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Shark Ray via air or water?

San Antonio, Texas
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71 posts
5 reviews
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Shark Ray via air or water?

On our cruise to Belize City there are two snorkel excursions to Shark Ray Alley. The one going on a water taxi lasts 4 1/2 hours with some time in Caye Caulker. We would fly to San Pedro on the other one and it lasts 5 hours.

Spending time in San Pedro and having an aerial view of the reef would of course be nice but we know the highlight is snorkeling. I'm leaning toward the water taxi because it seems simpler. Has anyone had experience with these excursions and would recommend one over the other?

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Shark Ray Alley
Shark Ray Alley
941 Reviews
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,431 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Edinburgh
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1. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

We did the Shark Ray/Caye Caulker trip on a catamaran in January this year - we were staying in San Pedro. Wouldn't be that bothered about flying over as the main reason you go is to swim with nursing sharks, turtles, eels etc. Shame you will miss the view fying into San Pedro but definitely recommend the swimming side more than the view.

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Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,431 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye
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for San Ignacio, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
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2. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

Flying is a good option to make sure you get back to your boat on time. Aerial view is great.

San Antonio, Texas
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71 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

Thanks. Everyone else who has written a review about swimming at Shark/Ray has also said good things. A trip on a catamaran there must have been great.

Going by air adds the extra excitement of seeing the reef from the air and visiting San Pedro, but I didn't know if it also may be more problematic. There are no reviews of these air excursions anywhere. I didn't know if the tour company might cancel at the last minute if there isn't enough interest from our cruise ship. I also wondered if there could be any problems with air travel like a flight delay, or if time spent at the reef would be as long.

The excurstion by air has more to offer, but it also has more uncertainty since there are no reviews or comments.

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San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Hon
Ontario Canada
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1,284 posts
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4. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

With the water taxi option, in total coming and going, you will spend about 2 1/2 to 3 hours in transit on boats (water taxi and tour boat to Shark Ray Alley). With the air option, you will have a total of less than 90 minutes of travel time (flight and tour boat).

Given that you will probably spend 30 to 45 minutes in the water at Shark/Ray, I'm thinking that taking the water taxi will leave you very little time to explore Caye Caulker. On the other hand the flight will leave you 2 hours, more or less, to hang out in San Pedro.

The local airlines are a little fluid in their departure times from the mainland but I have never known them to deviate too far from their schedules from the cayes. Unless there is a weather delay, they run pretty much on time.

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Shark Ray Alley
Shark Ray Alley
941 Reviews
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,431 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Edmonton, Canada
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140 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

The two options by air are good and dependable. I'd fly so you don't have to spend an extra couple hours in a boat.

San Antonio, Texas
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71 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

Thanks for all of the great information everyone. Flying now has more plusses than potential minuses.

Dive/snorkel reviews for one of the air options hasn't been great the past few months. Seems that the company has had great reviews for years but lately complaints have been for overcrowding boats and poor service. I could find no history or comments anywhere about the other company, ShoreExcursioneer (also known as BelizeExcursions.biz).

If a crowded dive is the worst part of what looks like a really great trip by air, we won't be disappointed at all.

Hon
Ontario Canada
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1,284 posts
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7. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

I've never been on a cruise so please excuse my ignorance...is there any reason why you can't book your own flights and arrange for a snorkel tour on Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye?

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Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,431 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye
Belize Cayes, Belize
San Antonio, Texas
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71 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

Yes. Tried that first and realized that since no other passengers do this, there is nothing available other than private boat charters on the islands. They also may be hit or miss with the transportation. Missing your ship is not like missing your flight, you are in big trouble. Also, after looking into it further, the cost of the excursions discussed above is only slightly above the cost of the flights (and actually less in some instances depending on fares).

I am generally a do-it-yourself traveler and have spent A LOT of time planning many trips to maximize events. We are "go go go". Our cruise one-day stops really limit our options, and the stop in Belize looks like the best one. I wanted to get it right and was hopeful we wouldn't have to be Guinea Pigs. With thousands of reviews, almost nothing about the flight/snorkel excursions here.

San Antonio, Texas
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71 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

Ecological Tours made several mistakes and we did not get to go. First, they scheduled our tour time for 7:30 AM when our ship wasn't scheduled to arrive in port until 8:00 AM (which has always been the ship's arrival time). Then they didn't allow for the one hour necessary to tender from the ship to shore (5 miles on a small boat). Next, we waited in the mobbed line (if you can even call it that) at their tiny building on shore for 25 minutes before being able to talk to anyone. Others in line for different tours were also confused about whether there was one line or three. Finally, even as late as we were, we still could have made it to the tour in San Pedro but our airline seats had been given away.

We expected this to be one of the highlights of our week-long trip. Ecological Tours doesn't seem capable of scheduling dinner for 3 at McDonalds, much-less a tour for cruise ship passengers. I'll have to consider this an excuse to go back and visit San Pedro another time.

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San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Mogadore, Ohio
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113 posts
39 reviews
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10. Re: Shark Ray via air or water?

Do go back and visit San Pedro....you'll be glad you did.

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San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize