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Old 01-17-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
DLBDS
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Help me get up the nerve to try snorkeling

Ok, I'm not a huge water person. Yes, I can swim a bit. I'm not afraid I'm gonna drown in deep water. That said, snorkeling kinda scares me. There's an excursion I would love to do but one of the two stops involves snorkeling. I feel like if I don't do it'll seem like I've only experienced half the excursion (which I would be). So, what's it like? How do you do it? I've seen folks under the water with snorkel gear. I thought you had to keep the snorkel thing above water. Also, I always have to hold my nose when I go under. Do the masks they give you cover your nose or just your eyes? Sorry I sound stupid but when it comes to snorkeling, that's exactly what I am!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLBDS View Post
Ok, I'm not a huge water person. Yes, I can swim a bit. I'm not afraid I'm gonna drown in deep water. That said, snorkeling kinda scares me. There's an excursion I would love to do but one of the two stops involves snorkeling. I feel like if I don't do it'll seem like I've only experienced half the excursion (which I would be). So, what's it like? How do you do it? I've seen folks under the water with snorkel gear. I thought you had to keep the snorkel thing above water. Also, I always have to hold my nose when I go under. Do the masks they give you cover your nose or just your eyes? Sorry I sound stupid but when it comes to snorkeling, that's exactly what I am!
Some of the snorkeling excursions have people snorkeling off the boat, so you jump into deep water (or walk down a ladder). We did this off a catamaran, but they also had a little dingy that they'd take you to the beach in, and you could then go as deep as you wanted, with your feet on the ground until you got used to it.

At Castaway, you walk in so again you are controlling how deep you are. That being said, most of the 'fun' things are out a little deeper, the Mickey and Minnie statues, the sunken ship that the fish use as a reef.

Yes, the mask covers your nose and eyes.

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Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
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The PP as already answered your question about the mask covering your eyes and nose. I'll just add that you will be wearing a flotation device (Disney requires it) so you won't have to worry about drowning.

Also, nobody is going to force you into the water if you decide you don't want to go in. I'm betting however that once you do take a look around down there they will have to force you back out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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I had never snorkeled before my first visit to Castaway Cay. I've snorkeled on many cruises since then. How much real swimming you do is up to you. It is more like floating on the surface of the water with your face in (mask over nose and eyes). It's really amazing.

I can't do all the fancy stuff....I just swim/float around and see what's there...it's a bit of exercise and totally lovely......
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
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I'm nervous about this too! My fiance has snorkeled, but not me! I don't quite understand the logistics either.

I'm also not a strong swimmer.

When I was little, I took swimming lessons, but didn't want to participate in the part where you hold onto the side of the pool, and dunk your head under, come back up, dunk again... well, one of the instructors PUSHED my head under the water! Needless to say... I left, and never properly learned how to swim LOL.

I got the basics down, but I do get panicky if I can't push myself off the bottom and come back up if I go out too far. I'm pretty good at floating on my back, but I'm sure this won't be conductive to snorkeling

I'll be on the boat headed to the beach for sure
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:11 PM   #6
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http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-...d-successfully

google 'how to snorkel' and you'll find a number of other similar videos

also find the dive shops near you ... many have introductory classes in a swimming pool (arrangements with the Y or a highschool typically). I WOULD encorage you to try this a bit B4 you just launch yourself off a boat.

Most excursions of this type are prepared for folks who've NEVER so don't be afraid to tell them you are a complete novice.... the snorkel area at CC is an almost perfect learning environment - protected waters with lifeguards while still having stuff to look at....

{p.s. certified diver since '73 many many dives including this recent one in Nemo's swimming pool at EPCOT with newly dive certified dd}
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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I was scared too but got over it immediately. I didn't veer too far from boat and I kept my hand on my snorkel to keep it above water. Sometimes if you turn to look behind or deeper you may dip snorkel in water, just blow out twice and it works fine too
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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Went to youtube and watched a bit. Looks like you're pretty much just floating around on the surface which I can handle easy enough. I think that's probably the best thing to do as a PP stated.... keep it simple. Feeling better about it. Now, if I could just convince my DD15. Too bad CC is our last stop on the cruise otherwise it would have been the perfect practice spot for us before the excursion on Grand Cayman. Thanks for the replies so far everyone! Capt_BJ, gonna check out those videos. The ones on youtube were mostly family vaca ones.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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OP Thank you for posting this. I'm not a super strong swimmer but I want to try snorkelling. I'm glad I'm not the only one nervous about it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #10
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A question I feel qualified to answer!

I am not a water lover. I can swim a bit, tread water, but have to "hold my nose" to go underwater, and I just don't see what's so great about it.

Snorkeling has changed my mind completely. Now I can't wait to go in!

Last year, I signed up for a semi-sub/snorkel excursion in Grand Cayman. I specifically chose one that was child-friendly, as I would need that level of instruction to feel comfortable. I had a really hard time getting started, though. The excursion leader finally threw me a lifesaver, so I held the lifesaver out in front of me to steady myself, and put my face in the water between my arms, while my DH pulled us around. The only other thing I had to remember to do was to breathe steadily through my mouth, not my nose. I didn't go "under water" like I'd seen others do, because I panic easily. It was an awesome experience.

Fast forward to this year. We bought snorkel sets before going to Aulani. I was excited to use my own equipment and try snorkeling from a beach instead of jumping off a boat. Again, amazing experience. I could finally enjoy going underwater. The fins also helped me swim better/faster than I could before. I was able to take as long as I needed to get comfortable.

I am confident that on my next cruise, I will snorkel a few times, and I even want to practice going "under water" to get a closer look and be able to go out farther.

My advice is to make sure you have good equipment with a tight suction on the mask so water doesn't leak in. You don't have to buy your own set, but spend a few minutes adjusting the mask, at least.

Enjoy!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
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for me, I have gotten claustrophobic with a snorkel when I tried as a kid. I'm going to try it at CC if the weather allows (Feb cruise), though. I know it will be worth pushing myself! As someone else said, it seems to be a perfect place to try. (right at CC, not during an excursion, that is)


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one of the instructors PUSHED my head under the water! Needless to say... I left, and never properly learned how to swim LOL.

FWIW, it's not really needless to say. There are plenty of kids who are strongly urged/forced to dunk their head, and they do just fine. DS has been taking swim lessons at the Y for 3 years and I've seen countless scared-to-dunk kids change their tune. Some instructors know perfectly how to deal with each individual kid, and some kids do need to be, basically, tossed in the water. The kids who don't come back, I've noticed at my Y, are the ones whose parents allow them to not go back.

Go back, learn to swim. It's worth it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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Do it!!! We were just in Castaway Cay. We picked up our gear and planned to go for 20 minutes. Two hours later we got out. I don't like swimming in water where there's fish but it was so beautiful and interesting. And easy. No effort required i you wear fins.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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I dislike water and I too was afraid to snorkel but we did the stingray adventure at CC and it came with the gear so why not. I felt safe from water based beasts. Micky wouldn't let anything eat me right? I found no matter how far out you swam/floated there was always an underwater knoll close so even short me could swim over and stand with my head out of the water. I loved how there were "treasures" placed throughout the bay to look at. We even saw starfish and other fish. I liked it so much I have bought snorkel gear and have done some here at home in local lakes.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #14
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Put it this way, after 2 cruises NOT snorkelling has been one of my biggest regrets
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:24 PM   #15
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Oh I'm so glad someone else said what I've been thinking! I want my kids to have this experience so I will try not to let anyone know I'M TERRIFIED!! I can swim just fine it's what's IN the water that scares me to death! We're doing Stingray City with a snorkeling stop in the Grand Cayman. Does anyone know what kinds of things are in the water, like sharks or other big scary things Ok, I'm putting my brave face back on now.
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