I'm torn. We're due to arrive in Exuma in just over a week and while I've inquired regarding Cays tours, I have not yet booked. Going with one of the less expensive outfits, it is still $800 for our family of two adults and two children, all inclusive. Now I do understand why the cost is what it is, that it does take time, lots of fuel, etc, and I'm not suggesting that the tour operator should not be compensated fairly. I'm just saying in a rough economic time, it's hard to justify coughing up $800 for a one-day tour.
Having said all that, I don't want to travel all the way to Exuma only to not experience what it uniquely has to offer.
I saw one post reference a half-day tour that encompassed most of what the full-day tour offers, but I think it was with one of the more expensive operators and therefore was not a huge savings over the full-day tour with other operators.
I think what we would most want to see would be the pigs and iguanas, as that is something you can't see elsewhere, and stopping at the sandbar and to hold starfish would be cool. Snorkeling in the grotto would be fun, but we've done lots of snorkeling, including cenotes (caves) in Mexico, so if this is similar this would probably not be a deal breatker, especially if we can snorkel offshore in Exuma.
Are there more affordable ways to do this trip? Recommendations for half-day tours which encompass key points? Or for the time and money, are we better served just renting from Minn's and exploring more locally?
We are only there for three full-days, planning to rent from Minn's one day, maybe do the Cays tour another, drive around a third day, and since we depart late maybe do Sunday Stocking Island before we fly to Nassau.
I will say too that I am the one in the family that plans these things and doesn't want to miss anything, but the husband would generally be most happy just laying on a beach somewhere and the kids might not love sitting in a boat all day. We've gone on whale and sea lion tours before when they were younger, and they do start to zone out and not have fun when it's long periods of sitting in a boat.
I'm sure ultimately I just have a tough decision to make, but I would be happy to hear feedback from those of you who have done this tour, particularly feedback on how kids have responded or would respond. And if you only had three full days on island, would you still choose to do the Cays tour or would you tend to relax more locally? Thank you for any feedback.