snorkeling Nassau vs. castaway cay

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by 1153rsmith, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. 1153rsmith

    1153rsmith DIS Veteran

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    My wife really wants to snorkel when we go on our cruise. We have never done it before and it will be my wife, myself, and our 2 children.
    For those of you who have snorkeled, between a Nassau excursion and a Castaway Cay excursion; which one do you think would be a better experience for a beginner? We want to be able to see more than just stingrays.
     
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  3. Mickeyhugger

    Mickeyhugger DIS Veteran

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    Since the family beach has a shark fence protecting it not a lot gets through it, yes there is Barry the barracuda and some small fish there but I would look into doing an excursion in Nassau if you really want to see some sea life.

    Rob
     
  4. SharonLowe

    SharonLowe DIS Veteran

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    How old are your 2 children and how comfortable are they in the water? Both of the excursions go to open water and you really don't want them to learn in open water. Do you have a chance to practice in a pool before you go? That would be the best way to start. Otherwise, you might be better off just doing the snorkeling of the beach at Castaway Cay.

    As for the 2 different excursions, we chose the CC one - not just stingrays and longer in the water. We are however, very experienced snorkelers (DD is 12 and has been snorkeling for 6 years now; we plan to get our dive certifications next year since we think she is now mature enough.)
     
  5. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    I'm a snorkler, so my preference is hands-down Nassau. Having said that, it is open water snorkeling in water that is probably 20 feet or so deep. You have to be comfortable with no land in sight. The marine life is great, and well worth it!
     
  6. cjkraemer

    cjkraemer Earning My Ears

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    I would definitly pick Nassau. The snorkeling at Castaway Cay is really not that great. They don't have a good varity of sea life. You basically se the same few fish over and over and they and far in between. Castaway Cay is good if you don't feel comfortable being far from land and is probaly the best for first time snorkelers.
     
  7. Deon.Newmankgyxc

    Deon.Newmankgyxc Mouseketeer

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    i will choose snorkeling Nassau
     
  8. 1153rsmith

    1153rsmith DIS Veteran

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    By then, my kids will be almost 13 (on the cruise) and 10. They both love the water. Of the 4 of us, I am probably the least comfortable in water. Can you snorkel in some sort of life vest, or other type of floatation device? :confused3

    20 feet of water wouldn't bother me at all as long as I know I won't end up on the bottom. :rotfl2:

    Also, my children both swim, but like to be near something to grab on, and I can't even tread water. I'm living proof that fat don't float.
     
  9. BealsRwe

    BealsRwe DIS Veteran

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    I have snorkled muliple times in Nassau, St. Maarten, and Castaway Cay.

    Castaway Cay is a great place to snorkel as Disney has done a great job of creating reefs, and seeing Mickey underwater is fun. I saw lots of fish, especially the further out I went. I saw a sting ray, and even a barracuda. This was in August. Our DD did her first snorkel at Castaway Cay in August. It was from land, and she really enjoyed!

    I loved the Nassau Caribbean Queen snorkel trip. I have done that one twice. It's off the boat snorkeling, so no land around. It was like swimming in an aquarium. A few years back when snorkeling with my mom they even had fish food available for sale for $1 or so. The fish all came up. Love this excursion.

    When are you cruising? The water temp in winter months is quite a bit cooler. I snorkled in Dec in Nassau once...water was cold, but since you're going in off a boat, quick to enter. It wasn't bad once we were in.

    Have fun! Be sure to have a great underwater camera when you go.
     
  10. 1153rsmith

    1153rsmith DIS Veteran

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    We are sailing September 22, 2011.
     
  11. cattrix

    cattrix Look deeply into my eyes...you're getting sleepy..

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    I went snorkeling once....in Cancun, Mexico.

    There was a Barracuda in the water underneath my jet ski, it was plotting on me and I had visions of it biting my butt as I climbed out of the water and onto my jet ski. Think of the movie Jaws and that was me freakin out in the water. It was 6ft long and had large, threatening teeth. My guide made me climb up on a jet ski that was on the other side of the circle and jump from ski to ski to get over to mine :scared1:

    He then proceeded to jump in the water and take everyone's camera and take pictures of it.

    I maybe will never be the same in the water again......:rolleyes1
     
  12. Tngrl78

    Tngrl78 Mouseketeer

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    We have done the CC snorkeling trip twice now, the last two Septembers. The water was warm. I (DH) really enjoyed the snorkeling, but for me it my first time snorkeling in open water. My wife had some difficulties in the open water, but she is not as strong a swimmer as I am. Our son was 5 the first time he went and 6 this last time we went. He did a pretty good job floating on the surface and using his mask and snorkel to breath. I would like to try the snorkeling off Nassau, but I have a feeling I will be the only one to go… my wife doesn’t want to do a snorkeling excursion anymore. She has a tough time with the open water and the waves…

    I did see a 4ft Nurse Shark while snorkeling at CC the first time we went in Sept 2009 – that memory will stay with me my entire life I imagine! And I even have the underwater camera picture of it to prove it! It hangs on my office wall at work…:cool1:
     
  13. KSDisneyDad

    KSDisneyDad DIS Veteran

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    On our cruise this past September, we cruised at Nassau (Catamaran tour) and at Castaway Cay at Serenity Bay. BTW - the water was warm at both places!!

    We've also snorkeled at the family beach in the past. Of the three, we thought Serenity Bay was the best.

    At Serenity Bay, we saw a small shark, stingrays, huge starfish, lots of starfish and hundreds of colorful fish near some abandoned boat parts. The water is fairly shallow at Serenity Bay. Unfortunately, your kids can't snorkel there.

    We found Nassau to be okay, but as a family we actually enjoyed CC more. Neither is nothing like Aruba, but they're okay. At Nassau, the kids have to be stronger swimmers as it's open water. Although we saw a lot of fish, it was relatively "boring" compared ot most other places we've snorkeled. I did see an eel which was somewhat cool.

    Disney has some good artificial reefs and if you go out far at the family beach, there are lots of fish and perhaps even a barracuda or two. I haven't seen stingrays at the snorkeling lagoon at CC, but we have seen them elsewhere at CC so you might get lucky.
     
  14. rugbyguy

    rugbyguy Earning My Ears

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    For us the best snorkeling tour we have done ( we've done two or three ) was blackbeards cay and stingray snorkeling, everything was safe and no deep water snorkeling, the experience of being in the water and feeding the stingrays was tremendous, something your chidren will enjoy for sure.

    have fun
     
  15. SharonLowe

    SharonLowe DIS Veteran

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    You will be required to wear a snorkel vest but it doesn't make you float as much as a life vest would. I would try to learn to swim before you go because I don't think the snorkel vest would be sufficient.
     
  16. maryliz

    maryliz <font color=990099>The Whoosh Fairy RULEs, the Blo

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    We are looking at the Catamaran Sail and Reef snorkeling in Nassau. While it talks about water 30 feet deep, it also says something about "wading" ... so can i be assured that this is NOT an "off the back of the boat open water snorkelling"??? The kids on the trip will be 13, 10, and 9 ... all love the water, but they all also have a problem trying to breathe through a snorkel. They all prefer just to have the mask and come up for air. The Caribbean Queen excursion definitely says it's open water.

    TIA for any info you can provide. :)
     
  17. maryliz

    maryliz <font color=990099>The Whoosh Fairy RULEs, the Blo

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    This poster said that they did the Catamaran tour, but that it's "open water"? I see that the Caribbean Queen one specifically says "open water", but that the catamaran tour says something about being able to "wade". So I'm wondering if Catamaran has you snorkelling off of a sandbar or something? If the catamaran is an "off the back of the boat", wouldn't the description specifically say that?

    Anyone that's done the catamaran tour, clarification is greatly appreciated! :goodvibes

    Anyone
     
  18. com_op_2000

    com_op_2000 DVC Member since '93; One Hour from WDW

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  19. KSDisneyDad

    KSDisneyDad DIS Veteran

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    We did the Catamaran tour this past Labor Day proper. It involved about 45-60 minutes of open water snorkeling off the back of the boat. There were no sandbars or anything else upon which one could stand.

    The tour started near the Straw Market. They slowly motored out for about 45 minutes between the two islands. Once we were beyond any houses, they stopped the boat. You could still are the Wonder in the distance as well as Nassau, the bridge between Nassau and Paradise Island, etc. It was not an isolated stop in other words. They told us we could snorkle for an hour but most guests got tired of the little reef after about 30 minutes. At 45 minutes, they called us back onto the boat. The water at the reef was about 10 to 15 feet deep.

    After getting back on the boat, they served rum punch to the adults and soft drinks to the kids. They also served potato chips. They put the sail up and we "sailed" with the help of the motor back to where we started.

    I enjoyed the snorkeling at CC much better!
     
  20. maryliz

    maryliz <font color=990099>The Whoosh Fairy RULEs, the Blo

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    Thanks for clarifying. :) This is our first visit to CC so we really just wanted to spend the day enjoying the family beach ... guess we'll do some thinking on this one. My kids are good swimmers, but not sure how well they would fare in open water for that long.
     

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