Trip with 15 year old son ready to dive

Old Feb 27th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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Trip with 15 year old son ready to dive

We are vacationing this June with 15 year old son who is ready to get certified (but still want good snorkeling). Which island, Cayman or Turks & Caicos. Which hotel/resort???
bonnie401 is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2009, 04:02 AM
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Cayman Island has world class diving. But so does Turks and Caicos! My husband dove off the east end of Cayman. It is not the touristy side, so he had a lot more hands on help and tons less people on his boat. They picked him up every morning from Turtle Nest Inn.

We stayed at Beaches in Turks for our honeymoon. That was before he was a diver, but they had a snorkeling boat included in the resort price that would go out right from the beach twice a day. That was almost ten years ago though! I'm sure they have diving available as well.

Tough choice, but a good one to have.
kelliebellie is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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grand cayman has much more to offer for off beach snorkeling than provo. provo has only 2 main spots, but has lots of snorkel excursions.
if you'd like to stay on the east/quiet end of grand cayman i'd recommend the reef resort. they have an ocean frontiers dive shop on site, but it is not a dive oriented resort as is say morritts tortuga. (non divers report not enjoying being around ppl who are only interested in talking about diving).
reef has rest/bar, spa, good snorkeling and has condo style rooms so ds could have his own space.

this page lists all of (i think) the dive companies:

if you choose provo i highly recommend provo turtle divers. i believe dive provo also offers the course/certification.
virginia is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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I really would disagree that Morritt's is a dive-oriented resort. I would choose the Reef, but not to avoid masses of divers!
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Old Feb 28th, 2009, 07:11 PM
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Our daughter was 15 last summer and took her first dive in Grand Cayman. We stayed at the Marriott and she did Red Sail Sports. The young guy from the Marriott was the better teacher and he was assigned to her and my husband and their friend. The other men from the Westin and Ritz had less experienced leaders. Two of the men from the other group panicked and our daughter's leader had to go over and help out. My daughter had no problems and said she saw fish that she couldn't even imagine existed.
I am sure there are many wonderful dive operators on the island, but I will say that the view under the cayman is very good.
Hopefully Tom cayman can chime in as well with some dive operator recommendations. He would probably know the best.
girlonthego is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2009, 04:20 PM
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I've not been to Turks Caicos but have been to Grand Cayman many times. A huge benefit of GC is that you do not need to; rely on, add the expense of, and put up with the crowds when taking a boat to some of the best dive/snorkel sites in the world. There are more sites to explore right from shore on your own schedule than you'll have time for.

My daughter and I finished our SCUBA certification on GC a couple of years ago with Red Sail on the East End. I would NOT recomend them. They do boat dives. They had 2 dive instructors on board and after a mishap with my daughter at 60 feet I found that the other inst. had gone diving as well and there was no one on board the boat to assist us. They also require you to perform certain skills at at least 60 feet including mask removal and clearing. Which I believe is the total max deapth for a 15 year old. Our instructors at home were appalled when we shared stories of our experiences.

My husband and youngest daughter (15) did their open water cert. last August with DiveTech at Cobalt Coast. They had a great experience. Their dives were from shore but they also had to perform skills at 60 feet. If he uses Cobalt Coast, go along and snorkel while you wait. The staff is so helpful and the snorkeling is amazing. We had a 4 foot barracuda as our buddy. He was so curious and fun. We usually see alot of barracudas in Cayman that like to keep tabs on us but this guy was like a little lost puppy.

Make sure you check out Cemetary Reef, Devils Grotto and Eden Rock (all accesible from shore) if you go to Grand Cayman. We've been many places including the Great Barrier Reef but Cayman is our favorite for underwater and beaches but I will admit the topography is nice but mabe not spectacular. If you're looking for mountains this is not the place for you.

Condos are the way to go on Cayman. Check the web for specials!

Have a great trip wherever you go! Good luck and God bless!
Hotcakes is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 05:10 AM
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Hotcakes, I can see how that experience was not a very good one. My daughter, DH and their friend had a decent dive operator from the Marriott. The other people they picked up at the Westin and Ritz had different people in charge, also Red sail and very unprofessional. They were awful and had two problems with their people leaving our guy to leave my family to help them while underwater. Both my DH and my daughter thought their guy knew what he was doing and did a good job in the training and is assisting them. I think they got the better guy because she was the only kid in the group. So, I would probably look for a better dive shop as well for a first time experience although my family did like their person from the Marriott.
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