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“Health Alert”

Virgin Islands Ecotours
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St Thomas Mangrove Lagoon Kayak and Snorkel Tour
Ranked #2 of 40 Tours in Charlotte Amalie
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: VI Ecotours offers multi-eco kayak, hike & snorkel adventures in three locations: St Thomas’ Mangrove Lagoon, Historic Hassel Island in the Virgin Islands National Park in St Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie Harbor and at Caneel Bay in St. John’s Virgin Islands National Park. Half day and full day tours with lunch depart daily from each location. Paddling & snorkeling instruction provided. Easy to paddle, sit-on-top kayaks. Professional guides. Fun for beginners and families.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed December 27, 2013

I am still sick from using their snorkeling mouthpiece. The first mouthpiece he gave me had black and grey FUNGUS buildup. It was a transparent plastic and you could see the nasty buildup inside. I had to ask for another one cuz that was really Grouse. I regret using the second mouthpiece (non-transparent, black mouthpiece) he gave me because. I have had a throat infection with high fever. Been coughing yellow and brownish phlegm. Have been off work for 1 week (imagine working in retail and being sick on Christmas week). I am considering Law suit at this point.

To be fair, the Kayak was fun, the water was nice, the Hike wasn't bad. The crab race was entertaining. He tried his best to be a good tour guide. However, if your health is important to you, STAY AWAY FROM THEIR SNORKELING. It is a complete JOKE. The location is not meant for snorkeling - very muddy, you can't see anything. I only saw one little fish the whole 20 minutes I was in the water, not to mention health issues.

Kayak - Yes, Hike - Yes, Snorkeling - HELL NO!

Thank Future G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 20, 2013 via mobile

We lucked out with what turned out to be a private 2.5 hr tour with Travis, who was engaging, attentive and informative. This short tour allows time for a pleasant paddle but not enough time for much of a snorkel. The set up is well organized for large groups.

Thank suncatvt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2013

This was a fun excursion for active types. The kayaking was not difficult, but not super easy either. We landed on a beach where we raced crabs and went on our "hike". The hike was actually just a walk to some cool rocks with a blowhole. The snorkeling was in not very clear water, but we still saw some pretty cool fish. The guides were really great, they had a lot of information and were obviously very passionate about the mangrove lagoon and area. They have a professional photographer who takes a CD of photos that you can purchase for $45. If you want to bring your own camera, just bring it in a ziplock bag. Your stuff will get wet, but not soaked, so you will be okay to bring it that way. We had a fun time, it was definitely better than just sitting on the beach all day. There were high-tech porta-potties at the base, but no bathroom facilities once you get out in the kayak. You can store your bags in a locker at the base as well, in case you want to bring a change of clothes or something.

Thank Sara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2013

We booked the 3 hour kayak + hike + snorkel tour at Mangrove Lagoon in St. Thomas. Although we did not have a lot of experience kayaking, the paddling was easy, and the views we got to see were simply spectacular. No current nor wind, so kayaking was very simple.
Then we went on a very easy hike, saw the local vegetation, some hermit crabs, and a stunning blow hole, made from volcanic activity in the island.

Our guide Josh was very savvy, and provided us all the questions to the answers we had about fish, animals, plants, the history of the islands, etc. He was very excited to share his extended knowledge about the area, the land and the sea, the wildlife and the economic and environmental impact of man on our planet.

I was very glad about the ecological aspect of this tour, as it was very very very respectful for the nature, it had zero ecological impact on the environment and it was a great learning experience.

Highly recommended!

Thank Frine V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Over-all this was a wonderful trip. We went out with Zulu & Alex. The site was beautiful and the adventure was fun. I wish I could give this a 5 but there were a few glaring issues that are keeping this from being a 5 in my book. Issue 1 - Alex took pics. During the snorkel Alex dove down and took shots of us so we decided to buy the disk. Those pictures never showed on the disk when we go home and there basically were no other shots of us on the entire disk. Advice to Alex - less pictures of leaves and shells and more pictures of us since leaves and shells are on the "greatest hits" cd you give us anyway. Major issue 2 - this is the ONLY snorkel excursion I've ever been on (and I've been on dozens) that didn't include flippers. We actually brought our own gear on the cruise but then left it on the ship when the ad read "all gear provided." This is not the case. you get a snorkel and mask, but no mask. this can make it very hard to swim out to the snorkel site (against the current). If we had known they didn't provide fins, we would have brought ours. Issue 3 - they really should do a quick kayaking 101 - some people in our party didn't know how to steer, row, etc if this was one's first impression of kayaking it was probably a bad one. Issue 4- and this one there is no excuse for this one - Zulu was downright rude to a child that was on our excursion. No idea who the kid is or why Zulu was so rude. What I do know is that when we got to the snorkel site the child got scared of being in the deep water. Rather than working with the child or parents Zulu said, "Are you going to put on your goggles and look at the fish or are you just going to keep getting in the way" He was not joking, he was not playing around. He simply became overwhelmed with the child and got mad. The child wasn't doing that much, not crying or whining, just asking for swimming help (big surprise there since they don't provide flippers) and saying that he was afraid. The kid was maybe 9 or 10. Perfectly normal behavior for a child. Not normal behavior for an adult. My impression of Zulu - adventure junky who sees kids as a nuisance and would rather not have them on the tour. Based on that experience I would say this trip is NOT a good option for families. Another issue with Zulu - we had a large group around 30 or so. during the hike he'd stop to point things out. However, if you were in the back of the group, you wouldn't make it to the stop point before he finished talking and the group moved on - this did 2 things 1, left those folks out of the learning possibility and 2, left those people without a break to catch breath. My impression of Zulu from this - " I'm an adventure junky, keep up with me or get out of the way." Despite all of this we still had a wonderful time. However, based on my experienced I would say this is definitely not for families with kids younger than teens, and only for folks with plenty of kayaking experience.

3  Thank Spinthis39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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