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Best Scuba Diving location?

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We are taking cruise in May to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, & Cozumel. Any thoughts on which location we should dive at? We are only planning on diving once. I've heard that Roatan is suppose to be good for that and possibly Cozumel? Any input is much appreciated! 

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It's a bit like asking which of your children is your favorite. 


I'd pick Cozumel as my first on that list, with Roatan a close second. 


Grand Cayman I'd rank third, as I prefer the diving in the first two, since Cayman is a tender port, that's a bit of an additional hassle. 


Belize has the tender aspect, combined with a bit of a trip to the dive sites, which would make it fourth choice of those for me. 


All that being said, you'll likely have great diving at any of those four spots. 



Denver, CO

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Depends how experienced you are and what you want to see.  


Cozumel dive sites are amazing, but it is drift diving, and many reefs are deep and far off  shore...so if you are newbie or don't dive often, it might be more challenging than you want.


Roatan is great diving, shallower reefs with little current, reefs close to shore so short boat rides, so much easier all the way around.  This would be my first choice for most people.  


Grand Cayman is good, but since it is a tender port, you have that extra boat ride and standing in line to get tender back hassle.


Belize...I wouldn't bother there.  The reefs are a long boat ride away from where the cruise ships anchor, and so it is 1-2 hour boat ride each way.  Too long for just okay diving, IMHO.  With the other choices, I would not pick Belize.  Too many other fun things to do in Belize anyway.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Cozumel, hands down.    I have been all over the Caribbean diving and Cozumel is my favorite.   It is so beautiful under water -  like an landscape architect designed the reefs.   Been diving in ST Maarten ( did in December) whenever we stop but it is always so rough.  Just returned from a week of diving in Saba and several in our group did not dive at all because it was so rough all the time.   The ladder pounding up and down is a challenge for many.   They kept saying the winds would die down the next day but it never happened.   Any dive is great but I was not that impressed and Cozumel is much cheaper.

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My favorite is Cozumel, but I wouldn't discount Belize.  The reef is absolutely beautiful. 


I dived every port on the Carnival Dream last feb and in Belize the ship's scuba excursion operator picked us up out at sea at the ship's anchor point.  We did not have to tender into Belize City so heading to the reef from the anchor point was only about 35-40 minutes. 




Edited by Pat.D
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Pat,    Was it a ship's excursion?    That is a lengthy ride to shore.  It would be worth the extra cost and cattle car excursion by saving a couple hours.    I usually stay away from the ship's tours.  Too many newly certified people that want shallow dives.  Nothing wrong with that but as an instructor, there are times that I don't want to be counting heads and watching people rather than the water.

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stupid question ......


our 'best dive' was a night dive at Sunset House shore dive ..... we'd been on this site hundreds of times .... but THIS time was some sort of 'red star fish' spawn ..... they erupted everywhere ....... you could not see the coral cuz the star fish swarmed over everything ..... and 20 min later it was over ......


in other words ..... what YOU saw on YOUR dive has little to do with what I might see on MY dive ..... even the next day . . . .



got a dive op you like ... that's cool ... but what you might SEE?????? .... different equation.

Edited by Capt_BJ
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15 hours ago, compozer said:

Pat,    Was it a ship's excursion?    


Yes it was, I booked with the ship (with the compromises that entails) specifically because the operator picked us up at the ship.  Not having to tender to shore and the ship's anchor point shortening the boat ride to the dive site made it all worth it for me. 




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  • 1 month later...

Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, & Cozumel


For diving from a ship:

Cozumel: great diving relatively close to the cruise terminals. Lots of pelagic life, as long as you are diving within your limits very safe.


Roatan: again close to the cruise terminals, or not too far to go to the west end and short boat ride from there. Not as much pelagic, more macro life. West end is entirely sanctuary so beautiful, but diving is either slow current or really fast current. Shallow and safe diving pretty much everywhere.


Grand Cayman: a bit of a hassle to dive here but some stunning diving. Good mix of pelagic and macro life.


Belize: Of the 4 spots the best diving, but very far from Belize City or the private islands to get to the dive spots. Depends on your available time more than anything which is why I put it last.

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Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, & Cozumel


I've spent a week of diving in each place except for Belize so can't comment on it.

Just back from 21 days of diving in Cozumel. Hands down for me would be Cozumel. Second Roatan followed by Grand Cayman. 


Cozumel as stated is drift diving and in my opinion much better chance of seeing things since you cover more ground. If you are concerned about drift diving hire a private DM. They are reasonable priced.Also you will be diving close to the cruise port. Bad - some of the best reefs are further south. Good - diving spots don't get as much pressure since most dive ops dive the southern reefs. 

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