ElaineChick, we just got back from CTI. We snorkeled every day and never once used a vest. I've also been to CSA and don't remember being required to use a vest there either, but I can't speak for CSS or CN.
I went snorkeling and on the catamaran cruise with people who said they could not swim and everyone did fine because EVERYONE even those who can swim wear life jackets. I swam into the cave holding on to a life jacket. Most people who went down the slide on the boat had a life jacket. The snorkeling vest you wear POPS you out of the water. Please don't miss these fun things to do at the resort. You will be fine and I know you will be glad you did it.
Another non-swimmer here. No need to worry, the catamaran cruise has vests, as does the snorkel boat. On the snorkel trip the crew will even help you tie the vest around your waist (if you wish) so it will not be as awkward and in the way while looking at the beautiful fish! You most likely will see many using vests on each trip. Enjoy.
I'm not a strong swimmer, but I wanted to try snorkeling: I was FINE. There was a non-swimmer on our boat, and they just had her wear a different life vest. She did well too, once she got comfortable breathing through the tube (and that didn't take long), and seemed to really enjoy it. It's actually almost RIDICULOUS how easy snorkeling is!
I did not go snorkling at CSS, but my husband and I went several times while on cruises. We had several people that could not swim, and as others have said they give you life jackets that you can use. Don't miss it. Just relax with the life jackets and have FUN.
Can't classify myself as a non-swimmer, but I'm definitely a weak one. Enough to make it the length of a standard built-in pool and that's about it. But I've snorkled many times and the key to it is simply wearing a lifevest or belt, taht will do the trick. Actually, I've even snorkled without a vest or belt before because when wearing fins, as long as you keep your legs moving somewhat and do a modicum of treading, they will help keep you afloat quite easily as well. So no worries mon!!
Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.
I can't really swim & am even pretty afraid of water that I know is over my head but I do love to snorkel. Always go a couple of times while at CN. Just wear a life jacket & you'll do fine. You will not be the only one with one on either so don't worry about that. Most everyone wears one just because they are lazy so it makes the floating along looking at the fish less work - plus drinking alcohol & ocean swimming doesn't really mix so it's better to be safe. Hubby is a diver but he wears a life jacket when he snorkels with me. Also, those fins help out a lot on the swimming. You can go better with them on that's for sure. Have fun!
Although you can get by fine using the life vest, I'd strongly encourage anyone who is considering ocean snorkeling to acquire some basic swimming skills first. Your local YMCA probably offers adult swim lessons, and it's nothing to be embarrassed about at all. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the watersports guys offered to teach you. They are really nice young men.