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Pratt2112

CoCo Cay - Snorkel On Your Own

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Good morning.  We are going to Coco Cay later this month and I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge about snorkeling while there.  We have our own equipment and I was wonder if:

1. Are there decent locations to snorkel and if so where relative to the different areas of the island?

2. Will Royal Caribbean allow us to use our own gear and go out on our own?  Has anyone had any experience with this?

I appreciate everyone's thoughts and input.  Thanks.

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Yes, there is the place for snorkel. I forgot what that portion of the beach called but you will easily spot it. A lot of people will be there and a lot of people snorkel there. You also will see the lifeguard at the deep area on the platform. So many to see in the water, many kinds of fish, many Stingrays and some even see sea turtle at the plane wreak area. I did not go that far.   

Yes you can use your own snorkel gears and no need to pay anything. 

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51 minutes ago, Susie said:

Yes, there is the place for snorkel. I forgot what that portion of the beach called but you will easily spot it. A lot of people will be there and a lot of people snorkel there. You also will see the lifeguard in the middle of the ocean. So many to see in the water, many kinds of fish, many Stingrays and some even see sea turtle at the plane wreak area. I did not went that far.   

Yes you can use your own snorkel gears and no need to pay anything. 

Agreed.  Turn to the left after the entrance to CocoCay.  We had a Chill Island Cabana and the snorkeling along the rock barrier was good.  Also, the larger area across the way, where the lifeguard platforms are, is very good.  Water was clear in the morning, but got cloudy later in the afternoon -- probably due to people stirring things up. 

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6 hours ago, Pratt2112 said:

Good morning.  We are going to Coco Cay later this month and I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge about snorkeling while there.  We have our own equipment and I was wonder if:

1. Are there decent locations to snorkel and if so where relative to the different areas of the island?

2. Will Royal Caribbean allow us to use our own gear and go out on our own?  Has anyone had any experience with this?

I appreciate everyone's thoughts and input.  Thanks.

At Chill Island (described above), I saw a lot of fish at the man-made reefs just 20 or 30 yards out, and then you can continue going towards the platform.  When we were there in May, there was a safety line that extended from one reef out towards the platform.  I didn't try to follow it all the way out.  As has been stated by others, I always use my own gear.

So how far out you want to swim is up to you.

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I brought my own gear and went to chill island also.  No cost from Royal!  It is some of the best snorkeling for sea life I have done and Ive done a lot!  Keep an eye out for jelly fish, the ones I saw were very small but numerous.  If it is really windy it obviously gets very wavy and requires quite a bit of work to get around, just FYI.  Make sure you check out all the area of Chill Island!

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On ‎2019‎/‎08‎/‎24 at 7:45 AM, MO & LO on the go! said:

I brought my own gear and went to chill island also.  No cost from Royal!  It is some of the best snorkeling for sea life I have done and Ive done a lot!

This is good to know. Have a cabana booked for Chill island for our first visit to Coco Cay in January and was hoping there would be some decent snorkeling

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On 8/26/2019 at 10:58 PM, Vancity Cruiser said:

This is good to know. Have a cabana booked for Chill island for our first visit to Coco Cay in January and was hoping there would be some decent snorkeling

You'll love it!  Just make sure you have fins if its windy!  Cabanas and the little "bay" they have for them is great

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Just an update, after the perfect day construction there is no best place to snorkel at Coco Cay anymore. We just came back yesterday from Symphony of the seas trip. The water is cloudy from the ship propeller at the dock. At some part that still visible I can clearly see the concrete block, Rebar and trash from construction under water. It is sad but true. 

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9 hours ago, Susie said:

At some part that still visible I can clearly see the concrete block, Rebar and trash from construction under water. It is sad but true. 

Actually construction debris like this make incredible artificial reefs that end up growing into full blown natural reefs. It's purposefully done alot here off the coast of Florida. 

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16 minutes ago, CruisingIsLikeCrack said:

Actually construction debris like this make incredible artificial reefs that end up growing into full blown natural reefs. It's purposefully done alot here off the coast of Florida. 

if it is true that great but you will not get to see anything anyway because the water is too cloudy from the ship propeller churning the water(especially large ship like Symphony).  The dock is too close to the snorkeling area.

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29 minutes ago, Susie said:

if it is true that great but you will not get to see anything anyway because the water is too cloudy from the ship propeller churning the water(especially large ship like Symphony).  The dock is too close to the snorkeling area.

What?  I'm sorry, this is not accurate.  The ship is quite far from the snorkel area.  

As a scuba diver who dives routinely in the Bahamas and Caribbean the ship's propellor did not ruin your snorkel day.  

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16 minutes ago, twangster said:

What?  I'm sorry, this is not accurate.  The ship is quite far from the snorkel area.  

As a scuba diver who dives routinely in the Bahamas and Caribbean the ship's propellor did not ruin your snorkel day.  

I reported for what I saw and I was just there on Friday. There is no storm at all at sea on that day or the day before. The water was so calm but it was cloudy. I know how much you @twangster love Royal Caribbean (same as me) but I have to disagree at this one. 

I used to love snorkeling at Coco Cay. I saw so many fish and stingrays. One of the best place snorkeling for beginner like me. 

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So the entire time they were constructing the pier, for two and half years, dredging and drilling and generating sand all day long, longer than the 20 minutes of a ship's propellor yet the snorkelling was clear every time.  Hmmm.  

A much bigger factor is going early before the crowds.  With larger and more ships in port all those humans stomping around in the water generates more than the the ship arriving will.  

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I just reported for what I saw and the true. Anyone want to cheerleading can do whatever you want the true is the true,  Could be Propeller or something else who's know but the water is murky and cloudy. I wonder it is just me that experience that so I searched on Google and found that is not just me someone else reported the same experience on Tripadvisor  2 weeks ago.  

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g499396-d1064261-Reviews-or10-Coco_Cay-Berry_Islands_Out_Islands_Bahamas.html

Oh just to add to that they also rope off the area so way way less area to snorkel. Don't believe me !!! go and experience by yourself and report back. I may be wrong or may be right,

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We were there 2 weeks ago.  We took our own gear and snorkeled off of Chill Island.  We had a great time, the water was clear and the fish were plentiful.  In fact, I saw more fish there than our snorkel excursion out of Nassau (although the coral was prettier at Nassau).  My kids really enjoyed the sunken ship that you can snorkel to.

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20 minutes ago, Zapril14 said:

We were there 2 weeks ago.  We took our own gear and snorkeled off of Chill Island.  We had a great time, the water was clear and the fish were plentiful.  In fact, I saw more fish there than our snorkel excursion out of Nassau (although the coral was prettier at Nassau).  My kids really enjoyed the sunken ship that you can snorkel to.

That great for you but I saw almost nothing on past Friday and thank you for joining the blog today (a few minutes ago) to give (Posted) this info. 🙂 

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2 hours ago, Susie said:

That great for you but I saw almost nothing on past Friday and thank you for joining the blog today (a few minutes ago) to give (Posted) this info. 🙂 

In my experience the fish were near the rocks, within the roped-off area.  We noticed that the fish were less plentiful just after Hurricane Dorian.  Hope you have better luck next time!

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2 minutes ago, ChessE4 said:

In my experience the fish were near the rocks, within the roped-off area.  We noticed that the fish were less plentiful just after Hurricane Dorian.  Hope you have better luck next time!

Yes ,that only the spot that visible for the fish and the construction debris.  Thank you for your kind word.  We hope that will be better on our next visit in summer 2020 also.

We did both the zipline and a water park. It was nice but we kind of tired after 3 pm so we thought that we should go to snorkel. That was we always do every trip at Coco Cay. We had been there many times lost counts and had never seen this bad.

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We just finished a cruise on Mariner of the Seas which stopped at Coco Cay on Sunday the 20th. As reported above, the visibility was not good.  I would say maybe 6 feet at best.  You could not see the bottom clearly from the surface and the max depth in the snorkel area is around 9-10 feet.  The worst visibility is close to the shore where swimmer's feet silt up the water.  On past trips the water would clear up 50 yards or so from shore, but not this time.  Perhaps it is just an issue with tidal flow not carrying off the sediment this time of year.  I'm not sure.

 

Also, the snorkel area is quite a bit smaller than it was on my last visit last November.  The red buoys have been moved in to close off the northern end of the snorkel area.   You are no longer allowed to swim to the more interesting areas that you could previously, including the sunken airplane and the ledges along the northwest island.  Also on my last visit, we could swim out to the white dive buoy and do some free diving in the deeper water where you can see a greater variety of fish.  So, RCI, if you read these posts, would you consider opening that area back up?  The great snorkeling was the highlight of my previous visits to Coco Cay.

 

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I also noticed that the area is a bit smaller than my previous time several years ago (long before upgrade).  The weather was VERY windy when we went in the end of May and the water was great.  Saw lots of life in the water!  Not crystal clear but still very good!  I am not exactly sure how the boat propeller could cause the cloudy water since the boat is quite a ways away and the area is largely protected by rocks from the boat side of chill island.  I would assume it has to do with tides, people, and general water/wind flows.

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