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“Best ever - thanks Snorkel Shop and Eddie!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Snorkel Shop

The Snorkel Shop
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Snorkeling and Diving tours, Cenote tour and/or Ocean tours. Sea Turtle tours. Pictures included on all of our tours. Equipment provided on all our tours. Great customer service, friendly staff. Reasonable prices. Small Groups, Max.10. We can accommodate larger groups from one booking.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Lincoln, Nebraska
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best ever - thanks Snorkel Shop and Eddie!”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

I looked around for a few excursion operators and settled on The Snorkeling Shop, in Playa Del Carmen, because it had so many great reviews. I’m here to tell you that the Snorkel Shop, and our guide Eddie in particular, have earned every one of those good reviews.

Our day started at 9:30. Eddie was waiting for us at our resort’s reception area. Almost immediately I liked Eddie. He was genial and talked easily with us about the excursion and the area. We were told it was a slow day and that we’d be the only two people on the excursion.

We arrived at a pick-up point in Puerto Morelos and Eddie went over a few regulations and told us about the reef. After about 20 minutes, we hopped into a small boat and were joined by a family from Argentina and a gentleman from New York. Then we were off to see paradise.

The MesoAmerican Reef is second to only the Great Barrier Reef in length but, at this point, it was about 500 feet offshore. The trip out took 5 minutes during which time Eddie fitted us with fins (we had our own snorkels and masks). After some brief instructions, we were in the water and we were off.

Before we took off, Eddie explained that since we would be snorkeling in a protected national marine park, life vests were required by federal law. Once you start exploring the reef, you’ll know why. In places coral, including fire coral, is just inches below the water. Even in moderate chop, wave surges can easily push you down into the reef.

I realized vests are required not for personal safety (although I’m sure that’s a consideration) but the coral’s protection. With high salinity and bleaching destroying reefs, I’m glad the Mexican government first considers the health of the reef over the selfish needs of some tourists.

I also read complaints on here about Eddie talking Spanish to others on the boat. He did the same during our excursion, but mostly to the boat operators (who I doubt knew English). He also spoke in Spanish to the Argentinian family, but took pains to include us. When you’re in other countries people will talk their language and sometimes they’ll talk about you. If you’re bothered by this, perhaps it’s better to never leave the house let alone the country.

Eddie is a fantastic guide. He’ll point out fish and other sea life and warn you when you’re close to fire coral. On our trip we saw giant formations of coral including brain, cabbage, pencil and elk horn as well as sea anemones and more sea fans than I have ever seen in one place.

We also saw tons of schooling fish as well as grouper, Pompano, barracudas, conch, bar jacks, trumpetfish, sergeant majors, damselfish and others. Eddie pointed out a young lobster, a sea cucumber and even coaxed a moray out of some brain coral. Most of these things I wouldn’t have seen had he not pointed them out.

Our excursion included two stops and lasted almost 2 hours in the water. We had a lunch of ceviche, chips, guac and entrees including local fish and chicken fajitas afterward. Simply delicious. On our way back to the resort, Eddie let us view a slideshow of pictures he took of us and the reef during our excursion. A DVD with all the images was included in the package (you can see some of his work attached).

I have snorkeled for years and have put my face under the waves in Hawaii (Oahu and Maui), Bonaire, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Curacao and Aruba. Some of those trips have been good, some bad, but all have shown me beauty I’ll never see above water. Among all of these great experiences, this was one of the best and this slice of reef is the most beautiful I have ever seen (my wife, who dove the Great Barrier Reef, says it’s second only to that).

I’m trying to be thorough in describing this reef, and rebutting some complaints, because when someone works hard to create a wonderful experience, they have earned a loyal friend for life. The Snorkel Shop and Eddie did all they could to see that we had a great time and they hit a home run. I can’t think of one thing we didn’t like and, if you’re laid back and flexible, I know you won’t either. Thanks Snorkel Shop and thanks Eddie!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank TJ K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSnorkelShop, Owner at The Snorkel Shop, responded to this review, February 22, 2013
Dear TJK,
I am absolutely amazed by your fantastic review! Thank you so much. The detail and positive comments are well appreciated. The whole team would like to thank you for your support and kind words especially Eddie. I have not snorkeled or dove the Great Barrier Reef, but I do here it is amazing and being second only to it is no small compliment. The reef here is absolutely beautiful.
We also all think of our guest as friends and please let us know if there is anything we can help you with in the future. Thank you once again,
Sincerely,
Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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387 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Camden, Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Snorkel Shop Reef Snorkel Trip”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

What a great experience snorkeling with the Snorkel Shop. We saw colorful tropical fish and rays. The guide made this such a great experience and the lunch we had on the beach was delicious.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jack259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSnorkelShop, Owner at The Snorkel Shop, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Jack259,
Thank you for your review. Snorkeling is a great experience and we are glad to have been your choice to experience the local reefs. We are also glad you enjoyed the Beach club lunch at the end of our tour. We Hope to see you again and once again thank you for your support.
Sincerely,
Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Level Contributor
49 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Best experience of the trip...”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Okay, everyone is raving about the snorkeling trips with The Snorkel Shop. And they are right--this was a great treat for my husband, our friends, and me. Eddie served as our instructor and guide at the reef in Puerto Morales and was as enthusiastic about our experience we were. It was a joy to have him leading us through the reef and sharing his knowledge--it is always heartening to know that someone enjoys his work as much as he does and is willing to share that joy. The DVD of photos Eddie takes on the trip is a real "value added" item. We will definitely go on other trips (cenotes, tortugas) when we return.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank LJEMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSnorkelShop, Owner at The Snorkel Shop, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear LJE Maryland,
Wonderful review! It is so nice to hear reinforcement about our tours. How can Eddie not enjoy his job as he gets to meet interesting people from round the world, snorkel in the beautiful reef and have a great meal every day. He does enjoy his work. It is completely our pleasure to provide pictures of your tour so you can remember your vacation to Playa and you trip with us. Thank you for such a nice review and we hope to take you an as many tours as you would like.
Sincerely,
Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“great snorkeling tour!”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Sofia was great to deal with by email while trying to arrange this tour. Eddie was early picking up my son and I and we had a chance to get chat a bit on the way to Puerto Morelo to snorkel. We snorkeled two different parts on the reef and Eddie was a great guide, very experienced, knowledgable and puts a strong emphasis on safety. He wouldn't have taken us anywhere past our abilities and kept an eye on us at all times, while still keeping an eye out to point out all the fantastic sea life (school of barracuda, sting ray, moray eel, giant lobster, etc.). The lunch afterwards was fantastic too, the ceviche was delicious and our chicken fajitas were super yummy. All in all, Eddie was a fantastic guide and I highly recommend taking this more personalized tour over going with a big outfit where you won't get any personalized attention or anyone looking out for your personal safety. Plus, it's always a bonus to have one-on-one time with a local to ask for other recommendations and info. Thanks Eddie and Sofia!
Margo

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank laracee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSnorkelShop, Owner at The Snorkel Shop, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Lara cee,
I am so glad you enjoyed the day with Eddie. The reef is truly beautiful with all the fish and coral.
Also, I am glad you enjoyed the beach club lunch, as it is nice to sit down after and enjoy some local food and relaxation. Safety and fun are our first priorities and it is great to hear it being appreciated. Thank you for your review and support and we hope you will join us again soon.
Sincerely,
Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fun and friendly”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

I arranged this snorkel trip for my wife as an Xmas present before we went. She has only snorkeled a few times and sometimes gets a bit nervous. Eddie was great to us, and made sure we were safe and happy the whole time. He is very friendly and funny - very helpful and answered all our questions about the local area and culture. The pick-up and drop off at our condo was very convenient, and lunch at the beach club was delicious. The Cenote dive was cold, dark and claustrophobic but we were very glad that we did it - it was amazing - and Eddie made sure we were always ok. Thanks Eddie, we will book this again with you next time we come to Playa del Carmen, it was the highlight of our trip!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ted M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSnorkelShop, Owner at The Snorkel Shop, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Ted M, what a great Christmas present! Thank you for choosing us for such a special event.
The cenote is definitely not to be missed. It is a little chilly (77F) and a little dark, but we do give you under water lights and it is really beautiful. I am so glad you spent part of your vaction with us and we look forward to your return. Thank you on you great review and support.
Sincerely,
Graham
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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