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Old 11-19-2012, 10:22 AM   #1
mcgrawfan
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Snorkeling Excursions and Non Snorkeling Kids

Our DD (8) is not a strong swimmer. She is fine with a life jacket on in the water and great if she can touch, but I am pretty sure being in the water with the fish and sea life would FREAK her!
I would love to do one of the Catamaran sails on an excursion but dont want to feel stupid if we all dont snorkel...Having that much sea life near me make me a little anxious too.

So my question is does anyone go for the beautiful boat ride and scenery and beach time or will we look dumb for lack of a better word??
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
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My son was 8 the first time he snorkled. The first time was at Castaway Cay where you walk in from the beach. This was nice and gave him a good feel for it, plus while you see fish, it isn't overwhelming. The next day we did a catamaran sail and snorkel over a reef near Nassau. We held his hand while we snorkeled and he was fine and did great! Yes, there were lots of fish because the crew was throwing bread in to attract the fish, but he thought it was really neat. That said, there was a couple of people that didn't snorkel, they just sat on the boat and watched. Do what you are comfortable with, but I suggest at least giving it a try - you might be surprised and you and your daughter might really like it! And you will have a life vest on so no need to have great swimming skills.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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Absolutely people go on the snorkeling trips to accompany family, but never go in. The boat rides are usually beautiful. The crew may try to cajole you into getting in (just because they don't want you to miss out), but I've never seen a crew have an actual issue with someone just staying on the boat. And it's your vacation. You certainly would not look dumb!

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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I am sure DH and I would try it and get in, but if our daughter doesnt want to one of us would stay on the boat with her. Does everyone snorkel or do some just float around and enjoy the water?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgrawfan View Post
I am sure DH and I would try it and get in, but if our daughter doesnt want to one of us would stay on the boat with her. Does everyone snorkel or do some just float around and enjoy the water?
We were at Stingray City in Grand Cayman last week with our 3 kids. Nine year old DS insisted up until the trip that he was NOT getting off the boat. Once he realized he could have a life jacket, he got in and bobbed and splashed around. He initially needed to hold onto me or DH, but he eventually ventured a little on his own. Our second stop was at a small reef. He actually got in and learned to snorkel for the first time. The girls and I were too cold to get back in, as were a few other people. Honestly, people were constantly on and off the boat, and no one was keeping track of who was wet and who wasn't.

I would go for it. I would suggest making sure DD has a pair of swimming goggles of her own. If she has never used them, have her practice in the bathtub at home to get comfortable with them. They will keep the salt water out of her eyes and give her the opportunity to look around under water if she chooses to, without having to deal with a snorkel.

Another thing I did was to make sure everyone took something for motion sickness that day. Even though we were doing fine on the ship, I didn't want to risk anyone being miserable on the smaller boat.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
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I am sure DH and I would try it and get in, but if our daughter doesnt want to one of us would stay on the boat with her. Does everyone snorkel or do some just float around and enjoy the water?
I take my girls without hubby(they are now 10 and just turned 13) My 10 year old freaked out... so I had to take her back to the ship. I apologized as my 13 year old was out there alone, so I had to go get her and they were like, hey we all have young ones at home, she will be fine. So i went back out with my 13 year old and snorkeled for a bit. 10 year still loved it(we did the eastern full day snorkle to bucks island and honeymoon beach). The boat ride was fun, the nachos and rum punch were great and honeymoon beach was about as good as it gets.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgrawfan View Post
I am sure DH and I would try it and get in, but if our daughter doesnt want to one of us would stay on the boat with her. Does everyone snorkel or do some just float around and enjoy the water?

The excursion operators are used to having a lot of kids (and adults!) along for the ride, who either only get in the water to float around, or who stay on the boat. My teen daughter went through a phase where she wouldn't get in, so she just would sunbathe on whatever boat we'd taken, while the rest of us snorkeled. You won't look "dumb" or anything else. It's PERFECTLY fine. You paid for it, you can do whatever you want....as long as it's within the "rules", such as having to wear a life vest, etc.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mcgrawfan View Post
I am sure DH and I would try it and get in, but if our daughter doesnt want to one of us would stay on the boat with her. Does everyone snorkel or do some just float around and enjoy the water?
this is what we did. one stayed w/DD, one snorkeled. I thought she'd have no problem, but she freaked out. 6yrs and good swimmer. she was convinced a shark would come eat her. adn i can't argue with that..

many kids can snorkel at 3yr but u dont know til ur there, and its too late

so just take turns and enjoy the ride/view!
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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I'm so glad to see this question and all the great answers. I really wanted to snorkel at CC but I was worried about how my family would do with it. We tried snorkeling at Typhoon Lagoon but both my kids panicked two seconds into it. (My husband didn't do much better! ) They want to try it again but they've been worried about a repeat of our last experience.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdKT

this is what we did. one stayed w/DD, one snorkeled. I thought she'd have no problem, but she freaked out. 6yrs and good swimmer. she was convinced a shark would come eat her. adn i can't argue with that..

many kids can snorkel at 3yr but u dont know til ur there, and its too late

so just take turns and enjoy the ride/view!
I know DD would be scared of a shark too! Soul Surfer! Thanks everyone for the replies and thoughts! I think we may go for it next cruise!
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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snorkeling

The snorkeling gear can be fairly old and leak. We were disappointed in that. You can buy gear and take it.

Also, on the Magic W. Carribean trip, out of Cozemel, we did the Fury. Fun, but we snorkeled in like 25 feet of water! very clear, but you can't get close up to the fish and the kids can't touch the bottom. Not very many fish, and between the photographer ( who was so annoying trying to get pictures) and staff trying to keep all of us together.. it was not a lot of fun. Our daughter got out after 5 minutes.
Shallower waters near reefs off the beach often are great for snorkeling... this was a poor dive spot.
you want to be able to swim close or dive down to the fish..

The boat ride was lovely and the crew fun. The private beach was good, I was just tired of salt water in my eyes. So I watched our belongings and enjoyed the shade. Lovely aqua blue water.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:10 AM   #12
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I took my own snorkeling gear to Castaway. They did require the use of a snorkel vest in the snorkel lagoon. Just went to the rental counter and they provided one free of charge. Having my own gear made the experience 100 times better. Did the rental gear on RCCL once ... not the best gear. Costco always has snorkel gear for sale in the springtime.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:47 AM   #13
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I find shallow water terrible to snorkel in. The last thing you want to do is run into a reef/fire coral/etc.

We bring our own gear and grab our safety vests at CC just like realityland mentioned.

That being said, if you want to just go out on an excursion and not snorkel at all, we've seen that done too. Just know you'll have that time where you are just sitting waiting around.

Unless SOMEone in your party wants to partake I'd consider another excursion.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #14
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I find shallow water terrible to snorkel in. The last thing you want to do is run into a reef/fire coral/etc.
Ouch. Fire coral - stings and burns for DAYS. Easy to mistaken for seaweed.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:03 PM   #15
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My 9 year old is a bit timid about snorkeling. We purchased this nifty little viewer Sea Window X4 Deluxe snorkeling window from Amazon and it was amazing!!! You can see great under water and you don't have to mess with putting your head under water. My DD was able to see all of the fish we were seeing with our masks. As adults we enjoyed it as well, lovely lazy turtle viewing. It is compact and just needs blowing up when you need it. Any of the tours we have been on have been great about accommodating all levels of adventurers. Enjoy!
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