We almost didn't take this snorkeling trip. It seemed like we read so many forum posts about how great the snorkeling was from various beaches and we thought we would save the money by not doing this cruise. But after experiencing high winds that made snorkeling a challenge, we made a last minute decision to go with Fairwinds. Thankfully, I was able to book us the same day on the afternoon cruise. This is a great option for those on a budget as is less expensive. Its also shorter for those with younger kids or others who might prefer/need less time. It still offered 1 1/2 hours snorkel time and both our boys were tired out after that.
The water here is very calm and the way that the boat positions itself in the bay also helps to block wind inside the bay. There is a TON of coral and lots of fish. Someone on our cruise also saw an octopus. We saw an eel. There were dolphins in the bay but we chose not to attempt to interact with them as we know this is their resting area. A couple of them did follow our boat out of the bay and the whole boat appreciated their show!
Staff was friendly and helpful. There were 4 lifeguards keeping watch and at one point we were asked not to go behind a particular rock because we were out of view of the lifeguard. There attention to our safety made me feel very comfortable. Also, I was impressed with the options available for younger kids. They had body boards with windows that younger kids could lay on and look through and they also had these view boxes where you could float in an intertube and look through the box on the surface - no need for a mask or snorkel so that was also a nice choice.
We've snorkeled other places, but I'd never seen those. They also offered snuba. Several were jumping off the boat and using the slides. We were served fresh fruit and drinks. It was a very enjoyable experience and one that I highly recommend.
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