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Dive Ops in Grand Cayman

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by amoses, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. amoses

    amoses ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Keene, Texas
    426
    117
    43
    Can I have some recommendations for dive ops in Grand Cayman, and what is good about them. 1st trip to Grand Cayman, experienced diver, non-diver wife. Thanks,
     
  2. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    3,070
    1,940
    113
    Plenty under the search button...search is your friend.
     
    mi000ke likes this.
  3. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    1,564
    1,062
    113
    Hard to find a less than stellar op on GC. They would not stay in business long. GC is a relatively large island and to some extent who you dive with depends on where you are planning to stay. Every one seems to have a favorite for various reasons. I like big boat small group type operations. Others prefer a 6 pack.There are numerous threads related to GC dive ops on the board. Good luck.

    Pretty well all of the west/north side operators will pick you up anywhere along the 7 Mile Beach strip and all offer multiday discounts. I would lean toward an independent rather than hotel based operation as you are less likely to encounter crowds of turkey divers.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  4. jonhall

    jonhall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
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    Several current threads that give many suggestions (using the search field near the upper right of the page.) @KathyV will have plenty of helpful info that she could copy and paste to this thread as she has offered advice to many posters asking for the same info. Same with @caydiver .

    Agree with @Doctorfish about where you stay might determine who you dive with. Staying near West Bay (Seven Mile Beach) or the NW point gives you many great options. My personal favorite is Divetech - knowledgeable and have been around for quite awhile. If you wind up on the East End (quiet part of the island), Ocean Frontiers is well-liked. They have a couple of boats (3 yrs. ago) so will split you into smaller groups and are well organized. Both of the ops I mentioned have great people.
     
    mi000ke and KathyV like this.
  5. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,024
    3,045
    113
    There are many fine ops on GC and I certainly haven't tried them all, but I haven't had any bad experiences with any op. Where are you planning to stay and will you be renting a car? How much diving do you want to do? What other things do you plan to do?
     
  6. amoses

    amoses ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Keene, Texas
    426
    117
    43
    We are staying about 1/4 mile north of the end of 7 mile beach June 9-16. I thought we would try and use the bus system instead of renting a car. I figured I would do about 5 or 6 days of diving (just morning dives). I am not sure what else we will be doing, my wife does not dive so she will likely sit on the deck and read in the morning till I get back. Will probably do the beach some of the afternoons, maybe see the turtles, etc. We are not partyers. But that is as far as we have planned.
     
  7. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,024
    3,045
    113
    West Bay, just north of 7MB is a nice area, but if you are staying any place other than Central Seven Mile Beach then I recommend that you rent a car. My understanding is that the bus system is pretty good, but that it most consistently serves the George Town and 7MB areas and may be more sporadic in other districts - especially outside of business hours. And it is unlikely that you will be within easy walking distance to restaurants and shops in that area.

    Car rental prices aren't bad on GC and your credit card will provide some insurance, so you may just need to purchase collision/liability insurance. You no longer have to pay for a Cayman Driving Permit, and if you are staying in an apartment, condo, or house then you will need to purchase groceries and haul them back to your lodgings - and that's hard to do on the bus in the tropical heat. Plus taxi rides to and from the airport will be expensive; I think that it will work out cheaper to rent a car and it will be much more convenient.

    A lot of dive ops will pick you up if you are staying in the 7MB area, but you may have to travel to the dock to meet the boat when you are staying in other locations - that's what we do.

    Talk to DiveTech, they are located a little north of 7MB at Lighthouse Point and so they are probably close to your location. They are an excellent, well-regarded dive op and they have a dive shop, dock, restaurant (VIVO) and a shore dive at their Lighthouse Point location.

    They also shuttle divers to/from the Grand Caymanian Holiday Inn so they may be able to do a short detour to pick you up. I believe that you can shore dive their House Reef at no extra charge while you are boat diving with them, but you will need a buddy to shore dive.
    https://www.divetech.com/

    Take a look at the location of their VIVO restaurant on the Cayman Good Taste map to see where DiveTech is located at Lighthouse Point:
    Map of West Bay Restaurants | Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

    As others have said, the Cayman dive ops are consistently excellent because there is tough competition and high expectations - and a bad op wouldn't last long. Everyone has their favorites but I wouldn't hesitate to dive with any of them.
     
    Kmart921, Lostdiver71, amoses and 4 others like this.
  8. mi000ke

    mi000ke Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Massachusetts & Grand Cayman Island
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    Regarding the buses, they come up your way frequently enough, but @$2.50 a ride per person, if two of you go somewhere and back twice a day, that's $20/day (and of course more if your family is more than just the two of you). You might find that the car rental rates are not much more than that, plus the convenience of coming and going as you please. As others have mentioned, you will be staying in a quieter area, but will need transportation to get to most everything. When we first moved down, my wife and I thought we'd try relying on the bus. That lasted about a week (and we live central SMB).
     
    amoses, KathyV and jonhall like this.
  9. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    1,564
    1,062
    113
    We stay in West Bay at Anchorage Condos and DNS Diving picks us up and drops off. Agree with Kathy re convenience of a car rental for that location.
     
    amoses and KathyV like this.
  10. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,024
    3,045
    113
    Good to know! I don't think that we have ever dived with DNS but a friend of ours speaks highly of them.

    @amoses I should also clarify that I recommended DiveTech because I believe that they will be close to you and I know that they do some pick-up and drop-off services, but we have only shore dived their house reef - we've never boat dived with them - but others can advise you.
     
    amoses and jonhall like this.

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