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Easy walk from the cruise ship down the beach to check in - staff was very friendly on the beach ... on the boat was a little different vibe though. Somewhat grumpy capt'n and sidekick take you out to the snorkel spots, but seems like other boats Like Chukka get in better positions closer to the coral so you don't have to swim out too far and they have better guides. The wall' experience was nothing special - but could be they didn't take us to the best spot again. Our 'guides' just jump in the water with their oatmeal and wait for the fish to swim around them. This is an okay tour for beginners, but if you are a experienced snorkeler you will not be happy. We saw great fish on the little beach just off the cruise walk way - actually saw an octopus and starfish there but not on the trip. FYI - the coral in grand turk has been pretty devastated by storms - and most are just gray murky reef areas. It was nice being on the boat for the couple hours, but the beach is just as easy if you have your own mask.
We booked the ultimate snorkeling tour which included snorkeling in a shallow 10-20ft area followed by a trip to the Amazing Wall drops off to several hundred feet.
Finding the tent on the beach was easy, and the guy we checked in with was very professional. Our group had 19 people in it which was tiny compared to the massive groups that booked with Carnival.
Upon arrival, he let us know that the others in our group booked the full package which included a trip to Gibbs Cay conch dive and sting ray encounter. We chose to upgrade for only 20 each, so our total was 85 per person. I paid him cash after the trip for the upgrade because he encouraged us to wait and see if we wanted to upgrade. There was no pressure to upgrade at all, but it was well worth it.
Captains Eric and Gary were our guides, and the snorkeling was great. They got in the water with the group. Gary had empty water bottles with bread in them to attract fish which worked really well. Eric trailed the group and helped those who were not strong swimmers. On the way to Gibbs Cay, Gary dove into 25ft water and pulled up several conchs and a starfish.
At Gibbs Cay, Eric showed us how they get the conch out of the shell. He then prepared a fresh conch salad ceviche right on the beach using the conchs Gary got on his dive. Gary attracted some of the stingrays to the shore, and we got up close and personal with them. These are memories I and my kids will never forget.
The only issue we had was that we got hammered with spray sitting in the back of the boat on our way to the first two snorkel sites and to Gibbs Cay. This wasn't just a little spray. It was like getting buckets of water thrown in your face every 5 seconds. We tried covering up with towels, but that didn't work after they were soaked. This was largely due to some choppy conditions, and is not the fault of the crew. I just wish I knew to anticipate that possibility because I would have thrown a dry shirt in the bag to change into afterwards.
All in all, this was a fantastic excursion and I'd totally recommend booking with this group. We were back at the beach by the port with a few hours left to explore and eat lunch on the ship.
Our snorkeling trip to the Turks and Caicos was amazing. Exclusive Escapes took good care of us. Since no one else had signed up for the Ultimate Snorkeling but did sign up for the upgraded tour that went to Gibbs Cay to touch the stingrays, we were automatically upgraded for free so we didn't need to back out of our trip. Snorkeling was wonderful. It has to be best place I have ever snorkeled as the fishes were abundant in both size and variety. Saw a turtle too swimming over the wall. Highly recommend the company and the experience.
The family that takes you on this excursion are THE BEST! They took such good care of us and made our experience a real adventure. The fish we saw, the stingray, the conch shell experience were all unforgettable. Well worth the time and money for the adventure. We would love to go back again.
We just came back yesterday from our cruise with Carnival dad, son, daughter. Initially booked the 2-stop snorkeling, but right after those two we wanted more and added the conch and stingray stop too, while on the boat.
Being this our 5th cruise we have snorkeled in almost all of the Caribbean islands yes, we love it that much!. The shallow reef is OK, but the Wall is simply stunning. It drops from 20-30 ft to way over 100, vertically. Big wow! Our guide quickly went all the way down to the bottom about 60ft on a single breath, that easy, and brought us a starfish. Good variety of fish, of all shapes and sizes, but the drop takes the cake.
Then, we went to the next stop and our guide picked up some conchs, and 10 minutes later sailed straight to the stingray beach to prepare lunch. The skipper showed us how to get the meat out of the conch and how to prepare a delicious seafood salad.
Sodas, rhum punch, cookies, water, all included, while sitting on the immaculate beach.
While all this was going on, the captain attracted towards our group a couple of big stingrays -females about 6 ft wide. The animals were really calm and actually seemed to enjoy the petting and interaction, not swimming away and almost cooperating for a great picture!
We spend a good hour swimming with the rays and they would continue coming back, as if wanting to play with those in the water. What a experience!
My suggestion? Do not get just the snorkel as it was our original plan, seriously. Get the whole thing. The beach where the stingray play with the guests is incredible, gorgeous -one of the many tiny islands of Turks and Caicos. Great experience, worth every penny. Glad that we upgraded to the full package.
Booked in advance without problem we don't like cruise's overcrowded excursions, not fun.
The tour starts 5 mins from the pier 200 yards, on your left. There's a booth right on the sand. If not sure, ask the locals will point it for you.
Great tour, conveniently located just a short walk from the cruise terminal. We booked this to avoid the over-crowded cruise line excursions. There were 6 of us for the tour and Captain Gary and Captain Eric were wonderful. Experienced divers that know where to go to make the most out of your trip. We saw a lot of fish, including a nurse shark and I even got to see an octopus. Highly recommended. I would do this again if I were to come back to Grand Turk.