Scuba Diving During a Cruise Vacation by snoopdoggywuf


Scuba Diving During a Cruise Vacation

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Options for certified scuba divers who wish to go scuba diving during a
cruise vacation.

cruise, ship, ships, vacation, scuba, diving, dive, divers, ports,
excursions, caribbean

Article Body:
Say you want to scuba dive but your significant other is not a diver and
would rather do other activities like shopping. If you both decided to
go on a Caribbean cruise vacation, is it still possible for you to go
scuba diving? The answer is yes. This will be a big relief to all
certified scuba divers who are going on cruises with itineraries that
include such great scuba dive destinations as Cozumel and Grand Cayman.
After all, as certified scuba divers, it would be a shame to go to these
ports and not dive.

Many cruise ships offer scuba diving as part of their available shore
excursions. Some ships even have small dive centers on board for those
who want to take introductory sessions in the ship pools. These cruise
lines will often have business contracts with local dive operators at
each port that has scuba diving. These local dive operators will take
certified scuba divers on boat trips on behalf of the cruise lines.
Booking and payment will be through the cruise ships rather than the
local dive operators. The cruise lines claim that if for any reason the
scuba trips run late, the cruise ships will not leave port until all
passengers from these cruise ship organized excursions are back on board.
They won’t wait around for passengers who decide to take their own
excursions not booked through the cruise ship. This is how the cruise
ships try to convince divers to take their excursions even if the cost is
usually at a premium compared to what local dive operators would normally
charge directly.

Another way to get some scuba diving in during a cruise vacation is to
make arrangements and book in advance with local scuba dive operators at
each port you are interested in diving at. Although there is always some
risk in missing your port departure if your own outing runs late, just
make sure you plan your own dive trips so that you are back on the ship
well in advance of port departure. Usually if your cruise ship arrives
at port early in the morning, you could book the morning dive trips with
the local operator and still have the rest of the afternoon to shop or do
other sightseeing. For later arrivals where you would miss the morning
dive trips, it is still possible to take the local operators’ afternoon
dive trips but in this case, it is very important to make sure that you
confirm what the estimated time of return to the docks are. If you can
return to the docks at least two hours before the cruise ship’s scheduled
time of departure, than you will have ample time even if the dive boat
returns a bit late. It it’s only an hour or less, the timing may be too
tight. See if the dive operator has a shorter single tank afternoon trip
which might get you back to the docks earlier.

Some local dive operators even have special pick up and drop off services
to and from the cruise ship terminals to their dive shops. These dive
businesses are obviously making an effort to take some dive business away
from the cruise ship organized excursions. These particular local dive
operators would be ideal if you could find them before your cruise
vacation. Otherwise, you may have to take a local taxi to the dive shop
if it is not within walking distance of the cruise ship terminal. Of
course, this is usually not a problem either and even with the added cost
of taxis, the overall cost of going with a local dive operator may still
be lower than the cruise ship organized dive excursion.

Some cruise ship passengers have successfully gotten on local dive trips
without any advance booking. These divers just walked into a local dive
operator once at port. Although this is certainly feasible, it is not
recommended especially in a destination that fills dive trips up quickly.
With the internet, it is quite easy to make arrangements with many local
dive operators in advance of your cruise vacation. Tell them which day
your cruise ship will be coming in and the expected time of both arrival
as well as departure. Some ports like Cozumel have more than one cruise
ship terminal so it’s important to let them know if possible which one
your ship will be docked in. They will then give you your best options
for some scuba diving for that particular day.

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