.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-19.thumb.jpg.d06870c10b953758b2778f10596c9065.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-57.thumb.jpg.7f29b5ad7b32d7f9ae24038643f4b2f4.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-33.thumb.jpg.cc5c3f49c6ea2216766fd5ad308fc4df.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-40.thumb.jpg.8f9f1f1d749e1be1e4bb3db80f04c8e9.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-44.thumb.jpg.28a7db0ccb9bd0bc3a19d4aeddd20f20.jpgBonaireSnorkel_-52.thumb.jpg.c51ab1faec8c79bfbd4d7fc8c2b2dcdb.jpg

 

The water was crystal clear, and the fish and coral were plentiful with a large variety.  You could float over shallow areas using a noodle (see the turtle picture above) or dive down into deeper areas.  There were 3 guides in the water with everyone to point things out and to ensure that no one has any problems.  As noted above, they were absolutely fantastic with the person in our group who was nervous, making her feel very comfortable.

 

We were in the water for an hour but there was so much to see that it went by quickly.  After getting back on the boat (flip down ladder that is easy to climb), there were drinks and food available (included in the price).  They made a nice rum punch (plus water, soda, and juices) and had a fantastic sort of Asian/Caribbean stir fry with chicken.  We devoured the food, both because it was delicious and because we worked up an appetite  I think they asked at the start if anyone had any special dietary restrictions.  None of us did, so I don't know what other options were available.  

 

All in all, it was an excellent experience.  My only disappointment is that they don't have T-shirts for sale. 😄  Happy to answer any questions that anyone may have.

The under water photos look so clear and vibrant.  Are these your own photos that you took with an underwater camera or you purchased these from Woodwind?  We are booked for April.  We have our own underwater camera but the photos never look like this.  Might be time for a new camera.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/29/2019 at 7:37 PM, mickeyhereicome said:

The under water photos look so clear and vibrant.  Are these your own photos that you took with an underwater camera or you purchased these from Woodwind?  We are booked for April.  We have our own underwater camera but the photos never look like this.  Might be time for a new camera.

All of the underwater pics (and all other pics except the first 2 standing on the dock) were from the ship's photographer.  Very good deal for $40. Unless underwater photography is your thing, I'd just enjoy the view and buy their pics.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We just did this excursion on December 9th.  I have snorkeled quiet a few times before in the Caribbean but had never done a drift snorkel before. I'd also only snorkeled in coves or very calm water, had never been out in the open ocean where the water was actually choppy. I was really nervous and pretty much talked myself out of it when I saw how rough the water was...didn't like the idea of being out there drifting away from the boat.  One of the guides talked me into just trying it for a few minutes.  She said she would hold my hand, all I had to do was put my face in the water and let her pull me around and ENJOY.  She put a "belt" around my waist and also gave me a noodle.  I AM SOOOO thankful I let her talk me into giving it a try.  In less than five minutes I was comfortable enough to let go of her and do it on my own.  It was one of the best things I have ever done.  The views of the reefs, fish, turtles, sting rays, coral etc...was AMAZING!  Just like the photos posted above. Your group stays with your guide. She has on these super long fins so she will dive down and point things out to make sure everyone in the group gets a chance to see everything. (I'll attach a picture.)  You are SO close to the reefs at times you have to just stay on your stomach and float so you don't accidently kick and hurt the coral or the reefs.  Amazing is not even a strong enough word for the sights we saw!  I highly recommend Woodwind.  If we get back to Bonaire I WILL do this with them again.   
P.S. we had snorkeled in St. Thomas a couple of days before and saw NOTHING like we saw in Bonaire.  It was almost like the difference between watching black & white TV and color TV.  The coral & reefs at St. Thomas have not recovered from recent hurricane damage. Very sad. 

GOPR2185_Moment2.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Take note that our Woodwind excursion was on island time which was an hour different from ship time.  We were almost all an hour late showing up. The ship never made an announcement that island time was different.  In my experience they usually do tell you the morning as you are debarking.  Not this time. 😞

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ken'swife said:

Take note that our Woodwind excursion was on island time which was an hour different from ship time.  We were almost all an hour late showing up. The ship never made an announcement that island time was different.  In my experience they usually do tell you the morning as you are debarking.  Not this time. 😞

 

They usually do make a point of telling people to make sure you stay on ships time if the island is different. Our ship changed time so we were on island time in December. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing pictures, thank you so much for the review. I booked Woodwind last week for our day in Bonaire in December. Ulf emailed me back within an hour of contacting him and we had it all confirmed same day. I will definitely plan on taking the extra $40 for the photographers pictures. So nice to enjoy the snorkeling without worrying about taking our own pictures. We are doing a 4 hour morning snorkel and hope to enjoy wondering around town a bit afterwards before heading back to the ship. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, DoctorWhoGirl said:

 I will definitely plan on taking the extra $40 for the photographers pictures. So nice to enjoy the snorkeling without worrying about taking our own pictures. 

 

If you let Alejandro (the photographer) know ahead of time time that you will be getting the pix, you can ask him to be sure to get plenty of your party.  He's a very nice guy. 

I read mention of a female photog on here, but we've had him for the last 3 Woodwind trips, the last time was in November. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EatonDoolittle said:

 

If you let Alejandro (the photographer) know ahead of time time that you will be getting the pix, you can ask him to be sure to get plenty of your party.  He's a very nice guy. 

I read mention of a female photog on here, but we've had him for the last 3 Woodwind trips, the last time was in November. 

 


Thanks for the tip, we will definitely let the photographer know ahead of time that we plan on buying the photos.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone done a beach snorkel at Divi?  We are on the morning snorkel for four hours and I want to do as much snorkeling as possible!  I am a PADI certified but unable to dive easily anymore.

 

I could😁 snorkel until my skin looks like a prune!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/19/2020 at 11:35 AM, Judyrem said:

Has anyone done a beach snorkel at Divi?  We are on the morning snorkel for four hours and I want to do as much snorkeling as possible!  I am a PADI certified but unable to dive easily anymore.

 

I could😁 snorkel until my skin looks like a prune!

If you go up to the first picture on this thread, there is a green marker, this is Chachacha Beach, it is very near the ship, but you can snorkel here.  We spent the week in Bonaire last week. One day we got in at Chachacha, and drifted down to the dock just before the one marked in the picture as Woodwind, got out of the water.  This is Divi Flamingo property.  We got out of the water and walked off of the property.  There is plenty of fish around the pier and rocks.  There are also some corals, but mostly rocks and sea life.  We saw a huge lobster in the rocks and lots of eels around here.  I am also certified and no longer able to dive due to ear issues.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, topspot said:

If you go up to the first picture on this thread, there is a green marker, this is Chachacha Beach, it is very near the ship, but you can snorkel here.  We spent the week in Bonaire last week. One day we got in at Chachacha, and drifted down to the dock just before the one marked in the picture as Woodwind, got out of the water.  This is Divi Flamingo property.  We got out of the water and walked off of the property.  There is plenty of fish around the pier and rocks.  There are also some corals, but mostly rocks and sea life.  We saw a huge lobster in the rocks and lots of eels around here.  I am also certified and no longer able to dive due to ear issues.

Thanks, we just may do it! 😁

Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I are avid snorkelers and have always booked cruises to include places that we can snorkel.  We took this excursion 2 years ago and it was the absolute best snorkelling experience (as an excursion) we’ve ever had.  We’ve booked them again for our upcoming Silhouette cruise in March.  Can’t wait.

Link to post
Share on other sites

my wife and I just snorkeled with wood wind for the 2nd time this last Thursday. This was our 2nd time snorkeling with woodwind. As before the snorkeling was great. The crew was also great. The one thing we found out is that the owner Dee was not on the boat. She had to fly back to the Netherlands a couple weeks ago for aggresive treat of stage 4 breast cancer. We all hope and pray she does well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...