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“Mediocre snorkeling, great staff, fun experience”

Jolly Pirates Cruises
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Afternoon Pirate Sail and Snorkel Cruise in Aruba
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Morning Pirate Sail and Snorkel Cruise in Aruba
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Sunset Pirate Cruise in Aruba
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Owner description: Aruba's most popular Snorkel and Sunset Cruises are aboard the Teak Schooners, Jolly Pirates. The Jolly Pirates talented crew will perform back flips, literally to keep their guests returning year after year.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Syracuse, New York
Level 4 Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Mediocre snorkeling, great staff, fun experience”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I'm conflicted with the tour. On one hand, I thought the snorkeling itself was sub-par. We did the shorter afternoon cruise. Jolly pirates take you to 3 different locations (although the last one was really for you to do the rope swings rather than snorkel). The first location was to the Antilla wreck. The waves here are extremely rough. The majority of our crew could not even made the short swim to the wreck. I managed to swim above the wreck after expending considerable effort. The wreck itself was nothing amazing: you can see it, but you can hardly make out any details of it. I think the visit to this site is more appropriate through scuba diving, where you can avoid the rough surface currents and get up close to the ship, rather than snorkeling.

The second site was at a place that is much shallower, and has gentler waves. Still, even though the conditions now are more favorable, there isn't much to see. There are a few small fishes, but that's about it. No corals were seen.

So, the snorkeling was very average. However, this is not really Jolly Pirate's fault. The sites are what they are, JP has no control over it. What they do have control over are the level of enjoyment and the party atmosphere of the boat. And this they excel in.

Right from the get-go, the ship's crew are extremely friendly and jovial. They are constantly joking and messing around. There's an open bar right smack in the middle of the boat that serves alcohol that's of surprising potency. Dance music plays in the background when the captain is not on the microphone.

The highlight of the trip has to be the rope swing. Basically, they hooked in the handle, you grabbed on to it, jumped off the side of the boat, and swing! I can't even express how much fun such a simple activity is. Perhaps it's the combination of the ropeswing, the jovial staff, the alcohol, and the general party atmosphere. My wife, a normally reserved individual, and I had a blast! Before long, she and a couple of ladies were dancing all over the boat.

If you are female and of a reasonable weight, JP has this activity for you that I highly recommend. Basically, you climb onto the back of one of the crew member, he does the ropeswing, and do a back-flip into the water...with you holding on! It's a hoot. My wife did it, and cannot stop laughing when she thinks back about it.

Visited February 2013
Thank chrislai1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Loved the Crew!!”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Took the shorter, afternoon sail/snorkel and was very excited to get out in the ship! The crew were the best, lots of fun and very interactive with the guests. Enjoyed snorkeling the ship wreck. The drinks were delicious and the rope swing was lots of fun, to participate and also just to watch others:)
Looking for the Minnesota couple who also were on that same sail, February 13th, 2013, afternoon sail. We were the Iowa couple and were wondering if you found good snorkeling on other parts of the island?

Visited February 2013
Thank dmjhamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unexpectedly AWESOME!”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We happened to be in Aruba during Carnival, and the closure of most local businesses and attractions posed an interesting problem for us. We typically avoid crowds, loud music and activities involving copious amounts of alcohol, so the carnival parade was a definite pass for us. We had already explored most of the island on our own, and enjoyed a lot of enjoyable activities, but were at a loss as to how we could amuse ourselves.

We found Jolly Pirates, which seemed like a booze cruise, but it offered snorkeling, so we figured we could minimize our time spent with strangers.

From the get go, Jolly Pirates proved to be full of enjoyable surprises! The Captain and deck hands are really funny, and welcoming. They have completely positive attitudes, and make everyone feel entirely welcome. Although the small launch you take out to the pirate boat in is very crowded, it shuttles you out in less than a minute, and once aboard, there is plenty of room for everyone, and areas for those who like to be in the sun as well as those who need shade.

You are brought to three different snorkel sites, for about a half an hour each. The sailing and the snorkeling are both enjoyable. Everyone on the boat was in a great mood, no doubt due in part to the jovial energy of the crew, but also because they provide an open bar, with a neat selection of tropical drinks. Just as we were wondering how this company manages to provide all this for the ultra reasonable price of $56, they brought out lunch......and no crappy job either! It was really good barbecue! They gave us each a portion of chicken, and ribs, potato salad, rice, plantains and a slice of fresh melon. All of it delicious, and fresh. Price is usually never something we focus on when traveling, but this outing was such a bargain, we spent half the day trying to figure out how they do it!

Jolly Pirates provides a greatly enjoyable experience, and I'm glad we ventured out of our realm of usual activities to experience what they have to offer!

Thank Gazzagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Fun Trip!”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

This was a fun excursion and the price was really reasonable. The snorkeling stops were fun...saw lots of fish. Those who jumped off the rope seemed to have a great time, but I was too scared. The sailing was lovely, alcohol plentiful, although no food. I would recommend this trip for a very pleasant afternoon.

Visited February 2013
Thank CurlyOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
“Jolly Pirates tour”
Reviewed February 4, 2013

This was a cool tour. The drinks were okay but the ride itself was cool. You get on a pirate ship and stop to snorkel where you see a ship from world war 2. If you know how to swim you dont need the life vest. I was swimming around even got to jump off the front of the ship a couple of times. Then they do the rope swing which is a blast. I was like a kid running back to do it again about 3 times. I didnt do any crazy flips but it was cool swinging on it into the water. YOu dont burn your hand on a rope. its like a trapeze bar. Its cool. Definitely recommended. It was a nice relaxing ride as well.

Visited December 2012
Thank JMarisa23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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