Best bet for snorkeling in the caribbean

Old Jul 9th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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The girl at the front desk of Frenchman's Cove gave us a map and highlighted the route - she said it would only take 20 minutes or less but we decided to give ourselves about twice that. We got there in about the time she said but had to park in the visitor parking and find the beach area (there was a shuttle going around the property) so factor that in as well. Yes, Sapphire was a little closer to Red Hook so you pass it on the way to the Wyndham. Of course, on the day we went to meet the boat we had already been driving around the island for 3 days and had a good sense of where things were.
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Old Jul 9th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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^^^^^^^^^^^ Yes, what Virginia posted. It was a great trip and the highlight of our vacation. I have pictures posted if your interested:

http://travel.webshots.com/album/353...XqZM?start=120

Starts on page 11.
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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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Thanks for the info. I will definately look into and sign up for a snorkeling day tour with new horizon or one of the tours on st. thomas/ st. john.

I am really looking forward to it
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Old Jul 12th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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stan,
I can't believe you mentioned Andros Island. I went there as a teenage many years ago when NO ONE had heard of it!!!
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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We just changed the hotel to the Secret harbor on the east end of St. Thomas.

I have heard the snorkeling is good in the hotel area.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for snorkeling spots on St. Thomas? We signed up for the new horizons full day tour as well.

We will have a car so we will be able to get around.

Thanks for all of your replies, I really appreciate the advice.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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I should have added if you have any spots on St. John, please let me know as well.

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 03:26 PM
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Ferry to St. John and snorkel the underwater snorkel trail at Trunk Bay, I believe. Really cool, with information sign posted. Meghans (sp) bay/Beach on St. Thomas is nice if I recall. Coki ok, but LOTS of people selling, selling, selling.
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Old Jul 14th, 2011, 05:38 PM
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Scot- please write a report on Secret Harbour- like I said much earlier in this thread, we were there for a couple of hours but did not stay there and I am curious if we might want to return. I have not been to SJ in a while but I remember really enjoying the snorkeling at Waterlimon- someone may have mentioned it, I did not go back and read the comments.
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Old Jul 14th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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sorry about typos!
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Old Jul 15th, 2011, 05:13 AM
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scot2222 & ishkribbl, as i said i much prefer a villa over condo or hotel. however i've stayed at secret harbout twice & would be happy to go again.
only 60 units. condo's come in studio, 1 br or 2 br. the condo's are quite large with good sized decks or patios & full kitchen with dining nook. good sized living room with tv & some with dvr. optimal would be ground floor unit in blding #3 or 4. (#1 & 2 have some passing foot traffic). walking down from blding #5-8 is 2 mins. we stayed in #5 1 yr. the view is lovely over the bay. 2nd trip i stayed in blding 3 - it was perfect!!
the restaurant - blue moon cafe- is excellent & serves 3 meals daily. they also have a beach bar/snack bar. all beachfront.
the hotel staff is wonderful - most having been there for many years. the beach is cleaned & straightened up every night.
sh is about 10 mins drive east to large grocery (with liqour dept - rum is less expensive than milk!) or 10 mins west to red hook which has a deli style grocery & several small restaurants & shops.
snorkeling is very very good off the east end of the beach. walk past dive shop & enter water just before the ironshore starts. or there is a good patch off the center of the beach - when we were there they had a float moored near the tiny patch of reef. also off the left side is not bad. mostly along the rocky shore. a large iguana suns on the old dock at the left side - he will pose for photos.
no need to struggle for loungers - they don't allow non guests to use them. plenty of shade on the beach as desired. beach has sandy gradual entrance.
if there is anything else you'd like to know please feel free to ask.
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Old Jul 15th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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Looks like I spoke too soon. We are going on a family trip and my father decided to go back to the Marriot frenchmans reef instead but I am sure we will go over to secret harbor to snorkel since I have heard it is good. If you like I can write up a report on the marriot. I have stayed there once maybe 3-4 years ago. It was nice.

Thanks for the snorkeling site tips all.
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Old Jul 15th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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hmm. that's too bad. sh is much better.
do be sure to have dinner at havana blue. i thought it was wonderful. perfect if you can get reserve your table for sunset.
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Old Jul 15th, 2011, 05:09 PM
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Virginia- wow- you have been everywhere (I am so envious!!). I am glad to hear from someone whose opinion I trust implicitly to say they liked SH since it just really struck me as the place I would stay if I ever was back in ST (Like I said, a friend gave us Frenchman's Cove for free so it is hard to argue with free).

Stan- like Virginia, I hate it that you are back at Marriott and not at this delightful looking spot. I am sure though that you and your family will have a great time!

Since you said a family group, I will tell you that for less expensive (relatively) eating out, we did enjoy The Fat Turtle and Wikked at Yacht Haven Grande- maybe 10 minutes into town from Marriott Frenchman's Cove- you will be a few minutes farther down that road, I think- is that right? Walking around Yacht Haven near sunset was nice, too.
In Red Hook, if you are there around lunchtime, we liked the Big Bambooz and Fish Tails.
Have a fun time!
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for the restaurant tips. Should be fun !
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 06:13 PM
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I would encourage you to try to take a day sail/snorkel that goes to St. John. Having been to ST. 3 times and St.J. 7-8 times you will not have qualirty snorkeling, if you really want that, off St.T. But a day sail that will go to Hawks Nest, Turtle Bay and possibly Watermelon Key will give you what you are looking for at $125-$150/person. They usually require a minimum of 4-5 but they put the group together so if you give them 3 possible days I am sure it will work out.
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Old Jul 10th, 2012, 08:51 AM
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Virginia, I'm not sure if you are still monitoring this post or not? I will be in GC for a cruise stop next week. I would like to do some snorkeling close to the port. We tender in from the ship. I was in GC several years back and remember that you can pretty much enter from the shore in many places. Do you have any recommendations for me? I will be with my mom who doesn't swim. Therefore, I need something close by so that she doesn't worry while I am out. I just remember how amazing the snorkeling was there, and since I have my own gear, I thought perhaps I could get a bit of snorkeling in. Thanks for your help!
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 05:58 AM
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Believe it or not, there is fairly good snorkeling right in Hog Sty Bay where the cruise ships and port are in George Town @ Eden Rock and Devil's Grotto reef structures. Not a shallow water snorkel, but the coral masses come up to around 10 feet from surface. Paradise Bar & Grill and Eden Rock have access ladders and do not charge any fees. You can rent gear at either are Eden Rock has lockers for a small fee. Mom can rent a lounge chair at Paradise. No beach though.

Also walking distance from the tender area is Cheeseburger Reef. Similar conditions to Eden Rock, but you can snorkel the Wreck of the Cali as well. Hammerhead's and Rackham's restaurants have ladder access, as does the Lobster Pot Dive Center at the Lobster Pot Restaurant where you can also rent gear. Mom can can stay at any of the the restaurants as they all have large deck areas with plenty of umbrellas for shade. No Beach.

Sunset House Dive center is a short can ride away (less than a mile). They have an on-site restaurant and bar, along with rinse showers along with their house reef and submerged mermaid statue. Lounge chairs, but again no beach.

Governor's Reef at Governor's Public Beach, located at the northern end of the Governor's residence just past the Westin Hotel is another short cab or bus ride. Plenty of friendly fish, some, but not much healthy coral. Great beach and walking distance to the Westin's restaurant and bar.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Thanks Turtle Tagger for your info. I was able to snorkle around Eden Rock while we were in port. (I didn't do any other spots because I didn't want to leave Mom by herself too long.) If was a great spot to snorkel, unfortunately, it was a cloudy day, so it wasn't as nice as it could have been. But, you can't control the weather now, can you. I'm going to save your info as my husband and I will be travelling to GC in a couple of months. Then I will be able to check out all of the other spots.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 03:15 PM
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meece,

Prior to your next visit to GCM, be sure to checkout this website regarding snorkeling on Grand Cayman. I actually got to meet guy who put it together while on Grand Cayman and go on a "tour". It really made me appreciate what truly good snorkeling there was in GC. Only place in the Caribbean I found better snorkeling was in Roatan.

http://snorkelblog.tumblr.com/
http://caymansnorkelblog.blogspot.com/ (for mobile devices)
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 01:20 PM
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This thread has gone all over the place! A couple of notes on St Thomas:
Wikked is no longer open at Yacht Haven Grande.
Blue Moon is no longer open at Secret Harbour, but there are two new places- Sunset Grille (dinner only, $$$$) and Cruzan Beach Club (terrace dining by the beach for breakfast, lunch and dinner).

scot2222: Some other restaurant recommendations are: Bella Blu, Pie Hole and Hook, Line and Sinker in Frenchtown. Grand Cru at Yacht Haven Grande for dinner. These are all closer to the Reef than is Red Hook, although Red Hook is nice, too. I love Fish Tails on the marina for...fish!
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