Very busy port – there are always as many as 4 or more ships docked!If you like to shop, get away from the pier (which is a madhouse of people and confusing walkways) and ride the $2, five minute shuttle into the town, you can even walk and it will take about 25 easy minutes.Try and avoid the cabs in the pier area, just walk out of the gate area and you will find the shuttle or a cab. At this port I booked myself online a “Swim with Sea Turtles and Snorkel” tour with “Thriller Ocean Tours” http://www.caribzones.com/thrilleradventure.html. This was my second time with “Thriller” as they are as professional and customer service oriented as you can be. Payment was taken at the time of the tour with credit card or cash payment option and was $50 per person.We did the afternoon excursion which leaves as early as noon and as late as 1:00pm, tour total time was about 3.5 hours. Stephen the owner is very accommodating and knows the waters. He communicated with me via email prior to the tour and his service did not fail throughout the tour.The tour makes three stops, the first is in an area with sea turtles, and if you are lucky they will swim by and you can touch them or even try to ride them.I saw baby and adult sea turtles.However, this area was full of other boats doing the same thing we were and the water was not that clear so you have to really look for the turtles. The second time I did this excursion “stephen” said the waters where cloudy due to storms and he took us to another turtle area which was fantastic. I loved it and had a wonderful interactive experience. What was also funny when I got back on board the Jewel, I listen to so many guests complaining about the turtle excursion they went on and how they did not see any turtkes and how cloudy the water was. I just smiled, another advantage of going with a small operator.
The second stop was a reef, where they allow you to get in the water with literally hundreds of fish while they feed around you.This experience was a delight – watching the fish swim in circles around your head while eating an inch away from you in truly a sight to see.Then they guide you to the reef to snorkel, my wife just loved this reef, since I am very experienced in snorkeling I thought is was good but for the novice it is excellent.The third stop you anchor in the water and snorkel over/under two shipwrecks. This was my favorite area; if you are an accomplished swimmer with good snorkeling skills you can dive into the wrecks. They anchor close enough to shore that you can swim or wade to the beautiful beach and relax for about 45 minutes.At this time they pull out the snacks and rum punch, which were perfect after all that snorkeling.To finish up they give you a high speed ride back to the meeting area, just in time to make your way back to the ship. Overall a great excursion and WELL WORTH the money. Stephen will also drop you off closer to the Ship pier if you want.