Family Scuba trip Summer 2011

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by TMJJS, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. TMJJS

    TMJJS Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Geneva, IL
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    My wife, 15 year old son and I are scuba certified and have dived a few times in Cozumel and Riveria Maya. My youngest son who is turning 10 this summer would like to get certified. We are looking to do the pool & classroom work here in Chicagoland, but do the open water while on vacation.

    We are looking for someplace where my youngest can finish his certification and we can also dive the rest of the week together. My wife doesn't really want to dive every day, while I'm guessing the boys and I will. Some place with other stuff to do would be nice. My teenager eats like a horse and likes expensive food (sushi, steak, seafood, etc) so an all-inclusive or cheap eats would be nice.

    My wife would like to go someplace different than Riveria Maya, but let me know if that might be the best. Any other suggestions for places?

    Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions!
     
  2. cardzard

    cardzard Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Port Richey, FL
    4,830
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    It's awesome that your whole family dives. Have you thought about joining Scubaboards Invasion to Cozumel?
    It's a unbeatable All Inclusive deal and the the hotel has daliy activities and nightly entertaiment. Also we have other families going and kids under 12 stay and eat free.

    To see the package click here
    http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/in...61018-scubaboard-invades-cozumel-package.html

    Aslo FAQ's and other topics about the trip can be found here

    Invade Cozumel- June 12-19, 2011 - ScubaBoard

    Hope to see you in Cozumel
     
  3. RJP

    RJP PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
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    Curacao. Plenty for everyone to do above and below the water. Easy access to great shore and boat dives. We stay at the Marriott which my non-diving wife loves as there is a great beach, nice pool, several restaurants, close to town and most other places (not that the island is all that big.)

    Same sort of diving as Bonaire but not "100% diving focused" as Bonaire is.
     
  4. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    3,838
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    Two places I would suggest is either Little Cayman or Cayman Brac but let me say right up front there won't be a whole lot else to do. (There are some places and sites to see on Cayman Brac.) So if you can live without a lot of topside activities, these places are great!

    The two resorts I suggest and have been to both are the Little Cayman Beach Resort and the Brac Reef Beach Resort. The diving is easy and excellent at both locations. The resorts themselves are first class. But the food is outstanding and a ton of it! To me, it's like eating gourmet food served buffet style. Large breakfast buffet followed by a buffet lunch with numerous choices and then a dinner buffet that will have 3 to 4 entrees as well as numerous soups, salads, veggies, and probably 4 to 5 different desserts every night. Don't know about the rest of you but your son will love it for sure! :D
     
  5. diver 85

    diver 85 Orca

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Louisiana
    7,581
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    Agree---have been to LCBR a couple years ago & going to CBBR this summer(July)....Great(easy) diving with lots to see UW.........

    EDIT: see our pics/videos from LC here, all Little Cayman albums have LC in their titles..
    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w169/GEAUXtiger/
     
  6. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    3,838
    1,173
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    Well you're in for a treat at the Brac Resort! As good as the food was at the LCBR, the food at the Brac is even BETTER! As a matter of fact, "Mr. T" the owner of the resorts is always telling us how he wished he could find a chef as good as the one they have at the Brac to go over to the Little Cayman resort but the guy they have at the LC resort is top notch as well.
     
  7. mselenaous

    mselenaous The Handler Staff Member

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    I second the Cozumel Invasion for getting the most for your dollar for your family. It's also a great place for your youngest to complete his referral coursework. There are several instructors (so far Netdoc, Scuba_Dad, and myself, maybe others) representing various agencies attending the Invasion who would probably be available to complete your son's training, or contact Dive Paradise to set that up with them. There is also a thread about non-diving activities for the non-divers and others who aren't diving everyday.

    Hope to see you in Cozumel! :D
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Washington
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    We will be in a similar situation next fall when my oldest turns 10. These are great suggestions, but as I understand it, 10-12 yr olds are not supposed to go deeper than 40 feet. How many of these suggestions have multiple dives at that depth? That is what I would be looking for :)

    Or am I wrong, can 10 yr olds go as deep as adults?
     
  9. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    3,838
    1,173
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    You could easily do either place I suggested. Most of the time the first dive of the morning is along a wall but you don't have to go down the wall if you don't want to. You can easily just stay along the top of the wall which is usually 40ft or less. Most folks will go down the wall, swim in one direction, turn around and swim back along the top of the wall. You could just stay at the top the entire time and see as much or more than going deeper along the wall.

    As far as what 10 yr olds should do or not do when it comes to diving depths, I have no idea really.
     
  10. diver 85

    diver 85 Orca

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Louisiana
    7,581
    1,332
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    How's shore diving @ CB??.I don't think we did any @ LC...tia

    Now saying this, I'm not too picky---give me ~18' & a half decent reef & I'm AOK, lol....
     
  11. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    3,838
    1,173
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    Same as LC really. None to speak of at the resort itself. But some people have rented cars and drove to the side of the island where you do most of your diving and done it there. But we have always been on the 17 dive package so with two in the morning and one in the afternoon we never felt the need to do more but you probably could do it.
     
  12. diver 85

    diver 85 Orca

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Louisiana
    7,581
    1,332
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    Thanks, now that you mention it, same here ie 2 & 1....and a nite dive right out the cut to the left, I think, on a small wreck....
     
  13. robint

    robint Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    6,332
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    With a 10 year old, I would recommend Fla Keys. He does not need to go deeper than 40' and also he needs a personal DM to dive anyhow. In the Keys he will see plenty of fish, and maybe a few days he can stay with your wife at hotel while you and older son go do the Speigel Grove or something like that.

    We got our daughter certified at age 12 and we were shocked that DMs and Dive Ops didn't care about depth restrictions and took us to deeper sites. It really wasn't safe for her, and being new to diving, we really didn't understand that it could physically harm her growth. She was a fish and didn't have physical issues with the diving, it just wasn't right to drop us on an 80' dive with a 12 yr old. Keep that in mind when you pick your dive op!

    robin:D
     
    mselenaous likes this.
  14. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    3,838
    1,173
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    Actually, as long as he's with his certified parent he's OK and 40' is the recommended depth.
     
  15. diversteve

    diversteve Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Phoenix
    19,671
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    I second Curacao.

    You've been to Cozumel so why do the Invasion? You can't get to Little Cayman from ORD without an overnight both ways. You can get to Brac surprisingly in 7 hrs. thru MIA but the return is an overnight. I don't know what your wife would do at either place except hike, bike and lie on the beach.

    You can fly both directions to Curacao thru MIA in 7+ hrs. With kids that's what I'd be looking for.

    The diving in Curacao typically is an easy entry off a sandy beach or resort dive dock with a short swim out to the reef. The reef sometimes starts in as little as 10-15' - most places it starts to get deeper about 40'. So a lot of dives there are well within the 10 yr. olds range. A couple examples:

    Tugboat - one of the signature dives - the boat sits on the bottom in 20', it's a easily penetrable wreck - and the pier there is also a good dive - starting at 3-4'.

    Varsenbaai. There were seahorses at the base of the mooring ball at 40'. And turtles feeding in the shallows alongshore at 8'.

    The plane wreck (Cessna) off Sunset Waters (resort was demolished recently) is at 40' max. To get to it you wade out through a gap in a protected breakwater. That was otoh the only dive where we noticed the current. The dive is all to the east and so was the current so coming back was a little more work.

    I did most of a dive off Habitat's reef in less than 40' - most in less than 20'. Filmed flounder in the shallows, followed a Barracuda around their dock, and the resident octo (he may be dead now - it's been a couple years) was just off the beach - his burrow marked by a pile of coral rubble.

    Curacao diving is almost identical to Bonaire in most areas. It's excellent clear water diving - we probably saw 100' at some sites - lots of coral, small stuff, the occasional eel or ray etc. No sharks that we saw and the only dolphins were at the Sea Aquarium - except once a pod swam by our apt. out west.

    Breezes in town is an all-inclusive, they have kids things to do, a pool, decent beach etc. Lions Dive is a dive resort next door. Both use Ocean Encounters as their diveop, they're the largest on Curaco. A little too conservative for my taste (no solo diving etc.) but with kids that may be what you want. Next door to Lions Dive is the Sea Aquarium theme park, dolphins, fish feeding, stingrays etc.

    That area is also about 5-10 mins. from the famous downtown shopping area. There's some good restaurants there also. And Curacao has the U.S. chains as lunch options, there's a McD's, BK, Subway, Pizza Hut, Denny's etc. It's also definitely Dutch so that may be interesting for the kids.

    There's the Ostrich Farm and some other kid friendly activities also. IMO the better dives were out west so get a good map if you drive out, street signs were few and far between. Most of the dive sites also have an on-site operator, you pay a few guilders usage fee and can rent tanks/wts at most also. Some also have a dive dock.

    One other option across the street from Breezes is the Dive Bus, they do escorted shore dives all over the island. They pick up all over that area so you could leave the car with your wife.
     
  16. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives:
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year with
    9,130
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    Just down the street from where you live on February 18-20 is OWU Our World Underwater <- Clicko el Linko

    Many resorts and dive operations will have booths on display.

    OWU is not an all-inclusive, the food is pricey. Gotta keep "the Don's" offspring healthy.
    Feed your pet Shark before coming. ;)
     
  17. idocsteve

    idocsteve Humbolt Squid

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NY-Long Island-Suffolk County
    2,836
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    I was going to suggest the Florida Keys as well.

    - It's a fast and convenient destination
    - Its inexpensive compared to many other locations
    - There's a great seafood buffet in Islamorada just after the bridge, look for the lighthouse. It's called "Whale something or other".
    - Most of the reefs are shallow
    - There's other stuff to do in the Keys, but then again there's other stuff to do just about anywhere else so I guess that doesn't count

    I haven't found the Keys to be nearly as good as other destinations for diving but your mileage may vary.
     
  18. TMJJS

    TMJJS Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Geneva, IL
    33
    0
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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

    The Cozumel trip sounds good, but I think we need to travel sometime during the 1st part of July because both boys play multiple sports and have summer camps.

    We have taken many cruises and done lots of snorkeling, especially at Grand Cayman, Belize and Roatan.

    I'll have to talk to my wife about one of the small Cayman islands. She might not mind reading a book on the beach :D However, Curacao sounds very interesting with the shore diving. The only equipment we own is the boots, mask, fins & snorkel. Do the dive shops rent by the week or do we have to rent at each beach we want to dive from - assuming we want to move away from the place we are staying. I know my wife would want a DM with us (we have dived less than a dozen times), even diving in 20 ft from the beach, so is that "normal" there or would we have to book "excursions"?

    Will also have to give more thought to the Florida Keys. Not as exotic as traveling to a foreign country, but might be a good fit here.

    Looks like a lot more research no matter which way we go.

    Thanks again for the suggestions so far and let me know if you have more or answers to my thoughts about Curacao.

    PS - is email notification working? I did not get any for all the previous responses and I have "Instant email notification" picked... Do I need to do something in my profile or somewhere else besides picking it when I post?
     
  19. TMJJS

    TMJJS Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Geneva, IL
    33
    0
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    We are planning on going to this on Sunday. Never been before, so I'm not sure how long it takes to get through the exhibitors. I was hoping the answers/suggestions in this thread would help me narrow down who I needed to spend time with at the show.

    Thanks for the suggestion since I probably won't have known about the show unless someone suggested it to me 3 years ago when I was posting about the 3 of us getting certifiied. Just wish I had made the show in the last 3 years...
     
  20. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    3,838
    1,173
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    If you go to either Little Cayman or Cayman Brac you will have a DM in the water with you where you can certainly follow them around if you want. They have plenty of equipment for rent.

    It sounds like if you were to go to Curacao, "the Dive Bus" would be perfect as they lead the dives from what I understand. Don't know if they have equipment to rent but I expect they could get you hooked up easily enough.
     

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