I'm hesitant on the discover scuba adventure, because I'm worried (since it's only three hours) that with the getting there, instruction, and getting back I'd only actually get about 15 or 20 minutes of scuba time. What have others' experiences been with this?
Also, Carnival refuses to give me prices on these specific excursions, and I've asked them twice now. Does anyone have pricing information for these? I'm aware prices may change, but if any of these are rediculously expensive, that may help me make up my mind.
I can give you some general information about discover scuba. Keep in mind this was a similar excursion on a different cruise line.
I tried it on a whim because some others in my party were doing it, and reallly enjoyed it. I thought it was a great way to experience it without investing all the time and money into lessons. It's probably true that you won't get that much time in the water. Frankly, on our excursion, I thought they should have spent more time with us before putting us in the water.
I had never considered taking lessons before, but may very well at some point, because of my experience with that excursion.
I am surprised you cannot get prices. I'd keep trying until you can find them. Discover scuba will be pricey.
The first time I asked Carnival, they said they couldn't give me prices in advance, that I'd find out on the ship. The second time I called, the Personal Vacation Planner said that because I'd booked through Orbitz, they could not help me, not even to give me prices for these 3 excursions. Absolutely no help whatsoever. Which I found a bit silly, but hey, if that's their policy, then that's the way it is.
So, I resort to my magnificant cruisemates resource!
My daughter did the Discover Scuba in St. Thomas about three years ago. I think it was $75.00 at the time. She said she only got about 30 minutes of actual dive time, because PADI is required to give you a certain number of minutes for land and shallow water breathing instructions. I'm a certified diver (hence screen name) and I think you'd enjoy Buck Island much more.
I'm thinking so too - that limited dive time was what I was worried about. If I really want to learn to dive, I'll get certified at home rather than use my precious excursion time when there are other things I really want to do.
Buck Island it is. :o)
But, now that Carnival has just re-done its website, I've learned it's possible to take more than one excursion in a day if the timing is right...so, I may end up doing Buck Island AND the Kon Tiki Party Raft (my husband really wants to do that - he's a drinker, I'm not, so doing both would be a compromise!) or possibly Trunk Bay.
Trunk Bay will take the bulk of your day, as it is a 45-minute ferry ride each way over to St. John. It really is a beautiful beach, though. The have an underwater snorkel trail that goes around an off-shore island. The water is pretty shallow, and the underwater signs point out the types of coral and fish. The beach is gorgeous, and there are bars and snack bars and restroom facilities there, too.
Well, it's really a matter of seeing what time different excursion times are throughout the day, which, I guess I won't know until I'm on the ship!
Fortunately, we have 10 and 1/2 hours at that port, so I'm hoping (fingers crossed!) that I can squeeze in two - the Buck Island tour is 3 hours, leaving a healthy 7.5 hours for another excursion.
Trunk Bay is 4 hours, and the Party Raft is 3. Trunk Bay would be my preference but 1) it depends on the times (if there's only one Buck Island and one Trunk Bay, leaving at the same time and I must choose one, then Buck Island it is!) and 2) how much my husband really wants to go drink on that silly party raft. Either way, I'll be fine, as long as I get some quality snorkel time, which I know I will at Buck Island :o)
Right! You'll really enjoy the snorkelling at Buck Island, and it's closer than St. John. You take a boat over, instead of a ferry. Those party boats are kind of fun...Conga lines, Caribbean music, rum punch and beer, and people getting goofy! I did one in Barbados once, and there was a 60+ year old lady who was absolutely snockered and cracked the place up! She led every Conga line, too! Hilarious! I know you'll have a great time, and sure hope you can fit both of those tours in!
I do too. The USVI is the only one I've had a hard time deciding what to do, because for my other stops (Nassau, Dominican Republic) the ones I wanted to do jumped right out at me. The USVI excursion decision wasn't as clear, but we have more time there, so two excursions seems to be the right answer ;o)
Thanks for all your comments, diverdiver. You've been a GREAT help!