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Need to book scuba excursion in advance or can I wait?


KTinPDX

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We are new to both scuba and cruising. I've reviewed this forum extensively and had a lot of questions answered. What a great resource. For our upcoming cruise...I've booked a scuba excursion for our first port (Roatan), but as new divers (certified only 6 months ago), I'm hesitant to book the next day in Belize in case we don't have a good experience or are overwhelmed, etc. Based on the postings, if we do dive in Belize, I'd like to book a ship excursion. Is it possible to wait until the night before to decide? Is there an advance notice requirement? Do the dive excursions often fill?

 

Cozumel is next and I am thinking we might play that one by ear and work independently with a dive shop.

 

Thanks very much for any advice.

KTinPDX

2nd Open Water Dive

4th Cruise

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Belize is one port that you probably DO need to book through the ship, since it is a tender port and the cruise ship excursion is a better dive than you can get with a local operator after getting into Belize City.

 

Since the operator for the ship's excursion normally picks up from several cruise ships, it does tend to fill up early.

 

Both Roatan and Cozumel have lots of operators and you can probably make reservations in Coz using the internet the afternoon before you arrive.

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Typically the excursions close for booking at least 24hrs before, so I don't think that you would be able to do it last minute unless they have someone cancel at the last minute. Talk to the folks at the excursion desk when you get on board and double check with them.

 

The dives I had in Belize were very relaxed as we dove along a wall. If you end up with the same operation we went with, Hugh Parkey's, you'll be in a group with a dive master so you won't be on your own. Just tell them your experience and they should watch out you.

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My husband and I are frequent cruisers and prefer to go to shore and negotiate with the local vendors on our own. We had grand plans to scuba in Belize because we heard how awesome it was. Since the people with excursions get to tender in first, by the time you are able to get to the port and hire a local vendor it is too late...there isn't enough time to scuba. So definitely book your scuba excursion through the ship in this port. As far as Cozumel goes...the scuba is not very good there...big disappointment!

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We are new to both scuba and cruising. I've reviewed this forum extensively and had a lot of questions answered. What a great resource. For our upcoming cruise...I've booked a scuba excursion for our first port (Roatan), but as new divers (certified only 6 months ago), I'm hesitant to book the next day in Belize in case we don't have a good experience or are overwhelmed, etc. Based on the postings, if we do dive in Belize, I'd like to book a ship excursion. Is it possible to wait until the night before to decide? Is there an advance notice requirement? Do the dive excursions often fill?

 

Cozumel is next and I am thinking we might play that one by ear and work independently with a dive shop.

 

Thanks very much for any advice.

KTinPDX

2nd Open Water Dive

4th Cruise

 

My 2 cents.... Book the dive in Belize. Think of Roatan as a check out dive, Belize is that nice. Belize is calm water, 80 degrees with unlimited vis. Don't miss out on Belize (I'd even skip the nightly martini to pay for a dive there). For back-to-back dive days just get lots of rest, eat light meals, drink lots of water to rehydrate and go to bed at a decent hour.

 

Randall

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KTinPDX,

What ship and what date are you cruising? As you get later into the spring and summer, there is also the issue of the cruise dives selling out. I've been on cruises before (mostly in the summer) where all of the scuba dives offered by the ship were sold out before sailing. And this itinerary is very popular with divers, all ports are very good for diving (my wife and I are booked on the Carnival Legend same stops on April 12th).

 

As for getting overwhelmed, most cruise tours are very toned down and regulated for safety. Just do as scubaran says, don't drink to much alcohol and stay relaxed. Are you renting all of the equipment?

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Thanks for all the advice. We'll be on the Norwegian Pearl in March. We have our own masks/snorkels, shorties and boots, but will be renting the rest.

 

We've snorkeled in the Bay Islands and in Belize, but haven't been there since being certified. Would hate to miss out on the world class diving, but also hated to commit (and pay) if we felt in over our head after the first dive. But you've convinced us (and convinced us to join our dive shop's class pool dive this week as a refresher).

 

Thanks so much --

KTinPDX

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Howdy;

 

Cozumel, we normally book with a local. We have used Sand Dollar sports there when doing an all inclusive there with good luck, we have also used them when on the ship. They are normally half the price of the ships cost. Surprised to hear that someone didn't like the diving in Cozumel, it has always been GREAT for us there. Guess it depends on where you dive and what you do, as well as if you have been there right after a hurricane. Palincar Caves is not to be missed...

 

Good luck and have a GREAT time. You've recieved a lot of other great hints so far.

 

regards

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Thanks for all the advice. We'll be on the Norwegian Pearl in March. We have our own masks/snorkels, shorties and boots, but will be renting the rest.

 

We've snorkeled in the Bay Islands and in Belize, but haven't been there since being certified. Would hate to miss out on the world class diving, but also hated to commit (and pay) if we felt in over our head after the first dive. But you've convinced us (and convinced us to join our dive shop's class pool dive this week as a refresher).

 

Thanks so much --

KTinPDX

 

Which week are you going to be on the Pearl?

 

If it is the week of the 22nd, we have several divers on the cruise. If we get enough, we might be able to get a smaller dive boat all to ourselves in Roatan and Coz.

 

Dive Safely

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Thanks for all the advice. We'll be on the Norwegian Pearl in March. We have our own masks/snorkels, shorties and boots, but will be renting the rest.

 

We've snorkeled in the Bay Islands and in Belize, but haven't been there since being certified. Would hate to miss out on the world class diving, but also hated to commit (and pay) if we felt in over our head after the first dive. But you've convinced us (and convinced us to join our dive shop's class pool dive this week as a refresher).

 

Thanks so much --

KTinPDX

We have done those ports back to back several times. They were all great low stress dives. Roatan probably had the best reefs. Belize was the most expensive -as much as three times as much- compared to Coz because there are very dive ops. In Coz, we have walked into the dive op with no reservations and got to dive. We have used Dive Paridise and Papa Hogs and would use them again. There are many good ops in Coz though. We usually dive with the same group from the ship all week, including some of the staff. You should have not problems booking Belize on the ship in march.

Get wet and have fun!!

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