We have 37 LONG days to wait until we board Rhapsody - we plan to snorkel at every port. Should we rent or buy? Space isn't a problem this time because we are driving to Galveston. I haven't snorkeled before - I'm the old lady you see on the beach with the margarita and the trashy novel - but told my traveling buddies that I'd join them this cruise.
Is there a difference in quality - does it help to have mask you know fits well - or does it even matter????
No question, just buy your snorkeling equipment at home before you go. I was able to get the whole set for around $50 at our local sports store. This way, you know everything fits properly and they really don't take up that much luggage space and since you will be doing a lot of snorkeling at the ports you are going to, it only makes sense to have your own. Plus the fact that only you will be using it, you don't have to share with the rest of the world and you never know how clean they actually are. It also helps to have a mask fit right, had one that just didn't and it kept filling up with water, not fun
Only one other possibility - if you wear glasses, the dive shop on board ship or on your excursions might have prescription goggles (you could still use your own snorkel). I finally used prescription goggles (on a local trip in the Keys) and could not belive the difference. We were on Golden Princess in January & I found out too late the dive shop on board had prescription goggles I could have rented -- our excursion did not. If there's no prescription involved, definitely take your own. Have a great time.
As others have said, I'd purchase the equipment. I definitely would look for a mask and snorkel that have baffles in them. It allows you to blow the water out of the snorkel and mask without having to take them off. Usually not a problem with the snorkel, but a great convenience for the mask.
Depending on your comfort with being in the water, you also may want to consider a floatation device (collapsable vest you inflate by blowing into it). Most folks, after snorkelling once or twice, don't wear one, however if you don't swim or get panicy in water over your head, I'd recommend one.