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Snorkeling recommendations for St. Thomas

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My DH and I will be taking the MSC Seaside in June to Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas, Nassau Bahamas and Ocean Cay.  We would like some recommendation for the best snorkeling in St. Thomas.  We found an excursion through Cruise Critic.  It took us to a company called Viator.  I am unfamiliar with them and wondered if most people book through them if they don't book through their cruise line?  We have ALWAYS booked through the cruise line and this time just not feeling it with what they have to offer.  We are looking at the Snorkel & Swim with the Turtles. Private Tour to Buck Island and Honeymoon Beach and wondered if anyone on here has done this excursion and if so did you book through Viator and was it fantastic?  Thanks in advance for all your help!




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On 3/2/2020 at 9:40 AM, allycat1964 said:

It took us to a company called Viator.  I am unfamiliar with them and wondered if most people book through them if they don't book through their cruise line?


My understanding is that Viator is a middleman.  It's like booking through TripAdvisor.  I'm sure that I've booked something through them in the past, but I can't recall any specific time.  (I'm more likely to remember the operator who provided the tour.)


My wife and I have our own snorkel gear, so we'll often just snorkel from shore.  In St. Thomas we took a van shuttle to Coki Beach and snorkeled from there.  Sapphire Beach is another common place to do the same.  At Coki Beach, the best snorkeling (if I remember correctly) is off to the right as you enter the water, toward the Coral World Ocean Park.  But that was almost a decade ago, so things might have changed.


In Nassau we used Blue Hole Watersports.  Again, it's been about a decade, but it's such a small operation that it was practically like a private tour.  Provided the quality has remained the same over the years, I would highly recommend it.  They launch from a dock that's an easy walk from the port.


When we were in Puerto Rico, it was not a cruise.  One day we took a short flight to Culebra, rented a golf cart at the airport, then snorkeled from Tamarindo Grande Beach and Tamarindo Beach.  There's a bit of a hike to the former, so I would recommend the latter for the less adventurous.  The shape of Culebra almost guarantees good snorkeling conditions.  If the surf is high in one beach, you can just drive to another part of the island where the beach is protected.  Culebra probably isn't a great option unless you have an extra day on the island.


We visited Culebra prior to Hurricane Maria, which tore the place up.  I'm not certain how much it has recovered.

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