I have generally found the masks and fins to be fine. However I have no desire to put in my mouth a snorkel tube washed in a barrel with 200 others...So as I rule, if equipment furnished, I at least bring my own tube. Is just me. If is not furnished I bring my own gear. However sometimes I have had at a minumum to rent a vest. Hope this helps, and have a great cruise!
We just got back from 2 of the excursions you mentioned (Sunset beach and Captain Marvins)
I cant recommend Captain Marvins enough. They were awesome! Sunset beach was ok, but they try t o put a time limit on when you can use thier stuff (30 minutes). Other than that, it was definitely the best thing to do in Jamaica.
My suggestion is to buy your own gear. I have my own, but my wife had to get gear from the place at Sunset beach and it didnt fit right.(mask kept leaking) Good gear isnt cheap, though.
She didnt have a problem with the stuff from Capt. Marvins. Youll love that tour, and carry an extra 55 bucks for the dvd (the boat will have a cameraman) because youll need it! We thought he was crazy for charging 55 bucks for a dvd of us snorkeling with the stingrays at first, but after we saw it we had to have one.
Definitely bring your own for the reasons listed above, and also because the price can really add up (ten bucks each times...).
I went to a dive shop and got awesome snorkels for 20 bucks (no fins). They were really good snorkels- no leaking at all!
Keep in mind that you don't need snorkels for everyone. As I recall you have two kids??? No time to look back as I am already late for work (you can tell it is a Monday because I have started with the escapist cruise-chat at 7:30am!!) BUT I would say that two would be fine- two on the beach relaxing and two snorkeling, then you switch.
Thanks for the good advice Carla! *AND* for the crossed fingers!!
As far as we can tell, everything is OK in Galveston - folks will be going back in town today & tomorrow & I plan on calling the hotel and seeing what they have to say - I will let the gang know what the verdict is as soon as I hear myself :-)
From what we have heard about the area, it is all a go as of today - the big change is folks departing yesterday for a 7 day cruise are only going out for a 5 day cruise on TUE...CCL is giving them $$$ on their S&S and a 30% refund.
I guess the folks that made out are the people cruising last week - - they would up tacking on a 3 day cruise to nowhere on the end of their 7 day cruise ...not bad unless you HAD to get back to the office on Monday!
9-16 OCT 2005 - Carnival Conquest (out of Galveston)
bobinnm ... would like to hear back from you on the Captain Marvin trip. I'd like to know how easy it is to get off boat into water and then back on to the boat. We are going Conquest in January and I believe this is shore trip we want to do as well. Let me hear from you ... firstname.lastname@example.org