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Bonaire all inclusive suggestions

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by Kevin Floyd, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    You just described buddy dive. Includes daily breakfast buffet and vehicle to use for shore dives on your schedule. Can opt for boat dives. Free nitrox, what more is needed?
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    What is your ballpark budget for two people, including diving, lodging, and food but excluding airfare? Are you willing to rent a car? Car rental is often necessary anyway when you are planning on shore diving. You are talking about the peak season and a lot of places will be expensive and crowded. Many places are probably already fully booked - so you may not have many choices.

    Shore diving certainly lets you set your own schedule and dive when you wish, but keep in mind that you can spend a lot of time driving around the island and hauling gear around, and the entries and exits are not always easy. That is part of the adventure and fun of shore diving, and there is no place better than Bonaire in the Caribbean for shore diving freedom IMO, but it may not be what your wife has in mind for a relaxing vacation.

    Unless you stay at a place with a house reef or access to nearby shore dives with onsite dive facilities, you can devote a lot of time and effort to shore diving that doesn't include relaxing on the beach or by the pool. It's still a lot of fun and great diving, but just be prepared to work for it.

    Take a look at Curacao and also at St. Croix, not all-inclusives but you will have options for beaches, restaurants, and both boat and shore diving and you will need a car. There are cruise ships on Curacao but also more rural options for avoiding crowds. Only a few cruise ships come into St. Croix. They drive on the left on St. Croix if that is a concern.

    There are no cruise ships on Provo in the Turks and Caicos and the beach is gorgeous. Diving is great but often requires long boat rides and there is no shore diving. The Beaches resort on Provo is all-inclusive. I have never stayed or dived at Beaches but I have read that it is expensive and the diving isn't always the best that the island has to offer - but it has all the conveniences of an AI resort with easy diving and a gorgeous beach. If you rent a car on Provo they also drive on the left. The water may be a little chilly in December in the Turks and Caicos? I'm guessing the high 70s and low 80s.

    I have never been to Grand Turk but I believe that it is a short flight from Provo. They have a couple of dive resorts on GT and it is my understanding that the reefs are near shore with short boat rides and that beaches are available. I don't know if the resorts are all-inclusive? There is a cruise ship terminal on GT and one of the resorts also hosts the cruisers but I am not sure which one - so you would need to do some research.

    There are also some all-inclusives with diving on St. Lucia and in the Dominican Republic, they are generally places where you stay on the resort properties and don't venture out on your own. I have been to St. Lucia but not the DR. St. Lucia is a beautiful island and the diving was good.

    Have you considered Cozumel? There are lots of cruisers but also a wide range of choices and options. Not really a shore diving destination.

    There are a few places on Grand Cayman that might work for you and you would have plenty of options to do something else for those 1.5 non-diving days. They are away from Seven Mile Beach and other developed areas that are popular with the cruisers, but you can enjoy those locations after the cruisers leave if you wish.

    Sunset House offers shore diving on the house reef along with boat dives and you won't need a car unless you want to explore. Airport transfers and breakfast are included and there are 2 onsite restaurants. It is near George Town's restaurants and you can walk into town for dinner after the cruise ships have left. It's on the water but not on beach. Cathy Church's photoshop and studio are onsite.

    Lighthouse Point condos with DiveTech offers an onsite house reef and shore diving, boat diving, and a restaurant. It's on the water but not the beach, north of 7MB. You can also stay at the Grand Caymanian Holiday Inn and dive Lighthouse Point with DiveTech. You would need a car and they drive on the left in Cayman.

    Compass Point and Ocean Frontiers is on the East End of GC and you would definitely need a car but it is far from the crowds and the cruisers. There is a restaurant onsite and a small beach. They offer 2 tank boat dives in both the morning and afternoon so if you want to sleep in and relax in the morning and dive after lunch that is an option. No shore diving onsite or nearby. There are options for shore diving other areas of the island for around $15 for a tank and weights at spots with onsite dive ops and facilities, like Sundivers at Macabuca - but it is about 45 minutes or an hour drive from Compass Point.

    Cobalt Coast on GC is all-inclusive with an onsite dive op, a house reef, and onsite dive op, and a small beach. Airport transfers are included so you could get by without car rental but you might want to rent one for a couple of days to explore. It is safe to explore GC but there can be a lot of traffic around the airport, the Seven Mile Beach, and George Town - depending on the day and time. The house reef at CCGCR may get winded out during the winter but you will be close to the shore diving available at Macabuca and Lighthouse Point and without traffic worries.

    And if you want to "get away from it all" at an all-inclusive, dedicated dive resort with good food and great boat diving - and that's far from crowds and cruisers, take a look at the Little Cayman Beach Resort and the Cayman Brac Beach Resort. They require a half-hour flight from Grand Cayman. They have small beaches and pools and you wouldn't need a car unless you want to explore for a day - but the Cayman Sister Islands are safe to explore and without any traffic. They loan bikes for free at these resorts so that is also an option for having a look around the nearby area. If you like rock climbing, caving, or hiking those are also options on Brac. There are lovely, small spas at the LCBR and CBBR and your wife might enjoy that option - I do!

    Good luck, lots of options, but you will need to make arrangements soon - it's December already!
  3. Kevin Floyd

    Kevin Floyd Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Houston
    Wow!!! Thanks for all the great info. I’m going to comb through all this tonight
    KathyV likes this.
  4. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    Happy to help! BTW, I had included Grand Turk in the list above although I have never been there, but I just came across this post by @reefrat and decided that it might not be such a great option!


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