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Beginners Snorkling Question


Joedog

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We will be Cozumel toward the end of the month and are wondering where would be the best place to try out snorkling. We are mid to late 40's and are not avid swimmers but can swim.

 

We also want to relax a little, eat some great food and do a little souvenir shopping.

 

Any ideas?

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I agree. Chankanaab is great! I've been there twice, and in September, did my very first snorkeling.....and I've over 60!

 

Let me tell you - snorkeling is amazing! I've always wanted to snorkel, but never got up the courage, actually being petrified of getting water into my mouth, etc. I bought a really good snorkel before the cruise, one that guaranteed NO water. (Worked beautifully.) I took a cheapie mask that leaked, so had to get one from the dive shop. Each piece of equipment you rent is $3. I rented a good mask, fins, and vest. There are several dive shops at the snorkeling area, PLUS a lifeguard station, which also made me more at ease.;)

 

The experience is one I'll never forget. All those thousands of beautifully colored fish, the coral reef, and statues.....wonderful!

 

Chankanaab also has a lot more to offer. For the cab ride ($10 for up to 4ppl), entry fee of $12pp - it's a bargain! Don't miss the botanical gardens, complete with replicated Mayan ruins and huge iguanas that just sorta sit there and stare at you:rolleyes: .

 

Also - Dolphin Discovery is there. You can see the dolphins perform from a wooden walkway, even if you don't participate in the swim. Also a sealion and bird show. There is a nice al fresco restaurant (very reasonable) with strolling Mariachis, waiters will come on the beach to take drink orders.

 

There are many, many loungers, with palapas to sit under - no charge. The lagoon area is lovely, with sloping beach to the water.

 

Oh, just SO much to see and do there - or nothing, if you choose to simply sit and look at the ocean. Chankanaab's a great way to spend the day. I've been there from around 10am-3pm, and still have time to go back to the ship, shower & change, and go back ashore for a little shopping. The Puerto Maya pier area has GREAT shopping.

 

Hope this helps?

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Since you're a beginner to snorkeling, you may want to consider a (not through the ship) snorkel tour. They'll teach you how to snorkel, they'll take you to the great spots where you'll see lots of things, you'll be safe (since you say you're not avid swimmers), you can get lunch, too, if you do a 3-reef trip. Just something to consider.

 

Chankanaab is nice. Probably a good choice for a first-timer. Dzul Ha is also a great little spot to go on your own. The entrance into the water can be tricky, though.

 

If you go with a "local" shop rather than through the ship for a snorkel tour, you'll have a more personalized experience. We've used Eagle Ray Divers since 1998 and really love the owners and their guides. They keep groups small so that they can give very personalized attention. Their guides will point out all of the cool stuff that you might otherwise miss. If you want to consider a tour, check them out: http://www.eagleraydivers.com

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If you have a chance to go to Grand Cayman go to Cemetary Reef. My daughter is 9 and this was her first try besides the pool and she did fine. There is planty of fish and not many other people either. Chak park is nice also but did not see a lot of fish.

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I second booking an actual snorkeling excursion. On our one and only family cruise, we booked the Stingray Snorkeling excursion in the Bahamas. Only my husband had ever snorkeled. Our then 18 yo son took to snorkeling immediately, and they were both off in a flash. However, I and my daughter, who was only 8 at the time, were scared to death, so we hung back. One of the excursion employees asked why we weren't snorkeling. I said, we didn't really understand how to, which was true. He said, are you both scared? I said, well, yes. He said, if I show you how to snorkel, will you snorkel? Again, I said, yes. He said, I'll be right back. Left for just a few minutes, then he was back with his snorkeling attire. He asked my daughter to wait on the dock while he showed me. Then he took about three minutes with me in the water and had me snorkeling like a fiend. Then he did even less with my little daughter, and she was snorkeling like an expert. It's really quite simple, but, for the fearful like us, a little one-on-one instruction got us off the land and into the water.

 

Happy cruising!

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Snorkeling is great! If your ship happens to stop in Grand Cayman you will want to go to Stingray City. You have to do a short swim from the boat (which takes you to the reef) in order to get to the sand bar. Once on the sandbar the water is shallow, the bottom is soft white sand, and you get the thrill of swimming to stingrays up to 3 feet across.

 

Remember that since you'll be in saltwater while snorkeling, it is very easy to just float across the surface of the water.

 

Secondly, make sure your mask is tight on your face. A good tight fit will allow you to snorkel without the bother of having to keep emptying your mask.

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It's really quite simple, but, for the fearful like us, a little one-on-one instruction got us off the land and into the water.

 

Judy, I couldn't agree more. I was SO afraid, and got in and out of the water at least a half dozen times, vowing NOT to even try anymore. Then, this little guy ("Weelbur"):D from the dive shop came down and asked me if I would like for him to teach me - at no charge. It STILL took a coupla tries for him to convince me! BUT, finally, off we went, and we snorkeled for about 45 minutes! (I DID tip him $20, and it was the best $20 I spent the entire cruise!!!)

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Cotton

 

 

Thank you for the info on Chanbuka :D Chankanaab :D Park. Once you pay the cover charge is there a charge for anything else?

Yes, it you want to rent equipment, it's $3 per item. All the loungers under the palapas are complimentary. I believe the margaritas and daiquiris were $5. So, other than those items, unless you want to have lunch there, that's it! It is SO well worth the $12 entry fee!

 

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I have a really dumb question. I have never snorkeled before, can swim, but am not real comfortable in the water. What I want to know is, can you wear contact lenses while snorkeling? I'm blind as a bat, so I couldn't do it without the lenses! Thanks!

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I wore mine without a problem. If you are used to wearing them in the water, you already know that you have to be careful jumping in and with just about whatever you do to be sure you wipe the water out of your eyes before you open them. Snorkeling is great. I am definitely a beginner but actually got the hang of it on a tour in Cozumel with Adrian and loved the fact that I could see! If your mask fits correctly, you will be fine in contacts and if it doesn't, you stop once in awhile and adjust it as I had to do a few times. I would never be able to go in the water or anywhere else without them.

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I always wear my contacts when snorkeling or diving. If you have a good fitting mask, you'll be just fine. Also, if you're terribly concerned, with the mask and the water your vision actually is better underwater. My brother, who puts his glasses on in the morning before even getting out of bed, could see very well underwater. Of course, he needed his seeing eye sister to get to the shore when we were done snorkeling. :-) HA!

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My husband and I love scuba and snorkeling. DH got his mask fitted with Rx lense since he can't wear contacts.

 

If anyone is interested in scuba, I suggest that you take a course at home with a local shop to get certified before you go. Even if you don't live near a coast, there is probably a dive shop not far from you that uses pools, lakes, rivers, etc. Our local shop does 3 hour classes twice a week for 3 weeks for $250, but a shop near you may be less, or more.

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