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All Inclusive Chankanaab Beach Day & Sea Lion Show...?


katiemae25
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I will be sailing on Carnival Ecstasy and it is $80 per person. I plan on booking this excursion, but I would like to know how it all works first. I was looking for a website for the park that has all of the different prices for things if I chose to go there on my own, but I couldn't find anything. I have a few questions about this excursion:

 

1. Is all the snorkeling equipment included in the price (including life vest)? Is the snorkeling guided? I can't swim and have never snorkeled, but I would like to try it with a guide.

 

2. Is it possible to book a guided snorkeling tour independently without going through the cruise line? How much will it cost?

 

3. Do you have to stay with the tour guide the whole time you are there or can you go off on your own?

 

4. Will it be cheaper to do everything on my own? I don't want to do the dolphin encounter or watch the sea lion show.

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OP is still at post count = 1 so I'll answer here.

 

I will be sailing on Carnival Ecstasy and it is $80 per person. I plan on booking this excursion, but I would like to know how it all works first. I was looking for a website for the park that has all of the different prices for things if I chose to go there on my own, but I couldn't find anything. I have a few questions about this excursion:

 

1. Is all the snorkeling equipment included in the price (including life vest)? Is the snorkeling guided? I can't swim and have never snorkeled, but I would like to try it with a guide.

 

This may be a bit of an issue, depending on what you mean by you can't swim. You'd be able to wear an inflatable snorkel vest which will keep you on the surface but you'll need some way to move around in a semi controlled fashion. At Chankanaab my recollection is that there wasn't much in the way of shallow coral (less than 5 feet deep) that you need to go over other than right at the entry so even with beginner issues maintaining orientation you're not likely to cause damage (to yourself or the reef).

 

I bring my own gear but I've seen people rent the full setup there. With Carnival's "all inclusive" excursion I would assume this is included, but I can't say for sure.

 

When we've been there in the past there have been some free (included) guided tours for park guests. I'm not sure how interesting the narrative may be, as when I've seen them it has always included a number of people sort of jostling around and bobbing on the surface splashing a lot so I try to steer clear.

 

2. Is it possible to book a guided snorkeling tour independently without going through the cruise line? How much will it cost?

Yes, kind of... There are plenty of ways to go snorkeling separate from the cruiseline, including taking a cab ($12-20ish depending on whether you have more than 4 people and which pier you're coming from) to Chankanaab ($21 admission, -$2 coupon available), renting snorkel gear ($12 I think I read) on your own and participating in the same tour there.

 

At other locations you'd need to ask the operator how much guiding is going on vs just taking the boat to a reef they they like, that's typically what I've seen on other private snorkeling excursions.

 

3. Do you have to stay with the tour guide the whole time you are there or can you go off on your own?

You can go off on your own or skip the tour entirely.

 

4. Will it be cheaper to do everything on my own? I don't want to do the dolphin encounter or watch the sea lion show.

It can be cheaper particularly if you have multiple people sharing the cab fee.

 

One other note. Chankanaab is not a sandy entry beach for snorkeling. There are stairs down into the water at several locations so you don't need to climb down the rocks. In calm/moderate waves this makes it easy to get in and get going and I've had my son out snorkeling there at ages 3-6.

 

However, we were there last year when the weather was poor and there were waves 3-4 feet high coming fairly directly in to shore. This would make entry difficult and potentially dangerous for a weak swimmer as the water level goes up and down several steps with significant force and there are rocks in close proximity.

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