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Old 02-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
PrincessAbby'sMom
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Snorkleing at Castaway Cay

For those who have done the Catamaran cruise &/or snorkeling off the island, which is better?
This will be the 1st time our DD (12) will have been, but she's a strong swimmer!
We have been before in St Lucia (honeymoon) & left speechless & again in Key West & doesn't compare.... Thoughts? Opinions?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
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The biggest comparison I want to know is color... when we snorkeled in Key West it was so bland - in St. Lucia it was colorful & vibrant...

ARe the similar - or is the catamaran cruise much better? Do they go to a reef in the ocean somewhere or just anchor in the middle?

Anyone know?
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:55 AM   #3
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we only snorkeled on our first cruise as we were totally unimpressed (we snorkel regularly in the red sea).

however, i still would do it if i were you for the first time.

your daughter might enjoy it as they have some things under the water for you to see (disney related).

but as i said, we did it once and said, "meh"...
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by disneyholic family
we only snorkeled on our first cruise as we were totally unimpressed (we snorkel regularly in the red sea).

however, i still would do it if i were you for the first time.

your daughter might enjoy it as they have some things under the water for you to see (disney related).

but as i said, we did it once and said, "meh"...
If we bring our own snorkle gear is there a charge to snorkle?? Also should we bring water shoes??
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:25 AM   #5
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If you bring your own gear there is no charge. They only require that you have a safety vest (you don't have to inflate it) for visibility. You can pick these up at the rental counter for free, just ask.

We always do this.

As far as going on a catamaran excursion vs at Castaway... Castaway you won't see too much but it is VERY calm and peaceful for little ones.

Excursions at other stops in the Caribbean can be hit or miss depending on the time of year and how full the excursion is. We do these a lot because we find them reasonably priced and some include a beach stop or other activity. We were pretty bummed at our last Fury in Cozumel just because it was SO crowded. Made the comment card.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:54 AM   #6
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Making excursions last night - I went ahead & booked the Catamaran cruise & snorkel, but would still like to hear from someone who has done it to make sure you see fish! LOL

Also, if she wants to continue to snorkel after the cruise (or decides not to do the catamaran cruise) and we want to rent the gear - is it going to be hard to get? I don't see it as an option to reserve the snorkel gear, is that usually an option or mean its sold out?
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:57 AM   #7
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We made our first stop on Castaway Cay in November. It was the first time I'd ever snorkeled off a beach in shallow to 15 ft of water. (My previous snorkeling experience was in St. Maarten at Shipwreck Cove (off boat, water too deep and rough - not many fish where we could get a good look at them) and in the Dominican Repulblic (off boat, water very deep and again in a penned area, 15 feet deep with large nurse sharks and rays). Castaway Cay blew them all away for me. I saw tons of fish of a variety of species (Even a hermit crab as big as my fist hiding in a conch shell) and had a blast finding the Disney artifacts and reefs they had built! I wanted to grow gills and stay forever!

I guess it's all a matter of perspective and personal experience. We love Castaway Cay and I would be content to do the self-guided lagoon trails again next time. Now, if you tell me there are different Disney things to see where they take the catamaran...well, I might have to consider it, but probably not until my 3rd or 4th visit.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jodical
We made our first stop on Castaway Cay in November. It was the first time I'd ever snorkeled off a beach in shallow to 15 ft of water. (My previous snorkeling experience was in St. Maarten at Shipwreck Cove (off boat, water too deep and rough - not many fish where we could get a good look at them) and in the Dominican Repulblic (off boat, water very deep and again in a penned area, 15 feet deep with large nurse sharks and rays). Castaway Cay blew them all away for me. I saw tons of fish of a variety of species (Even a hermit crab as big as my fist hiding in a conch shell) and had a blast finding the Disney artifacts and reefs they had built! I wanted to grow gills and stay forever!

I guess it's all a matter of perspective and personal experience. We love Castaway Cay and I would be content to do the self-guided lagoon trails again next time. Now, if you tell me there are different Disney things to see where they take the catamaran...well, I might have to consider it, but probably not until my 3rd or 4th visit.
I don't think snorkeling off CC would be disappointing for her, but may be for us! I just want to see if anyone has done the Catamaran cruise...When in Key West, yes the water was too deep & no vibrant colors! I don't want to pay over $150 to see that, would rather stay on the island!

Do you know if you have to reserve the gear online as they do the floats & such?
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessAbby'sMom

I don't think snorkeling off CC would be disappointing for her, but may be for us! I just want to see if anyone has done the Catamaran cruise...When in Key West, yes the water was too deep & no vibrant colors! I don't want to pay over $150 to see that, would rather stay on the island!

Do you know if you have to reserve the gear online as they do the floats & such?
Good question, can I rent a raft or fun noodle to use while snorkeling??
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:36 AM   #10
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Good question, can I rent a raft or fun noodle to use while snorkeling??
No noodles. Rafts can be rented but not used in the snorkeling section. you have to wear the life vests (but don't have to inflate them). You can use your own gear but have to wear the life vest (free).

I thought it was lots of fun in the CC snorkel area. There aren't a million fish but there are some. We also saw a stingray and a turtle.

Nancy
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by neg58

No noodles. Rafts can be rented but not used in the snorkeling section. you have to wear the life vests (but don't have to inflate them). You can use your own gear but have to wear the life vest (free).

I thought it was lots of fun in the CC snorkel area. There aren't a million fish but there are some. We also saw a stingray and a turtle.

Nancy
Do you have to reserve the gear online, or first come to rent it when on the island?
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by PrincessAbby'sMom View Post
Making excursions last night - I went ahead & booked the Catamaran cruise & snorkel, but would still like to hear from someone who has done it to make sure you see fish! LOL

Also, if she wants to continue to snorkel after the cruise (or decides not to do the catamaran cruise) and we want to rent the gear - is it going to be hard to get? I don't see it as an option to reserve the snorkel gear, is that usually an option or mean its sold out?
Renting snorkel gear on Castaway is an online option. From DCL

Snorkel Lagoon Equipment Rental Select this Activity
Duration: All Day
On this tour you will:
"Make your way to Gils' Fins and Boats or Flippers n Floats and receive your snorkel gear and instructions."Venture to the lagoon section of the island, located at Castaway's Family Beach. Once there, make a splash among the tropical fish and fantastic Caribbean marine life. "The snorkel lagoon offers 22 acres to explore, including a beginner and discover snorkel trail. Be sure to keep your eye out for underwater hidden surprises as you snorkel further out into the lagoon."Go in and out of the lagoon as much as you like before returning your equipment to Gils' Fins and Boats or Flippers n Floats at the end of the day.
On this tour you will:

"Make your way to Gils' Fins and Boats or Flippers n Floats and receive your snorkel gear and instructions.
"Venture to the lagoon section of the island, located at Castaway's Family Beach. Once there, make a splash among the tropical fish and fantastic Caribbean marine life.
"The snorkel lagoon offers 22 acres to explore, including a beginner and discover snorkel trail. Be sure to keep your eye out for underwater hidden surprises as you snorkel further out into the lagoon.
"Go in and out of the lagoon as much as you like before returning your equipment to Gils' Fins and Boats or Flippers n Floats at the end of the day.
Additional Information

"Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
"Snorkel vests are included and compulsory while snorkeling in the lagoon.
"Children-size masks and fins are available.
"Equipment rental is for all-day and can be picked up from Gils Fins and Boats or Flippers n Floats.
"Guests are asked to return the equipment to one of the rental locations at the end of the day.
"This rental is operated by Disney Cruise Line.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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Do you have to reserve the gear online, or first come to rent it when on the island?
You can rent it on the island, but it is faster to reserve it as an excursion. I highly recommend either the sting ray excursion package (sting ray feeding, bike rental, snorkel rental, float) or just the snorkel/float/bike package. I think it is $54 for the whole thing, or $35 for the second package.

We did the whole thing the first time, fed the sting rays at 10 am, then snorkeled 11-1:30, ate, biked, and then just floated around till the end of the day.

Nancy
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by neg58

You can rent it on the island, but it is faster to reserve it as an excursion. I highly recommend either the sting ray excursion package (sting ray feeding, bike rental, snorkel rental, float) or just the snorkel/float/bike package. I think it is $54 for the whole thing, or $35 for the second package.

We did the whole thing the first time, fed the sting rays at 10 am, then snorkeled 11-1:30, ate, biked, and then just floated around till the end of the day.

Nancy
When I looked last night that was not an excursion option... Does that mean they sold out of equipment? Maybe I just missed it?!?!
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:45 AM   #15
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When I looked last night that was not an excursion option... Does that mean they sold out of equipment? Maybe I just missed it?!?!
If sold out, it should be in the grayed-out part at the bottom by the cabanas. I think one is called the Extreme Experience and the other has some name like that too (Ultimate? Experience?). The sting ray feeding can sell out, but the snorkel/bike/float shouldn't. They have tons of bikes and tons of floats.

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