We booked this trip with the hotel excursion operator as First Choice did not offer the trip if you were staying outside Cancun.
We specifically asked for a small catamaran as we werent interested in going on a big party type boat with booming music and eveyone loud and drunk. We were told that there was no problem with that but we would have to pay for the Platinum option which entitled you to a boat with no more than 20 people and a premium drinks package.
We said we werent interested in the premium drinks but were told that if we wanted the small boat it come as a package.
So we paid $97 each for the trip and then $7 port fee each ( which we werent told about) when we got to the port..
It was then we were shown the boat we were going on. It was a big catamaran called Tomcat with already approx 50 people crammed on it.
We explained we had paid for the Platinum package to go on the small catamaran and did not want to go on the Tomcat. We were then put on a much smaller boat called Junior.
This had 13 people on it and was ideal.
We had a great day although the snorkelling was very brief, 25 mins max, not on a reef and as other reviewers have commented you were expected to follow one of the crew around and we snorkelled once and not twice as we were told when booking.
I assumed at the time it was because the sea had quite a swell to it so did not question it.
Food was good, crew were great and i filled in their satisfaction survey with all positives and a average for the snorkelling.
Now comes the problem. Everyone else on our boat had paid $65 and were not Platinum.
This is because Albatross were putting all Platinum customers on the big Tomcat.
So either they look at the ratio of Platinum to non Platinum customers on the day and allocate the boats there and then OR there is no small boat Platinum package as we were told.
When we asked the tour operator to reinburse us the difference as we had not had the premium drinks package and had the same trip as everyone else who paid $32 per person less they were told by Albatross that the person in charge that day was very busy and thats where the mix up with the boat came from and because I had given positive comments on their survey I could basically go whistle. There is definately inconsistecies between what the tour operator is selling and what Albatross is providing. Who's to blame I dont know?
So, I would recommend you know what you are getting before you part with your money in relation to size of boat, how many snorkell stops etc before you end up on a 'party boat' and a very cramped and loud day.
Unless that is what your after of course.
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