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Cayman info for new PADI scuba divers

Old Feb 8th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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Cayman info for new PADI scuba divers

My 15 yr old son and I are getting certified in scuba this spring and will do our 4 cert. dives in FL over spring break.

We'd like to start planning a dive trip to Grand Cayman and need to be pointed in the right direction. My non diving husband and 17 yr old son will be with us so we'd like to stay where they will enjoy a pool, beach, snorkeling while we dive.

We either need to choose a dive operator then pick accomadations nearby or pick accomadations first and find a dive operator nearby. I like using www.vrbo.com for condos and have found plenty of places on GC that are reasonably priced so I will likely go with a condo instead of a hotel. I'm leaning toward 7 Mile Beach as we likely won't need a car to stay in that area. We'll be traveling in June or July as I am a teacher and those are the months I have time off.

Questions...
Best dive operators and why?
Favorite dives?
Best location on island for divers AND non divers to stay so we are close to dive/non dive activities?
What else do I need to know?
amwosu is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2005, 03:49 AM
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Anyone?
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Old Feb 10th, 2005, 05:33 AM
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We did a resort dive and used Ocean Frontiers. They were wonderful and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again. (by the way, my son was 11 at the time)
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Old Feb 10th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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We dove with Danny of Off The Wall divers and I would highly recommend him. He will recommend sites based on the weather, water conditions, how deep you want to go etc...

he even came and picked us up and dropped us off at our condo on 7MB.
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Old Feb 10th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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I'd prefer not to rent a car (a budget minded trip as we have two others planned for this summer already) so if I get a condo on 7MB will I likely find dive operators who are close enough to walk to or will furnish transport to their location?
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Old Feb 10th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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yes, they are willing to pick you up. he was going to pick us up on our beach with the boat but due to weather we had to go on the other side of the idland so he picked us up in his car.

I think most operators will do this.
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 10:21 AM
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Car rental in Cayman in the summer is very inexpensive.... so don't write off renting a car within your budget.. just consider the combined cost of car and condo rental if you are thinking of staying off 7MB...

Also, have you considered doing your four check out dives in Cayman rather than FL ? Most quality dive operators in Cayman will do your check out dives for you... much nicer to do it in Cayman, IMHO
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Hey Tom, thanks for the advice on summer car rental. We were thinking of staying at The Reef and using Ocean Frontiers which would probably be best with a car.

The problem with our cert. dives is that we already have our FL vacation paid for and will be going for sure in April and all the academic and pool work will be fresh in our minds. I have two other vacations already planned for summer so GC is a maybe at this point depending on how much airfare drops. Airfare is currently $700 per person, which, times 4 is out of the question for us.
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 05:06 PM
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A much less costly alternative would be Stella Maris, on Long Island, Bahamas. They have everything you are looking for within their own operation. You can now fly directly to Long Island via Bahamas Air, from Ft. Lauderdale. Curt
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 05:37 PM
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Valentine's Dive Shop on Harbour Island is also another good dive operator and some great dive sites in the area, including a civil war TRAIN.

You can also fly directly into N. Eleuthera out of Ft. Lauderdale and it's a taxi and then a water taxi over to the island.

You don't need a car there, you can walk everywhere, and there are houses to rent or you can stay at one of the several resorts on island.

The beach is 3 miles long and one of the best beaches in the world.

Have a great time.
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 06:24 AM
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I agree with you - do your checkout dives in FL. If you have trouble, you don't want to waste good diving time in Cayman struggling to get certified.

You're starting with some of the best diving in the world in Cayman. Grand Cayman has several websites, [just Google Grand Cayman] and any of the operators are pretty good. Diving is more expensive there - you may pay close to $100 for a 2 tank dive. Much of it is wall diving which is wonderful but you need to watch your depth gauge carefully - it's easy to get much deeper than you suspect.

Go to www.scubadiving.com - they have a very active, searchable BB and do a search on Grand Cayman. Be warned however - most of the posters on that board are VERY experienced divers and what they want out of a dive operation may be different than what you want. Do not hesitate to tell any divemaster you use that you are beginners - sometimes for a few extra bucks the divermaster will dive with you and your son. It can be money well spent as a beginner.
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