St. Thomas Eco Tour Excursion Reviews
This tour was great. We kayaked through the mangroves, did a hike through some wooded area and out to the beach, visiting a blow hole and some tidal pools, followed by snorkeling through the mangroves. This is different than snorkeling in deeper waters, the fish are very close by to you. We saw many varieties of fish as well as squid and sting rays. The tour guides were very nice and friendly and the trip to the tour site wasn't too far from the ship.
Very nice tour with knowledgeable guides. (American, not that it matters) Lots of kayak paddling, a little hiking and good snorkeling.
This was our first excursion on any cruise so we were very excited and arrived early to meet the tour. We needn't have bothered to rush! For others who haven't taken a tour before: I believe the guides want to be sure they have everyone before they leave, so don't stress if you are running a little late. We took a typical island taxi, which is a converted truck with covered, open air benches-quite comfortable, to the EcoTour kayak launch point. There we met our ecotour guides and the trip photographer, learned about kayaking technique, saw the merchandise, and were given snorkeling equipment. We had an opportunity to change and use the facilities before we headed to the kayaks. There is a little sheltered area where you can practice paddling before the group heads into the mangrove preserve. Kayaking against the wind is a little strenuous but there is a break about half way through to learn more about the mangroves. We arrived at the hiking spot, took a break for water and to race land snails (my son thought that was pretty fun) and then walked around a point to learn a little of the history of the cove. We spent the remainder of the time snorkeling before we had to kayak back and meet our bus. The guides pointed out interesting fish and areas we might want to explore. I thought the tour was very well organized and enjoyable!
Let me begin by saying this is the 2nd time we have done VI Ecotours kayak, hike and snorkel and we LOVE it! However, we originally planned to do the Mini-Boat Adventure. We left our cabin at 9:30 to get in line to get off. First we went to deck 0 and was told the line was forming on deck 1. When we got off the elevator, the line was already around the corner and down the hall. We weren't too far in line and thought we were in good shape to get off and make the 10:15 tour. Within about 15 min, we realized we weren't moving very quickly. When we finally made it around the corner, we saw what had happened. People were lining up in both stairways, and around EVERY corner! There were no Carnival employees to tell people where to get in line and we even saw people getting off the elevators and "blending" in the lines! I'm not saying just a few people were cutting in line, but DOZENS of them! When we finally got off the ship at 10:20, the planned excursion had already left. That's when we decided to do the eco tour again. After about a 20 min. truck ride, we arrived. The instruction talk took about 10 min. then we boarded our kayak. We kayaked about 30 min. thru the beautiful mangroves then took a short hike (it's actually a walk on a trail) to the edge of the island to an area called Red Point Cliff. We loved it there and didn't want to leave! After a walk back to our kayaks, we snorkeled about 20 min. or so. It is fair snorkeling. Then we kayaked back, rode back to the ship, went onboard to change clothes and grab a snack and still had time to do some shopping at the pier.