Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Crew Member's Secret: Don't Rent Snorkels if You Don't have To!

Hello, Readers, and thank you for tuning in to trumptettravels - the true accounts of my 11 year career on cruise ships as a crew member aboard Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Premier Cruises and the Holland America Line.

 I've already shared alot so if you like this - get caught up already. And subscribe or "follow" me!

Some folks have marvelled at my interesting sentinmental stories about what it is like on the ship and others have made it clear they are more interested in tricks of the trade and how they can save money.  I gave them a great secret in how to get your best odds of beating the slot machines - see my Dec 27th post.

Well, here is a good one.  One of the dive managers on the ship was explaining to me how profitable the snorkel and masks were to rent.  A good mask might go for $50-80 and the cruise line actually buys the highest quality to rent out.  Why? They last much much longer than the cheap ones do and they are more suited for novices who don't know how to acheive a proper seal on the mask.

A little bit about diving: I got certified with Dive With Martin in Cozumel, Mexico.  It was AWESOME. I can't describe diving well, but I promise scuba diving is like flying. Like flying through a magical land filled with strange creatures who can fly.  That was my impression.  I loved diving and since I was certified I did a night dive, I saw the ship wreck near Aruba and even a Manta Ray and some Sharks in Costa Rica!

Anyway, if you are going on a cruise I HIGHLY recommend you get your own mask and snorkel.  Oh, yeah, the dive manager.  She was telling me the basically "sell out" every week (another great reason to buy your own) and that the mask paid for itself in about 5 weeks.  I asked how long those masks were there and she said about two years!  Now buying a mask would pay for itself if you buy a high quality one and it fits your face properly.  If you live in the South I recommend going where I went: Divers Supply in Tampa.  They were experts and fitted my mask to my face and advised me on the latest in snorkel tricks to keep the water out.  Even if you don't live in the South, I would check their prices before going down to WALMART and buying a garbage leaky mask that you'll hate and throw out.  Did you ever notice how sometimes "saving money" is wasting money?  That is so annoying. Call Divers Supply up or check their site (I think I put a link on that photo if I can figure out this LINK function in Blogger - try to click).
A package like shown in the photo is perfect for the novice: professional quality and not too expensive.

Mask Fin and Snorkel PackagesCOZUMEL SNORKELING - So many people book tours to go snorkeling in Cozumel Mexico.  I love it there! I used to walk all the way to town every time, go to a few restaurants (LA CHOZA was a crowd favorite as well as GUIDOS). [Caution: those are secret crew restaurants with better food and lower prices than the main strip!) On my walk to town I used to walk by - ALL THE SNORKEL TOURS!!! You could literally walk 100 yards and go right in on the beach to some of the most beautiful snorkeling in the world!

This is how I see it. 4X$59 gets you a shore excursion for a family of four on a  catamaran with some cheap booze and loud music (and snorkeling) OR for 4X$59 gets you four snorkelling packages you can use the rest of your life plus $20 left over to split some guac and have a few beers if you go to the right places (the crappiest bars on the beach still have cold beer!) 

If you love snorkelling and you're going to once in Cozumel, it is worth BUYING your gear before and walking to the beach.  Off the top of my head, BONAIRE has a great spot you can walk off and snorkel and countless other ports do, too.  You'll spend the same amount ONCE and get to keep the gear. THEN every time you go snorkeling you're SAVING $60 a trip per person which can be used for other things.  Hopefully NOT cuban cigars which I will cover in blogs to come.

I hope you've enjoyed the latest edition of trumpet travels.  Just mentioning La Choza made me remember so many good memories.  Their margaritas also caused a loss of so many (good?) memories, too!  Stay tuned and why not "follow me" so you'll be notified next time I post?