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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    63

    Default Private snorkeling question - CSA

    Although we loved the snorkeling tour and did it 4 times last trip, we really felt disappointed that they were so insistant that we wear the life jackets. We are both very strong swimmers but I also don't want to challenge anyone who works there (that would be disrespectful) so we just did as they said. As a result, all our great snorkeling photos look like we're wearing giant orange bibs. Yes you don't have to blow them up but when you dive down, you still immediately float back up making it difficult to get closer views of the fish below the surface.

    As a result, we've decided to book a private snorkeling tour with someone who would take us to some different spots, maybe even the caves. I've been reading a lot about the private cruise offered directly through CSA and it does sound amazing, however it also seems a bit pricey for the time (2 hours for $300!) and I just feel like for $150/pp I could probably get someone else outside the resort to spend a larger amount of time with us. So after all that, do you guys have any tips or suggestions for us? Thanks everyone! 104 days can't go by soon enough!

  2. #2

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    Get another couple to go with you on a private cruise. Makes it a little cheaper. You get food and drink with couples and I don't think you get that with a tour company. We did the private cruise with 4 of us at CN in December 2013. Had all kinds of crackers and cheese and fruit and anything we wanted to drink. We went snorkeling and had a blast. They suggested life vest but we opted for none as we are strong swimmers too. Make sure you are comparing apples for apples with the tour group. Besides, watersports at any couples are great and they make it the best adventure you could have.
    CTI- December 2010
    CN- December 2013

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Aaly, when are you going back to CSA. We are headed back on Nov 3-12th might think about going in with you. Miss you guys! Hope all is well. Julie & Ric

  4. #4

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    I would love to do the private snorkeling tour as well. Sure hope we can find another couplet share it with in September. I don't think 150 is too high at all, but 300? A little steep and another couple might be fun!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    64

    Default

    Ask Elvis on the beach

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Julie, I so wish we were going at the same time as we had such a fun time with you guys last time! Unfortunately working in retail I can't take vacation after October. Boo. We're going back the same week as last year, September 7-14. Wish we were staying as long as you guys! Its amazing how quick you get hooked on Couples!

    Miss you both!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Hello Aaly - we just got back from CSA and my hubby booked the private charter for our 20th. We paid the $300 and it was WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY! It was convenient and amazing and if you can do it w/ another couple, you would have a blast, but I promise, it would be money well spent either way. They do provide more food & drink than we could consume and they never even mentioned life vests to us (knowing we were strong swimmers probably). Since we wanted to see the rest of the island and the sunset, we "rushed" through our snorkeling portion of the trip. never having done it before, I didnt know how much I would LOVE it! I'm not sure when we'll get back to CSA, but we wouldnt think of going without getting back on that boat. Our Captain and the driver were absolutely perfectly suited for a private jaunt. They are so much fun and will spoil you. I hope you choose to splurge if you can make it work, you will NOT be disappointed! Have fun! Jennifer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default

    We are really interested in the private tour so it's three hundred for just two but you can split with another couple? For some reason I thought it was 150 per couple so I didn't budget it correctly. I'm sure it would be amazing can others share their story about their boat rides? Also anyone interested in going on one with another couple to cut costs? We are there July 28th thru August 1st?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    873

    Default

    Did not know they required life jackets when snorkeling. Actually, that might just get my wife to try it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    71

    Default

    when you get there simply go and ask the guys!
    We did that at CSS and all we did was ask about the night snorkel. it was us and another couple and it was $75/couple. they took us out and the life jackets were there if we wanted them and they supplied the torches as well. it was a blast! I would say that if you asked about a private snorkel trip during the day they would probably be willing to do it for you guys, moral is... Never hurts to ask nicely!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default how much would it cost for 3 couples?

    is it $300 total for 3 couples or more/ Can you just cruise down the coast and skip the snorkeling/ what boat do they use?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,306

    Default

    We were charged $300 when Bob and I did the private tour by ourselves and when we did it with another couple. I believe that the price does increase after four people. Once we went out on the scuba boat. The second time we went out on a small catamaran (not the one that is used for the booze cruise). They will pretty much go wherever you want them to go. You certainly do not have to stop and snorkel.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    873

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    Do y'all bring your own Snorekeling equipment, or just use the resort's?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    63

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    I'm pretty sure I read that they bring equipment for you. Need some clarification though, someone said they went to palms before going out and grabbed food to bring on the boat. Others said food and drinks were provided. Can someone clarify for me? Thanks!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    873

    Default

    Let me clarify; my wife has never snorkeled before. We like the idea of her wearing a life vest while doing it. The question should be; should she buy her own gear, or use the resort's?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Hi All,

    Hoping to clear some of this up for anyone still curious. We have done this cruise 4 times over the past 2 trips, well worth the $ in our opinion. Each time we have gone with a total of 3 couples (including ourselves) for the price of $150/couple (have to think a good majority of the cost is to cover the gas that beast of a dive boat eats up!!). We have had them take us snorkeling each time (different areas) and usually cruise out to Rick's to catch the sunset and back to the resort. We have always had drinks and food provided on the cruise however they are mostly snacks (small sandwiches, cheeses, etc.) so if you are really hungry a meal at the Palms or Seagrapes before wouldn't be a bad idea. They have also always provided the resort snorkel gear for us on these trips. Lastly the crew, they are an absolute blast!!! I will say they probably gauge the group they have to see what they are looking for in the trip but for us after the snorkeling is over it's party time! We ask them to plug in an Ipod of ours loaded with reggae and just cruise around the island dancing and talking to them! I would recommend the trip 100% but to each their own. I understand the $ could be prohibitive for some but I would say if at all possible try to budget it into your vacation!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,306

    Default

    They provide snacks (cheese and crackers, fruit, and small sandwiches) and booze (you pick what you want when you sign up; we picked Red Stripe and sparkling wine). The minimum cost is $300 (we went by ourselves once and they charged us the same as when we went with one other couple).

    We had our own snorkel gear. Our friends borrowed gear from the resort. Life vests are available also. I would not buy my own snorkel gear or life vest specifically for this trip.

  18. #18

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    This private snorkel trip sounds terrific! I'll be staying at CN in September. Does anyone know if this option is available at CN? For those of you who have done it, how long is the trip? An hour, two, three? Also, if we opted to do this trip just the two of us, do you know if the crew would be amenable to us being au naturel?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    136

    Default

    CA girl - It is a 3 hour trip, tons of fun!!! On the au naturel part, I am really not sure... Being that you are on the water and in sight of other boats and shore I would lean towards no but never hurts to ask!!!

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