Snorkeling is not a strong suit for Labadee. It can depend on sea conditions. It isn't a big place so you can move around and try different areas. Bear in mind that RCI requires everyone who snorkels to rent and use a vest. They will run you out of the water if you aren't wearing one.
Most people stop at Nellie's and Columbus beaches. Keep going to Dragon Tail Beach and it is usually less crowded, although crowded is a relative thing when you dump 2 to 4 thousand people on a little peninsula for the day.
Look at this thread for a map of Labadee (before they installed the zip line), and a google image.
When the kids were younger we "practiced" snorkeling at Labadee, so they would be ready to go for the afternoon on Cayman. Not much to see, but an interesting way to pass some time if you enjoy having an underwater look around.
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Last April we were in Labadee and after zip-lining (very cool!) in the morning we took RCs snorkel excursion - which is on a boat. I believe it was at 1:00. We had a blast and the snorkeling was quite good. It was also a good way to see the shoreline which was beautiful. The crew made this excursion really fun.
No, if you have your own equipment, bring it. But be sure to bring your vests. Ours are the regular snorkeling vests, they fold flat and don't take up any room at all. Most every place you go snorkeling will require a vest, if they have guards on duty. We usually take a bag with all the snorkeling equipment, beach stuff, and carry-on items with us. It also gives us another place to pack purchases.
It's just vague wording I guess. "For guests with their own snorkeling equipment, RCI will require you to wear a safety vest. These are available for a fee of $6.00" I'd say the wording is deliberate so they can increase rentals.
And they act like an ax murderer is on the loose if you enter the water with snorkeling equipment without a vest.
They really do, and there is no call for being so abrupt. Last August at Coco Cay a little boy was in the water just a few feet from the beach. His mother was watching him. The little boy had a snorkel and mask. Suddenly a bar waiter started yelling and ran to the boy and dragged him out of the water. The kid started crying uncontrollably and it was just a bad scene. The kid's parents ran to him and then a lifeguard came over to try and smooth things over. The parents were quite upset and they had every reason to be. I would have been. The waiter should have been disciplined but I doubt he was.
I don't understand why they have to act like that. The silly thing is that you don't need a vest if you are just swimming. But put a mask on and suddenly you are a hapless idiot just seconds away from drowning.