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Christmas/New Years vacation help

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by Aviyes, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Aviyes

    Aviyes Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    Really struggling to find/decide on a vacation for Christmas or new years week. Friends and family have been no help for bouncing ideas off of. Hope the Scubaboard family can help provide some advice or additional ideas.

    I will be traveling solo, mid-30s male, flying out of Salt Lake City, UT. As mentioned looking for ~7 days between Christmas week and New Years week 21 Dec - 4 Jan, with some flexibility even to taking 14-21 Dec for better rates-looking at you Hawaii.

    What I have looked at so far:
    Roatan: Cocoview (single supplement :( ) and AKR (Flights are expensive ~$1600); Roatan Aggressor (14-21Dec) (same deal with flights, at least its a 25% off week for Aggressor.)

    Hawaii: Kona Aggressor (no male bunks available); land-based (Could swing as early as 14 Dec for better rates) - I barely know where to start, as I have only stayed at resorts in Ka'anapali area on Maui with family and only did a DSD. Struggling to figure where to stay for good access to dive trips and have amenities for just relaxing by the pool and meeting others.

    Cruises: Looked at NCL(Studios for no single supplements) for some 7-day options out of Florida. Never been on a cruise and unsure if I would enjoy it or not.

    Activities: Scuba of course. Other water activities and maybe some land excursions(not required). Time to relax as well.

    Budget: ~$4000 w/ airfare (not including incidentals).

    Where I have been diving:
    2019: Grand Cayman (Cobalt Coast)(LDS trip) and T&C EX2.
    2018: T&C EX2
    2017: Bonaire (LDS trip) and Belize BAIV

    Feel free to ask any questions that may help.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

    Are you talking about Christmas New year 2019? It might be hard to find anything in GC. It has always been booked out about a year in advance and particularly so this past couple of years with so many other island destinations not up and running yet as a result of catastrophic hurricanes.
  3. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
    AKR is great, but the day I return to roatan, it will be aggressor so i can also hit utila. This is my pick to spend your money for you.

    Take a look at the route map, it looks awesome
  4. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    No beach on the Aggressor's. Bet they're mostly booked for Xmas weekby now.

    You're ging the highest part of high season so I'd book soon.

    Any of he hotels/resorts on GC 's Seven Mile Beach have at least a dozen operators that will pick you up. But you will PAY to stay there over the holidays. Even the less expensive "Suites" properties are probably $4-500 per might and have no beach but you can walk to one.Sunset House has none but sometimes offers no supplement rates. Cobalt Coast has a neh beach and is a drive to anything.

    Are you married to an AI? Cocoview has NO beach or pool, calling what exists on Anthony's Key is charitably called a beach.

    The nice beach on Roatan is West Bay, there;s also more than 1/2 dozen dive operators. 2 miles east in the West End is most of the nightlife.We stayed there a week with no car, my total cab expense for the week was $35 - that included 2 trips to the south side.

    Where are you seeing $1600 flights - should be closer to $1200?

    Once you get there Roatan is pretty cheap. We stayed ib the West End (not as nice a beach and usually across the street) Food is everything from street food trucks to nice dining. I don't think I ever paid over $25 for dinner, including steaks and beers.Boat dives are probably 10/S350-400 now
    If you stay in the West End, the Loud bars are mostly near the water taxi dock - some front the resorts.

    Even with the high flights Roatan is likely the cheapest place you mentioned - just not the AI resorts. We were at AKR one night - it was pretty dead. 10 mins by cab to the West End for anything open past 9PM.
  5. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NYC
    I recommend going somewhere less expensive and taking me with you.

    I am a world-class conversationalist, have the useless informational data base of C3PO, do laundry and cook. I make a pretty good dive buddy, too. Rescue diver certified. I'm not very attractive but that is made up for my relentless enthusiasm.

    Brian Huff and caydiver like this.
  6. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    I just got an email from the Clearly Cayman Resorts advertising their holiday travel specials at Little Cayman Beach Resort, Cobalt Coast, and Cayman Brac Beach Resort, see the link below, so they may still have some availability that week.

    Free Diving - Our Holiday Gift to You
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  7. arew+4

    arew+4 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pa
    If your dates are flexible, look at 9-12 day trips, the airfare doing mid week flights can be considerably cheaper. It can offset some or all of the extra lodging cost. With a family of five, it's sometimes cheaper to do a ten day trip than a seven day.
  8. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    For half your budget I'd consider the Grand Occidental on COZ...or even better a place in town for a 3rd your budget...with diving.
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  9. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    14-22nd at the Grand is considerably cheaper than the next week...I'll be there on the 14th-22nd....I also have a friend flying in from utah that day...
  10. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    I was also going to suggest Cozumel- particularly if traveling solo. Easy for you to get to from Salt Lake. You could stay at the Grand Occidental as @flyboy08 suggests or one of the downtown hotels. My favorite is the Suites Colonial- Suites Colonial Cozumel
    For the 14th to the 21st, they have availability in either a normal room for $46 a night or an upgraded suite with kitchenette for $49.39 a night. These rates include free buffet breakfast at sister hotel Casa Mexicana. If you want to go with your Xmas/New Years dates, the still have availability (very rare for those dates)- That is peak season, so the rates go up, but you can still get the Suite with Kitchenette for $70 a night.
    Also, based on the latest intel, the southern reefs which will be closed off temporarily, will be reopened for either of your date choices.

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