My wife and I swam with the whale sharks (words can't describe how cool that was) and we also did the snorkeling tour on a different day (also a really great experience). But that's not what I'm commenting on. My wife will post about those experiences in greater detail.
As a business owner myself, what gets high ratings from me is when I see a well-run business. Anybody can put on a "tour". But what makes for a great tour experience is how well the company deals with issues (no matter how small) when they arise.
Jay is a caring and compassionate business owner who genuinely wants his clients to have a great experience. For example, they recommend that you bring reef friendly sun screen to the snorkeling tour. My wife and I brought "Reef Safe" sunscreen in the States - the brand name. Unfortunately, it was not actually reef safe (despite the name). When one of the mexican reef keepers started to tell me that my "Reef Safe" wasn't reef safe, I thought he was BSing me, just so he could sell me some overpriced sunscreen. Jay heard this interaction and before I could even think about getting annoyed with the reef keeper, Jay stepped in, checked out my sun screen, confirmed that it wasn't actually good for the reef, let me know that the guy wasn't trying to sell me sun screen and that they really were trying to protect the reef. Jay then went to his van and let us use his private stash of sunscreen (that he normally sells to you, if you don't bring any), for free. That's a small example of how this tour company works. My little problem was resolved, before it even became a problem.
The culture of the company is instilled in the tour guides, the drivers, the boat captains, literally, everybody involved. When one group of girls started getting seasick on our whale shark tour, the tour guide was right there with water, crackers, and anything else that could make them feel better.
Because the groups are kept small, you can get more personal attention than you would get in a big 30 person tour. The tour guides are in constant communication with Jay to resolve any issues that come up, but also to report back when they tried something new that turned out to be really cool (that way the tours keep getting better).
This company is just really well run. They will bend over backwards to make sure you have a great experience. If you have a bad experience on one of these tours, it's because of some act of God that nobody could have any control over (and even then, I think this company would figure out a way to deal with it) or it's because you are just an insufferable person who hates everything. The activities are fun. The people are friendly. The food is great. The customer service culture is truly outstanding.
When we come back to Playa, we will definitely be booking again with this company.