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Need sugggestions

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by TheQuintessentialMan, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. TheQuintessentialMan

    TheQuintessentialMan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dallas, TX
    32
    1
    8
    Can anyone offer suggestions for dive destinations, accommodations, and other stuff for Aruba, Belize, Turks/Caicos, Nassau, and/or Grand Cayman. I'm caught up in a mixed marriage, diver & non-diver (long story but different priorities at the time) so need other interesting stuff in the area to do besides diving to take the wife to. Need a beach so she can hang out and drink tasty beverages a few days while I'm diving (shore diving and snorkeling would also be great.) My frequent flyer program offers the above destinations and I would like to capitalize on the flyer points. Any recommendations, suggestions, or what to avoid? Probably late July to early Aug. Most of my diving has been local lakes and quarries with a few blue water over the years. Hope I don't freq out with over 6' of viz... :)

    Thanks
     
  2. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    Are you thinking of all inclusive type places? What does your wife enjoy doing besides beaching and imbibing?:D

    Does she mind going out on the water for activities that aren't diving related? Is she really into shopping or fine with cruising through some local artisan booths?

    No chance she'sh take diving lessons? :wink:

    In any event, I can speak Belize fairly fluently. Let me know and I can give you some ideas.
     
  3. TheQuintessentialMan

    TheQuintessentialMan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dallas, TX
    32
    1
    8
    She is not a water person although she does enjoy beach walking. Also likes botany and tropical rain forest flora, and being female obviously she likes shopping... (there has got to be something about shopping encoded in the X chromosome.) I did get her snorkeling a few times some years ago; washing her hair in the shower is usually about as far under water she will put her head. I don't understand it either.

    I've heard good things about Belize just don't know any specifics. Quick Google shows good rain forest stuff too.

    An inclusive would be an option.

    Noticed that besides Spanish and English, German is listed as a language in Belize. How prevalent is that? My German is not that good anymore but still a lot better than my Spanish. English is listed as the National Language; is it reasonable to expect to get around just with English?
     
  4. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    Quite reasonable to get around with English. The German language mentioned is more than likely related to the Mennonites there.

    Many of the locals speaking English may still be somewhat difficult to understand due to the accent. This should not be a problem for you, anymore than it would be at any of the other Caribbean destinations.

    The money is set at an easy to calculate $2 Bze to $1 Usd. You can use USD too but will more than likely receive your change in BZE. Large USD not generally accepted.

    I asked if she enjoys going out on a boat because there are many boat related sightseeing and adventure activities including water taxis getting to and fro.

    The jungly stuff/adventures are on the mainland and can be quite expensive to access from Ambergris Caye and/or Caye Caulker.

    I don't normally recommend all inclusive on the Cayes because there are too many good yet relatively inexpensive restaurants and little beach bars to enjoy, which is all part of the fun to me.

    What's your budget like? Feel free to share that with me in a private message if you don't want to set it out here.
     
  5. TheQuintessentialMan

    TheQuintessentialMan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dallas, TX
    32
    1
    8
    Not finding a way to send you a private message.
     
  6. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    9,022
    1,541
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    Yes English is not a problem - Belize used to be British Honduras. Even the local creole is English based. There is a small Mennonite community in Belize, that is where the German speaking is, you're unlikely to run into any German speakers.

    If she's into more "local" craft etc type shopping Ambergris Caye might work. Not necessarily the best diving in Belize, but the reefs aren't far and it would work for the umbrella drinks on the beach. There is a lot of interesting topside stuff inland Belize - ruins, zoo, botanic gardens, caves, zip lines, jungle hikes and sights, and also water stuff like canoeing/tubing - but not so easy to do from Ambergris. From southern Belize towns like Placencia or Hopkins you can do both, but not really the same day. It's a longer boat ride to the diving, and a longer haul to the land tours (as compared to just staying further west closer to where most of those things are. But if you're only diving some days, and doing stuff with her other days, that could work. Or you can just split the trip, stay someplace close to diving for part and them go inland for part of your trip. We like that, but I think it's best if you have more than a week.

    Cayman would probably work for you. It has beaches and plenty of shopping (of the more mainstream sort.) There is some shore diving and some other things to do including a botanic garden.

    Turks and Caicos could work. It's less built up than Cayman (somewhat less shopping and other stuff to do) and the beach is nicer. But the better diving is a longer boat ride and would have you getting back later from diving. But still could suit.

    Unless you're into wrecks (Aruba) or sharks (Nassau) those places generally compromise on the diving more, but would probably suit her fine.
     
  7. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    I
    I've sent you a private message.
     
  8. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
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    Of your choices, my picks would be Cayman or Turks/Caicos for your wife. The diving is not too shabby eiher...

    Probably Cayman. Seven Mile Beach is actually about 5 miles long. It's a nice beach Stay anywhere along it and close to a dozen dive shops will pick you up for boat diving - 2 tanks and you're back b4 noon. Lots of good deep wall diving, the Kittiwake is a rec cleaned wreck and in case you could talk her into snorkeling, she could do it above you off he same boat. Also Stingray City is the best 15' dive in the Carib. Really the shpp pickup makes it ideal for a couple sharing a car, she can have it while you're gone.

    Caymana is an area all about shopping - so is downtown Georgetown except there's a lot of cruise traffic there daily as the port is downtown also.

    There's a lot of nice restaurants, some world class, many watefront. There's the Queens Botanical Gardens, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, several of boat tours - even a real sub in case she's interested in where you dive - it often shows up around Sunset House to view the divers - they know the schedule if you want to wave at her. Anything you can do on the water, beach horseback riding, jetski's, there's the Turtle Farm, Rum Cake factory, some other touristy things.

    There's virtually no bugs, the island is extremely clean and I don't believe they allow crime.

    Downsides - its' really pricey - everything is imported. Also your timeframe is the start of hurricane season and they occasionally catch one.

    Turkls/Caicos - specifically Providenciales (Provo) is smaller but equally nice. Grace Bay Beach is so nice it has it's own website. There's some other water related things like boat tours but much less than on Cayman. World class shopping at sevreal malls - at the Salt Mills the Gucci store is next to the Rolex store etc. Lots of money there also. I think there's two casinos for something to do one night - I've been to one of them. If it's of interest, the Ports of Call is a former Comfort Suites - not beach front but several blocks away. The draw for your wife might be the attached shopping mall..

    Diving is about 100% boat diving - they pick up in the tourist areas. There's some diving off Grace Bay - too far to swim - and the NW Point area of the island. But the best, sharkiest diving is off West Caicos or French Cay - about 45-60 mins by boat plus another 15 for the shuttle ride. 2 dives and you're back around 2pm, add a 3rd and it's closer to 4:30. They do lunch on the boat. It's also excellent deep wall diving and at the more remote locations the fishlife seemed oblivious to divrs - I followed some sharks around filming while they did what sharks do. Lots of rays also.

    Nassau could work better for her than you. Cable Beach is a nice, but sometimes crowded beach. But there's others - we went to one once where we and another couple were the only one there for hours.

    There's a lot of shopping, a tourist market in downtown near the cruise port, some nice shops in the area, the Atlantis mega-resort on Paradise Island has everything, shops, casino, beach, dolphin encounter, etc. There's also several trolleys that run around downtown, to the shops, Cable Beach and over to Paradise Island. You can also take a ferry across the harbor from Atlantis to downtown Nassau.

    For you there's 2 dive options (surprisingly that's all) Stuart Cove's on the south side, they'll pick you up in town, at Atlantis or Cable Beach properties. It's a 45 min ride to their location or more depending on stops. They offer the famous shark feed dive in the afternoons and there's several wrecks they dvie - a couple are old James Bond movie sets. Even Cove's buildings were used as a movie set for Flipper. They also do all the cruise dives.

    Bahama Divers is across the bridge from Paradise Island. They pickup there and at Cable Beach but not downtown so they miss most of the cruise traffic. One of their signature dives is the Lost Blue Hole but it was better when the hammerheads still lived there. Bahamas diving in general is pretty sharky - we saw reefies all the time.

    Nassau is expensive in odd ways - like the airport taxi ride - IDK why. So if you're not getting a car see if your resort offers pickup. Also food is really high there.

    Both Turks and Nassau also catch hurricanes so I might buy travel insurance during your timeframes. That's one thing attractive about Aruba - the ABC Islands are below the hurricane belt.

    hth,
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  9. TheQuintessentialMan

    TheQuintessentialMan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dallas, TX
    32
    1
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    Wow, information overload here... which is a good thing. Lot of good stuff to sift through.

    Thanks
     
  10. Ontwreckdiver

    Ontwreckdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
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    I have been to Aruba 5 times with my non diving wife (about 10 years ago). It has great beaches, a lot of shopping, she can do a different tour everyday if she likes. There are both all inclusive and non AI resorts, English is spoken, US currency is accepted everywhere. Aruba: Best Island Vacation and Getaway Destination Pricing The diving is a combination of wreck and reef. Most of the wrecks are the north end close to the resort area. The better reefs are closer too the south end. The top 3 dive shops recommended here are
    Explore Aruba’s Underwater World With Dive Aruba!
    http://jadsaruba.com/
    Native Divers Aruba PADI Open Water Diving certifications
     

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