We recently did the half day snorkeling tour to Buck Island. If I was rating what we saw and the beauty of the island and coral reef it would easily be one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. However, it wasn't long enough. The tour started late due to the cruise ship disembarking late. I was on the ship along with several others on the tour and we were grateful that they waited for us. Our group was very large about 45 people or so. We had a group of college students on our tour and they made up at least half of the group. At the beginning of the tour several of us were concerned that due starting late we would not have enough time in the water snorkeling. They told us we would have plenty of time and not to worry about it. Our first stop was at turtle bay (I think that's the name) on Buck Island. It was beautiful water and white sand. They had the beginning snorkelers try out their equipment, but there wasn't much in the water to see. We stayed for about 30-45 min then headed to the reef. When we got there we were in the back of the ship and were the last ones off. It took 10 minutes to get off the boat. Then we had to wait another 10 min for a guide to take us to the grotto and coral area. After he showed us the trail we had maybe 10 min to swim around before getting back on board. Total of 30 min in the water for us.
When we arrived back on land it was clear they had another tour to do and that is why we had to get back so fast. I have mixed feelings. What we saw was incredible and it was kind of them to wait (although with 15 of us on the ship they would have lost a lot of money not waiting.) However, it was not enough time in the water snorkeling which is why we went. I wish they would have 1) told us unfortunately the tour would be shorter at the beginning of the whole thing 2) then let us vote on going to the beach first and how long we stayed there so we could have more time in the water. Checking snorkeling gear could have taken 10 minutes, but we stayed much longer than that.
Additionally, the crew was kind and it was clear they wanted the guests to have a good experience in the water. Although, none of them talked to us. On other tours we have done we leave feeling like old friends with our guides but this was a little more business like. Which is fine, just an observation.
Overall, I would say contact the company and see how much time is allotted in the water on the full day tour if it is 1 hour or more pick that option instead of the half day tour.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.