snorkeling with wetsuit does anyone bring them on carribean cruises?

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9 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
I have gone to several spots during cruises... some ship excursions, one we did our own ( freeport ) I have never used a wetsuit from the ship. I have my own 3/2 which would probably be too warm for the carribean ( it works here in Florida but the water temps are low seventies where I do most snorkeling ) .... plus it needs weight and I am not sure I want to lug the weight belt down with me. I am thinking about buying either a 1mm shorti , or just using my tee rash guard and bring my inflatable snorkel vest like I have done before.
We are going to bonaire, aruba and curacao.. As per another thread , bonaire was recommended for snorkeling.

I don't dive ( yet lol ) and only did a snuba excursion once which I did somewhat enjoy ( except I found it restrictive to drag the float around with the pair of us )
Greeley, Colorado, USA
85 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Just snorkeled in Aruba last month from a Coral Princess cruise. The water was really a great temp; I wore just a swimsuit and swim tee (rash guard). You really don't need to haul along a wet suit and weights.
4,571 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
When I dive in the Caribean, I wear my lavacore. Even in 75 degree water, you can get cold if you are diving 3 or more times a day, but for snorkeling, I just wear my skin. I find that is all the protection I need and it dries very fast.
29 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
I have snorkelled on several Caribbean islands. I hate cold water but have never felt the need for a wetsuit. Never seen anyone else with one.
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Previous post says he hates cold water ... but is from Canada ..... I doubt his warm and my warm, being from Florida, match!

I don't have an answer or recommendation ... but will provide some personal insight

DW and I have dove all over the Carib over the past 35 years .... from cruise ships, during dedicated dive vacations and when I was working on ships in the Carib' I carried my gear for dives of opportunity.

I almost ALWAYS will dive or snorkel wearing a 3mm farmer john and DW almost always a 3mm shorty (sometimes over a skin) ... and I'd ask has ANYONE ever seen a Carib' dive operation's Dive Master NOT wear at least a shorty?????? I haven't! Here's dd on a dive boat in Cayman in March in a long sleeve shorty ... look warm?

I wear my FJ for warmth and protection against what I might brush up on while trying to get 'that' picture. DW wears her's for warmth. YES the water is warm, but body temp is 90what? So any water in the high 80's STILL means you lose heat ..... physics!

The problem with taking even my FJs on a cruise is where to hang them when they are wet ...... in their earlier days WINDSTAR catered to divers and had dedicated racks for all your gear; and on most cruise lines if you had a balcony you could spread your gear out on the balcony. The PRINCESS FIRE closed down the balcony option

hanging in the shower is often your only option and in a standard room the shower does not usually have ALLL that much extra space.

So, you have a decision to make ....
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I always bring a shorty. The older I get the colder I get. If I don't need it I can always leave it in the gear bag, but if I need it and don't have it the excursion is ruined.
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Joined Feb 2011
"Feeling cold" is very subjective - and are we talking cold while in the water or being cold after having been in the water and then subject to the ambient air temp and whatever wind is up and/or the presence or lack of cloud cover? I've been diving in Coz for the last three weeks, my wetsuit is a .5mm body suit, and the water temp has been 82°F on just about every dive. I always get out of my suit during the SI - especially on cloudy, windy days - because that's when I get cold. Someone remarked on another thread that the water was cold at an all-inclusive resort recently and it turned out that I was diving close by. The water was 82 that day but the skies were cloudy and it was windy. I can see how someone could feel cold on a day like that.

The short answer about needing a wetsuit is sort of an individual thing and you have to ask yourself if you get cold easily and what measures you can take to warm up. Just wearing a thicker wetsuit isn't always the answer - although for snorkeling, the added buoyancy of a thicker wetsuit might be an advantage to some. Another factor worth considering is how reactive you are to the very small critters in some waters that can cause problems for some folks - a full body suit or rash guard might give you a little more protection.

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Smokinmike, good points. DH and I now wear 2 mm wetsuit tops even in warm water — as much for the buoyancy, rash protection, and sun blocking as the warmth. I once had a bad reaction to jellyfish larvae stings, an experience I don’t care to repeat. (Carrying Benadryl on snorkeling trips is not a bad idea.)

There are so many benefits to having any kind of wetsuit. I can’t imagine ever regretting bringing one, while the consequences of not having one when needed are easily imaginable ��
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I usually bring a diveskin and a 1 mm wetsuit. They are enought to keep me warm even in December. Good prtection against cool water, jelly fish and abrasion. Plus they don't take up so much room in the suitcase. Of course there is the issure of drying them in your cabin.
1 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Originally posted by astridwilson
I wear just a rash guard and vest to help keep the core warm. It works good for diving and snorkeling in 78-85 degree water.
I cruise the carribbean in January or February, many of the islands. Usually a 2 tank dive, 3 to 4 days out of my 7 day cruise. The only thing I wear is my rash guard shirt, long sleeve. Protects against any jellyfish, which I have not seen and coral. Yes the dive captains and crew wear a shorty, but they do drive trips twice a day, 5 days a week. I asked and they say diving that much they feel cold.
Enjoy your diving, the water is great, warm and clear.

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