View Full Version : What's the best snorkeling on Magic Eastern cruise?

09-30-2005, 08:33 PM
Want to introduce my son, 14, to snorkeling but DW, DD17 and DS11 don't want to go (since they are used to Lake Michigan fresh water and don't like swimming in salt water).

I have been to places in the Carib. where the snorkeling was quite bad, but hotel groups/tourists were directed there for convenience. I have also beeen to some spectacular places and want my son to experience some cool stuff on this, our first cruise (<6 months!).


09-30-2005, 09:24 PM
I heard St John snorkeling excursion is the best...

09-30-2005, 09:54 PM
Trunk Bay off St John...it is clear and absolutely breathtaking. We did the 5 star trunk bay excursion and it was worth every minute of it....have fun whatever you choose. :)

09-30-2005, 11:03 PM
I have been on the Eastern cruise and am going again at Christmas. Trunk Bay at St. John's is awesome. You don't need to do a Disney excursion to do it. You can take a ferry for a few dollars to St. John's and rent a car for the cost of less than one Disney excursion.

10-01-2005, 08:35 AM
But I am not sure about splitting up ouf family for that long. What will DW, DS11 and DD17 be able to do while my son and I snorkel?

10-01-2005, 09:12 AM
Our family is planning to do the Trunk Bay excursion. We would love more information on how to book this ourselves. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


10-01-2005, 10:53 AM
But I am not sure about splitting up ouf family for that long. What will DW, DS11 and DD17 be able to do while my son and I snorkel?

I agree, Trunk Bay is the best place to snorkel. It's a nice little beach. But if they don't want to do the beach thing while you snorkel, up the road a bit are ruins of an old Sugar Mill. It was really very interesting. Most of the island is a National Park so they can explore a bit. There are some shops near the ferry dock. And some other places to explore on St. John. If you all take the ferry over together and rent a car as was suggested, they could drop you off for a little snorkeling and do some exploration then pick you up and you can explore other parts of the island as a family. The ferry ride over and back is pretty scenic in itself.

10-01-2005, 11:53 AM
The first picture of my 2 pictures below this typing is trunk bay. I booked through disney but it was my first cruise so at that point...I didnt know any other way to do it. Either way...its beautiful.....enjoy.

10-01-2005, 01:40 PM
We have taken the Eastern twice, and visited St T and St M on another occasion.

The best snorkeling on St Martin is on the French side at Dawn Beach. An easy taxi or car rent from the port. The snorkeling is only O.K. The beach is lovely, has a small restaurant and vendors with chairs, umbrellas and the like. Also just a nice place to play in the waves and sit, for those who might not want to snorkel. The beach at Phillipsburg is nice, but no snorkeling, but you can play in the water and shop and eat!

There are several options for St Thomas, besides St John. Coki Beach has a nice reef. The access is easy from a small beach. The non-snorkelers could check out the aquarium. Plenty of activity and services here.

Check out Dave's DCL tribute site. He has plenty of links. We have done excursions, and private hires. The private hires give you more options. Try looking for the Shore Trips site. You could control the itinerary if you book yourself.

The Leylon Sneed (5 Star snorkel trip) is large enough and has other activities which could keep the kids and DW entertained if they do not want to snorkel.

The younger kids could always stay on the ship in the clubs when in port. There are a few teen-specific activities that can be booked.

The snorkeling at Castaway Cay is interesting. The trails are easy. The teen could hang on the teen beach and the younger ones could join their clubs on CC while you snorkel. And DW could get a massage.


Jen in MA
10-01-2005, 06:46 PM
The Captain Nautica excursion in St. Thomas is AWESOME! They take you to 2-3 snorkel sites. One has giant sea turtles that swim right up to you. It is very fun! I would do it again in a second! :earsgirl:

Hakuna Matata
10-01-2005, 06:56 PM
I totally agree with everyone else. Trunk Bay on St. John is just awesome. The yacht ride over from St. Thomas was also my favorite just gazing out over the turquoise blue water, ahhhh!

10-01-2005, 09:24 PM
Is the captain nautica excursion one of Disney's? They take you to 2-3 sites, as in beaches, or from a boat?

We have two boys, 8 and 11, would they be old enough?

I think the giant sea turtles would be amazing?

ALso, my sister and her husband and baby (16mon) will be with us. Could they go on this excursion too?


10-01-2005, 09:42 PM
There's a nice beach at TRunk Bay. It's part of a park.

10-01-2005, 11:04 PM
Wow -- Sea Turtles that swim up to you??

My DD17 might even venture out for that. Sounds like an excursion to St John's is in the plan. Just need to convince DW of this.

DD17 loves all thing French so I expect we will spend a good amount of time on the French Side of St Marteen.

Now we just need to decide between the Atlantis sub ride and snorkeling. Hmmm. Too many choices. Too little time. What do y'all think?

-- JimV

10-01-2005, 11:13 PM
I second Capt. Nautica. We are booked again with them in 2 weeks. The boat that takes you to snorkel is a high horsepower wild ride, an event unto itself. The snorkeling was the best I've done outside of Hawaii. We saw several sea turtles as well.

10-02-2005, 12:37 AM
WWOOOO HOOOOOO for Captain Nautica! Although I have never been (we are going in November), I have been researching this topic for over a year. Even my fellow Cruise Meets DIS'ers are wondering why I am SOOOOOO excited about Captain Nautica! I tried to get my 6 yo on the excursion with no success (even spoke with Parker, the owner who was so NICE to email DCL and try to get him on ....he's below their specified age limit of 8)...and and am now left with the option on leaving DS on the ship by himself and including big sister ( 8 yo), or leaving them both onboard....and probably happy as clams :goodvibes .

We will probably leave the kids behind and have fun by ourselves....and I DO HAVE TO MENTION IT IS OUR 10TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! :cheer2: ....Don't we owe it to ourselves? :confused3

A few specific questions about Captain Nautica....can we bring a backpack or the like and think that our digital camera will survive?

Did you take the afternoon half day excursion by chance? We are doing the afternoon one. Was the water still clear, the sun still shining, and the skies clear? :sunny:

When you wanted to take a break from snorkeling and sit on the boat, did it make you seasick at all just bobbing up and down in the ocean? This about killed me on a previous Hawaiin excursion many years ago. :guilty:

10-02-2005, 07:25 AM
Bermuda. 2000. Snorkeling over a wreck in 30 feet of water. Small boat. Some waves.

That particular crew called it dropping fish food. Yuck. :worried:

Maybe Captain Nautica isn't the route I want to take. In any case, I am going to plan on going to St. John's. Spoke to DW last night and found out that she has a phobia about submarines. I never knew that! So Atlantis is out unless I shoot her with a tranquilizer dart before we disembark in St Thomas. :rotfl:

Thanks again everyone.


10-02-2005, 09:28 AM
Dis Nurse, A backpack should be fine for your camera. As I recall they may have had a dry bag on board if you are really concerned. We took the afternoon trip. The water was great at the snorkeling sites which are on the backside of islands out of the prevailing wind so calm water and the boat has minimal rocking. The ride there is another story!!! Later in the day as the wind kicks up and the swells build the ride becomes a thrillpark ride. We got airborne a couple of times. This was a memorable part of the excursion for my daughters though. :Pinkbounc

10-02-2005, 12:06 PM
SO.....is it better to book through Disney for Captain Nautica, or can you book this one yourself?

What are the chances of seeing giant sea turtles?

How strong a swimmer should a child be to do this excursion?

My 11 would be fine...but we probably need to work with our 8 a bit.