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Snuba Excursions Offer Underwater Adventures

Snuba diving
Snuba diving use air hoses that go to the surface for breathing. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
“Snuba” diving on a Caribbean cruise is a unique way to explore marine reefs and sea life without going through the cost of scuba certification.

Snuba is a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving. Instead of air tanks, divers use a mask with an air tube that goes to an air pump at the surface of the water. The equipment allows the divers to go deeper underwater than snorkelers, who mostly have to stay on the surface and only look down.

Cruise passengers can take what are called “resort scuba” lessons for a hefty fee and then go on a one-tank dive with a guide. But snuba bypasses that time and cost. It’s also a better way to go beyond standard snorkeling.

The activity level is moderate and requires somewhat more exertion than snorkeling because of the diving effort and water pressure. Excursions usually have a minimum age requirement, such as at least eight years old. Still, the low age limit makes snuba an entertaining option for most families.

Many but not all islands have excursion operators who offer snuba as an option. Cruise passengers who are interested in trying it should check the excursion schedules on board or while planning their cruise trip.

In our experience, it’s a good idea to look not only at prices but also at which ports are best known for good snorkeling and scuba diving. They will have the best overall snuba experiences as well. One of those ports is Cozumel.


Snuba Examples


Cozumel is one of the biggest cruise ports in the Caribbean, and operators there offer snuba trips. The cost is about $70 per person and takes about two hours including a safety lesson and medical forms to fill out.

One site offered a similar trip for the same price but with a short-term discount down to $57, so it pays to shop around.

Participants go about one hundred yards offshore to explore the reefs while a guide manages the air tank and raft.

Another excursion operator in Nassau, Bahamas, had prices at $175 per person. Its excursion lasts three hours on the water. This example is a good reason why it pays to compares prices at each port.

Planners should consider the total trip time and amenities such as snacks and whether they enter the water from the beach or take a more expensive boat trip to the diving location.

A St. Maarten snuba excursion lasting two hours had prices starting at $100 per person. This one included a boat trip, which is why it was more expensive than a similar excursion in Cozumel.

Other ports that have snuba excursions include Aruba, Grand Cayman, Roatan, San Juan, Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts and St. Thomas. Note that all prices are subject to change.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Excursions   

January 28, 2019

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