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“Excellent Day Trip to Buck Island!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Big Beard's Adventure Tours

Big Beard's Adventure Tours
Ranked #2 of 27 Tours in Christiansted
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Excellent Day Trip to Buck Island!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2014

I cant begin to describe how amazing buck island is in person & how wonderful the reef is there. I was able to get amazing pics/videos & have an amazing time also ;)
The staff was friendly & professional, i highly recommend Big Beards!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank GreenAce87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Whole day tour to Buck Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2014

Had a great day snorkeling with the Big Beard guys Mike and Andy. I always felt safe. Also the lunch we had after at the little area they bbq on st croix is nice. So many mongooses, super cute. The rum punch went down easy too.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Laura C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
“Awesome Day!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2014

My husband and I had a great time! We have snorkeled in my places and this was one of the nicest! I strongly recommend the full day tour. Captain Steve and Andy were great! The BBQ was great too!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Holly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethany Beach, Delaware
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Disappointed in the lack of personal attention.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2014

Date of trip: Half day (afternoon), Sunday, May 18. I am an experienced swimmer and snorkeler - my husband is just as experienced as a snorkeler, but not as a swimmer. After three days of disappointing shore snorkeling on St. Croix, I was very excited to finally get to have a great snorkeling experience. Read and heard a lot about snorkeling at Buck Island, so I asked the front desk clerk at The Palms what she would recommend - Big Beard's. We were on St. Croix at the start of the slow season so we were lucky that they had enough people to run a trip on Sunday afternoon and that was because a cruise ship was at the island that day.

There were about 19 people on our trip and they said the boat holds 49. I'd hate to be on the boat with 49 people but having taken many snorkeling trips over the years - that's just the way it often is. The captain and two-person crew were very friendly and great at helping those without equipment get all of their gear. It was about a 20-30 minute trip to the first stop. I was disappointed to find out that the first stop was about 45 minutes at a place where people new to snorkeling could be given some instruction and be able to get in the water to try out their equipment. It was annoying to us because there was no reason to snorkel there (nothing to see) and the only thing to do was to walk around on the beach in the blazing hot sun. We opted to get back on the boat and wait for the real snorkeling to begin. So, we were there about 30 minutes too long but others seemed to really enjoy walking around and exploring. (After seeing the sea conditions at the snorkeling stop I realized why they wanted to make sure that people felt comfortable with their equipment so it makes sense - just too long for us).

The captain gave careful instructions about what and what not to do (touching coral, etc.). Then, each of the two crew entered the water and those going snorkeling were split into two groups. We were told that the crew member would have an orange life saving ring that anyone getting tired, etc., could hold on to at any time while in the water for the approximately 45 minute snorkel. Indeed, one woman had trouble with her snorkel and the crew member did an excellent job of helping her clear her snorkel and pulled her around for a while. The seas had a very large swell (even mentioned by the crew member in my group) and there was a strong current. It was so much of a swell, that my husband just decided to get back on the boat - that's fine; snorkeling experiences are always up to the weather/sea conditions. Our crew member in the water gave us a little talk about staying in line with the boat, etc., and again said that we could hold on to the ring at any time if necessary. So far so good. Once the crew member gave the final instructions, we were given our free snorkeling time. Of course, I had no snorkeling buddy since my husband got back on the boat.

The water was very clear and I was very excited about swimming to the reef - but it is easy to get disoriented when in the water with such high swells. Since I was by myself, I did keep in line with the front of the boat but I couldn't tell where the actual reef was and how far out I would have to swim to get to it. So, I decided to look around and ask my group crew member. I couldn't find her. Where was she? Back on the boat! Great - now I had lost my chance of asking her to lead me or at least direct me to the proper location. So, I decided to try the other crew member. His group had gone in second so he still had his little group surrounding him so I decided to wait until he gave them their free time. When that happened - he also went back on the boat! I was so disappointed. With the rough seas I wasn't about to swim out farther to try to find the reef myself without having some direction. I have no trouble swimming in rough seas, but what about anyone who might have needed to hang on to the ring if he/she got tired or had trouble?

After about 30 minutes of snorkeling around pretty much in the same area, I decided to head back to the boat. I have been snorkeling for years and this is probably the first time that there was no one at the steps to help with the gear. With three crew on the boat at least one person should have been in charge of watching when a snorkeler came back to the boat and at least offer to take the fins. It isn't easy getting off fins with one hand while holding onto the ladder with the other and then having to put a fin on the steps and hope that it doesn't fall back into the water while taking off the other fin. I was one of the first back on the boat and I did not see a crew member help anyone at the ladders.

Yes, they were very friendly and people seemed to enjoy the snorkeling. However, how many got to go the actual reef - probably not many, if any. I know what a reef is and what to expect and I didn't get to see it just because of a lack of guidance in the water. People who don't snorkel that often are thrilled to see a few fish and some coral and that day there was a nice sized barracuda hanging about. But, I, for one, came away very disappointed - not in the conditions - but just knowing that there were probably some great things to see and I didn't get to see them. I think perhaps that instead of splitting up the snorkelers simply by who gets into the water first having a group of experienced snorkelers with a real guide who stays in the water and leads you would be nice in that situation. I know I don't like to be in the "follow the leader" snorkel lines either and I do appreciate a free snorkel but I like to be given the option. And in this case and in these seas I feel that the crew members should have stayed in the water the entire time.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank BethanyBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Plains, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Buck Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2014

Great trip with Capt. Mike and Andy. Very entertaining tour and plenty of excellent instruction. The reef @ Buck Island is awe inspiring and is a must see.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank 6Pins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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