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New to scuba

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by monalisa2000, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Grand Cayman.

    As docharry,mentioned,.Cozumel is mostly drift diving which is not a basic skill. It's not hard since you just float along but you generally have to stay with the group so can miss a lot. Also at popular dive sites there can be multiple divers in the water - we all look alike u/w - and multiple boats overhead following their divers. While they are exceedingly careful, it can be a little disorienting.

    Costa Maya would be a solid 3rd on my list for diving. Do some land-based tour instead.

    Cayman really is set up for cruise diving with one small exception. It's a tender port so you may want to line up a little early to get off the ship.

    Don Foster's is about 500' south of the port. They have most of the cruise contracts so are very used to dealing with new/discover divers. Don Foster's Dive Grand Cayman

    Red Sail Watersports has the other cruise contracts. (Disney)They're a few minutes north of the port by cab, nice thing is they're at the Westin and the Marriott Grand so you have a place for lunch/beach. Also both have pools for the basic skills training you'll do first. Best Diving Activities in the Cayman Islands - Red Sail Sports

    They have several large flat-bottom boats, if they have enough demand they will beach one right there.

    A third option might be one of the shops 200 yds. north of the cruise port at Lobster Pot dive center.
    Wall to Wall and Deep Blue are affiliated, Off the Wall is a third option. I've read OTW will go with small groups so maybe you could get the whole boat - can't hurt to ask.
    Cruise Ship Diving Trips | Diving Trips Cruise Ships - Grand Cayman
    Off The Wall Divers

    Cayman diving is also fantastic. Lots of gorgeous reef, the turtle is their national symbol so you see a lot of them.Often some eagle rays also. Not a lot of sharks but for new divers that can be a good thing. It is fascinating to see one though esp. since you're not prey to them (you're too big and make scary noises)

    The other option might be to see if one of the "six divers or less operators can work within your cruise schedule. You would "own" the boat so could ask for a shallow, easy dive. The Aquarium is one on the west side nearby made for new divers, it doesn't break 60',there's turtles and if you see fish hovering around a coral head, that's a cleaning station. If you push in there, you'll see banded coral shrimp doing their work, hold out your hand and get a manicure.

    Should you get really hooked and want to do an afternoon dive, Stingray City is a world famous dive in 15' of water.

    Not the cruise snorkel excursion since those go to Sandbar nearby - can also be called Stingray City by some cruise lines - it's a snorkel in 5' with the rays.

    Also there's nice restaurants in all price ranges within a block or two of the cruise dock.

    If your arrival/departure times don't match with the shops I mentioned (they should) there's only about 30-40 other options. www.cita.ky lists them all.

    It's also very safe diving, CITA requires a Dive Master in the water for each experience level - often there's 2 - one leading and one trailing. Useful as women/kids get longer dives on the same size tank so the 2nd DM takes the air hogs back to the boat as needed.

    have a good dive...
    BlueTuna likes this.
  2. GrafCanuck

    GrafCanuck Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: London, Ontario
    +1 Grand Cayman.
    Also would recommend to do a discovery dive with your LDS before your cruise. Most LDSs use a local pool or other body of water for a discovery dive. There are a few LDSs in my area that provide Discovery Dives for free hoping to get you to sign up for the O/W. You don't have to be a good swimmer to scuba dive but in my opinion you need to be comfortable in the water. A Discovery Dive will teach you the basics and you can tell very quickly if you are comfortable with all of the equipment on in 10 feet of water. My 2 Canadian pennies.
  3. Neilwood

    Neilwood Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Scotland
    Personally I would suggest getting some swimming lessons before you go - the better you can swim the more you will enjoy the dives. You don't have to be a speed freak or swim the strokes perfectly but you need to be comfortable in the water for 30-60 mins.

    As @GrafCanuck has suggested, even taking a DSD with a local dive shop will help you enjoy the dives when you go abroad. It is normally a fairly small cost ($25-30?) and you will be able to focus more on looking at the pretty things and less on the equipment because you will already be at least partly familiar with it.
    GrafCanuck likes this.
  4. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Rockville, MD
    I did my OW classwork and pool sessions back here in the DC area. The class also offers trips to Grand Cayman to do the certification dives. I opted to do that.

    I ended up doing my OW and AOW training dives back to back, so 9 total dives in 3 days in Grand Cayman. And it was fantastic.

    The island is known for it's calm clear waters. The conditions were phenomenal. The pic in my profile is from the Kittiwake that is 70ish feet down, and you can see how clear it is. There were no currents or anything either so it was just a great place to learn and practice.

    The OW dives were over 2 days, 3 one day and 1 in the next morning. They are not allowed to do 4 training dives in one day, 3 max. So you will need at least 2 days to do your certification checkout dives if you do end up going that route. You could potentially do 1 day on one island and 1 day on another island as well.

    Whatever you do, enjoy and good luck!
  5. Tony66

    Tony66 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Mid Atlantic
    I second taking a discover course before you go on your cruise. It will train your brain that it is possible to breath underwater and should eliminate some of the anxiety of a new experience. Being a good swimmer isn't really necessary to dive but being comfortable in and around water is.
  6. PBcatfish

    PBcatfish Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida
    Before my x & I went to Hawaii, I suggested that she get certified, since I was already a diver & I thought that the tings under the water in that area would be worth seeing. She laughed it off & said that snorkeling would be plenty for her. When we got to Maui, we bought mask, fins & snorkel at an ABC store & headed for Big Beach. When we got back to shore, she started looking for dive shops that could get her into scuba before we left, which was, unfortunately, only a few days away. Nobody was available to accommodate her on such short notice. When we got back home, she signed up for local classes & got certified. A few weeks later, she was planning another trip back to Maui, to pick up where we left off. Getting certified before the first trip would have been a better move, but that's 20/20 hindsight.

    As was mentioned before, doing your classroom work & taking your written test before you go is another option. You can usually find someone to give you your check dives in the resort areas. Wasting vacation time on classroom work, is not my idea of time well spent.

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