Avoiding "Cruise Ship" Locations

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DreadnoughtNH

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I'm sure to catch some flak and be labeled, but since that has never bothered me before here goes:

I try to get along with everyone when I am on a dive vacation. I'm the guy that carries tanks for older divers, volunteers to take the novice diver around the wreck when the rest of the group wants to penetrate, points out interesting species to camera divers for photos, and will buy you a strong cocktail to celebrate your century dives. I like people and I firmly believe that people should be allowed to be themselves and cut loose when on their vacation.

That being said, my cherublike patience and temper are put to test by 'Muricans. I believe you know the type I am referring to, but for the sake of this post let us define them as "cruise ship people" and similar residents of the USA.

In my personal experience, these folks bring with them an entitled attitude that I am sure is fostered by a cruise ship that caters to their every need. They are frequently late for the first boat, in a hurry to get back to the dock for their shuttle bus back to the ship, loud, obnoxious, impolite to dive staff and restaurant staff, drunk, and beneath the water's surface they are out of control (again, my observations, your results may vary).

I've also observed that the locations that cater to muricans tend to have a certain feel that I just do not like (everything and anything is for sale, tasteless food designed not offend middle-American palates, hawkers everywhere, loud music, etc.). I've also found the diving at these locations is also poor (probably due to overdiving and resort divers destroying reefs).

Examples of 'questionable' Carib locations: Cozumel, Cancun, Jamaica, St. Maarten (Dutch side), St. Thomas, Aruba, Florida, Nassau

Examples of Carib locations that seem to offer a higher quality product: Roatan, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, St. Martin (French side)

I recognize that the Caribbean is the 'backyard pool' of the United States due its proximity, and I'm not asking for a debate on American behavior or my 'snobby' (my word) preferences. I am only asking what dive locations in the Caribbean/Central-South America have SB posters found less frequented by Americans? Alternatively, where in the same area do European SB posters travel for diving?

Thanks and happy diving!

D.
 

rick00001967

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i agree with a lot of what you said. but it does not just apply to the u.s. i find many people (certainly not all) have these attitudes. and when they are on vacation, it can bring out the worst traits.

i obviously leave out all canadians because as we all know, all canadians are perfect. :)
 
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DreadnoughtNH

DreadnoughtNH

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i agree with a lot of what you said. but it does not just apply to the u.s. i find many people (certainly not all) have these attitudes. and when they are on vacation, it can bring out the worst traits.

i obviously leave out all canadians because as we all know, all canadians are perfect. :)

Canadians are indeed perfect. When traveling internationally in recent years, it has been easier to tell people that I am a Canadian and avoid a long discussion about the previous CiC.

I would disagree about many people having these attitude, particularly when vacationing in the Caribbean region, but that flame war is for a different forum! :wink:
 

mcohen1021

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personally, i think you need to be more selective in picking your dive op. I rarely encounter people like that. Bigger boats = more people. More people = more potential for things to go wrong. Bigger ops = they have bigger overhead and they need to pack the boat to make money.

My suggestion is that you pick an op with less than 8 divers to a boat. Its ok to interview the operator when doing your research. And if all else fails, you can either charter your own boat, or take a grop with you that will give you your own boat... You could always stay by the pool if all that fails :wink:
 

Lorenzoid

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. . .

I recognize that the Caribbean is the 'backyard pool' of the United States due its proximity, and I'm not asking for a debate on American behavior or my 'snobby' (my word) preferences. I am only asking what dive locations in the Caribbean/Central-South America have SB posters found less frequented by Americans? Alternatively, where in the same area do European SB posters travel for diving?

Rather than avoid certain locations, I prefer to seek out the dive ops in those locations that do NOT cater to cruise ships. There are usually some. That doesn't mean a cruise shipper won't choose that dive op, but if they do, they are more likely to be the kind of person who arranges their own shore time and is otherwise more conscientious than those who book shore excursions through the cruise line.

There are certainly places to dive that don't do cruise ships or package tourism, but I'm not convinced the diving is THAT good that it's worth traveling there more than once. I liked diving Coiba Island in Panama, for example, but I'm not sure I'd go again. The Corn Islands of Nicaragua have been said to be good, and I'm guessing the off-the-package-tourism-path experience would be similar. In another thread recently someone mentioned that while Guanaja is often spoken about in diving circles as the unspoiled jewel of the Bay Islands of Honduras, surprisingly few people bother to dive there. I'm sure it's good, but is it good enough to be worth the effort?
 
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DreadnoughtNH

DreadnoughtNH

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personally, i think you need to be more selective in picking your dive op. I rarely encounter people like that. Bigger boats = more people. More people = more potential for things to go wrong. Bigger ops = they have bigger overhead and they need to pack the boat to make money.

My suggestion is that you pick an op with less than 8 divers to a boat. Its ok to interview the operator when doing your research. And if all else fails, you can either charter your own boat, or take a grop with you that will give you your own boat... You could always stay by the pool if all that fails :wink:
I think you are onto something with the smaller boats. Some of the best Caribbean diving I've experienced has been off the side of a panga boat or zodiac.
 
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DreadnoughtNH

DreadnoughtNH

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Rather than avoid certain locations, I prefer to seek out the dive ops in those locations that do NOT cater to cruise ships. There are usually some. That doesn't mean a cruise shipper won't choose that dive op, but if they do, they are more likely to be the kind of person who arranges their own shore time and is otherwise more conscientious than those who book shore excursions through the cruise line.

There are certainly places to dive that don't do cruise ships or package tourism, but I'm not convinced the diving is THAT good that it's worth traveling there more than once. I liked diving Coiba Island in Panama, for example, but I'm not sure I'd go again. The Corn Islands of Nicaragua have been said to be good, and I'm guessing the off-the-package-tourism-path experience would be similar. In another thread recently someone mentioned that while Guanaja is often spoken about in diving circles as the unspoiled jewel of the Bay Islands of Honduras, surprisingly few people bother to dive there. I'm sure it's good, but is it good enough to be worth the effort?

I've heard similar about Corn Islands. I'm reaching the point in my life where I'm willing to put in a bit more effort to get to a certain location if that gets me away from my countrymen, so Guanaja may be a good choice! I've noticed that when I find a more remote location, the number muricans diminishes dramatically. :)
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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I don't blame the OP. I avoid British hotspots in Greece. Cheap charter flights bring a different class of people than those that came in the 1980s. Sure most are just fine, but the blokes...
 

Lorenzoid

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And how about we refer to those people as "entitled folks" or "package tourists" or something other than 'muricans? I believe the people you have in mind constitute a small minority of Americans.
 
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