View Full Version : Who out there brings own snorkeling equipment?

01-01-2002, 09:01 PM
We are planning on possibly doing the beaches ourselves on the 7 day cruise in March. Instead of renting the snorkeling equipment, we are toying with the idea of purchasing our own and bringing it. For those of you do that, where did you purchase? Any discount sites/stores? Also, I know they have special food for the fish to attract them. Do we bring our own? Do they sell it on the beaches?



P.S My DD is 6 and a pretty good swimmer. Do we need to rent a vest for her or are they free?

01-01-2002, 09:16 PM
I understand that vests are free and mandatory. I am bringing my own snorkling equipment, but it is some I've had for scuba. The kids going with me are using some from Walmart which were inexpensive but adequate for what we'll be doing. I'm not sure if it's available at Walmart now though.

01-01-2002, 09:36 PM
Hubby brings his own snorkeling gear to Castaway Cay. He's gotten stuff at both K-Mart and American Sales. He had trouble finding a mask he liked, but then he got one at Sharper Image...more pricey than the other two places, but it seals better. Disney requires a float vest, but they will provide one free if you have the other gear.
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at: www.*****************

01-01-2002, 09:37 PM
We have brought our own snorkling equipment on both cruises. (ds even likes to use it in the hotel pools) I think all of ours was purchased at the divers outlet in Orlando (off I-4 by Belz Mall) Very good quality and prices are much less than dive shops here at home.

01-01-2002, 09:51 PM
thanks! I have a day off from work tomorrow and will scout the local walmart, kmart and target. Maybe we will stop at the belz outlet in Orlando and hit the Character Warehouse too!

01-01-2002, 10:28 PM
I just wanted to point out that when folks say the snorkel vests are mandatory and free they are talking about Castaway Cay. If you go on your own at St. Martin or St. Thomas/St. John, you have no vest. I had not really thought about this and we brought our own stuff. We did St. John on our own and it was great, but would have been nice to have vests for our kids. Luckily we had brought along a blow up raft/boat type of float and we just pulled it along by the tow rope, so the kids could hold onto it if they got tired, or the youngest one even rode in it for a while when she got tired of snorkeling. We were pretty far from shore and I would not have felt comfortable with 3 kids out there with no flotation device!

01-01-2002, 11:04 PM
Hubby and I take our own fins, mask and snorkel. We only snorkel at Castaway Cay so we don't bother to bring the vests since they are free at CC.

01-02-2002, 06:13 AM
We bought our masks, snorkels and fins at a local sporting goods store. I purchased the inflatable life vests over the internet with divers outlet in Colorado. For what you pay in excursions fees for three people, it paid for our gear, and we use it over and over. I just recently bought the life vests, but we have had the other things for quite a while, and have gotten lots of use out of this stuff. The only complaint i have is that i need to take an extra suitcase - medium size - to get all our snorkel stuff packed...

A couple of years ago, i had a neighbor that was into scuba and he was able to send off my snorkel mask to someone in Chicago, and they put my prescription lenses inside the mask. Wow, what a difference!!! This only cost me about $60 and was well worth it.

01-02-2002, 07:20 AM
Wow! Prescription goggles! I was going to wear my contacts, but I would rather do that. I am going to find out if my opthomologist does this.

01-02-2002, 08:17 AM
I checked with the local eye glasses place, and it was a lot more expensive than going through my neighbor. He had connections as he used to own a scuba shop years ago. He has moved, or i would put you in touch with him. Maybe do a search on some sites for googles with prescription lenses. You see they took my lenses and glued them to the plastic lenses in the mask. If you go the eye doctor route, they will need your mask and then they ship it off and replace the whole lens i believe.

I did this because we have gone snorkeling twice a year for the last four years, and i really thought it was worth it. If you get this done, you will love it!!!

01-02-2002, 08:24 AM
Just a little side note...

if any of you considering buying gear have sensitive skin or your kids do, you definately want to spend a little extra and buy
the silicone masks! Even Silicone goggles for pools.

They make a big difference! ours are made by US Divers
and we got them at Costco/Price Club.

If you masks are fogging up or need to be cleaned, use
toothpaste! It's a non abrasive cleaner that will clear up your gear.

Have a wonderful trip... See some of you in a couple of days!
Woo Hoo!

01-02-2002, 09:29 AM
If you masks are fogging up or need to be cleaned, use toothpaste

I've done this, and it's always irritated my eyes. You can, and at the risk of sounding vulgar, spit in your mask before you put it on.:rolleyes: Hey it works! Or off course buy the little bottles of anti-fog.

01-02-2002, 10:18 AM
Santa brought us two sets (snorkel, mask, fins), purchased on line from the Sports Authority. Haven't used them yet, but they appear to be good quality and came with a carry case. Oh, and before Christmas, they were offered with free shipping (and were $10 less than the same set in the bricks and mortar store).

01-02-2002, 10:39 AM
FYI, to test to see if your mask fits your face, but it on your face without the strap, inhale slightly through your nose, and that should be all it takes to keep it from falling off.

01-02-2002, 11:46 AM
We bought our snokel sets at Costco. We took it with us on our 7-day in Dec.

We also did a Sail and Snorkel tour on St. Thomas, most tours (as this one did) provide all the gear you will need...masks, vests, snorkels.

01-02-2002, 12:03 PM
Does anyone know how much it cost to rent snorkeling equipment at Castaway Cay and Coki Beach?

01-02-2002, 12:36 PM
At Castaway Cay... $25.

At Coki Beach if you use the Coki Beach Dive Club (www.cokidive.com)... $10. Plus they offer free pickup from the pier.

01-02-2002, 01:26 PM
We always bring our own snorkeling gear. It is so cool to breeze by the lines and lines of people waiting to get their illfitting, old gear from various rental huts before they head into the water....ESPECIALLY on DCL excursions, where there can be 100+ people on the excursion all needing gear.

We also purchased our children the certified snorkeling inflatable vests and brought them too. We had the Pinel Island snorkeling area ABSOLUTELY to ourselves for a good 20 minutes while all of the renters had to stand and listen to snorkeling instructions and then stand in line to get fitted for their gear.

Just a hint, if you do decide to purchase your own gear, get a midsized duffle bag with wheels to carry it in. Snorkel gear for a family of 3 or more can get heavy and bulky when you are trying to carry it around.

01-02-2002, 04:35 PM
We bring our own equipment also. We bought ours at Costco and Dicks Sporting Goods Store. I take my own blender and booze too. My husband thinks I pack up the whole house when we cruise.

01-05-2002, 04:16 PM
Since we are bringing our own equipment, do we need to bring our own fish food? I noticed on a snorkeling site, that they sell sealed bags of the stuff - or can we buy it at the beaches?