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Old 02-27-2014, 09:32 AM   #1
mickeyhereicome
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Kids 5 and 4 and snorkeling

We are going on a 3 day cruise in April. We would love to take our two boys, (5 and 4) snorkeling. They love to swim, but I would make them wear a life jacket during snorkeling. I bought them some gear and they have been practicing in the tub.

Has anyone had kids this young be successful at snorkeling? I am curious because all the excursions for snorkeling are for older kids, 7 or 8.

I was hoping to do it on our own at Castaway Cay.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:58 AM   #2
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We snorkeled at Castaway when my daughter was about 5. She was a great swimmer. We live in Florida so she was in the pool all them time.

Our experience was she did not like the fins or the snorkel. So she just wore the mask. The rules are everyone has to wear the snorkel vest. The problem is that it floats up around your neck. and makes it hard to swim. Most adults don't inflate it. I would check and see if they will let your kids wear one of the vest type life jackets in addition to the dive vest ( not inflated).

Also it is a long swim out to where you can see fish. My daughter was able to swim out but I had to have her on my back for the swim back.

It was still a very fun experience and she loved it. I would try it out.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:27 AM   #3
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I was just there with my 9 year old and he's a good swimmer but he was pretty worn out by the time we swam back. And I agree with the the life vest making it harder to swim. Maybe see if she can wear a different vest and just see how it goes. It was my sons favorite part of our trip
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:31 AM   #4
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Both my kids started snorkeling when they were 5 for DD and 4 for DS. They really enjoyed it, and both snorkeled at CC when they were that age. With the changes to the snorkeling area it is a bit of a swim before you're out in the lagoon, but I started with them having them hold my hand, one so I'd know where they were without having to pick up my head and look around, and two so I could help pull them along if they got tired.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:00 AM   #5
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Thanks for asking this. We were debating buying some snorkel gear for DD4 as an Easter gift. She swims like a fish. We were hoping if she had it to practice with for the summer, she would be good to go at CC in December. I know she would be bummed out if her older brothers went without her.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:22 PM   #6
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Will disney give snorkel equip to kids under 5 or do I have to bring her own??
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:45 PM   #7
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Will disney give snorkel equip to kids under 5 or do I have to bring her own??
Ohh I'm wondering the same thing. Looking at CC excursions/equipment rental and wondering if my daughter who will be 4 almost 5 will be able to get snorkel gear.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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It will totally depend on your kids. My 4yo who is a fish freaked out. She could not get the hang of breathing through the snorkel no matter how much we tried to teach her. But she loved playing in the water and the slides at CC regardless (we only tried snorkeling on GC). My 6yo did not want to try it. My 9yo liked it, but only when he could touch the bottom. It scared him to go deeper even though at home he'll jump off of diving boards into 12' deep water and swim to the side of the pool. Something about it not being a swimming pool freaked him out.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:15 PM   #9
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Will disney give snorkel equip to kids under 5 or do I have to bring her own??
They'll happily rent you snorkel gear, whether or not there is anything there sized to fit her feet and face is another question. If you've got a super petite DD, I'd bring her along. If she's already got gear, I'd at least bring the mask and snorkel, but if there's space, pack her fins too.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:53 PM   #10
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We've gone snorkeling several times with our little one when he was 4-6. To echo what a previous poster said, mine didnt like the fins or the snorkel. What worked really well for us was when he wore his mask and then we'd hook arms or hands with him and our fins would be enough to propel us and him without exhausting him from kicking. Then he'd breath whenever he needed too.

occassionally we have dad on one side, mom on the other and then we really take off (as a bonus with us holding on to each others arms we didn't get freaked about him in the open water since we tend to snorkel in the open ocean and not close to a beach or at castaway cay).
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies. Are there waves? How far can you walk before it gets deep?

We bought the boys snorkel gear at target. We just did mask and goggles. They actually do pretty good in the tub.

Can you snorkel right when you get in, or do you have to go only to the snorkel area? Where do you pick up the vest needed to snorkel? I have read that the life vest are when you first get off the ship.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:27 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. Are there waves? How far can you walk before it gets deep?

We bought the boys snorkel gear at target. We just did mask and goggles. They actually do pretty good in the tub.

Can you snorkel right when you get in, or do you have to go only to the snorkel area? Where do you pick up the vest needed to snorkel? I have read that the life vest are when you first get off the ship.
There are not waves like the Atlantic ocean, but it not smooth either. Maybe think it "sloshes".

The water level depends on the tide. So if the tide is "in" the water will be shallow for quite a bit maybe knee to waist deep before you get to an area where you will need to swim.

The last time we went the snorkel vest were hanging on the life guard chair right in front of the snorkel area.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #13
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We took our 8 and 5 snorkeling in Hawaii last year. We practiced in the pool a few times before. You could do it in the bathtub. I think the hardest part is getting used to the breathing, so I would definitely practice. I would even put a few things in the bottom of the tub so they get used to seeing things, how it all feels.

I was pretty surprised with how well my 5-year old did. He didn't like it so much in the pool but once we were in the ocean and there was a zillion beautiful different fish and turtles and eels to see, he LOVED it. He even went on a night snorkel trip with massive manta rays. The most memorable experience of any of our lives so far.

I'd get some snorkel gear and practice at home for sure.

Oh I should also mention, we used noodles, so hecould relax and just enjoy without struggling too much.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:36 PM   #14
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Mine were 4 and 5 at our last sailing and were both great swimmers. I thought they would love snorkeling, and we practiced in the pool with masks, fins, and snorkels. They did great. Then we got to actual snorkeling during the cruise and my 4 year old FREAKED OUT - she did not like the idea of fish being around and below her. Neither kid LOVED it, but that also had to do with using bad equipment - it didn't fit them well, etc. This next time we are bringing our own gear and hoping it goes better!
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:40 PM   #15
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My 3yr old used my 5 years olds stuff we had rented from the sting ray thing. They fit fine. In order to anywhere to see anything it was quite a swim and pretty tough on most people.
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