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About vespa134

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  1. vespa134

    Grand Quest. - where/how should we scuba?

    Ok, I just pulled my dive log. These were all princess booked excursions. Costa Maya: 12/26/05 2-tank dive w/Dreamtime. New, but small boats. Had to return to dive shop for the 2nd tanks. Did not get the dive locations...1st dive 74ft & 81 degrees...2nd dive 59ft & 77 degrees. Dove w/3mm suit and got cold on the 2nd dive. Belize (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this princess excursion): 12/27/05 2-tank dive w/Hugh Parkey's ([URL="http://www.belizediving.com"]www.belizediving.com[/URL]). [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff]Turneffe Atoll at Chasbo's corner (70ft +/- & 80 degrees) and Elking Bay (60ft +/- and 81 degrees). [/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff][/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff]Grand Cayman:[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff]12/28/05 2-tank dive w/resort sports.[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff]North wall - 99ft (others hit 110+/- and saw a hammer head shark) and 82 degrees, Stingray City- 11ft and 80 degrees.[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff][/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff]Cozumel:[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff]12/29/05 2-tank dive w/The Dive House (note: equipment looked VERY OLD)[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#0000ff]Santa Rosa Wall - 89ft. and 81 degrees; Las Palmas reef - 71ft and 77 degrees.[/COLOR][/FONT]
  2. vespa134

    Grand Quest. - where/how should we scuba?

    Blue Dolphin in Frisco anyone?? We dove all 4 ports all with princess booked excursions (12/24/05 - 12/31/05). I highly recommend doing the Belize dive through Princess (Hugh Parkey dive shop). Excellent operation with new equipment and excellent staff. They pick you up in the dive boat at the ship & Belize has very beautiful, dense coral. If you're going to skip a dive, I would personally skip costa maya. Red Sail is a good non-princess dive shop in Grand Cayman and they will pick you up at the port (probably only a one-tank dive with them though). ...and everyone in the far far north Dallas area (you know, Allen, Lucas, Frisco, Plano, etc.) highly recommends Papa Hogs in Cozumel.
  3. vespa134

    Grand Princess Dive Excursions Review

    Reef in Cozumel was (1) the Santa Rosa wall & (2) Las Palmas
  4. vespa134

    Refresher scuba course on the Grand?

    Just ask for the "New Waves" scuba people once onboard the Grand. I think their names are Ernie and Allison. I'm sure they can offer a refesher course for a fee...The New Waves shop is open only in the morning, closed for lunch, and open again in the afternoon and is at the front of the ship on deck 14 (I think). There will be information on the hours of operation in the daily Patters.
  5. vespa134

    Looking for dinner ideas in Galvaston!

    Gaido's. It's not a chain like Landry's. It's a local tradition with plenty of history.
  6. vespa134

    Grand Princess Dive Excursions Review

    Majahual: I think the dive shop was "Dreamtime" which I think I read somewhere is a.k.a. Blue Ha. So it may be the same shop. Cozumel: We dove near porta maya...the cruise ships were still within sight, although they were very tiny... I think the two reefs were, Santa Rosa and Las Palmas, with Las Palmas being directly infront of the "Dive House" shop. The large and abundant (and easy to see) marinelife more than made up for the lack of beautiful coral. The reef is still there but it's covered with sand...
  7. vespa134

    Has anyone been diving in Aruba???

    We dove Aruba in Sept. 2005. Used two different dive shops but perferred "RedSail". The wreck dives were excellent. If you have limited time skip the "Arashi" (spelling?) its' the airplane site. Be sure and dive the "Antilla" (spelling?) which is the German supply ship that was scuttled during WWII. The "tugboat" dive (near the harbor) was pretty good too.
  8. vespa134

    Costa Maya Diving is GREAT!

    I think that the Grand Princess dive excursion in Costa Maya IS with the Dreamtime Dive shop and it is $149 per person... If you're on Princess, book the dive excursion for Belize, you won't be dissapointed.
  9. vespa134

    Corkage fee question

    Sailed GP 12/24-12/31. For what it's worth: We were charged $10 per bottle at the stake house and the Itailian place (can't remember the name). We received a bottle from our travel agent while on the boat (I assume it was a Princess carried wine) and brought this bottle to the Da Vinci dining room where we were not charged the corkage fee.
  10. We dove (thru Princess) at all four ports. Costa Maya: Can't remember the name of the dive shop but its run by some Austrailians and is a 15-20 minute open air bus ride (or truck ride in our case) from the port. New, but small boat. Rental equipment & air tanks look realtively new. Boat was an dual outboard type with a bimini top. Water entry/exit was from the side and not the aft of the boat. The dive masters were friendly and adequate. Excellent coral formations but we did not see much wildlife. I would probably skip the Costa Maya dive due to the following: (1) Dive shop to far away from port and hauling your gear (we brought our own gear) is too far to carry down the peir, through the shops, to the taxi area and back again. (2) boat is too small for two tanks each...had to return to the dive shop for tanks before the second dive. (3) This dive cost $149 per person. (4) Water entry onto the boat is a pain. (5) transportation from the port to the dive shop was very "rustic". Belize: This dive was everything we had hoped. The dive boat picks you up at the GP like a tender. The dive boat was new and was the big, typical dive boat with aft water entry/exit w/good latters. The dive shop was Hugh Parkley (or something like that...I have thier card at home) and was a 15-minute boat ride from the GP. Divemasters were execellent. Coral and marinelife are excellent. I HIGHLY recommend this excursion thru Princess. I will dive here again and with this dive shop. Grand Cayman: North wall and Stingray city dive Tendering was not too bad here as they use both princess and local tenders and we were on a "Princess" booked excursion with a priority exit. I don't remember the name of the dive shop. Boats & equipment were good but not new. Boat was the typical large dive boat with good aft latters. Crew and dive masters were friendly and helpful. This was good dive and the north wall was excellent. We had never done the stingray thing so we were excited to try it. It's one of those things you should do at least once but I think I would use that 2nd tank to dive the wall again in the future. People saw a hammer head shark at about 110ft off the north wall. Overall a good dive. Cozumel: Used a local tender that was huge and air conditioned. The peir is totally destroyed. Had to haul our gear from the tender through the shops to the taxi area. Boarded an air conditioned bus for a very short trip (5 minutes) to the marina to hop aboard the dive boats. The dive shop used by Princess is "The Dive House". The dive equipment was very very very OLD including the air tanks. Air tanks did not have service stickers (I thought this was a PADI approved dive shop??). In their defense, there were a very very few new BCDs. The boats were old but were in generally good condition. Staff was friendly and experienced with drift diving (i.e. boat was always waiting for us when we popped up). The hurricane flattened any coral that was loose or sticking too far up and covered the entire reef in white sand. Marine life was very easy to see against the white background. I don't know if the marine life was displaced or what but we saw lobsters out walking about, morey eels free swimming, turtles, nurse shark, eagle rays, and many other large fish. This was a very fun dive because of all the wildlife but it was very sad to compare this part of the reef to that in Belize and Costa Maya. Overall this was a good dive but the rental equipment and air tanks looked a little scary.