St. Thomas St. John Snorkel/Sail Excursion Reviews
Great day here on the Champagne Catamaran snorkel/sail tour. The weather was cloudy and the bus ride horrible ...bumpy and a bit scary. After that though we got underway fast. Good safe instruction and well over an hour maybe an hour and a half in the water. Excellent viewing - sea turtles, sting rays and many colorful fish. Gorgeous water one of my best snorkels ever. Not too crowded either. Then we had free flowing drinks and snacks. The crew Mark, Alex and Jen were excellent. Highly recommend this.
A super trip, with one exception. An open tour "bus"/truck and a van hauled 29 of us over to the marina on the other side of the island where we loaded onto a catamaran, sailed to St. Johns, snorkeled, sailed back (with rum punch, champagne etc for those who wanted it), then drove back to the port. All was wonderful and could not have been better except that in the morning at the port the driver of the open bus/truck vehicle: a) loaded 25 of us onto the 20-person vehicle, b) realized that he couldn't get the other four onboard, and then c) called in a 9-person van for those four people. All of this over a 20-25 minute period with no explanation of what he was doing, when we would be going etc. No mention of how long the drive would be, no commentary along the way. I am not sure if he was incompetent or just a total jerk. Fortunately everyone else (the cat crew) were super in all respects and took care of us very well. I would do this trip again but I might just take a taxi over to the marina the next time.
In St. Thomas, we did the snorkeling in Trunk Bay. This was ok, we seemed rushed. By the time we returned to the ship, there was not much time to shop and we weren't told that they close the shops on the beach at Trunk Bay at 3pm. However, there are some shops near the port and we were lucky to pick up some authentic perfumes and colognes for $10 each at a place called Dynasty Dazzlers. They were selling full-size testers. I've spent 10 days in St. Thomas last year and it's very easy to get around with their shuttles, ferries and taxis.
This excursion was fantastic! We were taken to the beach by boat and then bus. The rides seem long; however, we turned it into part of the adventure. Our children love experiencing different modes of transportation; therefore, this part was fine with us. Others were complaining about the amount of time it took to get to the beach itself. Again, it's all on what you get out of each experience!
The beach was breathtakingly beautiful...right out of a magazine. The word paradise is the one I would use to describe it. The snorkeling gear was provided as part of the fee. This excursion was age appropriate for everyone. There was a choice to go deeper into the ocean, and view the reefs and abundance of fish, or to stay closer to shore. There were life guards on duty, and marked areas for safety. We have taken several snorkeling excursions, in the past, which consisted of having to jump off a boat in the middle of the ocean to snorkel. Although those excursions were great, they were not necessarily geared for younger children. This is why this particular excursion was so perfect for our family. My teen daughter and husband went into the deeper end of the ocean, while my 7 year old son and I remained on the shallow end. We were all able to snorkel safely and see hundreds of beautiful fish. Plus, once we were tired of snorkeling, we still had time to enjoy the beautiful beach. This beach also offers a place to eat and showers. The tour guides gave us a 20 minute warning before returning us to the bus. Again, extremely organized and well planned. We also learned much about St. Thomas on the ride to the St. John beach and back.
The entire tour is about 4 1/2 hours long. At first, we thought it would be too short of a time. We were concerned about getting our money's worth. However, it proved to be ample time to enjoy the beach and snorkeling! The guides are very organized and efficient. It turned out to be just long enough in that it gave us time to explore the port area. There are many beautiful shops and places to see. We absolutely loved every minute of this experience!!!
We will return...
We did the St. John Champagne Catamaran Snorkel & Sail and it was a great day. We boarded open bench buses and took a long ride to the marina. I was surprised at the poverty, even at the marina. I've never seen so many boats in such sad condition. The catamaran used for the excursion was in excellent condition, though. The crew members were friendly and professional. It was a hot day and they served plenty of cold water as soon as we boarded. Champagne, rum punch, and juice were included, but I was thrilled that they had water available. Sailing from St. Thomas to St. John gave us a scenic tour of both islands and some smaller nearby islands. The crew members shared island history, points of interest, and their personal experiences of living on the islands. We anchored at Honeymoon Beach, which was picture perfect with white sands and palm trees. It was like something you dream about. The crew provided each of us with flippers, a mask, a snorkel, and a flotation vest that you had the option of blowing up or wearing flat. You're anchored in 30 feet of water and can go right off the ladder, but a few people preferred to be brought to shore on a little inflatable boat. The snorkeling was pretty good. My son and his friends saw some lobsters and we all saw big turtles and plenty of fish. On the return trip home, the crew provided fresh bread, cheese and fruit, along with the drinks. One thing I will mention is that everyone is pushing for a tip, including both bus drivers and the crew. A crew member told us that the majority of their income is from tips and that 15-20% of your excursion cost is appropriate. That would have been $40-$45 for our party of 5, plus additional tips for the bus drivers and I definitely hadn't brought that much cash. They did a nice job and deserved a tip, but I would have preferred to have it factored into the cost of the excursion rather than finding out on the boat when I think I'd only brought $20!
We snorkeled in Trunk Bay on St. Johns. The excursion boat took us into Cruz Bay and from there we embarked into various taxis that took us to the Virgin Islands National Park. There were BRIEF stops at some vistas, but not long enough to get out and take pics, except for the final view of Trunk Bay, and that was barely long enough. We had our own snorkel gear, but the company providing the instruction and loaner gear seemed professional and competent. It is apparent that the reef is under stress, but we still saw many varieties of fish and coral.
This was a nice excursion. The beach at St. John Trunk Bay was absolutely beautiful. The water was so clear that you didn't even need snorkel gear to see the fish. I didn't actually snorkel. A lot of people chose not to snorkel. I hung out at the beach and played in the warm water. We only made two stops where we got out of the bus and took a few photos. Other than that the bus was not much of a tour.
Dan gave great narrative of life on and history of St. Thomas. Very informative and fun.
The snorkeling was fabulous. Beach area was pristine and water was clear and full of beautiful coral and fish to observe along the well laid out trail.
Would go again, any time!
This was a good tour. Organized and enjoyable. The tour guide was knowledgable and wanted to make sure everyone had a good time. I would have marked it with more stars if we had been able to snorkel, but unfortunately it was too windy. I appreciated that the cruise line let us know in advance that we might not be able to snorkel and would have refunded our fees if we had decided not to go. I would recommend this tour to others.
Our shore exc. got canceled last minute because of rough seas,really ? We were not informed until we boarded the ferry to St. John's. Oh well went over any way, took a taxi to the closest beach and then back into the village for chips salsa and triple Margaritas at Margarita Phill's, to drown our sorrows. Very disappointing Princess ...
St. Thomas – we broke from tradition and did a RC excursion. We did a ½ day champagne catamaran snorkel expedition. They take you to St. John to dock off a beach there to snorkel and it’s a great place with lots to see. One note though: although it is billed as a half day snorkel trip you only get to snorkel for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The trip involves a 40 minute open air bus ride and a 45 minute boat ride each way. The guys who drove the boat were a ton of fun but just be aware of the short snorkel time.
We took the "All inclusive Trunk Bay Snorkel" excursion. Trunk Bay was stunning. The reef is marked, so while snorkeling, you can see what some of the coral and some of the marine life are called, and they are abundant. Keep in mind there are no chairs there, so if you have a hard time getting on and off the ground you might want to reconsider this. There is also no shelter, which wouldn't matter, except that it poured while we were there. Neither of these things would in any way lessen my decision to do this excursion again. There are not showers so you can head back to the St. Thomas ferry clean.
We took this tour so that our son and daughter-in-law could get idea of St. John USVI. They went to a small beach there and we snorkled and swam ashore to lay out some on the beach. During our return back to St. Thomas we were served cheese and bread and choice of beer, champagne or rum punch.
Sailed on the Champagne Cat with Grady, kenny and Mickey! They were so much fun and knew how to host a GREAT party. They really know their stuff about the islands, snorkelling and safety. We miss them already and hope to see them again in the future.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND TAKING THIS TOUR! Nothing like St. John!
Did the boat ride to St. John, the ride along the coast looking at beaches and then a trip to Trunk Bay. Could have skipped the boat ride to look at the beaches and just get the taxi to Trunk Bay. Great beach and snorkeling. After snorkeling, we came back to Cruz bay and went to Woodies, Kenny Chesney's hang-out. Fun place with good, cold beer and we had some very good shark bites.
We did the half day St. John Champagne Sail through the cruise ship. What a great time! There was a nice ride out to honeymoon beach on the catamaran. There was plenty of time to snorkel and/or hang out on the beach. On the way back we had a nice leisurely sail to St. Thomas. They provided cheese, bread, and fruit as well as rum punch and other drinks. I thought it was well worth it.
We did the the excursion to St John's, we had done Maaghan's Bay before. Beautiful beach and great snorkeling!
We sailed with Jester Sails and loved loved loved it! The Capt and his mate were laid back and fun and we just totally enjoyed the day.
St. John Champagne Catamaran Sailaway was great. The crew was fun and knowledgeable.