W. Carib. Diving Recommendations


S. Drechsler

My husband is interested in scuba diving while on our cruise in November to the Western Caribbean. He has been on a resort dive in Hawaii and in Aruba, but is not certified. Which port in your expert opinions has the best diving - Jamaica, Grand Cayman, or Cozumel? Also, recommendations on dive shops to use would be helpful. Thanks.


Definitely would not recommend Jamaica for scuba, especially with your other two stops. Either Grand Cayman or Cozumel are absolutely fantastic with some of the best diving to be found.

In Grand Cayman, I'd first check out if the ship offers Discover Scuba (the resort course) through the ship. Because of tenders and such, it's much easier to coordinate. If the ship doesn't, then the easiest option is Eden Rock, which is about a block from the tender docks. They offer instruction and shore dives. <http://www.edenrockdive.com>

I can also recommend Bob Sotos <http://bobsotosdiving.com.ky/> or Don Fosters <http://www.donfosters.com/> Both of these are also generally able to accommodate cruise ship schedules for a Discover Dive course and diving. Other options exist such as Red Sail Sports, but I think the 4 options listed above are the easiest to coordinate. Definitely set up whichever you decide before you leave.

Cozumel is definitely easier to arrange since you dock instead of tender. Again, the ship's excursion isn't a bad option. In addition, I highly recommend Dive Paradise <http://www.diveparadise.com>. Sand Dollar Sports also does a lot of work with cruise ships (they are Princess' vendor, and may be other lines' as well) and I believe they will even pick you up from the dock <http://www.sanddollarsports.com>. Finally, especially for a Discover Scuba, I've been given high recommendation for Eagle Ray Divers, especially for a personal experience and cruise passenger accommodations. <www.eagleraydivers.com>.

Feel free to ask any other questions you may have! There are lots of other options, but I have mentioned the ones I feel are easiest, or with whom I have personal experience or about whom I have received specific recommendation.


By far the best operator in my opinion is Off the Wall Divers. Its a small operation run by Danny (an American, thirty something) who has been in Cayman for ages. He knows the best Wall and wreck sites around plus he's just a great host. Small boat and small groups. Once he just took out three of us, talk about personalized treatment!!!

Off The Wall Divers in Grand Cayman


No time left to get certified. He is better off doing the Discover Scuba trips offered by the ships. He should also check on the ship for a discover scuba in the pool. Princess offers this as does Royal. If you are going on Princess, they offer a program where they certify you on the cruise. You do book work at home and then once on board, you do the pool exercises, then you open water dives are under the supervision of the dive master on the ship.


Depending on where you live, there is plenty of time to get certified by November. A lot of dive shops can do it in 2 weekends.