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We are going on our first cruise. We are going to CocoCay, Roatan, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. We most likely are not doing any excursions, but we will head to beaches at CocCay and Roatan at least. After looking at prices to rent gear, I am much better off buying. It is ~$25-$30 to rent. I can get nice to me Cressi mask, snorkel, fins for about $60-$75. 

 

I am not worried about packing space. We are driving. My suitcase dufflebags fold flat. If I stack 4 on top of each other, they are about the size of a normal single suitcase. For 3 of us, that would be 4 total bags packed. This is assuming we can't fit the gear in our own bag after packing.

 

Anyone have thoughts or opinions on a good snorkeling package to buy?

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I would not buy a "package".  For you there there will be a "best" mask, and "best" fins.  The odds that these two "best" items coming in the same package are nil. 

 

It sounds like you're in Florida, since you're driving to the port.  Find a dive shop near you, preferably one with a pool, where you can try equipment before you buy.  The staff there should be able to help each person in your group find a mask for each person that fits perfectly.   Obviously this will likely be a different mask for each of you. 

 

For fins, you have two general categories: open heel or closed heel.  The closed heel are what you see usually for rental gear.  Your foot slides directly into the fin.  Open heel have either a strap or bungee cord at the rear, and you you wear a bootie with them.  They cost a little more, and you then have the added expense of booties; but the additional cost is more than worth it, as the fins will be far more comfortable, and the booties are nice if your snorkeling somewhere that the beach is not just powdery sand. 

 

As for the booties themselves, I've learned from experience that you'll be happier with the taller version that cover the entire ankle, and usually have a zipper.  The low ankle type, that usually slip on don't seem like it, but they let sand and rocks in, which is a nuisance.  Also, don't just buy water socks, get booties with substantial rubber sole.  Finally, make sure when you try the booties on, your toes are not pressing against the end at all.  The booties are neoprene, bonded to rubber,  If your foot is tight in the bootie the bootie will wear prematurely, by failing at the bonding seam. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

 

 

Edited by omeinv
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Thank you for the information. I am not in FL. Driving is much cheaper than flying and we will get in the day before. I agree, buying separate us probably the better way to go. I will see if I have any done shops near me to test equipment  

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There is likely a dive shop near you.  You can try this link as a starting point:

 

https://www.divessi.com/en-IC/dealer-locator/

 

If you're sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami there are several Divers Direct locations in South Florida.  You would probably not be able to try equipment there, but they would surely have a wide selection to choose from.

 

Harris

Denver, CO

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We are going out of Port Canaveral. I looked at the site you mentioned and there is a place near me. Not sure if they sell anything or just a training facility. I will no more when they respond back to me. I appreciate the help. Its been over 35 years since I was PADI certified and had any equipment. 

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Great advice already from omeinv.  Only thing I would recommend if you haven't already thought of it is an actual snorkel bag to carry your gear.  You don't want to just throw everything into a tote bag or regular backpack incase it's wet.  Most bags have a large mesh area so it could drip if needed plus a non mesh compartment (usually not water proof so be aware of that). 

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  • 3 months later...

Well, I went against recommendations and bought off Amazon. Being bored inside, I had nothing better to do. It was a $100 Cressi set off Amazon. It is going right back. Not that it is bad quality, it just doesn't fit at all. It was worth a shot. I did find out from a friend that my PADI certification never expires. That was interesting to know. I got certified in 85. Went on only 2 dives after that. I know I would need a refresher course, but it was nice to find out.

 

I will be heading to a local dive shop that has a pool this weekend or next.

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I got certified in 85. Went on only 2 dives after that.

 

SO MUCH has changed .... you should start over .... 

 

LIKE: most places are going to give you a computer on rental gear ...... know how to read it?

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On 6/5/2020 at 5:50 PM, Capt_BJ said:

I got certified in 85. Went on only 2 dives after that.

 

SO MUCH has changed .... you should start over .... 

 

LIKE: most places are going to give you a computer on rental gear ...... know how to read it?

I am definitely not going diving without starting over. I talked with the dive shop I went to yesterday. They said they have a customized refresher that is half the price of full certification. They said it is all I would need. 

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Well, went to the dive shop, fitted mask and fins. The fins felt great in the store but when I got home and tried them out in the pool, they started to constrict my feet too much. They have a 60-day no questions asked policy. Took my daughter this time to get her gear as well and new fins. Got a pair that takes boots. Swam with them for about 20 minutes no issue. Much better feel. I may need a slightly larger boot or one that doesn't constrict my foot as much. My feet swell if I get bad circulation. Because of that, I am glad I have a good dive shop here that can get things working. In the end, it will cost $50-$75 more but you are getting a much better quality product with a guarantee.

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Definitely need a new boot. Tried them again today and my feet are cramping. It is not the fin. I just wore the boot in the pool. After 10 minutes, my feet were aching. I left a message at the dive shop. I need to find a boot that has a wide toe end. I have a call into another dive shop as well just looking for suggestions. For all I care, it could just be a sock as long as my feet are not so forced in constriction.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I finally have all my snorkel gear. An online scuba place recommended a possible boot for wide feet. I found an Amazon Warehouse deal and tried them out. These fit the best. I was able to use the fins, mask, snorkel and boot in our pool yesterday for the purpose I bought them. 

 

I am so glad for the advice above to go to a local dive shop. If I tried the Amazon route, I would have had about 20 returns.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/19/2020 at 10:36 AM, Budget Queen said:

Ok-  glad it worked out.    I’m very picky with my snorkel locations.    Have you determined where you’re going?   

Well, CV19 is playing into that scenario. We do have a July 2021 cruise scheduled already for Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan. We have a Nov 2020 cruise that expect to get canceled. We are doing prelim looking at late March 2021. The one at the top of my list is Labadee (no snorkeling), Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire. Another option is Falmouth, Grand Caymans, Cozumel. 

 

We have to look at our options and what we can afford. Some of the ones we originally looked at have now priced us out.

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  • 2 months later...

I got a sweet snorkel set off Amazon about 8-9 years ago, paid $65 free shipping. Snorkel, mask, fins and drawstring bag. Dragged them all over the Caribbean many times, some of the best $$$ I've ever spent. 

Never rent them yes you have to make room for them in your luggage but it's totally worth it. 

You have your own stuff, it's the only way to go if you plan on taking more than one snorkel tour. Trust me I did the math. 

 

Mine fit perfect, look for deals on Amazon. I bought my set several months before I went on a cruise(2011)our CC roll group had 3/4 snorkel tours booked. Worked out perfect. 

 

You can get nice snorkeling gear on Amazon, last you forever for well under $100, never rent. 

Plus you certainly don't want to use a snorkel everybody and there brothers sister's brother has already used.🤮

Plan A- Buy

Plan B- refer to Plan A😉

 

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I tried the Amazon route. For me, they were garbage. I had to go through a dive shop. The set I had from Amazon were on for 15 minutes. It took about a week for the pain to go away. Everyone is different. I am very glad I tried it though. If  I was that way on a cruise, I would be miserable the entire week after wearing them.

 

We are now on a March cruise that only goes to Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel. We will still take the snorkel gear for Cozumel.

 

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On 10/18/2020 at 3:16 PM, bigrednole said:

I tried the Amazon route. For me, they were garbage. I had to go through a dive shop. The set I had from Amazon were on for 15 minutes. It took about a week for the pain to go away. Everyone is different. I am very glad I tried it though. If  I was that way on a cruise, I would be miserable the entire week after wearing them.

 

We are now on a March cruise that only goes to Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel. We will still take the snorkel gear for Cozumel.

 

My snorkel gear that I bought off Amazon are awesome, not only fit perfectly they look great had TONS of compliments on the entire unit. 

Mine wouldn't trade them for the world, used them on at least a dozen or so different snorkel tours throughout the entire Caribbean, anything but "garbage" I don't buy garbage I throw it away.

Say you put on a set of fins for 15 minutes and it took about a week for the pain to subside?

Might try ordering the proper size and may I suggest a podiatrist.

Have a great trip on your snorkeling excursion next summer, if something happens you don't end up snorkeling in Cozumel, Nachi Coccum.

Have fun!!

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