great site -- feb 2004 we are sailing the western carribean with voyageur of the seas.
looks like the tubing with reg is popular --but we were wondering about the shark ray alley tour -- we have tentatively booked it with RCL but were wondering if anyone else has done the tour -- comments??? good or bad
does anyone know if we can book it privately with a local????????? look forward to hearing from others ----------thanks
You are probably safe with staying with the ship's tour. On Carnival, the boat picked you right up on the ship thus you did not have to tender to shore (30 min.) then sail to the snorkeling site. Don't forget the suns strong rays do penetrate through the water. Wear SPF 30 and or a t-shirt.
When if Feb are you on Voyager??? We'll be onboard for the 2-22-04 cruise and also stopping in Belize, and I'm still not sure what to do there or Costa Maya?? Would love to hear all about it if you are going earlier in Feb.
Hi Donna, we will be on the same cruise (Feb 22, 2004) Where are you from ? We are from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. We can tell you all about our trip as it happens !!! (or can offer a daily summarry @ the dinner table) We booked Chacchoben Mayan Ruins in Costa Maya. It was the only trip that interested us.
We did the tour off RCL's Nordic Empress last December, they advertised it as:
"Board a speedboat for a one-hour trip along the barrier reef to a popular marine reserve and famous Shark Ray Alley. After you've snorkeled in the incredibly clear waters and had a personal encounter with nurse sharks and graceful stingrays, head to nearby Ambergris Caye for a delicious barbecue lunch on the beach. There will be time to sunbathe or stroll along the sandy beach before you board your speedboat for the return trip along the scenic cayes and mangroves."
I think their price was a little less (about $90 or so). The tour was only so-so. It rained during the hour speedboat trip out. There was no cover on the boat; and everyone got wet and cold. The snorkeling was below average. We didn't see any sharks or stingrays. It could have been due to the weather, time of day, or the fact that swimmers from earlier boats scarred everything off. We went to an older "run down" hotel for the lunch (usual stuff i.e. chicken, rice, beans, and slaw, etc.) on Ambergris Caye. The beach there was poor. The lounge chairs were old, broken, and there wasn't very many of them. We did see a few manatees in the mangroves on the way back.
It problably wasn't worth the price. However, there really isn't anything to see in downtown Belieze City. You need to take a tour. This one might be as good as any. You might see all kinds of sharks. If I ever go there again I might try the cave tubing.
If you want to see sting rays (and lots of them up close and personal) and go to Grand Cayman do the sing ray city tour.
My wife and I snorkeled at Shark Ray Alley two years ago and are returning in January. We loved it. The 45 minute speed boat was fine but the snorkeling was FANTASTIC! I still refer to it as my favorite snorkeling trip. Lots of rays and fish and a few nurse sharks.
We went to a nice resort for lunch. My wife and I love eating local so the chicken, rice and beans was great especially with Marie's hot sauce (made in Belize). Nothing fancy but good and local. Beach was great but don't miss a trip to San Pedro the main town on Ambergris Cay. It's a small town with small shops and restaurants. The roads are sand and most people get around in golf carts. Buy some of Marie's hot sauce in one of the local markets it's MUCH cheaper than at the hotels or shops.
We took the tour from RCCL Nordic Empress last year to shark ray alley and it was just fabulous. The boat picks you up at the ship, the ride was beautiful through the cayes. The snorkeling was the highlight of our trip. No, we didn't see a shark, but someone inour group did. The coral and fish were awesome. We had lunch back at an open bar in San Pedro, it was good and the view was fabulous. We had about an hour to walk the dirt streets and found some local merchants carving wood and making beaded jewlery. I love to buy these things that I see being made by the locals. I too thought it was a little pricey but it was absolutely fantastic and I would do it again in a hearbeat.
Hope you enjoy it!!
Donna definitely do the Cave Tubing in Belize, its the best excursion offered there. We did it with Xstream and loved it. It is such a unique excursion. You can snorkel in so many other ports, do something different in Belize.
Hi, we are going on the Shark Ray Alley excursion at the end of January (Norwegian Sea). We've booked our excursion with Coral Breezes Limited (www.coralbreezeslimited.com). I think it is $69 per adult for 5 hours including lunch. We've read a lot of great reviews on Coral Breezes but we'll let you know when we get back if it was as wonderful as it sounds!
We just did the Coral Breeze trip on 2/27 and we thought it was great. We had about 20 people on the boat. It is a 45 minute boat ride to the snorkeling and the boat is completely covered except for a couple of seats in the very back. We first snorkeled with the stingrays and it was very similar to stingray city in the Caymans with no other people there. We were not lucky enough to see any sharks but plenty of stingrays. We then went to the reef to snorkel. After that we went to Caye Caulker for lunch and free time to expore. The only thing that I did not like about the trip is that I would have enjoyed having more time to snorkel and to explore Caye Caulker. We were late starting the trip because we waited for a group that were 1/2 an hour late - that may be part of the reason that we were rushed. Over all I felt it was worth what we paid and the crew on the boat were great. If you check the photo area for 2/22 voyager pictures there will be pictures of the trip. I don't have mine up yet but I hope to this weekend. I hope this helps!
Greetings from Belize;
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