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Jmrosa1

Family snorkel with 6 year old

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Heading on our first family cruise, and looking into snorkeling options.  Right now we are only looking to snorkel off of the beach with our 6 year old.  Is this best in Nassau or Coco Cay? Also best way to try to prepare or train her with gear. Should we try to purchase her some from home, or wait until we get there? I only see a snorkel exursion listed at Coco Cay from the beach. Not even sure if there is one at Atlantis or surrouding beaches. She is not a strong swimmer so also looking into what is best for her to float in the water. Open to all links and suggestions!

Edited by Jmrosa1

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Not the reply you were looking for but:

 

IMO 6 is a little young for open water. Especially when She is not a strong swimmer so also looking into what is best for her to float in the water.  When one wears a snorkel vest it is intended to be a safety device. If used for basic flotation, you've given up the safety factor.

 

If you've looked at a map of COCO CAY, there is a marked (and lifeguard covered) snorkel area ... it is a lil bit of a swim from the beach and the water is to deep for standing.  You could stay in the sand area neared the beach but minimal stuff to see .... basically sand.  Unless something has changed the 'excursion' here is just rental gear and a short 'how to' lesson and pointing you towards the marked area.

 

best way to teach:

 

 

dasnorkel96.jpg

 

son 8 daughter 4

 

Personal experience: a lil while after this picture we moved to Miami and a house with a pool and the kids became fish.  By the time daughter was 6 she was a strong swimmer and we really had no worries about her in the pool and she played with mask, snorkel and fins regularly.  She begged and begged to go snorkeling for real.  I finally broke down and took her to Key Largo and out on a boat snorkel trip.  We got in and all was well for about 5 minutes seeing some fish and general under water stuff.  AND THEN she spotted a small barracuda.  Pretty small and not that close but all she saw as TEETH.  

 

What resulted was a fantastic imitation of a high speed power boat.  Her little legs kicked so fast she threw a rooster tail up as she then leapt out of the water as good as any dolphin jump and landed on the deck of the boat.  I could hardly keep up.

 

I did eventually get her back in the ocean but it took a while.  Eventually she returned, got certified, was an intern at a dive resort in Roatan, dove with a Cousteau as an escort when they were filming and still dives today.

 

 

P7036407.JPG

 

So, this former lifeguard suggests you give it time .... not ready yet.

Edited by Capt_BJ

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I think the key thing is if your daughter feels comfortable with her face in the water. At her age snorkeling is more a mater of floating on the surface than actually swimming. My advice (which is worth what you pay for it) is to buy her a mask and snorkel/fins and take her to a pool or lake to try out. She may also need something to float with, a pool noodle, raft or whatever she can hold onto.  Water only needs to be knee (including her knees) deep to try it.  It ain't rocket science.

 

When/if you snorkel on the cruise stick to shallow water. You'll/she'll still have a good time.

Edited by mac66

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12 hours ago, Capt_BJ said:

Not the reply you were looking for but:

 

IMO 6 is a little young for open water. Especially when She is not a strong swimmer so also looking into what is best for her to float in the water.  When one wears a snorkel vest it is intended to be a safety device. If used for basic flotation, you've given up the safety factor.

 

If you've looked at a map of COCO CAY, there is a marked (and lifeguard covered) snorkel area ... it is a lil bit of a swim from the beach and the water is to deep for standing.  You could stay in the sand area neared the beach but minimal stuff to see .... basically sand.  Unless something has changed the 'excursion' here is just rental gear and a short 'how to' lesson and pointing you towards the marked area.

 

best way to teach:

 

 

dasnorkel96.jpg

 

son 8 daughter 4

 

Personal experience: a lil while after this picture we moved to Miami and a house with a pool and the kids became fish.  By the time daughter was 6 she was a strong swimmer and we really had no worries about her in the pool and she played with mask, snorkel and fins regularly.  She begged and begged to go snorkeling for real.  I finally broke down and took her to Key Largo and out on a boat snorkel trip.  We got in and all was well for about 5 minutes seeing some fish and general under water stuff.  AND THEN she spotted a small barracuda.  Pretty small and not that close but all she saw as TEETH.  

 

What resulted was a fantastic imitation of a high speed power boat.  Her little legs kicked so fast she threw a rooster tail up as she then leapt out of the water as good as any dolphin jump and landed on the deck of the boat.  I could hardly keep up.

 

I did eventually get her back in the ocean but it took a while.  Eventually she returned, got certified, was an intern at a dive resort in Roatan, dove with a Cousteau as an escort when they were filming and still dives today.

 

 

P7036407.JPG

 

So, this former lifeguard suggests you give it time .... not ready yet.

 

 

I wasn't planning on taking her to shallow water...but you did give valuable insight into coco cay and having to go further out to see anything...so staying close to the shore wouldn't really be "snorkeling" for her. Maybe I will try cheap gear at home in the tub or the pool to see if she is even able to keep her face down in the water for more then a couple of seconds that she is used to when swimming underwater.

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