Grand Cayman for unimpressed newbies?

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In Bonaire, there's also that pesky Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease and the marine park's measures to attempt to control its spread to contend with, though I understand SCTLD is all over the Caribbean. I was in Roatan recently, and learned and saw for myself how SCTLD had thoroughly destroyed certain species of coral in the last few years.
Grand Cayman, sadly, was brutalized by SCTLD in 2020-21. My sense, and I hope I'm wrong, is that Little Cayman and Cuba have the only intact hard coral systems remaining in the Caribbean.
I am hoping to take them somewhere with great, warm, and easy diving in Early December.
Doc, one possibility you did not mention is St. Croix. The reefs have been ridden hard, and the hard corals are gone. But there are easy boat dives aplenty, depending on conditions (which should be comfy by December), and the Frederiksted Pier is a first-class dive, worthy of a number of long, slow dives over a week; the island is gorgeous; and its status as an American territory means easy travel--no passports or customs.
 
The diving in Belize is nothing spectacular
For me Belize is LOB diving. You want to go out to Lighthouse reef and stay there. It’s the only diving in the Caribbean I’ve done that’s on par with LC. Though a week on the boat might be too much for your new divers (though they would be “divers” afterward), mothership diving off the BA IV is as easy physically as it gets. You don’t have to be “iron divers,” just dive the dives you want then spend the rest lounging and enjoying the big blue. The Blue Hole is pretty from the surface, but I agree it’s basically a quarry dive.

Haven’t been since 2019, but headed back with friends next spring. All IMHO, YMMV.

Good luck finding a locale that fits. Introducing new divers is a treat. 😊
 
Curacao. Network issues preventing me from uploading five site entry pictures will try later.
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For me Belize is LOB diving. You want to go out to Lighthouse reef and stay there. It’s the only diving in the Caribbean I’ve done that’s on par with LC. Though a week on the boat might be too much for your new divers (though they would be “divers” afterward), mothership diving off the BA IV is as easy physically as it gets. You don’t have to be “iron divers,” just dive the dives you want then spend the rest lounging and enjoying the big blue. The Blue Hole is pretty from the surface, but I agree it’s basically a quarry dive.

Haven’t been since 2019, but headed back with friends next spring. All IMHO, YMMV.

Good luck finding a locale that fits. Introducing new divers is a treat. 😊
My only visit to Belize was on the Belize Aggressor IV last year, it was quite a nice trip.
 
My friends are leaning towards Curacao for the self-guided diving, but I am leaning towards GC.

What's this coral disease and are the protocols a PITA?
SCTLD....and no, it's not a PITA! :) Just got back from Bonaire where they are really trying to be "strict", and it didn't affect our trip in the slightest. They simply ask that, when you can, you rinse your gear in a tub with chlorinated water and try to dive sites that are in the same category. On a boat dive, they do all the thinkning on that for you.
 
We convinced a friend and her son to try diving, so they completed PADI OW in Nassau.

As we began preparing for our first dive trip together as a group, she confided to me: "I'm not impressed. I don't get this 'diving" thing." To be sure, their diving to date has been pathetic; first some quarry diving and then OW in Nassau. Pretty lame, and not very pretty.
And it needs to be easy entry/exit for at least some older folks with knee issues, IIRC, plus you hate Cayman Airways and aren't convinced they're ready for drift diving in Cozumel. A big question is what would impress them.

In the Caribbean region, I was impressed with the coral reefs of Roatan (lush reef, but not as fish/big fishy as some alternatives; was based out of CocoView Resort), Little Cayman (it's my understanding Cayman Brac is similar albeit a bit deeper) and the outer atolls out of Belize via liveaboard. Belize rocked my trip, but in Little Cayman (via liveaboard) some of the wildlife came in closer, and we could literally touch a sizable Nassau grouper, so in terms of impressing newbies, Little Cayman might get the nod. I did some dives at Grand Cayman, not not enough to give a good run down on it.

But some people want 'big animals.' Then we're talking about the Goliath grouper aggregation out of Jupiter, Florida. If they're new to diving, I probably wouldn't push shark feed diving (oh, that can get interesting!). They may see some reef sharks. Or you could go in winter (you mentioned the December time frame) hoping to hit the lemon shark aggregation, and I suspect you may see some Goliath grouper incidentally, too. Jupiter is not a location for lush reefs with the underwater flower garden look, but it rocks in a different way.

At some point if you take a future trip a different time of year and want sizable sharks without shark feeding, the sand tiger sharks on the deep offshore wrecks out of Morehead City, North Carolina are worth a visit. That's deep diving with nitrox, fairly short dives, and also not a lush reef/underwater flower garden experience, but if you like big sharks and you cannot lie...

For some people, caves are interesting (but the thought scares me). Some people love nudibranchs and other macro photography subjects (but I doubt newbies have buoyancy nailed down for that). Some like historic wrecks. Back in 2013 I enjoyed Key Largo as a variety destination with a good mix of variously sized life, shallow and deep diving, reef and wrecks.

One thing that might be a swing vote - 'dive concierge' service (or lack thereof). IIRC, others reported at Little Cayman Beach Resort they do it for you. In my experiences in Jupiter and Morehead City, that was not the case...both areas catered to a substantial local (and more advanced) clientele (California was like this, too).

It's always possible diving just won't be somebody's thing. I love that Calvin & Hobbes comic strip where they're huddled in a tent, Calvin a suburban kid to the bone and his Dad the only camping-lover in the family, and outside in a downpour his Dad yells "Hey, Calvin! You want to learn to gut a fish?"
 
Grand Cayman is great for new / uncertified divers. There are plenty of dive sites both from shore and from the boat that are shallow, full of life and usually great water conditions. We are a dive shop located in Grand Cayman and dive these sites regularly with new and uncertified divers.
 
Grand Cayman is great for new / uncertified divers. There are plenty of dive sites both from shore and from the boat that are shallow, full of life and usually great water conditions. We are a dive shop located in Grand Cayman and dive these sites regularly with new and uncertified divers.
I second this! We dove with Divetech back in June. The diving in GC is easy and Divetech made it fun! Had a great time!

BTW, Divetech, if you're reading this....say hello to Raggy, Dan, Kelly, Bret, Ian and Jo for us! :)
 
Diving isn't for everyone. They may end up unimpressed regardless.
I don't encorage people to dive. If they seem enthusiastic, that's great and I will help them out in any way I can. Otherwise, there are enough divers in the water already and I have plenty of buddies.
 
My wife and I have been diving all around the world for 20 years. We convinced a friend and her son to try diving, so they completed PADI OW in Nassau.

As we began preparing for our first dive trip together as a group, she confided to me: "I'm not impressed. I don't get this 'diving" thing." To be sure, their diving to date has been pathetic; first some quarry diving and then OW in Nassau. Pretty lame, and not very pretty.

So I am hoping to take them somewhere with great, warm, and easy diving in Early December. We want somewhere that's easy for travel, too. Our friend is older (50s) and not athletic, so we need to be gentle with her.

Little Cayman would be magnificent, but I've been there three times and I HATE CAYMAN AIRWAYS.

I'd love to take them to Coz but I think they'd be in over their heads for their first trip.

We haven't been to Grand Cayman yet. Is that a good choice?

If Grand Cayman is a good choice, which side of the island would be great for newbies?

Thank you

Caribbean destinations we have already visited
Cozumel
Tulum
Roatan
Belize
Little Cayman
Providenciales & Grand Turk
Bonaire
Andros & Nassau
East end of Grand Cayman. Compass Point and dive with Ocean Frontiers (just back after a repeat visit).
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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