Hi: Ok...got our cruise package and now I see what is available for excursions. I'm not into scuba but would like to snorkel. My question is that is it really nescessary to go with the excusion in order to do some decent snorkeling. Also, if I want to go sea Kyaking, can I rent one on shore without going through Princess? Going on Dawn 11-18 out of PR, Thanks again.
No, its not necessary to snorkel only with going with a tour. I think I've mentioned before how to get over to St. Johns, from St. Thomas. Its very easy and the snorkeling and the whole island is wonderful, you can rent the equipment or take your own. Not too sure if you can rent a Kyak or not, but you can check around on the internet at those ports and see if its possible, but it may be a good idea to go with a tour, unless you're done that before at that certain port, don't want to get lost or hurt?? Our last trip to St. Thomas, we ended up going on the "wild thing" to snorkel and that was great fun too.
If there is some tour that you really want to do, be sure to sign up now to ensure that you can get it, great idea of Princess's to be able to pre-register for shore
excersions, have fun on Dawn, not long of a wait now!
Princess offers one of the most comprehensive scuba and snorkel programs around, with PADI-certified instructors aboard all vessels on Caribbean itineraries and a comprehensive array of shore excursions from introductory to advanced. If you are a beginner and are not familiar with the area, it's probably best to take one of the organized excursions from the ship -- which also have the advantage that, should a group be delayed, the ship will await its return before leaving the port.
If you are a seasoned snorkeler and you really do feel comfortable going off on your own, you certainly can do so. If you are not familiar with the area, do obtain information from either the instructors on the ship or a local operator as to where the best spots are for your particular interest.
You might want to check out some of the standard shore excursions, too, as some of them offer unique snorkeling opportunities. From St. Thomas, for example, the ship offers a "Champagne Catamaran Sailaway to St. John" for swimming at a pristine beach and snorkeling around a nearby reef. The crew of the catamaran even provide snorkeling instructions for beginners and a pre-snorkel brief. Likewise, on Grand Cayman, there's a shore excursion to swim with the (semi-tame) stingrays at Stingray City.
The "wild thing" is an excersion, we did it on our "Ocean" cruise earlier this year.
Its a super fast boat that takes you out snorkeling to various spots, we were lucky and they took us to Trunk Bay in St. Johns. Its a great tour and lots of fun.
I don't know about cost, but you probably would need an extra suitcase to carry the snorkel gear and you also would have the problem of storing it since storage in most staterooms is pretty limited. For these reasons, I recommend renting it on board.
Hey Boomer & Norm- It is much cheaper to rent your snorkel gear on-site, but both of us wear glasses. My husband & ordered our own maks with prescription lenses- I think they were about $100-125 each. We also went ahead & bought our own snorkels - we found them on clearance at performance diver for about $7-12.So now when we take an snorkeling-excursion we just use their fins & floatie-vests.- We actually bought our own fins $4 a pair!!!, but they're just too big of a pain to pack- the masks & sorkels are no problem.
Boomer - The Wild Thing is powered by jet engines so it is really fast and fun. I know you like to party (from your JollyRoger at Barbados posts - I also have done that one & recommend it highly). Wild Thing is a really really good party trip too, they poured rum punch down my throat through a snorkel. I went on the Wild Thing on a PRincess cruise but it was also available on a Carnival cruise I went on.