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View Full Version : Quickie Carribean Options?



dulinor
10-10-2007, 14:09
So, here's the situation.

Got a trip coming up in December (Cozumel) with a group. My gf and I haven't been out since Roatan last year (which was amazing.) She's in the process of getting her next set of gear (BCD & reg.) Ideally we'd like to shake some rust off and get used to the new stuff on a low-stress weekend somewhere. Don't have a lot of extra days - could do a three day weekend maybe four. We're in Atlanta, so the Carribean is close. Definitely last minute - would want end of October or early November.

Was thinking of the Caymans, or maybe the Keys. Someplace relatively easy to get out and back. I've been to the Caymans a few times before I started diving and I worry that there's so much else to do there, or we could get unlucky with a cruise ship.

I know it's kind of open-ended, but hey, maybe someone else has just done a "drop-everything-and-dive" sprint recently...

diversteve
10-10-2007, 14:39
See if you can make this work. Especially through Ft. Lauderdale. They've got some $8 - yes EIGHT - dollar fares to the Caribbean from there.

http://www.spiritair.com/welcome.aspx?pg=salesinformation&number=414

SYOTABUCS
10-10-2007, 14:48
We have done a couple of long weekends in Key Largo. Driving down. First time we Left on Thursday evening. Get to KL about 6 AM. Grab a nap and dive Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning. Shower and head back north.

Next trip we opted to get up Sunday and head on back.

If you have 4 days even better. Dive Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Hit Key West Saturday evening. Dive Sunday afternoon after you sleep in on Sunday morning. Drive back Monday.

Check with Silent World. They have a great priced 3 and 5 trip package and can help you find rooms.


My 2 cents

dulinor
10-10-2007, 14:52
Yeah the drive is tempting, but also scary. Anything reasonable further north on Florida?

SYOTABUCS
10-10-2007, 15:26
If you are just wanting to get wet and just try out some gear. How bout the pan handle of Fla. There is some diving there although we have not tried it yet.

mike_s
10-10-2007, 15:40
From Atlanta, flights are easy to some of the Caribbean islands.

You can fly direct to Aruba and stay great and eat great. Diving is good too, but it's not bonaire.

The Bahamas waters are still warm into November.

Caymans are always nice and close.

St Thomas is a direct flight (although not my favorite island).

The Keys offer great diving, but by the time you fly to MIA or FFL and rent a car for 4-5 days, you can almost spend that extra money on any flight to a caribbean island where you don't need a rental car. However the Keys the food is cheaper than caribbean island food, no hassles with customs, your still have US cell phone coverage to keep in touch,etc.

North Florida? Check out Destin or Panama city. The water will be slightly cooler than summer, but not cold yet by any means.

I was in Destin 2 weeks ago and water temps were in the upper 70's or low 80's. It's not crowded this time of year either.

Only bad thing about these two areas is that sometimes the dive boat captains only seem to want to run to the closest wrecks to the port. So ask where you'll be diving. Not that the Black Bart (wreck) in Panama city is not a good dive, but you shouldn't be stuck diving it EVERY trip.

Destin and Panama city will be in the 5-6 hour drive range from ATL, depending on what part of ATL you're in.

Damselfish
10-10-2007, 22:53
I wouldn't worry about cruise ships in Cayman - as long as you're not downtown then or diving with whatever op does cruise ships now, they don't really make a difference.

lmorin
10-12-2007, 19:50
We go to Key Largo from Long Island for long weekends via Southwest Airlines into Fort Lauderdale. The last time (late September), the cost was under $300 round trip for two people. Flights take us direct to Fort Lauderdale. It is 90 min from the airport to Key Largo. Quite convenient.

caroln
10-15-2007, 12:07
We go to Key Largo from Long Island for long weekends via Southwest Airlines into Fort Lauderdale. The last time (late September), the cost was under $300 round trip for two people. Flights take us direct to Fort Lauderdale. It is 90 min from the airport to Key Largo. Quite convenient.

Which airport do you fly down from? This is a great deal, and I'd love to do this a couple of times over the winter.

loudgonzo
10-15-2007, 12:58
We go to Key Largo from Long Island for long weekends via Southwest Airlines into Fort Lauderdale. The last time (late September), the cost was under $300 round trip for two people. Flights take us direct to Fort Lauderdale. It is 90 min from the airport to Key Largo. Quite convenient.

Which airport do you fly down from? This is a great deal, and I'd love to do this a couple of times over the winter.

The 8 dollar fares diversteve linked to are from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport bahamas. Not a bad deal, it comes out to about $135 after taxes and all. This would be another option.

caroln
10-15-2007, 14:17
The 8 dollar fares diversteve linked to are from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport bahamas. Not a bad deal, it comes out to about $135 after taxes and all. This would be another option.

That is a great deal from Fort Lauderdale. The fares from Long Island to Fort Lauderdale for under 300 for 2 people are really great though. I just paid almost 300 for one ticket from NY-Fort Lauderdale. I must be doing something wrong searching for cheap air from here.

grslar
10-20-2007, 22:46
If you can get to Aruba, spend the money to go to Bonaire. There are commuter flights, as well as American Eagle to San Juan. The diving is very easy and is shore diving, so you could figure out your new equipment in a spectacular location.

bversteegh
10-23-2007, 00:03
check out Curacao. They have direct flights on Delta, and Curacao has Bonaire-like shore diving, also a lot more to do topside than Bonaire (I think the diving is a little better in Bonaire, but it is harder/more expensive to get to than Curacao)