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Bonaire Snorkeling Excursion Recommendations

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Good Afternoon,

I'm new to this board and have been reading posts the past few days.  I am excited to be planning our port days and we have never been to Bonaire.  We have only snorkeled a few times, so we're pretty easy to please. It's only 2 of us & we will be thisclose to 50 by the time we cruise. 

I'm trying to decide if we should book an excursion thru Woodwind, or if we should do one of those water taxi trips or book an excursion to No Name Beach.  Any recent recommendations would be appreciated.  

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2 minutes ago, NJCruisers said:

Good Afternoon,

I'm new to this board and have been reading posts the past few days.  I am excited to be planning our port days and we have never been to Bonaire.  We have only snorkeled a few times, so we're pretty easy to please. It's only 2 of us & we will be thisclose to 50 by the time we cruise. 

I'm trying to decide if we should book an excursion thru Woodwind, or if we should do one of those water taxi trips or book an excursion to No Name Beach.  Any recent recommendations would be appreciated.  

We used Woodwind for an excursion to Bonaire a couple of years ago and enjoyed it very much.  Bonaire is one of those very unique places.  It is considered a "Mecca" for divers so the diving and snorkeling is extraordinary BUT the beaches are very rocky and dirty so you really need to have a boat excursion to fully enjoy the water, IMO.

IIRC, the excursion we took went to little Bonaire, or whatever they call their little uninhabited nearby island.  The water was incredible.

I recommend going with a boat excursion.

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When on the RCL Blog Group Cruise aboard Navigator an number of us took the RCL excursion to Klein Bonaire.  It was on of the most memorable snorkeling experiences I have ever had.  The excursion takes you by boat to the island of Klein Bonaire where you have a beautiful unspoiled beach and fantastically clear water to snorkel a reef.  There is a current around the island  which means that you walk a ways up the beach and enter the water and you can then drift with the current along the reef.  The tell you that you don't even need flippers and it is completely true.

The only addition is that by unspoiled I mean there are no facilities on the beach, simply a small shelter with a roof.

B1lqJad.jpg

 

I believe this is the same island / excursion @WAAAYTOOO is referring to.

Edited by Marc Van Niekerk
reference @waaaytooo

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My wife and I booked the Sea Cow Snorkeling Trip through Royal Caribbean and loved it.  We are amateurs but the experienced snorkelers on the trip also raved about it, you can read all the reviews on tripadvisor here:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147268-d1798673-Reviews-Sea_Cow_Snorkeling_Trips-Kralendijk_Bonaire.html

 When you are in the water there is something to see everywhere you look.  The tour guides snorkel with you and help point out the more obscure things so you don't miss anything.

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We'll be stopping in Bonaire as well and are considering pre-booking the ferry to Klein directly with the operator. Cost is around $20pp I believe. From what I gather, the fairy brings passengers to the same spot as the tour operators. First a stop at the beach to drop off your belongings, then a drop off in the water to drift-snorkel back to shore, followed by a pick up. The ferry is about a 10 minute walk from port. Has anyone tried this or heard any feedback? There will be 6 of us travelling and the ferry could be a huge money saver for us.

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1 hour ago, 41m33 said:

There will be 6 of us travelling and the ferry could be a huge money saver for us.

Are you familiar with the names of all the tropical fish you will see? Do you know where to look for certain animals (sting rays, octopus, crabs, eels, etc)? If you do, then yes, that money saving trip is a good deal. Otherwise, then you would probably enjoy the guided excursion more. I have been scuba diving for 13 years now have dive experiences in the Caribbean, Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. I was in Bonaire a few years ago and went on a guided scuba dive and it was an incredible experience. I felt like a complete novice and dumb sh*t when the guide would point  at a coral head and I didn't see what he was pointing at until he got us both up close  and pointed to the animals hiding within the coral head. :27_sunglasses:

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I think we are going to stick with Woodwind for now - I'm sure I'll rethink this in my head about a dozen times between now and November!  I booked the afternoon excursion so we can get up, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and take our time off the ship before our 4 hour snorkeling excursion.  

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2 hours ago, Mrs. RoyalMoyal said:

We chose a ship tour, with a maximum of 20 on a boat (for snorkeling)..  I will let you all know how it goes!  Looking forward to snorkeling in a small group.

Can I ask the name of the tour or the excursion code I haven't seen a description that states a maximum of 20 people.

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Interesting story about some stranded snorkelers on Klein Bonaire.  This isn’t cruise ship related so forgive me.  

In my late teens I was scuba certified and went to Bonaire by plane to dive.  We chose a hotel right next to a dive shop / bar with views towards Klein Bonaire.  

One day after several dives we were eating dinner at the dive shop when I saw a series of flashing lights coming from Klein Bonaire.  Dot dot dot    dash dash dash    dot dot dot.  Being a geek I knew this was Morse code for SOS.  

I told everyone about it but being a scrawny kid in my teens everyone thought I was a nut.  I kept pestering the server who said talk to the bartender who just rolled his eyes. “It’s a lighthouse” they said.    Eventually other people heard me and saw it too.  Lighthouses don’t use Morse code and not SOS   

A sailboat owner who ran charters had finished his day and took his little zodiac tender to the bar for dinner.  The bartender who was fed up with me finally said “tell him, he is a sailor” pointing to the sailboat operator just a few years older than me. 

That guy looked at me exhausted after a long day who just wanted a beer like I had just killed his best friend.  He ignored me, ordered  a beer, then he saw it too.  

Off he went in the dark on his little inflatable tender with a 6 hp motor in the dark with only a flashlight.  

45 minutes later he returns with his small dingy overloaded with at least 8 people.  Their hotel who dropped them off for a snorkeling excursion forgot to pick them up.  They wandered the beach and found a flashlight   Once dark they started signaling.  Klein Bonaire is an island   

The sailboat captain was a hero, they called their hotel very upset of course but no one who had ignored my constant pestering acknowledged I was right.  The server, the bartender and even the sailboat captain ignored me while he reveled in the limelight as a hero   

This was nearly over 30 years ago long before cell phones existed.  

Lesson learned.  Be prepared at all times.  

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For anyone wanting more of a personalized experience, we booked through Renee 2 years ago and it was fantastic. http://www.reneesnorkeltrips.com/snorkel-trips/  She used to be a Marine Biologist and could point out every fish along the way to us. Some of the fish would have completely been missed if she hadn't pointed them out to us. She keeps the groups very small (4 people in ours) and it is $45/person. I would highly recommend booking a tour through her! 

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6 minutes ago, lauraodonnell86 said:

For anyone wanting more of a personalized experience, we booked through Renee 2 years ago and it was fantastic. http://www.reneesnorkeltrips.com/snorkel-trips/  She used to be a Marine Biologist and could point out every fish along the way to us. Some of the fish would have completely been missed if she hadn't pointed them out to us. She keeps the groups very small (4 people in ours) and it is $45/person. I would highly recommend booking a tour through her! 

We've been om this one, too.  Excellent choice.  Very personalized.

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On 2/10/2019 at 10:14 AM, lauraodonnell86 said:

For anyone wanting more of a personalized experience, we booked through Renee 2 years ago and it was fantastic. http://www.reneesnorkeltrips.com/snorkel-trips/  She used to be a Marine Biologist and could point out every fish along the way to us. Some of the fish would have completely been missed if she hadn't pointed them out to us. She keeps the groups very small (4 people in ours) and it is $45/person. I would highly recommend booking a tour through her! 

This sounds pretty cool too.  I checked out her website but it doesn't say anything about where to meet her or her boat.  Can you give me more info?  

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1 hour ago, NJCruisers said:

Can you give me more info

I'm pretty sure she will furnish you that info when you book with her. With a max passenger of 5, they may pick you up at the ship. :27_sunglasses:

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On 2/15/2019 at 2:41 PM, rjac said:

I'm pretty sure she will furnish you that info when you book with her. With a max passenger of 5, they may pick you up at the ship. :27_sunglasses:

Probably, but I'm the type of person who likes to know what exactly the excursion is before I hand over my money :12_slight_smile: I also tend to overthink pretty much all of them once I think I'm done planning, lol.

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On 2/10/2019 at 10:14 AM, lauraodonnell86 said:

For anyone wanting more of a personalized experience, we booked through Renee 2 years ago and it was fantastic. http://www.reneesnorkeltrips.com/snorkel-trips/  She used to be a Marine Biologist and could point out every fish along the way to us. Some of the fish would have completely been missed if she hadn't pointed them out to us. She keeps the groups very small (4 people in ours) and it is $45/person. I would highly recommend booking a tour through her! 

I'm making a note of this one for our 2020 trip to Bonaire - I've heard tons about Woodwind but the personalized experience sounds fantastic. 

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Woodwind for sure. My wife and I booked our snorkeling excursion through them and it was awesome. My wife's first snorkel experience and she received personal attention the whole trip. If we go back to Bonaire, we'll definately book with them again. Made lots of memories and stories we still tell to this day. Remind me one day when we meet on the ship to tell you about the day it rained honeybees onto our trimaran on approach to Klein Bonaire and almost all of us made it below deck to safety. (of course there wasn't room left for the crew and me.) Good story. (Nobody was stung by-the-way).

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2 hours ago, marton2 said:

Woodwind for sure. My wife and I booked our snorkeling excursion through them and it was awesome. My wife's first snorkel experience and she received personal attention the whole trip. If we go back to Bonaire, we'll definately book with them again. Made lots of memories and stories we still tell to this day. Remind me one day when we meet on the ship to tell you about the day it rained honeybees onto our trimaran on approach to Klein Bonaire and almost all of us made it below deck to safety. (of course there wasn't room left for the crew and me.) Good story. (Nobody was stung by-the-way).

Yes, I booked Woodwind a while back and I'm sticking with them.  We've only snorkeled twice so what someone may consider just an okay trip may very likely blow us away.  I do plan to touch base with them before the cruise leaves as we will not have the wifi package.  

Honeybees in the ocean?  Wow!

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