dive vacation recommendation

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ak1

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Hi everyone, planning a dive trip with my son in May / June of this year. Started of with liveaboard but since my son gets sea sick I think we want a land destination. We have been doing it for a couple of years now and dove US Northeast (NJ) mostly wreck diving, FL key west, Great Barrier Riff, and Cozumel in Mexico. Will be flying out of EWR, probably want to limit it to about one week. Maybe a couple of shark dives, or large animals? We haven't done this before so I welcome any suggestions. COVID restrictions I am sure will not make this easy this year.

Thank you.
 

rick00001967

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wow. you guys are lucky to be able to do that together. tons of options of course. may depend a lot on budget and whether you want to be able to do your own shore diving. but in the caribbean you could do roatan, utila, the caymans, bonaire, curacao, st maarten / saba etc etc
 

ak1

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yes, i am pretty fortunate to have my own dive body. i am hoping to have a package where we would be taken by a boat to a different dive destination every day and then returned back by the end of the day. will look at the recommendation above

thx
 

Ministryofgiraffes

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Newark to Cairo and then on to hurghadha to stay at the breakers could be an option, last i checked they are flexi on entry... or belize, but i would probably go back to Coz over Ambergris..although there are lots of nursesharks off ambergris.. non liveaboard limits the pelagics a little...
 

ak1

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The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge looks beautiful. I would have to schedule our dives separately, correct? I see there are some diving centers around based on google.
 

ak1

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This being our first trip, I think we will go to Belize for a week. PADI web site lists the following dive resorts: Ramon's Village Resort, The Placencia, Hopkins Bay Resort, Thatch Caye Resort, Blackbird Caye Resort, Steve and Becky's Cute Little Hotel, Isla Marisol Resort, Belize Dive Haven. Some have dive centers on site, some have meals included, some have packages that include 3-4 dives per day, etc. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I wasn't planning to rent a car so i guess having meals included would be a plus? Thank you.
 

Ministryofgiraffes

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This being our first trip, I think we will go to Belize for a week. PADI web site lists the following dive resorts: Ramon's Village Resort, The Placencia, Hopkins Bay Resort, Thatch Caye Resort, Blackbird Caye Resort, Steve and Becky's Cute Little Hotel, Isla Marisol Resort, Belize Dive Haven. Some have dive centers on site, some have meals included, some have packages that include 3-4 dives per day, etc. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I wasn't planning to rent a car so i guess having meals included would be a plus? Thank you.

no, they have one of the best dive ops in the sini peninsula onsite. Orca Dive club. It's arguably some of the best resort shorediving in the world.
 

Ministryofgiraffes

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This being our first trip, I think we will go to Belize for a week. PADI web site lists the following dive resorts: Ramon's Village Resort, The Placencia, Hopkins Bay Resort, Thatch Caye Resort, Blackbird Caye Resort, Steve and Becky's Cute Little Hotel, Isla Marisol Resort, Belize Dive Haven. Some have dive centers on site, some have meals included, some have packages that include 3-4 dives per day, etc. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I wasn't planning to rent a car so i guess having meals included would be a plus? Thank you.

all depends on whether you want to go to placencia or ambergris caye. as its your first trip, i would do ambergris. You can't rent a car on ambergris, only golf carts for the island, but that's part of the reason it's great. Ramon's is a great little tiki resort and is a perfect location, but all dive operators will come and collect you from your resort jetty and drop you off after diving every day. Ramon's has some of the bigger boats on the island which are great for daytrips out to the blue hole and turneffe atoll, but i always stay at belizian cove estates and dive with the guys from Belize Pro Dive, they have become friends over the years and we always take schoolbooks for their kids etc. But most all of the operations are good. Sunbreeze is also a decent resort, although not as nice as ramons, but it is about 10 meters away fromt he airport so you walk out of one door and into the other. I would say you definitely want to be in town if you are at a resort, south of the bridge. It's nice to have a golfcart so you can barcrawl along all of the beach bars on an evening or go and watch the sunset at stellas or the truckstop.
 

ak1

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no, they have one of the best dive ops in the sini peninsula onsite. Orca Dive club. It's arguably some of the best resort shorediving in the world.
I am a bit concerned about safety in Egypt, plus travel is so much longer as compared to Belize...
 

Ministryofgiraffes

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I am a bit concerned about safety and Egypt, plus travel is so much longer as compared to Belize...

Nah, to be honest Belize city is way more dangerous than Egypt and i've heard of more people getting robbed/attacked in belize than Egypt.,..although it's very rare in both places. I've never felt unsafe in Ambergris Caye, but i also haven't walked around in town at 1:00am clearly drunk and looking to be robbed. I wouldnt go out of the hotel at night in belize city though. For starters the Breakers is in Soma bay which is a protected/guarded community and you have to go through checkpoints to get to the resorts and also if the weirdos are going to get feisty, they usually go for maximum carnage, and that isn't really to be had at small dive resorts...the large non diving resorts around the harbors would be much more of a target. I go to Egypt a lot to dive, by i never really mooch around any town centers etc,

but i'll also happily drive around in my golfcart with my kids at night on ambergris caye. I've never seen any hassle, but i also don;t go to dodgy bars in the wee hours wearing a rolex :)

but yes on the travel, the timezone can be a killer too. i usually go for at least 2+ weeks wehn i go to egypt and fly business class for the photo equipment, but get the flatbed for the 11 hour flight from toronto. Belize is the better option for you i think.

and just to clarify, you wont be staying anywhere near belize city. You take an island hopper to ambergris caye. Tourism is very important there, so they don't let people mess about with the tourists.
 
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