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Snorkeling in Bonaire


nato00

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10X

 

thanks for all of the great info an pictures...a few questions

 

1. Was it easy for your wife to get a cab back to the pier from Airport Beach?

 

2. Was it crowded?

 

3. Were there facilities?

 

Thanks so much!

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We stopped at Bonaire last February on the Sea Princess. If you walk along the sea front you will see some charters. We were a bit sceptacle at first but we chose a battered looking catamaran, as we hadn't pre booked anything this was a "you might never get this opportunity again " situation. Eventually, there were about six of us, plus the two crew. They were the lovliest of people, the catamaran has a "glass bottom" so we could go below and see anything that swam by. They gave us the history of the islands and obviously loved their world. They knew where to stop for the best snorkelling. As I was a "Virgin Snorkeller" I wouldn't have known the difference, but I plucked up the courage and once I had mastered how to breathe properly, I found the undersea world. I only wish that we could have had more time there. The others on our trip were experienced snorkellers and thought it was great. Sorry but I can't remember how much it cost, but whatever it is, its much less than purchasing from the ship.Enjoy!

Great..what was the name of the catamaran???? Do you have a contact number? Thanks! Nancie

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We went to Bonaire in April with Princess. We booked a 2 hour snorkeling trip with Renee http://www.infobonaire.com/reneesnorkeltrips were she met us at the dock. She only takes up to 5 people at a time and will supply your equipment. That day there was only my husband and I so it was like a private tour. We went to 2 different spots and she will explain everything you see. It was wonderful and we saw a small octopus, moray ell, barracuda, puffer fish, shrimp, angel fish, some many things we saw I can't remember. I will be booking her again the next time. I think we paid like $30 each just check out her website and she has all the information and tours there.

Paula (Southern Indiana)

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lauriedun,

 

Sorry for the slow reply but we've been out of town and without Internet access for the last two weeks.

 

There are no facilities at the beach. My wife did not complain of any trouble getting in and out of the water. The friends she snorkeled there with in February were not the die hards that she is and they got in and out several times.

 

As for a cab, my wife made arrangements with the cab driver, who brought them, to pick them up at a specified time. This worked well in both 2006 and 2007. You won't find cabs at the beach waiting for someone who needs a ride, so make advanced arrangements.

 

I'll be loading the 2007 photos on to the website soon. I'm glad you liked what was there.

 

Denny

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  • 1 month later...
We were in Bonaire earlier this year and enjoyed our short stay very much. I'm a scuba diver but my wife is not, although she very much enjoys snorkeling.

 

We had arranged for her and two friends to do a snorkeling excursion with Renee, but due to surgery, Renee could not make it. The three of them approached a gate guard and asked if he knew where they could snorkel and he said he heard the "Windsock Beach" was good. It was a $10 one-way cab ride to the beach where they had some of the best snorkeling of our 14 day cruise. They saw two Octopus, eels, and a variety of fish. My wife came back with some excellent photos of the octopus. The original excursion was going to cost them $25 each, for $75 total. The cab rides totalled $20 and the snorkeling was great. If you want to save some money, I would recommend that you explore this option.

 

To see some of my wife's photos while snorkeling, go to:

 

www.sunfield.smugmug.com

Select "Cruise 2006"

Select "Bonaire Snorkeling"

 

I was just curious as to what type of camera you used to get those underwater pics.. they are great!

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I use an Olympus C5050, a 5MP point and shoot type camera. It is housed in an Olympus underwater housing and has an external underwater flash, wide angle lens, etc. attached. The camera is no longer made but I liked it so much that, when they were still available, I bought a second camera and a second housing so that I have backups.

 

My wife uses a Canon A95, also a 5MP point and shoot type camera and it is housed in a Canon underwater case. She does not scuba dive so she does not have any of the additional equipment that I use.

 

Our daughter dropped her camera and cracked the case and, although it still works, it isn't quite right so I'm thinking of upgrading her to the Canon A710IS or the A720IS.

 

I have recently added "Cruise 2007" to the website where some new diving and snorkeling photos are posted. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

 

Denny

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  • 2 weeks later...

I checked out Renee's website. What is her boat like? She has lots of pics of fish and none of her or her boat. Can you please provide me with some additional information. Was 2 hours enough? Will she take you to a beach afterwards? Thanks for your help!

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I have emailed Renee twice and have not received a reply. Perhaps she is already booked for the date that we will be in Bonaire. Can anyone recommend another tour operator? I am inclined to book on my own rather than through the cruise line. Thanks.

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I previously snorkeled with Dive Inn Bonaire. We went to Klein Island with both scuba and snorkelers on board. There were a total of only about eight. Very good experience and shop located across the street from the cruise dock.

http://www.diveinnbonaire.com/index.htm

 

 

My next trip's port times don't match up with Bonaire, so I booked with Sea & Discover. The come highly recommended and have a special trip for cruise pax. Wanda responded that it's a 2 site guided snorkel trip that starts at 1:30pm. They pick up and deliver to the cruise ship pier. They take a minimum of two and a max of six. The fee is $42 -p.p, including the Marine Park fee, You can make a reservation by e-mail.

 

http://www.bonairenature.com/seandiscover/#Bonaire%20Marine%20Education%20Center

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  • 2 weeks later...
I have emailed Renee twice and have not received a reply. Perhaps she is already booked for the date that we will be in Bonaire. Can anyone recommend another tour operator? I am inclined to book on my own rather than through the cruise line. Thanks.

 

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one having difficulties contacting Renee. I finally got a response from her and answered her questions about our docking times and she didn't respond again. I e-mailed again and now she is saying she didn't get my e-mail and she is already booked. I am also looking for a similar alternative. Frustrated!!!

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  • 4 months later...

Terrible experience with this undependable company and it ruined our day in Bonaire. Never showed up, left us hanging for 1 hour before they finally told us their tour had sailed and we were NOT on it. The owner is rude, obnoxious and never once said he was sorry for the mix-up. Our group was livid and angry that this guy gave us the runaround.

 

Just stay away, find another more reputable outfit. Others have posted thumbs down ratings too!

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  • 3 weeks later...

We are more than a year away from our cruise to Bonaire so I have plenty of time to research! We are avid snorkelers and the reason I booked this cruise is the many fine snorkeling opportunities it presents. However, we only have a half day in Bonaire, from 7 - 1. I like private excursions, but since we have limited time I am inclined to go with a ship excursion here. With such a short time frame would there be aadaquate time to go and enjoy Airport Beach? Without knowing this island at all I am a bit nervous about the time frame, yet want a significant snorkeling experience!:)

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We are more than a year away from our cruise to Bonaire so I have plenty of time to research! We are avid snorkelers and the reason I booked this cruise is the many fine snorkeling opportunities it presents. However, we only have a half day in Bonaire, from 7 - 1. I like private excursions, but since we have limited time I am inclined to go with a ship excursion here. With such a short time frame would there be aadaquate time to go and enjoy Airport Beach? Without knowing this island at all I am a bit nervous about the time frame, yet want a significant snorkeling experience!:)

 

My wife and friends pre-arranged with the cab driver to return to get them at a specific time and he was there early. The beach is only a couple of miles away so you could walk it in a pinch.

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My wife and friends pre-arranged with the cab driver to return to get them at a specific time and he was there early. The beach is only a couple of miles away so you could walk it in a pinch.

 

Thanks! I wonder if the beach snorkeling there is as good as the snorkeling that goes out on a boat? I like the idea of having a little longer to snorkel on the beach as the excursions look like they're only 2 1/2 hours long.

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I can't say if the snorkeling is better there than anywhere else because my wife has only snorkeled there, twice. I went scuba diving both times.

 

Snorkeling anywhere is greatly affected by weather, since rain and wind can stir up the shallow water, reducing visibility and/or by causing the fish to move into slightly deeper water. The day and the location you go to can be good or not so good for a variety of reasons.

 

The second time my wife went to the beach was not as good as the first but then we were dealing with higher wind levels than the first time.

 

You can compare her photos from the two times she was there by visiting our web site and see what it was like for yourself, then make your decision.

 

http://www.sunfield.smugmug.com

Select "Cruise 2006" or "Cruise 2007"

Select "Bonaire Snorkeling"

 

Denny

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I would suggest Renee or someone like her as she is a wealth of information. She would be able to identify what you are seeing and answer questions if you have them. That said, snorkling from the beach is great almost anywhere on the island. You really do not need to venture far from the cruise dock.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been to Bonaire twice .. and returning again next week. First time we rented a car and drove up and down the coast, snorkeling in 5 different shore locations. Second time we took the ship excursion (water taxi) to klein bonaire. I thought the snorkeling on klien bonaire was superior to other shore locations. We are repeating this trip again next week. I will post me review when i return.

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  • 4 weeks later...
We are more than a year away from our cruise to Bonaire so I have plenty of time to research! We are avid snorkelers and the reason I booked this cruise is the many fine snorkeling opportunities it presents. However, we only have a half day in Bonaire, from 7 - 1. I like private excursions, but since we have limited time I am inclined to go with a ship excursion here. With such a short time frame would there be aadaquate time to go and enjoy Airport Beach? Without knowing this island at all I am a bit nervous about the time frame, yet want a significant snorkeling experience!:)

 

We love snorkeling also, and Bonaire was a treat! Our group of 6 hired a suzuki van from hertz at the Divi Flamingo and drove to pink beach, invisibles, and airport beach. Easy to do in the time frame you've mentioned, if hertz is open that early. Driving is so easy (basically a 2 lane road around the island) and it's more convenient and cheaper than taxis. Shore snorkeling and diving is excellent, and it is simple to do on your own if you're reasonably experienced. We kept a person on the shore at pinks and invisibles to keep an eye on the weaker swimmers (8 and 74 yr old) as the current that day was strong.

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  • 1 month later...

We have snorkeled with Renee Leach both times we have been to Bonaire. She is very knowledgeable and is full of information and will point out different types of fish, coral, and sea life. She only takes about 5 people on a trip that way she can spend the time with everyone. The first time we went with her it was just my husband and myself it was wonderful and Bonaire is a must for snorkeling. She books up fast so it is important to book her as soon as you know that you will be in Bonaire. Here is her website and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

 

http://www.infobonaire.com/reneesnorkeltrips

 

Paula B

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  • 1 month later...

For avid snorkelers, and if you are on land vacation in Bonaire and have time, don't miss the Mangroves in the Lac Bay. The Lac Bay is on the eastern side of the island, and might be too far for cruise passengers. You enter water from a fisherman's pier and swim inland. Among mangroves you'll find lots of upside-down jellyfish. Unusual and beautiful creature, looks like a gigantic flowers, and no, they don't sting. Where else could you see upside-down jellyfish, short of going to Palau?

Night snorkel at the city pier is an unforgettable experience. Snorkeling there requires a permit I believe.

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I emailed Renee and found out that because we are on a cruise she only does a two hour tour that includes two stops that are in easy walking distance from the pier. I was really hoping to get out and see more... but we are in from 11-7 and I can't find a boat trip or shore trip that is longer. Any ideas?

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