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Old 01-01-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
erocrobro
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Life jacket question

Now that Christmas has passed and I have told my sons (ages 6, 8, and 11) about our summer vacation , we are in the process of choosing excursions for our Fantasy-Eastern and I have a question. I had envisioned us doing one of the snorkeling adventures like Doubloon Turtle Cove Sail And Snorkel and the two older boys think it looks great, but my youngest has some reservations about it.

All three of them have had swimming lessons, but are not what I would call "strong" swimmers. I am totally comfortable with them being at the pool or a water park, but the ocean is a whole different ball game. My main question is this: Are life jackets provided or can you borrow the ones from the ship for an excursion? I know they all have the snorkel vests that must be worn, but I have never used or seen one in real life so I'm not sure how much protection they offer. When inflated, are they enough to keep a child afloat?

I realize that the younger two will probably not be truly snorkeling, but I think they would really enjoy even just swimming around with the fish and turtles. Any help would be appreciated, or even suggestions of excursions that are more than just a beach break. I figure we will have a whole day of the beach at Castaway Cay, so I would really like to get them out on the water.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:02 PM   #2
misslissa
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The one really interesting thing I found when traveling with DCL is how incredibly strict they were about those life vests! This might be a good thing in your situation.

We went on the Grand Cayman stingray excursion booked through DCL and we were pretty much forced to wear the vests 'cause it was DCL policy, according to the tour operator. We were standing in waist deep water for the most part and I refused, because it was really floaty and I wanted to be under the water somewhat and free to swim, and I am not even a small girl.

At Castaway Cay, you were not allowed in the snorkeling area without the vest on. I tried and the lifeguard made me get it back on! And again, I am a strong swimming adult and I found this quite annoying.

But, in hindsight to answer your question... yes, I think they are pretty floaty, enough for a swimming kid. My hubby is barely able to swim and he snorkeled in deep water fine with it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:07 PM   #3
erocrobro
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Thanks for your quick reply! I have no problem with DCL forcing the vests on us, although my 8 year old will probably have something to say about it . I think I will be able to reassure my 6 year old if he knows the vest will help keep him afloat. I am pretty sure DCL doesn't allow their lifejackets off of the ship, so I wanted to make sure they would work.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erocrobro View Post
Now that Christmas has passed and I have told my sons (ages 6, 8, and 11) about our summer vacation , we are in the process of choosing excursions for our Fantasy-Eastern and I have a question. I had envisioned us doing one of the snorkeling adventures like Doubloon Turtle Cove Sail And Snorkel and the two older boys think it looks great, but my youngest has some reservations about it.

All three of them have had swimming lessons, but are not what I would call "strong" swimmers. I am totally comfortable with them being at the pool or a water park, but the ocean is a whole different ball game. My main question is this: Are life jackets provided or can you borrow the ones from the ship for an excursion? I know they all have the snorkel vests that must be worn, but I have never used or seen one in real life so I'm not sure how much protection they offer. When inflated, are they enough to keep a child afloat?

I realize that the younger two will probably not be truly snorkeling, but I think they would really enjoy even just swimming around with the fish and turtles. Any help would be appreciated, or even suggestions of excursions that are more than just a beach break. I figure we will have a whole day of the beach at Castaway Cay, so I would really like to get them out on the water.

Almost every snorkeling excursion I have ever done has required a snorkel vest. They are the type that you can inflate or deflate on your own. Most operators require them so they can easily spot their customers and for liability purposes. They easily can keep an adult or child afloat when fully inflated.

This is my favorite excursion in St. Maarten:

http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/cr...metre-regatta/

Unfortunately, your crew is too young for this one, but I highly recommend it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erocrobro View Post
Thanks for your quick reply! I have no problem with DCL forcing the vests on us, although my 8 year old will probably have something to say about it . I think I will be able to reassure my 6 year old if he knows the vest will help keep him afloat. I am pretty sure DCL doesn't allow their lifejackets off of the ship, so I wanted to make sure they would work.
Now that I am a parent I appreciate the life vests and the fact that they are mandatory but at the time I was young and wild LOL.
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