Assume that your desire is to do scuba diving; however, your significant other is not a diver and would rather do other activities like shopping. If you choose to take a Caribbean cruise trip, is it still feasible to go scuba diving? The answer is: of course. This will be a significant relief to all qualified scuba divers going on a cruise with plans to visit excellent diving locations such as Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Besides, it would undoubtedly be a shame to see these ports and not dive.
Book a scuba diving trip through the cruise ship
Many cruise ships use scuba diving as part of their available shore excursion trips. Some ships even have small dive board centres for those wishing to take introductory lessons in the ship swimming pools. These cruise lines will typically have business contract agreements with local dive operators at each port. These regional operators will certainly take qualified divers on watercraft journeys to support the cruise ship lines.
The cruise ship lines assert that if the scuba diving trips run late, the cruise liner will not leave port until all travellers are back aboard. They won’t linger for travellers that choose to take their own adventures, not scheduled through the cruise ship agreements. This is how the cruise ships attempt to convince divers to book their trips if the price is higher than just what regional drivers would usually bill directly.
How about the equipment?
It is essential to remember that the diving gear, tanks and other diving essentials remain on board the scuba diving vessel. Therefore, the cruisers do not need to bring their equipment like a mask, fins, snorkel, regulator, boots, wetsuit.
Most scuba diving locations will readily have this equipment for rent if a diver does not own these tools. But, of course, it is always best to use your own dive gear whenever possible as you are more accustomed to its proper function and fit.
Book directly with a local scuba diving operator
Another method to go for some diving while on a cruise ship vacation is to arrange and book in advance with regional dive operators at each port you want to dive at. Ensure you prepare your own dive trips to be back on the ship well ahead of port departure. Usually, suppose your cruise liner comes to port early in the morning. In that case, you might schedule the morning dive trips with the local operator and still have the rest of the afternoon to do some shopping or other things.
Some regional dive trainers have pick up and drop-off services to and from the cruise ship terminals to their dive shops. These specific trainers would undoubtedly be perfect if you could find them before your cruise getaway vacation.
Or else, you may need to take a local taxi to the dive shop if it is not within walking range of the cruise liner terminal. Indeed, this is usually not a problem either. Even with the included price of taxis, the general expense of opting for a local dive could still be below the cruise liner arranged dive excursion.
Be careful when opting for last-minute deals
Some cruise ship passengers have successfully hopped on regional dive trips without prior booking. These scuba divers simply approach a local dive operator when at the port. Although this is possible, it is not encouraged, particularly in a destination where several dive trips fill up quickly. However, arranging with one of the many regional dive trainers before your cruise ships off is relatively simple. First, let them know which day your cruise ship will be leaving and the expected arrival and departure time. In addition, some ports like Cozumel have many cruise liner terminals, so it’s essential to let them know which one your ship will be docked in.
No matter how you book your diving experience, there are some things you should be aware of.
- Above all else, remember to bring your scuba diving certification card and a logbook. Travelling to each scuba diving location might mean going through security checkpoints. It would certainly help if you could show some form of certification.
- In addition, most regional diving operators would like certified divers to have a minimum number of logged dives. This is for safety purposes.
- If you’re bringing your own equipment, make sure that everything is in good working order before the trip. You don’t want any surprises while you’re diving.
- Remember to get travel insurance that covers scuba diving. Many don’t realise that diving is usually not included in standard travel insurance plans.
While on a cruise ship vacation, scuba diving can be a great way to explore the underwater world. It is important to remember to try booking in advance, bring your diving certification and get proper travel insurance. By following these tips, you can ensure that your diving experience is safe and enjoyable.