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View Full Version : Gran Cayman in less than a month - who to dive with?



Byte Me
03-27-2010, 11:50
Going with some friends for a week in the Caymans, staying in a condo on SMB, will have rental car. Two of the five of us are divers. Going to do 3 days of 2 tanks dives on the west side and 1 day of 4 tank dives w/ Ocean Frontiers on the east side. Will also want to get to Stingray City with the whole group for a snorkel.

I was leaning toward Dive Tech for our West side dives but have read a couple things lately about their service which may have me changing my mind. I've read that Neptune is very good as well.

Things I'm most interested in are - quality bottom time, don't call the dive after 30mins for example, let me dive my own profile & 80cf tanks: DMs who aren't nose to tail trail guides but will point stuff out and give a good briefing, get us back to the boat: small groups: personal service: does the North side conditions permitting: doesn't cater to the cruisers: offers a Sting Ray City trip for the five of us: offers tanks/weights for on our own shore diving.

Any input? Thanks!

Defman
03-27-2010, 15:19
I can only speak to Dive Tech, and that was several years ago, but the rocked.

mselizann
03-28-2010, 16:34
Everyone knows I am going to recommend Don Fosters- I dive with them every year. The staff is casual- they will help with gear if you want them to, and won't if you don't want them to. They will allow you to dive your own profile with a computer. We do three 2 tank dives- prepaid is a discount, and you get free shore diving with a multiday package. If all your friends don't dive they can have the car, and Don Foster's will come pick you up. Plus- least expensive I've found on the island, consistently. have fun! They do stingray city trips too.

mselizann
03-28-2010, 16:35
Oh- and if you are a decent diver, and dive with the same divemasters more than once, they will allow you to go off a bit on your own. Or stick with them, if you prefer, to have a little guided dive.

ianr33
03-28-2010, 19:58
I've done 6 boat dive with Divetech, all technical. Also done lots of shore diving from their sites. Can not speak for recreational boat dives.
My opinion is Divetech are simply awesome.

Would also suggest doing some shore dives with Sundivers (By the Turtle Farm, Divetech used to be there) great dive site,easy access. The non divers can enjoy drinks with umbrellas while you do your thing..............

Byte Me
03-29-2010, 06:44
Everyone knows I am going to recommend Don Fosters- I dive with them every year. The staff is casual- they will help with gear if you want them to, and won't if you don't want them to. They will allow you to dive your own profile with a computer. We do three 2 tank dives- prepaid is a discount, and you get free shore diving with a multiday package. If all your friends don't dive they can have the car, and Don Foster's will come pick you up. Plus- least expensive I've found on the island, consistently. have fun! They do stingray city trips too.

Looked up Don Foster's, looks great with one exception - they have the cruise ship contracts and their boats hold 24 divers. I've seen the bigger boats in action full of resort divers and want NO part of that. I fear that here it would be far too similar to be enjoyable.

mselizann
03-29-2010, 08:24
Everyone knows I am going to recommend Don Fosters- I dive with them every year. The staff is casual- they will help with gear if you want them to, and won't if you don't want them to. They will allow you to dive your own profile with a computer. We do three 2 tank dives- prepaid is a discount, and you get free shore diving with a multiday package. If all your friends don't dive they can have the car, and Don Foster's will come pick you up. Plus- least expensive I've found on the island, consistently. have fun! They do stingray city trips too.

Looked up Don Foster's, looks great with one exception - they have the cruise ship contracts and their boats hold 24 divers. I've seen the bigger boats in action full of resort divers and want NO part of that. I fear that here it would be far too similar to be enjoyable.

oh no- they put the cruise shippers on dedicated boats- they do not mix them in with other customers

mselizann
03-29-2010, 08:26
I think we've had as many 12-14 divers on a boat, and as few as the 2 of us! That was a good day- just the two of us, and 4 DM's on their day off

Byte Me
03-30-2010, 07:01
We ended up booking 3 2 tank dives with Neptune's. Will also do an AM/PM 4 tank dive with Ocean Frontiers on the East side. We're staying pretty close to Don Foster's so hopefully we can check it out for some shore diving!

Byte Me
04-27-2010, 09:08
Just got back. What a great trip! The dives with Neptune's were very nice and we enjoyed them a lot. We would, however, be willing to give Don Foster's or Dive Tech a shot next time. Most probably Dive Tech simply because Ocean Frontier's recommended them.

Let me just say this - OCEAN FRONTIERS ROCKED! What a great experience with them!! The boats, the crew, the staff, the customer service, the safety, the briefings, everything about them was top notch. Not to mention the east side reefs are in noticeably better shape than the West side and the best I've seen in the Caribbean diving I've done. Didn't see any Rays over there but did see two Sharks. I'll post a full trip report as soon as I get a chance.

mselizann
04-28-2010, 09:36
awesome! how fun! I can't wait to go back (day after Thanksgiving!)

fire diver
06-10-2010, 11:57
OK, reviving a dead thread here....

Last trip to Grand Cayman was with cruise and I booked through Neptunes. I was very happy with them too. Now, we are planning for a week on the island and I am leaning towards Fosters. The unlimited shore diving is looking like a very nice benefit. I also like the fact that they will let you dive your computer.

Any recommendations on where to stay? Looking at the middle / west side just for conveinance.

rnhockey
06-28-2010, 13:25
We stay at Comfort Suites on 7 mile beach when we are there. They are inexpensive and have a great breakfast. Not on the beach, but easier on the wallet than any other hotel on the island. They have a pretty good in house dive operator as well. The dive staff is top-notch, but they are a little more expensive. Great group of instructors/DMs etc...

mselizann
06-29-2010, 08:24
OK, reviving a dead thread here....

Last trip to Grand Cayman was with cruise and I booked through Neptunes. I was very happy with them too. Now, we are planning for a week on the island and I am leaning towards Fosters. The unlimited shore diving is looking like a very nice benefit. I also like the fact that they will let you dive your computer.

Any recommendations on where to stay? Looking at the middle / west side just for conveinance.

when are you planning on going and how many people do you have?

fire diver
06-29-2010, 11:27
OK, reviving a dead thread here....

Last trip to Grand Cayman was with cruise and I booked through Neptunes. I was very happy with them too. Now, we are planning for a week on the island and I am leaning towards Fosters. The unlimited shore diving is looking like a very nice benefit. I also like the fact that they will let you dive your computer.

Any recommendations on where to stay? Looking at the middle / west side just for conveinance.

when are you planning on going and how many people do you have?


Sept 25 - Oct 2. There will be 3, maybe 4 of us, but I will probably be the only diver. If my daughter can get away from college (the 4th person) then she will probably be diving 1 day (short stay).

mselizann
06-29-2010, 11:59
ooo- Don Fosters has a deal right now- buy 4 -2 tanks get one free. Plus free shore diving- does your family mind if you are gone from 8 am until 4 pm? lol

I saw a couple private properties for rent if you don't like the hotel type settings- on vrbo- this one in particular.
VRBOŽ is Vacation Rentals by Owner - Remember to come back (http://www.vrbo.com/global/siteFrame.aspx?l=115559&k=2)

if you like a hotel- Comfort Suites is ok- but for a family I would guess you'd want seperate bedrooms? the 1 bedrooms are $140 a night, $259 for a 2 bedroom. It's about the same price for Sunshine Suites or the Ramada Grand Caymanian. I like our resort (Morritts) but it's way on the East End, so is the Reef Resort.

Now, I see the Sunset House is having a deal- courtyard rooms for $100 per night plus a $40 voucher for incidentals. I ran a quick quote- your dates, 3 people, 1 adult diving boats for 4 days, unlimited shore diving, everyone gets breakfast, taxi to and from the airport, rum punch and a gift for $2120.80. hmm- and $40 per night? that's not bad.

sorry- I love planning travel- lol!

fire diver
06-29-2010, 12:11
Dang it, where were you last night? LOL.

We just booked a suite (with kitchenette) for about the same price as that vacation home you linked to. Oh well, it gets like 4.6 out of 5 for customer rating. couldn't find a bad review for the place. It's on 7 mile beach over by Fosters.

As much as I would love to spend every day of our trip diving, I want to spend some time seeing the island too. Do you know if those dives could be split among a couple people?

mselizann
06-29-2010, 12:55
Dang it, where were you last night? LOL.

We just booked a suite (with kitchenette) for about the same price as that vacation home you linked to. Oh well, it gets like 4.6 out of 5 for customer rating. couldn't find a bad review for the place. It's on 7 mile beach over by Fosters.

As much as I would love to spend every day of our trip diving, I want to spend some time seeing the island too. Do you know if those dives could be split among a couple people?


I was at home drinking wine!! lol- sorry
anyways- no, you can't split the packages- but they also have an internet special.......2 -2 tanks for $170, and you'd still get the shore diving....
3-2 tanks is $225.........you can add a stingray city or a night dive for $55