We booked a snorkel trip with Aruba Bob. It was fabulous! Stuart picked us up at the dock and we snorkeled Mangel Halto using motorized handheld units. We freshened up at Club Arias (where Aruba Bob is based), using the restrooms, outdoor showers and having a refreshing drink before returning to the ship. We would definitely do this excursion again. The transportation cost was $20 each way and the snorkel was $40.
We walked down the street to the left of the cruise ship dock past the freight containers and snorkeled on a little beach across from a condo. You can't beat the snorkeling in Bonaire and you don't need an excursion to do it. If you feel you need a guide, book one with Renee www.reneesnorkeltrips.com We've used her before and she is fabulous, reliable and reasonable.
We booked the dolphin swim excursion through Holland America because we weren't confident that we could get a cab to bring us back to the ship. They gathered everyone on the cruise ship dock in the hot sun so we checked in with them and then went to sit in the shade further down the dock. We were all assigned a cab driver who took us to the Dolphin Academy adjacent to the Lions Dive Resort. We were told to look for the same cab driver at 1:45 pm and not to be late or he would leave us. They had change facilities, restrooms and lockers. We got some basic information and were assigned flippers before getting into the pool. No cameras were permitted. We had six people on our team and two dolphins. Each person got to shake the dolphin's flipper, get the to do a trick and have the two dolphins pull them along in the water. You could also swim alongside the dolphins and rub them. After the swim, you could purchase photos and/or a DVD. Then you had to wait until 1:45 pm. The aquarium affiliated with the dolphin swim was pathetic and around 1:15 they put on a dolphin show. This was an expensive excursion and although I enjoyed meeting the dolphins, I would not do it again.