Non-excursion GC Snorkeling

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by mordecai, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. g3pak

    g3pak DIS Veteran

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    Mordecai- sweet! Great info!

    Capt. BJ- how much time would you allow to snorkel? If you would allow a couple of hours just at Sunset then I think we will go straight there and not worry about going to more than one place. My TA tells me we are crazy if we do not visit 7 mile beach so I would like to at least visit it for a few minutes before returning to the ship.
     
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  3. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 DIS Veteran

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    Seriously. Love. This. Thread.


    Mordecai, when in September are y'all going? DH & I are planning on the 9/14 Western sans teenage sons for our 20th anniversary. We're fully in for trying our hand at rolling solo for GC snorkeling @ SH!
     
  4. jjgarv

    jjgarv Gotta get away to where the boat leaves from...

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    Capt-
    Any advice on how to gety to Sunset house from Pier? Is it walkable? Taxi? We have a 10yo DD so just wondering the best way to get there and back. Thanks for all the great info- think you have sold us on SH!
     
  5. mordecai

    mordecai Mouseketeer

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    We're 2 weeks later on the 28th for the Western tour. This is our 10th anniversary trip but we decided to bring the kids along anyway.
     
  6. Cravens

    Cravens Earning My Ears

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    Subscribed. Awesome advice for new travelers. We are going in October and can use all the tips we can get!! :worship:
     
  7. Capt_BJ

    Capt_BJ So Many Times

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    In case anyone was still wondering, I emailed Sunset and asked them about vests. Their snorkel package (mask/snorkel/fins/vest) includes the vest and is $10 for the day. Not sure why they don't list it on their site, but it does come with the package.

    good to hear and I should have known they'd have this covered!

    how much time would you allow to snorkel?

    That's TOTALLY up to you. Most 'trips' are going to provide an hour or so total wet time and that's too much for many IME. Other folks will snorkel for hours on end. It really is up to your endurance level! On my recent trip to Sunset we dove approximately 2.5 to 3 hours a day - but that will vary by depth and was broken into 3 sessions. 45 min in the water is a pretty good workout for all but those who are very experienced and able to get around with minimum effort. On my last cruise visit we did a Discovery course at Sunset which took a good 3 hours and still had time for a couple of hours shopping. It is a big ocean, you are not going to 'see everything' in a couple of hours! I've got probably 50+ dives on the reef there and I see new things every time.

    Any advice on how to get to Sunset house from Pier? Is it walkable?

    less than 1 mile (.7 to .9 depending on which tender landing your ship is using), I usually walk it. During our recent stay we walked to town for dinner several times. Every taxi knows where Sunset House is tho, and there are plenty of taxi around. If you ask at the bar or front desk they'll usually call one for you for your return (give time for one to get there). In the afternoons it is not unusual for taxi drivers to be hanging around My Bar waiting for a call . . . If you do taxi, be ready for a 'gulp', NOTHING in Cayman is inexpensive . . . There IS bus service but I have never used it
    http://www.caymanislands.ky/planatrip/transportation.aspx
     
  8. mordecai

    mordecai Mouseketeer

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    Captain thanks for all your help on this. I'm sure there will be more questions, but someone asked me if there are lockers available at Sunset? I sent an e-mail back to them but haven't heard and was wondering if you knew.
     
  9. Capt_BJ

    Capt_BJ So Many Times

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    are lockers available at Sunset and what to do with our beach bag while we're in the water. Is there somewhere fairly close we can secure a beach bag???
    No, not at Sunset usually. Sunset has lockers but those staying on site get one automatically – often there are none left but you can ask – never hurts but IME they are usually full up. BUT: when I do this a cruise ship visit I handle the ‘what to do with stuff’ one of two ways. Often someone we know decides to come with just for the food and location and not to get wet. They sit at the bar and watch the stuff. Heck, I’ve paid people to do this by inviting them for lunch if they’ll watch. OR, I take nothing of value that I can’t take in the water: money and credit card is waterproof as is the Key to the World / SeaPass card and my drivers’s lic. I put these in a small zip lock or a ‘beach bank’ and they go swimming with me. A bag with dry clothes and a towel, maybe some sun tan goop I just leave on the rocks – all the divers at Sunset when doing shore dives leave a bag with towels and often shoes etc on the sea wall near the entry point. I’ve never had or heard of a problem. It is that kind of a place. If this is a deal breaker for you, there ARE lockers at Eden Rock / Paradise Bar.

    Camera ... oops, sorry I have a digital dive camera ... presuming you don't I recommend a disposable waterproof. Yes they use film but you can get the prints digitally at Walgreens or CVS, or scan them. This picture was taken with a $10 Target disposable waterproof, processed at CVS and scanned at home
    [​IMG]
     
  10. mordecai

    mordecai Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the locker info, I'll pass it along.

    Since we're talking about cameras, I picked up a Kodak Zx5 Waterproof digital video camera last year before our cruise. It's only waterproof to 10 feet but that's enough as long as you don't drop it in deep water :rolleyes2 It was $50 (refurbished) and works like a champ. Here's a video I took with it while para-sailing on Castaway Cay:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1rQWVg2_f4

    I'd recommend it for the cost/quality. It also takes still pictures that are pretty good.
     
  11. Capt_BJ

    Capt_BJ So Many Times

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    Familiar with it - daughter has one. But we also have a SeaLife Mini good for 130 feet. Daughter is presently on an internship at CocoView on Roatan thru University of Alabama. 4 dives a day doing coral growth studies, fish counts, water quality measurements. It is tough summer semester but she's suffering thru. 2 get picked for this each year. We anxiously await more pictures each week.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. g3pak

    g3pak DIS Veteran

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    Such fascinating info from everyone. Thank you for the info on a locker. We would want one. Sounds like we should plan for no locker or stop at Eden.

    Sweetpea- we are celebrating our 20th anniversary without kids 2 weeks after you. Mordecai- looks like we will be on your boat. I bet we run into each other at Sunset.

    Buses on Grand Cayman- I have heard different things. Are they just vans? I think now we will want to hit Sunset only for snorkeling, refreshments, then hit 7 mile beach for a brief look around. Should we take a taxi or bus to 7 mile from Sunset?
     
  13. mordecai

    mordecai Mouseketeer

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    Did you join our cruise board of the Facebook page yet? Might want to do that. I'm trying to organize a group to go snorkeling on there.
     
  14. Capt_BJ

    Capt_BJ So Many Times

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    Buses on Grand Cayman- I have heard different things. Are they just vans? I think now we will want to hit Sunset only for snorkeling, refreshments, then hit 7 mile beach for a brief look around. Should we take a taxi or bus to 7 mile from Sunset?

    Like I said, I have never used the buses on GC but if you search I believe you'll find info from those that have. But here's a point or two to ponder

    - Seven Mile Beach is on the west side of the island and north of Georgetown where the tenders come in.
    - Sunset and Eden are on the same west side of the island, but south of town. Eden is 'yards' from the tender landings and Sunset as mentioned less then a mile.
    - Sunset has no 'beach' as you can see in the pictures this is 'iron shore' and the sea pool and dock are cut out of the coral. Same at Eden. South of town the drop off is 'right here' and that's why there is fantastic shore snorkel/diving. North of town there is 7 mile beach
    - 7 mile has a white sand beach and shallow water for nearly a mile off shore b4 the drop ... which is why most Cayman diving is boat diving. The good dive spots off 7 Mile are WAY off 7 Mile.
    - From both 7 mile, and Sunset you are gonna be looking out at the same chunk of ocean ... one has sand and the other doesn't.
    - if seeing the same ocean with vs without sand makes a difference then you need to go up north! :-)

    My TA tells me we are crazy if we do not visit 7 mile beach so I would like to at least visit it for a few minutes before returning to the ship.

    Ask your TA if they have ever heard of Sunset House . . .

    Just my worthless opinion but if I had a choice 'tween another libation at My Bar or a bus to 'look at' 7 mile . . . . well NO question in my mind. But obviously I'm biased!
     

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