Take a Snorkel Trip on the Fun Cat

Post Maria- Sadly, the boat was destroyed in the hurricane. However, the company is looking for a new boat to start tours again. We will update this post when they restart!

The Fun Cat Anchored at Icacos

From time to time, we like to re-do activities that we’ve done in the past to see what has changed or been improved. Sometimes, we use the same operator that we used in the past. Sometimes we use someone different, so we can see the differences between companies.

It has been (amazingly) almost 5 years since the last time we had been on a snorkel catamaran trip (we last went on the Spread Eagle II). Thanks to a kindly invite from Captains Greg and Jim, we recently spent the day on The Fun Cat out of Fajardo’s Villa Marina.

Our Day at Sea

We met at about 9:30am at Villa Marina and got settled on the boat. We left at 10:00am. It is not like they can control it or anything but, the weather did not cooperate and it was a tough ride out — rough seas, rainy and cold. People were thinking we should just give up, turn around and go home. But as soon as we got to Icacos, and stepped foot on the beach, the sun came out and it became a glorious day. So the moral of the story is that you can’t change the weather, but stick it out and you will be rewarded!

We made a short stop at Icacos beach, where they give a snorkel lesson to beginners. They supply snorkel and mask (no fins) and floaties along with the lesson. Ray and I strolled on the beach and enjoyed the sun, though some people snorkeled. When we got back to the boat, we found that lunch was being served a little bit early. Lunch consisted of a lunch-meat buffet (with PB&J for the kids, if they preferred), tuna fish, fresh fruit, chips and cookies. Sodas and water was available throughout the entire trip. The only alcohol available before and during our snorkel stops was beer (for $2/can). Once we were finished with our second snorkel stop, they brought out the rum punch!

After lunch, our captain (Capt. Jody) made haste to the outer reef at Icacos, so we could have the reef to ourselves for a while before the other snorkel boats got there. During this second stop, due to the depth of the water, they require everyone to wear a personal flotation device around your waist while snorkeling.

After snorkeling, we dried and warmed ourselves on the deck in the sun, and then enjoyed fresh fruit and conversation with other people on the boat. The kids had a great time snorkeling with the fish close to the boat (especially when they got to feed leftover bread from lunch to the fish) and just jumping off of the boat!

On the way home, they had rum punch for the grown ups and dancing and instruments and music for everyone. Despite our rough start in the morning, it turned out to be a great day!

The Reefs

Cuttlefish at Icacos

Since we enjoy snorkeling very much, this trip was right up our alley. Because of the weather, the first stop we did at Icacos was not at the usual reef, so snorkeling wasn’t great at this spot. But it is a good spot for beginners to get the hang of snorkeling! They usually stop at a different reef that has better snorkeling, but the Captain decided to choose a safer/calmer spot given the weather when we first arrived at Icacos. The second stop was out in deeper water, farther away from the island. Because the coral is too deep to stand on, much of it is pretty healthy and there are a lot of different fishes.

Ray and I went in the water quickly on the second stop and really enjoyed ourselves. As SCUBA divers, we are very comfortable in deep water, so we had a great time going all around this reef. As it turned out, we went a bit further out were able to observe a pair of reef squid exhibiting courtship (pre-mating) behavior — that was pretty spectacular to see.

Why is it Called the Fun Cat?

Each boat that goes out seems to have it’s own thing that makes them special. Captain Greg’s Fun Cat has a party on the way home. The rum punch flowed for the grownups (and after a few, I can say they didn’t skimp on the rum!). Captain Jody let the kids control the rudders for a couple minutes, they had a blast — and Captain Jody had his hands full trying to reduce the zig-zagging pattern the kids seemed to favor!

Right before we got back to dock, they started the dance party. The crew pulled out instruments, turned up the music and … instant party! It was really fun to dance around with the other boat passengers, that is if you weren’t too tired from the sun and snorkeling! It really was a good time!

Practical Info

You can wear your bathing suit to the boat or change below deck. There are restrooms on the boat. Bring a hat, towel and sun screen. Bring lots of sun screen — you will get sunburned! For snorkeling, bring a T-shirt (to protect your back from sunburn) and don’t forget to put sunscreen on the backs of your legs. If you’re prone to seasickness, take OTC motion sickness medicine (like Dramamine) at least 30 minutes before boarding the boat. There is a dry area below deck to store towels, a change of clothes and other things that you don’t want to get wet.

Normally, when we review an activity that is not free to the public, we pay the admission price out of our own pockets. However, we just want you to know that the guys at the Fun Cat were kind enough to offer us this trip for free. While we don’t feel that this free ride influenced our review one way or the other, we felt that we should tell you, just as a matter of fact.
Ray & Gwenn

The Details

The cost is $70/person, plus 7% tax plus $3.00 Department of Natural Resources (DRNA) fee. They offer transportation from San Juan area hotels (starting at 8:00am) for $30 extra/person. You can pay with cash, credit card or PayPal.

Hotel pick-up begins at 8:00am. If you’re driving yourself, you should be at the dock by 9:30am. They return to the marina somewhere around 3:00pm or 4:00pm. Don’t drink and drive.

Allow a full day for this trip.

You can call 787.728.6606 for more information or to make a reservation.

You can visit their web site for more information. If you want to go it alone, they also have a smaller sailboat that you can charter for the day and sail yourself (with a USCG Captains License).

The catamaran departs from Marina Puerto Chico in Fajardo.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 5 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

I really am disappointed to read that they encourage feeding the fish. It is very irresponsible. Obviously, bread is not a part of a fish's natural diet and offers no nutritional value to the fish. People may not think it's a big deal but when you think about how many people are out there day after the negative effect adds up. Please consider booking with responsible tour operators who promote healthy environmental practices.

Comment by Carol Deer on 23 Aug 2015

I have been on the Fun Cat almost every year in the last 10 or 12 years. In my experience, they don't serve the drinks until the late afternoon, after every one is done swimming, etc. There were lot's of non-alcoholic drinks available, too. Over the years they have taken me to numerous different snorkeling locations, always great with loads of fish to see. One time I went with friends, and the weather turned rainy and I got bummed, thinking my friends would have a bad first snorkel experience, but the Captain Greg just navigated to a different spot where he said the water wouldn't get that stirred up (like a cove or something) and he was right! He claimed the other boats would follow him (says he has been doing these trips the longest) and in fact the locals and charters followed less than 30 minutes later. Disclaimer: I haven't tried any other snorkel or boat trip on that side of the island, I have nothing to compare this company to.

Comment by Kiki on 04 Jan 2012

Funcat was AWESOME!!! We spent the Labor Day Weekend in Puerto Rico and had the good fortune to get seats with Capt Greg on the Fun Cat. It was as you described it in your review only better! My wife is terrified of the water and only went along after much coaxing. At the first stop we watched the snorkling lesson and then practiced in the shallow water of the Island. My wife and another non-swimmer received extra attention from the crew and actually learned to do it!!! The water and reef were beautiful at the 2nd stop and my wife floated hanging onto a float, seeing the many colorful fish. The rum/dance party on the sail back was fun, except I might have enjoyed it too much (wife's words). A local lady was showing me how to do the salsa dance. Thank you for the recommendation!

Comment by Max on 09 Sep 2010

Diane, sorry you had a bad experience. I guess some times things don't always work out. Our review was our experience, one random day. We have no control over the day to day running of the FunCat nor their company. As for price, I know all the snorkel boats charge about the same price, give or take 5-10 bucks.

Comment by Gwenn on 17 Jun 2010

DO NOT BOOK WITH THE "FUNCAT"! We booked a day sail/snorkel. We were directed to the marina and when we arrived we found that it was at some other boat. They new nothing about taking us on their sail, so directed us back to where the fun cat was docked. After calling the "FUNCAT" to find out what was going on, we were told to go back to the first place and that we would be sailing with them. Apparently, the FUNCAT was not going out, but we would be with another sail company. After/during our sail, I discovered that we paid $25.00 more to go on the FUNCAT then what the other boat charged. I called and asked why that was, and was told that they just acted as a broker, that it was like booking a flight on an airplane. Well, sorry....BAD business principles. I did not get a refund and would NEVER use or recommend them to anyone! Really disappointed in your review, as that is why we went with them.

Comment by Diane on 01 Apr 2010

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