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Scuba on Carnival Australia GBR


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Booked GBR for June next year out of Sydney. Struggling to find details on booking scuba (not snorkel) for the stops on the GBR. I have found some very old (pre Covid) information but just looking for clarity on diving the reef. 
which are the best stops or will there be diving at all stops on this trip? The shuttle out to the reef is long but there will be options to scuba dive at each stop, correct? 
This is a bucket list for my hubby who is an avid diver and with excursions not yet available to view and can only be purchased once on board I would like to have details lined up before having to make the choices at the shore excursions desk. 
Thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cairns or Airlie are your stops to go to the GBR for diving. Suggert you look  at Viator.com to see what suits you, remember that most of these leave the dock at 8am and return about 4pm. Ships  arrival and departure times are important if you don't use ships excursions. Hope this helps, not sure that June is the best time of the year to dive the GBR maybe a Queenslander can advise.

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We will be docked in Cairns in December.    I booked a tour with Great Adventures gbr pontoon.  We are doing snorkeling but they also do scuba.  Reason I picked them is because we get in at 8.  Most tours leave earlier than that. This one leaves around 10ish.  Google Cairns  (or airlie) gbr day trips. Others will come up also.  Remember to check their check in times and return times.  

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/24/2022 at 6:17 AM, LPGA Golfer Gal said:

Booked GBR for June next year out of Sydney. Struggling to find details on booking scuba (not snorkel) for the stops on the GBR. I have found some very old (pre Covid) information but just looking for clarity on diving the reef. 
which are the best stops or will there be diving at all stops on this trip? The shuttle out to the reef is long but there will be options to scuba dive at each stop, correct? 
This is a bucket list for my hubby who is an avid diver and with excursions not yet available to view and can only be purchased once on board I would like to have details lined up before having to make the choices at the shore excursions desk. 
Thank you.

 

Hi.  I did post a review of our GBR cruise (Celebrity Solstice) which we did in Jan 2018.   We are a family of 4 certified scuba divers and we dove the GBR on 4 different days of the cruise.  Planning the scuba excursions was extremely difficult as information was hard to come by which is why I wrote the review.  It was a learning experience.  So although the review and its information is older than you would like, you might find it useful since I wrote it for people like you in mind.  I realize that you are sailing on Carnival but I am guessing that a lot of the information would still be useful.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mahdnc
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This is a fantastic review. Thank you for sharing the link.

My two biggest questions:

1. did you have to wait till on board to book the dive excursions (or any for that matter)?  We are showing that the excursions and amenities have to be purchased once on board.  Just worried that we will be sold out or not know which to do at which locations.

2. Dive specific question:  would you recommend one stop over another for better diving?  If we are limited in cost, opportunity which would you recommend for diving?  I am not a diver so I might book a snorkel instead for myself but hubby and daughter want to dive for sure and at least two dives.  

 

Thank you again.

 

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1 hour ago, LPGA Golfer Gal said:

This is a fantastic review. Thank you for sharing the link.

My two biggest questions:

1. did you have to wait till on board to book the dive excursions (or any for that matter)?  We are showing that the excursions and amenities have to be purchased once on board.  Just worried that we will be sold out or not know which to do at which locations.

2. Dive specific question:  would you recommend one stop over another for better diving?  If we are limited in cost, opportunity which would you recommend for diving?  I am not a diver so I might book a snorkel instead for myself but hubby and daughter want to dive for sure and at least two dives.  

 

Thank you again.

 

 

All the shore excursions through the ship could be purchased ahead of the cruise.  And we did exactly that for 2 of our 4 GBR diving days: Airlie Beach, Cairns (2), and Port Douglas. We purchased dive excursions through the ship in advance of the cruise for Arlie Beach and our first day at Cairns.

 

As far as one stop being better than the other, I have these comments. The diving and snorkeling was the worst at Arlie Beach by far. Cairns is the diving and snorkeling commercial hub of the GBR.  You have the most choices there. So Cairns is the stop I would recommend as the answer to your question. 

 

If I didn't answer your question, please let me know and clarify.  

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21 minutes ago, LPGA Golfer Gal said:

This is great. Answered. Thank you.

It did look like Cairns was your best dive with pictures and great weather.  I appreciate your follow up so quickly.

Many thanks.

 


You’re welcome. A couple of other comments. 
 

Check often to see if the shore excursions finally appear online in advance of your sailing date. It is possible that they are being loaded late since Australia just opened back up to cruising. 
 

Even though I said Arlie Beach was the worst diving of the 4 GBR days, your avid diving husband should try it anyway unless he chooses to skip it for other reasons. 
 

i hope your GBR cruise goes well. 
 

Are you doing the 9 night GBR sailing on Splendor?

Edited by mahdnc
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Yes we are on the Splendor 9 nights.  He and my daughter who got scuba qualified to be able to dive the GBR are looking forward to diving any and all opportunities.  I hope the excursions populate online before hand so we know what we are looking at.

I have read online (CC) that folks think the cruises are doing away with scuba due to insurance... I truly hope this is not true as the Australia trip is for diving! 

Thanks for your feedback.

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On 9/4/2022 at 9:20 AM, Mrs f. said:

We will be docked in Cairns in December.    I booked a tour with Great Adventures gbr pontoon.  We are doing snorkeling but they also do scuba.  Reason I picked them is because we get in at 8.  Most tours leave earlier than that. This one leaves around 10ish.  Google Cairns  (or airlie) gbr day trips. Others will come up also.  Remember to check their check in times and return times.  

Which cruiseline are you with?  I do hope they offer scuba as part of the excursions not only snorkeling.  I would be very interested to know after your trip if you had scuba listed on the options.  Thank you for your information.

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On 9/1/2022 at 8:17 PM, beatleman said:

Cairns or Airlie are your stops to go to the GBR for diving. Suggert you look  at Viator.com to see what suits you, remember that most of these leave the dock at 8am and return about 4pm. Ships  arrival and departure times are important if you don't use ships excursions. Hope this helps, not sure that June is the best time of the year to dive the GBR maybe a Queenslander can advise.

Thank you.  We are limited by vacation time so we are making the best of the time of year.  More worried about being able to scuba when we are on the ship. Thanks for your reply.

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20 minutes ago, LPGA Golfer Gal said:

Yes we are on the Splendor 9 nights.  He and my daughter who got scuba qualified to be able to dive the GBR are looking forward to diving any and all opportunities.  I hope the excursions populate online before hand so we know what we are looking at.

I have read online (CC) that folks think the cruises are doing away with scuba due to insurance... I truly hope this is not true as the Australia trip is for diving! 

Thanks for your feedback.


Your comment about scuba excursions not being offered anymore seems to explain what I’m seeing. We just finished a transatlantic sailing that stopped at Nassau. No scuba offered through the ship. 

 

Same with our upcoming Transpacific cruise which stops at several islands that would have excellent diving (e.g. Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii). 
 

Too bad. 

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3 hours ago, LPGA Golfer Gal said:

Thank you.  We are limited by vacation time so we are making the best of the time of year.  More worried about being able to scuba when we are on the ship. Thanks for your reply.

 

For what it is worth, here is a detailed view of the shore excursions offered for Celebrity's Feb 28 2023 GBR sailing on Eclipse: link.  Eclipse is scheduled to stop at Arlie Beach, Cairns, and Port Douglas.

 

A couple things to note:

 

1. A lot of excursions are sold out (listed at the bottom of the web page).  

 

2. There is a shorex offered at Cairns called "Exploring the Great Barrier Reef".  It is still available--probably because it is expensive--and it offers scuba diving as an option.  You pay extra for it and you deal directly with the vendor for this.  That is how it was set up for us when we went to the GBR back in 2018--you buy the ship's shorex and then pay for the scuba option.  We did that at Arlie Beach and Cairns Day 1.

 

Seeing this makes me wonder why Carnival hasn't put up your shore excursions for sale on their website.  I looked at your itinerary and you don't have enough time to do an independent tour--you're are stuck having to buy your shorex thru Carnival.  One of the advantages is that the snorkel/dive boats for Carnival's shore excursions will pick you up and drop you off at the ship which will be anchored.  This reduces the transportation time to the reef and back which can be grueling.

 

If you have more questions, let me know.  If you would prefer to email me, feel free to contact me at mahdnc at yahoo dot com.

 

beba8d2bc926414ebcb2510058d3b786.jpg

Our daughter, Katie, posing next to a Giant Clam during our second day at Cairns.

 

 

 

Edited by mahdnc
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