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RCCL - Diving resort at various port of call?


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#1 akalars

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:38 PM

I'm very shortly going on a trip to Caribien with Royal Caribien Cruise Line, we have the following port of calls:
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
St. Croix U.S.V.I
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Roseau, Dominica
Bridgetown, Barbados

Does anyone have experience with diving resorts in any of these places? I'm looking for a place where I can come early in the morning and hire scuba gear and get a couple of dive and return to join up with the family approximately 4 hours later. Need a place where I can either make arrangement by phone or internett or just drop inn, as we are only staying in each location for 12h.

#2 diver dave1

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 05:31 AM

For St Croix info, you might send a message to Marjo. He is a wetpixel member living at St Croix and should be able to give you some insight there. If you do a wetpixel search for "st. croix" (include the quotes in the search) you will find more info and see some nice pics from Jeremy when he went diving with Marjo.

Your cruise organization should be able to set up diving for you...but likely at a higher cost than you would incur by doing it yourself. But they also should be providing a service - providing a dive shop that routinely works with their cruise ships and having past cruise customers happy with the service. You get extra service at a likely higher cost, up to you to determine if that service is worth that cost to you. It might reduce some stress level if you cannot find recommendations from people here or elsewhere about some of your destinations.

I have worked with Low Key divers at St John USVI. Perhaps they have suggestions for a shop on St. Thomas. Those islands are close enough that some people commute for work and may have knowledge of the other island.

Hope that is some degree of help.

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#3 Giles

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 07:02 AM

Barbados - High Tide used to be my fave, but you can't go too wrong with any operator there.
http://www.divehightide.com/
also look at
http://www.ecodivebarbados.com/

If you can find someone who will take your booking directly and the timing works then do that.
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#4 resappraiser

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 12:54 PM

I'm very shortly going on a trip to Caribien with Royal Caribien Cruise Line, we have the following port of calls:
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
St. Croix U.S.V.I
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Roseau, Dominica
Bridgetown, Barbados

Does anyone have experience with diving resorts in any of these places? I'm looking for a place where I can come early in the morning and hire scuba gear and get a couple of dive and return to join up with the family approximately 4 hours later. Need a place where I can either make arrangement by phone or internett or just drop inn, as we are only staying in each location for 12h.

I've been on a couple of cruises with RCCL and I've booked diving excursions through them. Takes a lot of the guess work out of the trip. The dive operator picks you up and brings you back to the ship on time for departure. I am somewhat sketical of venturing off on my own on a cruise. You miss the ship when it departs and it's up to you to catch up with the ship...and that's going to be expensive. Bring your own gear, less weights of course, and the cost is less. Great diving in Dominica! Walls (Witches point) that go from 20' down a coulpe of hundred feet and "Champage" is pretty neat. Snorkeling in St. Kitts is excellent also. Haven't been back to scube dive there yet. West End Dive Center in Barbados is good also. However, u/w features we dove on were in less than 80' of water with so-so visibilty. We weren't very far off shore and the current had churned up a lot of debris. The dive center does not have a bathroom so you have to use the one in the bar next door and the owner does not like folks in wet bathing suits coming in...even if you buy a beer! Needless to say, he didn't get my business.
Have a good cruise!
Bob

#5 Giles

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:46 AM

ooh yes West End Dive Center is the one i left out .. if you get to do one dive in Barbados make it the Stavronikita ... and yes most of the reefs are ridges coming up out of the blue, with some depth to them. It is rare to have a dive with zero current, but it is never super strong current though.
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#6 indigo

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:19 AM

As a dive operator that has worked with cruise ships in the past AVOID direct booking via the ship... why, well you will charged an arm and a leg, but the operator will get very little... you may be bunched on your trip with folks who THINK they can dive, and usually your dive will last as long as theirs does...

Book independently if you can...

High Tide, Eco Dive, West Side Scuba, or Rogers Scuba Shack in Barbados... Eco Dive is a very small and intimate operation, close to the cruiseship berth - ask for Andrew / Rogers is also not too far, and they have easy access to some very photogenic wrecks in Carlise Bay - ask for Mark - he is a UW photo too!

Dominica - Al dive

As for the other locations I cant help as I have not dived these islands, but I am sure that you will be able to get some more feed back!

I now do not work with the ships, I am much happier for it, as are my staff! I am very happy to take independent bookings however, so should you ever be in St. Vincent please drop me a line!

Kay Wilson,
Indigo Dive.

#7 DiverPam

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:34 PM

My husband and I have done this several times (cruise ship and diving) and we always book independently from the cruise ships. We have not ever run into any problems. The dive ops always know when the ships come and go and work with you to be back on time. Plus...wereally like giving our dollars directly to the local economy when we can. In talking with other passengers on our trips, we have found that the cruise ships put way too many people together (cattle boat), charge more than booking directly, do not put like divers together, and bottom times are reduced.

I would definitely suggest diving the Stavronikita in Barbados.

Have a great trip and tell us all about it when you guys get back - DiverPam

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