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CocoCay - can i snorkel on my own with my own equipment?


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They'll even loan you a free snorkel vest -- at least, they used to.  There is a snorkel shack near Chill Beach that has equipment for rent, which is where I got my vest (and a temporary loan of fins when one of mine broke!

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On 7/2/2022 at 9:20 AM, ChessE4 said:

We snorkel with our own equipment at Chill Island.  I strongly recommend a vest (we bought one from Amazon), as I once got caught in a strong current trying to return to the beach.

How far out did you have to go to see anything?  Trying to see for my kids and how possible it is for them to snorkel.  They all have on and off practiced in our pool including our 4 (will be 5 on cruise) year old and they seem to be able to handle the snorkel well.  My 4 year old is an extremely strong swimmer for his age and this isn't coming from me.  Lifeguards at several different resorts have commented on how strong of a swimmer he is for his age and one suggested I get him on a swim team now as he apparently has an unusually good kick for a boy, whatever that means lol  So I was going to let him try, but wasn't sure how deep we had to go and if he would be OK with that.  He will go in the ocean with us but it is only ever as far as hubby and I can stand. 

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11 hours ago, IzzyB said:

How far out did you have to go to see anything?  Trying to see for my kids and how possible it is for them to snorkel.  They all have on and off practiced in our pool including our 4 (will be 5 on cruise) year old and they seem to be able to handle the snorkel well.  My 4 year old is an extremely strong swimmer for his age and this isn't coming from me.  Lifeguards at several different resorts have commented on how strong of a swimmer he is for his age and one suggested I get him on a swim team now as he apparently has an unusually good kick for a boy, whatever that means lol  So I was going to let him try, but wasn't sure how deep we had to go and if he would be OK with that.  He will go in the ocean with us but it is only ever as far as hubby and I can stand. 

Last time we were at Coco Cay was Sept 2019.  I snorkeled by the rocks at the right entrance of Chill Island.  I believe there is a rope that encloses the cove, and I sometimes sailed past the rope.  But I saw a lot of fish by the man-made reef, and coral was starting to grow.  Basically, you need to get past the swimmers who are playing in the shallow water and go to where the depth is 6-12 feet.  You can sometimes see sting rays in the sand.  I did see jellyfish, but I wasn't stung.  They were very pretty floating near the reef.

If anyone sails past the rope, be alert to the current.  If it is strong, it will be hard to return to the beach.  Closer in, you will see some fish in the sea grass at shallow depths (for kids), but more fish are by the rocks.

I would not let a young child snorkel without a parent.  That is just me.  I once lost my 5-year-old son on a Royal cruise ship.  Luckily, he returned to our stateroom.

Someone else who has been to Coco Cay more recently might give you an update on conditions.

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Pretty good snorkeling around the little rocky outcrop in Chill Beach area in April 2022.  Lots of colorful fish and even a small shark.  Strong lifeguard presence so your littles should be fine.  I assume with a home pool, they are extremely comfortable in the water.  

 

(unsolicited plus one on the swim team advice - it's a great sport that enhances a lifelong skill.  And summer lifeguards jobs are great when they're teenagers) 

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13 hours ago, ChessE4 said:

Last time we were at Coco Cay was Sept 2019.  I snorkeled by the rocks at the right entrance of Chill Island.  I believe there is a rope that encloses the cove, and I sometimes sailed past the rope.  But I saw a lot of fish by the man-made reef, and coral was starting to grow.  Basically, you need to get past the swimmers who are playing in the shallow water and go to where the depth is 6-12 feet.  You can sometimes see sting rays in the sand.  I did see jellyfish, but I wasn't stung.  They were very pretty floating near the reef.

If anyone sails past the rope, be alert to the current.  If it is strong, it will be hard to return to the beach.  Closer in, you will see some fish in the sea grass at shallow depths (for kids), but more fish are by the rocks.

I would not let a young child snorkel without a parent.  That is just me.  I once lost my 5-year-old son on a Royal cruise ship.  Luckily, he returned to our stateroom.

Someone else who has been to Coco Cay more recently might give you an update on conditions.

Oh no way he is snorkeling by himself, it would be our whole family of 5 going snorkeling at once.  Thanks!  Sounds like the kids would get to do some stuff and worth bringing their gear.

10 hours ago, fa-li said:

Pretty good snorkeling around the little rocky outcrop in Chill Beach area in April 2022.  Lots of colorful fish and even a small shark.  Strong lifeguard presence so your littles should be fine.  I assume with a home pool, they are extremely comfortable in the water.  

 

(unsolicited plus one on the swim team advice - it's a great sport that enhances a lifelong skill.  And summer lifeguards jobs are great when they're teenagers) 

Oh I know, I was on a swim team from age 5 to 14.  It is just not like up north where I walked to the pool, I have to find a team and somehow get him to practices which aren't exactly work parent friendly.  Next year he can do some of the summer swim team camps which should help.

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On 6/28/2022 at 3:04 PM, BobNoxious said:

Do i have to pay $35 for a snorkel excursion at Coco Cay, or can I just bring my own snorkel/mask/fins and go have fun on my own?

Bring your own, it's fine. We carry ours everywhere a beach might be.  I think a snorkel vest is required at chill beach [not sure if or how enforced though].  I didn't see anyone mention it, but there is a swim platform out past the rocks a ways; and I've found an old ship rampart with rusted-crusted cannon half way to that swim platform.  There's supposed to be remnant of a plane somewhere too, but I've never seen it [I think out even further than the swim platform, but not sure].  I second the comments about the rocks just off to the right from the beach having some tropicals.  

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