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“Snorkeling the Reef”
Review of Star Tours

Star Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Star Tours offers Daily Snorkel Tours to sites like Hol-Chan Marine Reserve, the Manatee Reserve, and Shark Ray Alley. We also offer Tours for Cruise Passenger.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

Our ship arrived in Belize and we were to take the water taxi to Caye Caulker island. Our name was listed at the water taxi window and our hand written ticket was given to us. (I prepaid online for this tour). After arriving on the island, we found the location with help from a nice man as we got off the taxi. We were very early, our tour didn't start until 1030. So we were able to walk around the island, which is laid back, relaxing and very small! Equipment was good, but we are NOT snorkelers, so to us it worked fine. There were 9 total people on our tour, the girl in the office brought us drinks of water and pop, (only us, not everyone and I think maybe that was because I prepaid online?) and my return voucher for the water taxi. Our tour guide was Shaun, and he was amazing. He went with us on the snorkel and talked to us about the coral and the fish we saw. Then we went to shark and sting ray alley, which was AWESOME! We all got to hold a shark and a sting ray, which was the coolest thing! The final area we went was the Coral gardens and it was all very beautiful. I was VERY concerned about getting back to the water taxi since Carnival "won't wait for you if you are not on a Carnival tour"...well, Shaun was aware of the time, and knew we had to be on the water taxi! Which he dropped us off right at the water taxi dock. Again, Shaun was fab!!
The reason I gave this a very good rating is because Shaun was amazing and extremely knowledgeable. I felt he really cares about the Mesoamerican reef, it's beauty, the animals, the coral and all it has to offer this community.
My complaints are: it would of been nice to have a sign to the tour place, or even included in the email which direction to go once on the island. Lunch was to also be included, which was cut up bananas and pineapple, (enough for us to each have a small chunk). I also felt that the description I read about the touring boat was deceiving, since getting back INTO the boat was a challenge on the moving, rinky-ladder! Again, Shaun was very helpful, otherwise I would probably still be at the reef floating.

4  Thank wemcjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramon R, Owner at Star Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

We are glad that you enjoyed our Guide and the Tour. We do not have signs or map of the island sent to you because our staff was to meet you when you arrived in Caye Caulker, if we did not then we apologize. Lunch is not included in our tours, only a suggestion that if you have time you can have lunch at our Restaurant. We also use ladders and equipment that are pretty much standard to any snorkel shop on the island. Again, apologies if there was any issues with the ladder.

We are happy that you had fun on your Tour and in Belize.

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73 - 77 of 102 reviews

Reviewed April 11, 2012

I have read some of the negative reviews and having traveled the same path and can see where the problems could occur. Ramon was very clear that we should use Belize time and not "Ship" time. Luckily for us they were the same. He provided us with a map to find the water taxi terminal, and we found it with no issues. Our tickets were waiting as expected. The water taxi did take about 50 minutes to get to Caye Caulker. We were met at the end of the pier and escorted to the hotel where we met our guide, Shaun. Everyone there was very nice and helpful. There were 7 of us all together including another couple from a different cruise ship. Before leaving shore Shaun timed out the trip to ensure the cruise ship passengers would have no issues on the return trip. The water was shallower than I had expected but the snorkeling was fantastic. Shaun was an excellent guide and pointed out lots of things we would have missed. Swimming with the manta rays and nurse sharks was a lot of fun, but my favorite was seeing the green moray eel. This is not a fancy outfit by any means. The boat was small but covered. Shaun provided us with fresh fruit, water, and a choice of sodas while on the boat. We took a smaller, faster water taxi back to Belize City, arrived without incident, and returned to our ship. It was a great day and an amazing experience.

3  Thank BluegrassAnne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramon R, Owner at Star Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

Glad you had a good Snorkel Tour with us and enjoyed your day in Belize...

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Reviewed April 10, 2012

We booked a tour specifically designed for cruise ship passengers. We ran into trouble right from the first ferry ride to Caye Caulker as the ticket office had no record of us purchasing tickets. Thankfully we utilized a local policewoman to escort us to the ticket window where she "proved" we had paid for the trip.

Once on Caye Caulker, we had arrived "early" to the snorkel station. If we hadn't arrived early, our entire tour would have had to have been cancelled becuase we didn't have enough time to catch a ferry back to get back on our ship. Once the tour guides got around to our pace (tight timeline) we got on a boat and zipped out to the reef.

The reef offered a lot of what we expected. Saw tons of sharks, rays, fish, beautiful coral. Gorgeous water and the guides were very knowlegeable.

I would recommend watching the clock and make sure you clarify "island time" verses "ship time". Each ferry ride is at least 45 mins. If you only have a short time to snorkel, then maybe find somethign that doesn't inlcude a ferry ride.

7  Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

On Monday, we booked a manatee tour with them for Tuesday, were told that the tour had 4 people total signed up, so it was confirmed to go out the next day, for X dollars, and show up at 9 AM. When we arrived at 9 AM, we were told there was good news and bad news: our tour had actually been cancelled, but they could set us up with a larger tour leaving for only an extra 30 dollars (US) per person. We were really unhappy with this and said as much, but grudgingly agreed to do the other tour. Magically, a few minutes later, the staff person found us another tour company to travel with for 5 dollars less than the original price.
On top of that, I had specifically asked about bathrooms (sometimes a girl just needs a bathroom), and was assured there would be bathrooms available on one of the stops. Actually, there were no bathrooms available at any point during the day!
So I just wouldn't trust these guys.

2  Thank Jenny_in_Palo_Alto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramon R, Owner at Star Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

We do try our best to send out the Manatee Tour, but there is a minimum for this tour, the Manatee Reserve is far away and costly to reach at. We also were not being anyway false, just trying our best, since we were not doing the tour, to accommodate you to ensure you did get the tour you wanted.

Here on Caye Caulker this is normal practice. This is done to ensure that the guests do get the tour they want to do. What you experienced is us trying to assist you with getting your tour in on that day and that is why the different prices situation occurred. We are glad that you did get to do the tour and hope you enjoyed.

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Reviewed February 5, 2012

I cannot actually evaluate the tour since we refused to go on it after learning it was not going where the website claimed. We paid $75.00 each for the Hol-Chan Tour for cruise ship passengers. The website specifically says you end the day in San Pedro, but when we arrived on Caye Caulker we were told that was not a stop. We had planned to meet up with some friends that were on Ambergis Cayes, so this was the primary reason we chose this tour. I showed the woman at the tour desk where this was stated on their website and she said it was an error and they needed to edit the website. By the way, this was one rude stubborn woman! We refused to take the tour and are disputing the charges. Ramon was very responsive to my inquiries when planning the tour, but I have to wonder why he employs such a rude representative at the tour office.

4  Thank Pamela D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramon R, Owner at Star Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

There was obvious misunderstanding on this tour. We did hope that you would have been a little more understanding with us and accepted that if we had taken you to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on that day you would have missed your ship's tender.

We DID refund you and hope that you would mention that as well. We try our best to accommodate all our guests. We DID let you know that you still could've done the Snorkel Tour, but it was your choice to refuse.

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