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Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

chicago
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466 posts
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Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

We'll be at Club Med beginning of December and plan on snorkeling all over the place.

I know that CM has organized snorkeling trips onsite; if we want to venture out on our own (to Coral Gardens, etc?) do we have to lag our own sets on the trip? Or will Club Med allow us to use theirs for a day?

I understand that the excursion companies that take you to cays DO provide snorkeling equipment, in addition to umbrella/picnic basket... is that correct? Are the rental shops on the beach somewhere? Say, in front of the Coral Gardens ;)

I'd rather not schlep the snorkeling sets and bring more shoes instead! jk, maybe not more shoes.

Please let me know if anyone took their own snorkeling stuff and if it was worth it, thanks again.

Milwaukee, WI
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1. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

Hi there,

We just got back from Coral Gardens on October 18th. We always take our own breathing tubes and masks--I know salt sanitizes just about anything, but I don't like the idea of putting a rental in my mouth.

Our equipment fits us perfectly, and that can make such a difference in your snorkel experience, as opposed to leaky masks, fogging up, etc. Most of the time, we don't even use fins, altho they help in rough waters.

We loved it and went out several times a day every day. In our opinion, Coral Gardens snorkeling was better than the two 1/2 day snorkel outings we paid for. Incredible coral formations, numerous large sea turtles, "Barry" the barracuda, sting rays,

flounder, parrotfish, you name it.

chicago
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466 posts
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2. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

Sandy - thanks for the reply!

I guess the snorkeling at Coral Gardens alone is worth bringing our own sets. I was just told Club Med does not allow you to carry their sets off the property, if anyone's curious.

We don't use the tubes - mask/fins only :) I, too, wouldn't use that of a rental. lol. eeek.

I'm gonna check out if we could rent/buy sets somewhere at TCI.

Tucson, Arizona
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3. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

I saw a lady buy a snorkel set at Ports of Call (not sure which shop) and I bet you can rent them from either of the dive shops at POC as well. There is a dive shop at the Coral Gardens and I bet Mathew does rent out equipment.

Shoes..much more important than a mask or fins. I wish I had brought a couple more of those cover up things you tie around your waist. Great for walking the beach and then popping in somewhere to have a drink. Easy to carry.

chicago
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466 posts
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4. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

Thank you as well, Tracee!

We'd also hear that one can buy/rent the sets at various shops when at Providencales, but according to some old posts, they are often expensive and crappy quality.

I'm still torn between bringing own or buying/renting there. Hate lugging extra stuff, less room for my clothes n' things.

However... Club Med will provide us with sets on their trips, if we go to a private cay tour - they do as well... as long as there's someone renting snorkels in front of Coral Gardens, we won't need to bring them I suppose...

Tracee - by "shoes" did you mean water shoes? should we talk those? I thought all water lines are sandy - are we gonna be stepping on the rocks...

if it's regular shoes, I always bring tons :) as well as pareo covers for walking, over swimsuit.

Los Angeles, CA
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5. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

I have a group hitting TCI the first week of December, and the main attraction to this island was SCUBA diving. If you are into snorkeling, you should try diving. We are using the folks over at Caicos Adventures for all our diving (they have a website). Scuba is a totally different experience and is an amazing sport. Even my wife, who claims to have ear problems, loves it. But I'm not sure about the Club Med (or any other for that matter) on site cert programs. At best, those would be "mini" certifications, but perhaps good enough to go on a shallow, controlled dive. For just snorkeling though, keep in mind that if you or your companions wear glasses (like I do--I can't quite find the courage to jam contacts onto my eyeball!), you should spend the extra $100 or so before departing the US on a personal mask with your prescription installed. I think, most local dive shops can do that on site with just roughly your written prescription. In any event, contacts aren't that great inside a mask in my limited opinion. I'm confident that any rental or free gear is reserved for those fortuante enough to not have ruined their eyes . . . yet . . . reading endless piles of paper at work or school! Good times!

Upstate, NY
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6. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

I would bring my own equipment, then you are free to explore at will. You must check out the coral reef by Coral Gardens- amazing.

I spent 3 or 4 hours each day there.

I would also suggest using the snorkel for the pure fact that you can keep on looking w/ out coming up for air.

At Coral Gardens reef go to the farthest out boeys and swim out a little bit there are wonderful things to be seen!

Here are my underwater photos from Coral Gardens:

www.kleinhansfamily.com/provo_underwater/

You will have a great time!

Washington, DC
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7. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

Can anyone recommend a good site online to purchase prior to our trip to Provo in a couple of weeks? Thanks!

Los Angeles, CA
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8. Re: Snorkel sets - rent? bring our own?..

Hi Honeymooner, it depends on what you are looking to purchase on line. I usually know exactly what I'm looking for before price hunting on the web--for example, you can get great deals on dive computers and dive watches. Scuba.com has a huge selection and good prices and quick turnaround. But, unless you are just going to use this stuff a couple of times over the next few years, I would be hesitant about buying a mask, fins or wetsuit online since fitting those items needs to be right. You will find, in masks, for example, some masks fit perfectly depending on the shape of your face--others that would think would work, don't. I would suggest hitting a local shop and trying things on. But if you are just looking for very basic, inexpensive items and perfect fit is secondary, you can might get away with anything on line (since if a little water leaks into your mask while snorkeling you can just doggie paddle and purge!). There are certain styles of masks that are better for snorkeling since you might want greater peripheral vision (that is, look for a mask with low volume single/wrapping glass or extra windows on the sides). For snorkels, look for something with a purge valve at the bottom of the "J" to make blowing water out easier. There are lots of designs to keep water from getting into the hole in the first place, but note that any designs with a "float" can be a real pain since they sometimes plug when they shouldn't (plus they make the snorkel top heavy). You can also buy some fancy lubricant to rub on the inside of the mask to keep it from fogging up.

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