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In Bridgetown Barbados there are more than a dozen companies offering catamaran lunch, turtle snorkel cruises that are almost identical in itinerary, with all departing 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. The capacity of these catamarans ranges from 12 (2 companies) to 46 passengers (all others).

 

As far as I can determe there is one turtle viewing area and one shipwreck snorkel site. Does anyone have any other information?

 

My main question is, how do these sights manage the volume of snorkelers/swimmers?

I have read a few reviews where people complained about overcrowding and collisions with other swimmers, yet most reviewers seem to enjjoy the experience.

 

Surely there must be some control. Would someone with experience with this excursion please post their comments.

 

Thank you

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I'm guessing that the two snorkel sites you're talking about are both in Carlisle Bay and pretty much the same site. If it were me, I'd walk to the beach there and either get a ride out to the snorkel site or swim out to it. The catamarans will pull up to shore to pick snorkelers up and you're not stuck on a crowded catamaran for a couple hours. I don't think there really is any control. If there are quite a few ships in port it will be crowded. To avoid the crowds just show up as early as you can or stay as late as you dare.

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I did a Catamaran Turtle tour with Shasa tours. I HIGHLY recommend them. The captain is Jason O'Neil. It holds no more than 12. We were a party of 4 and had it to ourselves that day. It was an awesome time. I also have gone with Calabaza which was also AMAZING. I cannot say enough great things about them either. The Cat was nicer and bigger and we had 12 people. They both get you to the sights early and avoid crowds.

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I second the vote for Calabazza. What an amazing time we had! I've been on 18 cruises and this was my favorite excursion of all. Gina and her crew are amazing and take care of your every need/want. We weren't near any other cats at all. We found our own little amazing place. From the homemade food to the ever flowing beer and rum punch, to the littlest details like sending us photos to remember our journey along with the recipes for all of the food that she served, everything was AMAZING! Gina even took special care to make sure that my food allergies were not ignored and I had plenty to eat! I hope that you'll give it a try and that your experience is just as awesome as ours was!!

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There is no "control" over number of snorkelers. We did Calabaza couple years ago and although it was a good boat tour I guess(just up the coast a bit), and food and drink was good the snorkeling was very disappointing. Too many other snorkelers, nothing much to see as compared to many other snorkeling tours we have done. Did see turtles but really no big deal. If you want great snorkeling, with turtles, go to Bonaire and use Woodwind. By far the best snorkeling and tour operator EVER, EVER, EVER. Wouldn't waste my money doing any snorkel excursion in Barbados. IMHO. Am sure others feel different. I have snorkeled all over the Caribbean. We are doing a southern caribbean cruise in Dec and still trying to decide what to do in Barbados, but won't be snorkeling that for sure. Too bad this cruise doesn't go to Bonaire.

 

Jane

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Another vote for Calabazza. We went with them a few years ago and are booked again in December. Not crowded, great snorkeling with lots of fish and turtles, amazing food / service. One of the best excursions we have done.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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