I booked this excursion through Shoretrips.com because it offered more of the island than excursions offered through our ship. Finding the office of Captain Marvin's was easy, just one block from cruise terminal. Island time was one hour behind so we actually arrived early. They supplied everything except towels and snacks (make sure to bring some because it is a long hot day). I will say the "short and sweet" part is about right. Not much of a bus ride tour because island is so full of hotels can't hardly see 7 Mile Beach at all. But the boat ride to Stingray city was pleasant and the snorkel sites were nice. The Gardens snorkel stop didn't have as much fish as I would have expected, but then...there were lots of other boats around. So, maybe they should consider a different snorkel spot but this one was still shallow - about 10-12 feet for the novice snorkeler and calmer waters. I would comment that having a snack would have been a nice touch. Also time at the Turtle Farm could have been longer and the same with Hell, but then our group was so large so I know our guide was worried about doing the "necessary" show and tells and getting us back to the cruise terminal. I would limit the size of the group to even smaller if it means getting a little more time at the Turtle farm. We were so hungry, we would have been happy to get something to eat there (at their restaurant) if we had the time. The excursion was almost 5 hours long and when you've been swimming, you are just famished and your family keeps reminding you of it. The staff was very knowlegable and helpful to everyone. Some folks came and didn't even get in the water so deck hands were very accommodating and brought up starfish and other creatures for those remaining on the boat to touch and feel and take photos. They helped my mother on and off the boat and were very nice. I just think the group was too large to try to get to so many island sites. But, I would recommend this excursion - just bring food! By the time you get back to the cruise terminal, there's really not enough time to feel comfortable about going to a restaurant. I also recommend you shop as you make pit stops with the tour and do so quickly...again, just not enough time afterward.
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