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Diving over Caribbean way... - where to go??

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I am taking a sabbatical from work later this year
so Mr Lesley and I are planning to have a couple of weeks somewhere yummy with equally yummy diving  
!  (Probably looking at going in late November).  We've trawled brochures and websites but there's nothing like a little first hand information... we quite fancy all of the places in the poll but how are we meant to choose between them  
?!!

So, if you have a spare moment, let me know which you'd recommend and any stories you might have of your experience there.  Alternatively, if I missed out somewhere amazing - tell me about it!!

Thanks guys.  
 

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Apparently Dominican Republic is supposedly very very cheap, as apparently are/is Trinidad & Tobago, Bonaire is out of the "hurricane belt" which might be useful info, I'm sure Chris Hall can give you more detailed info, esp about the Caymans
HTH
Steve
 

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Out of the above named, I've only dived the Bahamas and Tobago (not listed), how ever, November is the wettest month for travel to Tobago, so probably want to think of another dive venue.

The Bahamas is the nads though. Highly recommended. Loads of reef-n-wreck action, great viz, sharks, and underwater film-sets - the 'James Bond Wrecks (where all the underwater scenes in all Bond films are done), and the Cesna plane from the film 'Jaws 4 - Sharky Gets Braces...' or what ever it was called.

Enjoy.
 

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Dived,   Caymans, Dominican Republic and Mexico...

In all honesty..  Did not rate DR much, thought Caymans was good but  very expensive for what it offered (You could probably do the Maldives for the same price !!)

Suprisingly quite liked Mexico around Cancun.  Not loads to see but quite a lot of Nurse sharks...  Not so keen on Cozumel !! (Yeah I know.. Go figure).

I much prefer the indian ocean and Red sea to the Caribbean hands down.

Daz
 

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I've been to the Bahamas (a couple of times), Barbados, Grand Cayman, Cozumel (Mexico), Tobago and Roatan (Bay Islands, Honduras). Grand Cayman (but not Seven Mile Beach), Cozumel and Tobago have the best diving. Roatan has no big fish. Barbados is quite a nice holiday destination but the diving is nothing to write home about, in my opinion. The Bahamas is expensive and the diving in the two areas I've been to (the Bimini area and New Providence) rather mediocre, in my opinion. Tobago is the only place I'd consider going back to. It's a beautiful island, the people are lovely and prices are reasonable. Peter Hughes Inc are moving one of their live-aboards to Tobago this October, by the way.
 

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Thanks everyone.  I spent the weekend trawling through Hayes & Jarvis/Barefoot Traveller brochures and I think I have myself a shortlist based on your comments on this thread (I'm a strong believer in personal testimonials) and info from the brochures.

So I'm thinking it will either be Cayman Islands, Tobago, Turks & Caicos or Curacao.  All of these will be fine to visit in November weather-wise and all have pretty good diving apparently...

Just on further question - all these brochures are bloody expensive so I'd be interested to know whether you guys book full-on package deals/all-inclusives which include the diving or whether you just book the holiday, get there and mosey on down to the local dive centre to strike a deal  
?!

I can't stand the thought on doing a Sandals but actually it makes the diving prices quite reasonable.  Oh god, decisions decisions!
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (LesleySS @ July 28 2003,11:08)]So I'm thinking it will either be Cayman Islands, Tobago, Turks & Caicos or Curacao.  All of these will be fine to visit in November weather-wise and all have pretty good diving apparently...
Tobago is a lovely island and the people are very friendly. The best diving is around Speyside. There are a couple of good dive centres there.
The Cayman Diving Lodge is fairly reasonable and close to the east end, which, together with North Side (it's called that), has the best diving on Grand Cayman.
Haven't been to the Turks and Caicos, so can't comment.
Haven't been to Curacao either but friends who have been to both say Bonaire has better diving.
 

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<font color='#000080'>Hi Lesley

Can't say i've been to any of those places but after reading THIS T & C is definately on my list

HTH

Paul
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (arty93 @ July 29 2003,11:37)]Hi Lesley

Can't say i've been to any of those places but after reading THIS T & C is definately on my list

HTH

Paul
The article is about deep, technical diving. I doubt if Lesley is ready for that. From what I've read, though, the "ordinary" diving at Provo is also pretty good by Caribbean standards – healthy coral and lots of fish. It's a popular destination for american divers and there are lots of resorts. One independent reviewer says Sandals' dive operation "will drive an experienced diver nuts. Dives are led and bottom time limited to 30 minutes". The island has fantastic beaches, apparently. I suspect it's getting very touristy.
 

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<font color='#000080'>Just thought it sounded like a great destination, who knows maybe Lesley could move the British flag a few more metres:D
 

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RE TURKS AND CAICOS
The following is taken from Undercurrent Online, which came this morning:
Spoiling Grand Turk
==================
While it means more income to the residents, a new pier for
cruise ships isn't a welcome site to traveling divers who love
the quaintness of Grand Turk. Come December, Holland America,
Fiesta and other cruise ships will begin disgorging thousands of
cruisers to walk around aimlessly while stores pop up to satisfy
cruisers insatiable shopping appetite. So, one of the few
bastions of the Old Caribbean will soon fall from grace. Right
now, both America and US Air has reduced rates to Provo, so you
might want to fly down and hop over to Grand Turk for a last
look.:(
 

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<font color='#000080'>errrr, i'll be crossing that off my list of destinations
 

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I don't think you need cross off the Turks and Caicos altogether, just Grand Turk.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (LesleySS @ July 28 2003,10:08)]So I'm thinking it will either be Cayman Islands, Tobago, Turks & Caicos or Curacao.  All of these will be fine to visit in November weather-wise and all have pretty good diving apparently...

Just on further question - all these brochures are bloody expensive so I'd be interested to know whether you guys book full-on package deals/all-inclusives which include the diving or whether you just book the holiday, get there and mosey on down to the local dive centre to strike a deal  
?!
I'd recommend the Caymans but not if you're only going to do Grand Cayman only.

Grand Cayman is ok and the diving is good. But if you are planning to go for a fortnight then I'd recommend having a week at Grand Cayman and a week at Cayman Brac.

A week on Grand Cayman would let you acclimatise a bit to the time difference do a bit of diving (stingray city and the walls) and have a bit of livelyness (lots of restaurants and a good few bars, clubs etc. although all pricey ).

After the first week then a half hour flight away is Cayman Brac. This is a really laid back place. Now you can just chill out for the second week. Do some really excellent diving around Cayman brac and Little Cayman (the boats go to bloody bay wall almost daily) and sample the proper laid back ambience of the carribean. You won't really have to worry what bar to go to (there's only about three) or restaurant (either the hotel or possibly one other).

We did the two centre holiday awhile ago and it's still the best one we've ever done. We stayed at the Divi Tiara on Cayman Brac and I'd throughly recommend it.

http://www.diviresorts.com/destina....tel=247

http://www.waterhousetours.com/wht-divitiara.asp

If you weren't doing a night dive then you could sit at the bar on the beach or walk around the small landing dock and watch the rays and tarpon swim around.

The only thing negative thing that I'd advise is that the hire equipment is rubbish and usually well hammered. Just make sure that if you've got it you take your own.

Regards, Ian.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Ian Murray @ July 30 2003,17:10)]I'd recommend the Caymans but not if you're only going to do Grand Cayman only.

Grand Cayman is ok and the diving is good. But if you are planning to go for a fortnight then I'd recommend having a week at Grand Cayman and a week at Cayman Brac.

A week on Grand Cayman would let you acclimatise a bit to the time difference do a bit of diving (stingray city and the walls) and have a bit of livelyness (lots of restaurants and a good few bars, clubs etc. although all pricey ).

After the first week then a half hour flight away is Cayman Brac. This is a really laid back place. Now you can just chill out for the second week. Do some really excellent diving around Cayman brac and Little Cayman (the boats go to bloody bay wall almost daily) and sample the proper laid back ambience of the carribean. You won't really have to worry what bar to go to (there's only about three) or restaurant (either the hotel or possibly one other).

We did the two centre holiday awhile ago and it's still the best one we've ever done. We stayed at the Divi Tiara on Cayman Brac and I'd throughly recommend it.

http://www.diviresorts.com/destina....tel=247

http://www.waterhousetours.com/wht-divitiara.asp

If you weren't doing a night dive then you could sit at the bar on the beach or walk around the small landing dock and watch the rays and tarpon swim around.

The only thing negative thing that I'd advise is that the hire equipment is rubbish and usually well hammered. Just make sure that if you've got it you take your own.

Regards, Ian.
Thanks for that Ian, sounds fantastic.  I'll have a look at the links and see what we can do.

Re equipment - we have our own stuff for purely that reason so shouldn't be a problem (other than it taking up most of our luggage allowance!)  
 

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Don't forget the Barrier Reef down the whole coast of Belize.

Two sites to start you off:

Belize com

Belize net

It can be cheaper to fly into Cancum, Mexico and travel down to Belize than get flights to Belize City.

I've always found the people frendly (excetp in Belize City).

Have a good time.

Edward
 

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<font color='#810541'>DR - have gone there and only by choice but did some dives. Not impressive at all but very cheap there and good for getting very very drunk.... which isn't good for diving really eh?


Bonaire - got top ratings in Rodale's special issue of dive destinations for many categories. Has best kept reefs. Also, heard is quite cheap.


I have booked a dive holiday through Regaldive (voted No1 dive tour operator by DIVER mag) before. (google for it as don't have web address here) but they are very good. Perhaps see what they have to offer in the Caribbean before you decide.
 
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