Saturday, July 5, 2008

NCL Dawn Bermuda - Night Snorkeling

Do fish swim at night? Are fish active after the sun goes down? Do fish have their dinner when we do? Have you ever wondered about things like that? If so, then perhaps a Night Snorkeling excursion could answer those questions for you.

When reviewing the possible excursions available on the Norwegian Dawn cruise to Bermuda, we were intrigued by the Night Snorkeling excursion offered while we were in King's Wharf.

The Night Snorkel excursion description was as follows:
A ratio of one instructor to six snorkelers ensures your personalized attention and safety. You'll see a variety of sea creatures that normally hide during the day and marvel at how the beautiful coral formations come alive in our beams of light. Then for a real treat we turn off our lights to discover the extraordinary effects of bioluminescence microscopic creatures that create light as we swim through them. Experience a whole different type of Bermuda nightlife. Note: Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must know how to swim. This tour is not recommended for those with limited mobility and back problems.

After reading that description, we had some preconceived notions about this tour. We expected to be snorkeling off of a boat that provided the lighting. It turned out that we would be providing our own lighting using underwater flashlights.

Our tour began with a short taxi ride from the pier to 9 Beaches Resort. After a short briefing, we were given our gear which included partial wet suits, snorkel mask, snorkel, fins, life vests, and a flashlight. We were paired into groups of two swimmers and given one glow stick which would serve as a locator in the dark.

After everyone had their gear, we entered the water from the beach near to the equipment shack and made sure that our masks and snorkels were working and adjusted properly. I was a little leery, despite having snorkeled before, we never had done so at night. Most of our snorkeling was done by jumping into water from a boat which was anchored nearby the snorkeling area. That gives you the opportunity to rest for awhile and rejoin the snorkeling when you want. This was obviously not going to be the same experience.

The tour guides assured me that we'd stay together and make frequent stops to be sure the group was together. He also said that I could stay close to him if that helped. Unfortunately, he took off and staying with him wasn't really practical. My husband stayed with me and that had to suffice.

The water was cold despite the wet suit. We did make several stops to keep the group together. I only saw a couple fish the whole time. My husband didn't see any at all. He was too busy keeping tabs of where my light was and where I was. Our son was with us too and he did see a few fish.

I started to get a cramp and decided that I'd had enough. A few of us got out near a landing and walked back to the equipment shack. The rest of the group continued for 15 or 20 minutes more, so we could have made it the whole time, but I didn't want to risk it due to the cramps.

Some people might enjoy this tour, but we weren't very happy with it. The description was misleading to us and the tour guides could have been more sensitive to the abilities of the group. If you are good swimmers / snorkelers, you might enjoy this experience. For us, we'll stick with day-time snorkeling.

Even though we had underwater cameras, we took no pictures, so I have nothing to share with you from this tour. Do come back next time for some of our other activities in Bermuda.

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