Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by bobbi565, Jan 18, 2009.
Anyone ever do this? Is it any good? Passporters rates it only as a 4. What do you guys think?
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I would love to know this as we have booked it for our 3/09 cruise. I actually thought it would be better than snorkeling right at CC because so many have commented on the water getting stired up.
We've done it twice. Once in 2005 and once in 2006. We thought it was great each time. I would probably rate it a 7 out of 10 or so when it comes to snorkeling boat trips I've taken.
A lot more fish than CC and more variety
Clearer than CC
There's coral (none at CC)
Views of ship are great coming and going
Takes away from beach time
Not for beginners
Limited snorkeling time (less than an hour)
I am an experienced snorkeler and I got the shivers when I saw a shark and a very large barracuda. My DS11 got scared because the water between the boat and reef was maybe 20' deep.
I remember that we took a Catamaran out to the reef. Ride was smooth and crew gave a speech about snorkeling and the rules. Took 30 minutes or so. I don't remember any food...but maybe we had water. I don't remember needing any food after our CC meal.
Boat moored next to small reef (looks like an underwater island of coral in a sea of sand). We could snorkel all around the reef area...maybe the size of a basketball court. One of the crew paddled around on a surf board to keep us all nearby and to help snorkelers if needed.
After about an hour they called us in and we motored back to CC.
We'd do it again. I wouldn't recommended for kids under 8 or so unless they have snorkeled some and are comfortable with their mask.
In 2006 when we saw the shark, I told the crew and he didn't really believe me. I'm assuming it was just a sand shark and it wasn't very big.
We are first time cruisers and first time snorkelers should I be concerned about doing this one. I had just heard so much about the water getting murky at CC I wanted it to be the best experience. I would appreciate your thoughts we are 42 and 20 so no young children just inexperienced.
We did the excursion a couple years ago. It was the first snorkeling trip for me and my kids (then ages 13 and 11.) It worked out just fine for us. I was initially a little panicky about it, but once I learned to just relax and trust the snorkle with my breathing, I really got into it. My kids did really well pretty much right off the bat!
If you want to see underwater life while visiting Castaway Cay you'll either have to snorkel out to the furthest buoys in the snorkeling lagoon where there are lots of fish in certain areas or do the snorkeling excursion. I've done both on each of our two cruises. Here are the advantages/disadvantages of each (IMHO):
Snorkeling at Castway Cay
Lifeguards are very helpful
Disney themed underwater sites are fun
If you don't like it, there is a lot of other things to do.
Renting snorkeling gear is cheaper.
Takes about an hour to see the sites (if you have an idea where they are)
Requires swimming quite a distance to see any fish.
No personal help with mask and snorkel.
It can be hard to find everything...ask a Lifeguard!
Lots of fish
Lots of coral
Personal snorkeling instruction if needed
Serious snorkelers can do both CC and the excursion
Not a lot of snorkeling time
Seemed like it took about 3 hours away from CC
If you don't like snorkeling, you're stuck until you get back to CC
I would recommend either one depending on your personal situation. If you really want to see underwater life and this is your only opportunity, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Catamaran Snorkel to anyone over 8.
Another tidbit: In 2005 I did the excursion with my DS11. He liked it, but he had trouble with his mask and got spooked by the barracuda...so I didn't get much snorkeling in caring for him. In 2006 I did the excursion with my husband while DS12 and DS9 stayed at beach with their aunts. DS12 knew he didn't want to do it again. He like playing at the beach much more. DH thought the snorkeling was great.
I think the comments you heard are in reference to the snorkeling that you can do right from the beach near the family beach.
We always go to the family beach ASAP to snorkel because the sand does get kicked up and the more people that go out makes it harder to snorkel.
The catamaran sail and snorkel will not have his problem since you are out in open water. DH did this on our last one and enjoyed it.
We did this last year and were very disappointed.
I should point out from the start that this trip, even though it is on CC, is NOT run by DCL employees, but some outside agency.........and don't you know it.
Personally, I've never been on an excursion anywhere in the world that had so little interaction and raport with the guides.
The catermaran is motorised ....and it is doubtful you will see a sea horse so far out and so deep.....so not as romantic, or adventurous, as its description would lead you to believe. To be honest they should re-name it the "transport to a reef and back on a boat" excursion.
Very poor instruction and information given on any aspect of the snorkelling and not very suitable for a less confident swimmer / snorkeller (though bouyancy aids are worn when snorkelling).
We were left wondering if the lack of interaction from the crew was born out of the fact that given the activity, and the location, you'd be unlikely to be carrying any money for a tip ...call me cynical if you like.... but their commnication skills were severely lacking on all counts !
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