Hello all- we are booked on the Carnival Glory for July 4-11. I was wondering if some of you could post your ideas for the best snorkeling at our ports (St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau). We have 7 year old twins who are fairly good swimmers, but they have never been snorkeling before. I was hoping that maybe there is someplace where the water is calm and not too deep.
Hi MaureenNC, I really wouldn't waste my money in St. Maarten. We've done 3 snorkeling trips there and there wasn't much to see. The water is clear, but there wasn't a great deal of colorful sea life, coral was kind of non-existant.
If you're up for a little traveling, when you get to St. Thomas, take the ferry to St. John and go to Trunk Bay. There is a self-guided snorkel trail about 50 yards from the beach, normally, if there's not a front moving through, the water is like glass and crystal clear. It's awesome, one of the top 10 beaches in the world, it's also a marine park. There are some great catamaran/sail excursions to Buck Island as well. Sapphire Beach on St. Thomas is good for snorkeling, IF the wind isn't blowing too hard. There are lots of rocks getting into the water, the north end is the best entrance, but there's some good coral and fish there. Megan's and Coki are good. Of the two, Coki probably has the better snorkeling, but it can get very choppy there.
It's been ages since I snorkled in Nassau, too. But just about everywhere in the Bahamas is good snorkeling. Coral reefs seem to abound in the Bahamas. Normally, I recommend going to the Atlantis (take a cab over) and after touring Atlantis, go to Cabbage Beach, which is adjacent to the property. It's a free beach. I don't remember what the snorkeling was like there. Last July when I was there, we just toured Nassau a bit and I didn't get to snorkel.
We love Coki Beach. You can rent equipment for 5 dollars... no need for fins, and you can see fish while you're standing in shallow water.
You can also feed the fish with dog bones they sell at the beach.
It not as pristine as St. John, but the 'beach people' are harmless.
Trunk Bay is beautiful, but when you start multiplying the transportation and beach admission by 4 it adds up quickly.
Thank you all so much for the great recommendations! I can't wait! I haven't been to the Caribbean in 20+ years, so I think we might stick with the ship excursions for this trip (hubby would be much too nervous about missing the boat!). Next time however, I'll be back here looking for the bargains.
I think I might try to buy some snorkel equipment and let the girls practice before we go...