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OK Next Scuba Diving Trip???

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Feb 10th, 2013, 04:03 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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OK Next Scuba Diving Trip???

My boyfriend and I just got back from Grand Cayman in Cayman Islands. We got certified there and absolutely loved the diving. We are looking to book our next diving trip and want some advice on beach destinations.

As I understand it, Cayman has some of the best diving in the world, so we have been very spoiled. I saw that Bahamas has a shark dive, which is very appealing to us, so we are strongly considering that. However, what about the rest of their diving? Any good? We are also considering Hawaii because we hear there's a lot of turtles. What about the other Caribbean islands? I know some of them aren't really for diving, more for lying around on the beach...

In addition, something that is important to us is availability of upscale hotels/resorts, dining, and shopping. Hawaii, being the USA, would fulfill that criteria. Cayman also has very low poverty, low crime. However, I've read that the hotels in the Bahamas might be rather old and the surrounding areas more "poor." Is this true or an exaggeration? How does it compare to Seven Mile Beach for instance? Even on Cayman though, we kind of stuck to the "Westernized", touristy areas because the island became totally deserted after 5 pm, making us feel a little vulnerable, especially since we are obviously tourists.

What other Caribbean destinations can you suggest that have great diving and also have nice resorts to stay at? How about Turks & Caicos and St. Bart's? I'm skeptical about their diving though.

For reference we are a couple in our mid 20s, very chill and NOT interested in nightlife, gambling, drinking, or any crazy activities. Just want to dive, snorkel, relax on a nice beach, and eat at a nice restaurant (and maybe ride a wave runner or two)!
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Feb 11th, 2013, 10:24 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Belize - Ambergris Caye
Roatan
Bonaire
St John
Cozumel
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Feb 11th, 2013, 01:04 PM
  #3
 
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I love Ambergris Caye, live here in the winters. That said, although there are some very nice and upscale small resorts, it isn't the least bit Americanized, and there is poverty. There's also not any upscale shopping.

My 'other' favorite island is Bonaire. It doesn't have much in the way of high end resorts. Also, not much for beaches.

I've never been to Roatan, but suspect there will be many of the same issues as Belize.
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Feb 11th, 2013, 03:47 PM
  #4
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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After Grand Cayman, I would say Cozumel, MX for the best diving. Cozumel is known for it's diving and there are several hotels that cater to divers. There are a couple of beach clubs that rent wave runners.

You might look at Curacao also. We did an intro dive at the Sea Aquraium and it was the highlight of our trip.

We didn't really care for the snorkeling in T & C, but diving might be different. There is really no shopping or entertainment there. It's all about the water. We did a 2 hour guided jet ski tour and it was the best part of our trip.
Here's the link: http://www.tcimall.tc/sunandfun/

If your interested, make sure you get the guided tour and not just the rental. It makes a huge difference.
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Feb 11th, 2013, 04:39 PM
  #5
 
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turks & caicos has excellent diving! lots of upscale resorts directly on grace bay beach. some of best dining options in the caribbean. not much shopping.
british virgin islands also have great diving and some very nice resorts. not as many dining options.
bonnaire (not so much curacao) has great diving. not sure about upscale resorts or dining.
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Feb 16th, 2013, 08:27 PM
  #6
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Thanks for the suggestions - so I'm looking at T&C, BVI, Cozumel as some potential options. Does anyone know anything about the Bahamas? I was originally leaning a little bit towards that.
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Feb 17th, 2013, 02:42 AM
  #7
 
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Are you dismissing the Bahamas because there might be some "poor" areas? We enjoyed scuba there although we only went to Paradise Island, it was our first trip to the Bahamas & we were recently qualified at that time. Even the scuba in Nassau was very good. We'd love to try other islands.

Scuba in Hawaii is great though, have been to many dive sites, ranging from back wall at Molokini, cathedrals in Lanai, tunnels beach Kauai, the Corsair wreck in Honolulu (one of the best dives ever IMO).

Personally I would never take a jetski tour, they are the scourge of the sea & beaches, being noisy and polluting.
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Feb 17th, 2013, 03:05 PM
  #8
KVR
 
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Look for posts here by Blamona. She is the resident T & C and Bahamas expert. I thinking the out Islands of the Bahamas will be better than Nassau. We didn't care for Nassau at all. However, ever time I think about the Bahamas that old movie "Open Water" comes to mind. (shudder)

Of the 3 you listed, I felt Cozumel had the best snorkeling. We've been there x 4. The others just once.
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