Like most excursions this tour was defined by (1) the boat, (2) the crew, (3) your locations, (4) your tour mates, and (5) the intangibles like the weather. We did the full day excursion on 7/6. And it was great!!! Everything was great.
The boat and crew - the Stargazer and its crew (Pops and Alex) were first rate, no exaggeration. Our crew was fun, knowledgeable, and in control. The boat was in excellent condition. It had ample shade, a roof top deck with diving platform, and a sliding board. Access onto the boat was easy for most with three different ladders. The scuba gear was basic but in great condition. There was a hidden bathroom for those who didn't go in the ocean (come one, you know everyone does).
The locations - Caicos Dream Tours took us to several great locations. Each one was remote and isolated (never in a crowd). The first dive location was ok, but the barrier reef appears to be fading. The island stops were fantastic (iguana island, half moon, fort George?). The final dive location was the better spot, more fish and brighter coral. The schedule kept us moving but also provided ample time at each location. At the conclusion of the trip the boat dropped us off at out hotel. We were exhausted.
Your tour mates - we had a great group to spend the day with. Everyone interacted as though we all knew each other for years. One party of 11 from Alaska (in TCI for their wedding) challenged the "unlimited alcohol". Great time for all.
The intangibles - the weather was relatively good on our day; some wind and lots of sun. Bring lots of sunscreen and remember to reapply. Snorkeling was challenging at times due to the currents but they positioned the boat so as you tired you were pushed back to them. The food was ample despite losing a tray of rice to the ocean.
OVERALL a fantastic day with a great tour group. Highly recommend. Bring your camera.
Some tips and final thoughts... don't overpack. You do NOT need extra clothes, a jacket, or flip flops (just water shoes for iguana island). Besides, there is no place to store spare clothes that won't get wet. If your group is larger than 6-7 consider a private tour. The group of 11 could have had their own boat (and used the savings to stock the bar). We tipped the crew but unsure the practice (typically they make it more obvious, we had to go out of our way to give the tip to them). Finally, be sure to book early... several people from or hotel couldn't get on the full day trip because it was completely booked.
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