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Probably asked before, but here we go again!

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by DreadnoughtNH, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. DreadnoughtNH

    DreadnoughtNH Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portsmouth, NH
    81
    69
    18
    Hey all!

    I'm looking to do a long weekend 5days-ish of diving for my 40th birthday in October, and I'd like to bring my non-diving partner with me. She likes traveling with me and is very content to lay on a beach or in a hammock all day reading while I'm out diving, and is extremely low maintenance in terms of needing to be entertained. I'm trying to get her into diving, but she's not super comfortable in the water and eels (and anything remotely snake like) is a real phobia for her, and I'm letting her choose the right moment to try diving.

    Typically we go on far flung trips, but we just bought a home together and don't want to break the bank on this one. Therefore, I'd like to keep the trip closer (we are based north of Boston), so I'm thinking Caribbean and Central America. I'd like somewhere (in no particular order):
    1) easy to get to/out of,
    2) excellent diving/reef stewardship,
    3) reasonable cost (I recognize this is a relative term, and maybe need to define it...),
    4) good/comfortable accomodations,
    5) nice beach and non-diving activities or opportunities to explore for her,
    6) interesting things for us to do post-dive.

    In the region, I've dived Roatan (currently my top contender to do again) , SXM (not great reef stewardship), and Grand Cayman (awesome but pricey). I'm looking for alternate ideas, in terms of location, operation, and lodging.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,511
    2,491
    113
    I think that St. Croix offers a nice mix of diving and non-diving activities and the Fredricksted Pier is an outstanding shore dive.
     
    Trailboss123 and DreadnoughtNH like this.
  3. GR8FUL

    GR8FUL Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    77
    36
    18
    If you liked the diving and overall atmosphere topside in Roatan, but would prefer to go somewhere different, I suggest Curacao. Good diving, reasonably priced, plenty of options topside.

    Cozumel is another good choice--better diving than both Roatan & Curacao (imo) but not as nice beaches and perhaps a little less to do topside. Still, for a 5 day trip it should be fine for a low maintenance partner.

    And lastly, while I personally haven't been there, I've read about it a lot, and if you like Roatan I'm guessing San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in Belize would also be a good fit.

    Best diving and likely cheapest would be Cozumel, perhaps others can confirm this.
     
    DreadnoughtNH likes this.
  4. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Tacoma, WA & Channel Islands, CA- USA
    1,848
    1,828
    113
    I thought about Curacao also, since Jet Blue flies there from Boston, but 5 days doesn't appear to be an option. Only 2 flights a week (Wednesday and Saturday) - between flight duration and no fly time before departure, doesn't seem feasible. I think finding the best flight options is going to be step 1 in this process given the 5 day/extended weekend criteria. I am not familiar enough with flights from Boston to say for sure- without doing some research. Honestly, given the criteria, I might strongly consider flying into Fort Lauderdale, looking for a good hotel or AirBNB option and enjoying the drift diving, food and beaches anywhere in the Boynton Beach, Delray beach area. Water temps and conditions in October should be awesome.
     
    seaseadee, DreadnoughtNH and KathyV like this.
  5. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,511
    2,491
    113
    Could you do a one week trip? It would open up more destination options. Between travel days and the wait to fly day, you won't get much dive time (or vacation time) in 5 days.
     
    DreadnoughtNH and Trailboss123 like this.
  6. GR8FUL

    GR8FUL Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    77
    36
    18
    Agree w/ Kathy, 5 days really does limit you, as two days are essentially travel-only days; two additional days would really increase your options.

    If that's not an option, south Florida might be your best option.

    Don't know if any airlines fly non-stop Boston to Provo / Turks & Caicos, but if so that's only about 1.5 hours extra flight time, and likely a much more memorable (as well as likely more expensive) vacation vs Ft. Lauderdale / Delray area.
     
  7. DreadnoughtNH

    DreadnoughtNH Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portsmouth, NH
    81
    69
    18
    I’m beginning to agree with the consensus: a long weekend is too short. A week (saturday to saturday) makes a lot of sense. Curacao looks fantastic and would be my first choice, but limited flights may take it out of contention (at least for this year). Cozumel, Aruba, & T&C sound (and look) pretty appetizing,.
     
    Trailboss123 and KathyV like this.
  8. furym

    furym Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: North Carolina
    11
    4
    3
    I am told Aruba is expensive topside. All relative but I recently ruled it out as a budget travel option.
     
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  9. Bubblesong

    Bubblesong Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Massachusetts
    2,209
    1,824
    113
    Since October is still hurricane season, i suggest two options:
    1) Go south of Hurricane hit areas. The only inhabited Caribbean islands not in the hurricane belt are Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Bonaire, Curaçao, Aruba, Providencia Island, San Andrés, and the islands off Venezuela.
    2) Cruise ship out of Boston, as these can steer around stormy areas. Scroll down this page on cruises out of Boston to one week Bermuda, (I’ve done three times) and two week Southern Caribbean, (My plan for October) Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Search Results
     
  10. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    11,971
    7,516
    113
    No to cruise ships
     
    RyanT and Trailboss123 like this.

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