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I saw some nurse sharks. There was apparently one pretty big one that I missed. One of the girls on the trip was trying to point it out to me, but I never saw it. My mask was kind of foggy at the time. I think she said it was a bullshark maybe?Key Largo rocks. Glad you saw some sharks, any idea what kinds? How many dives did you get in?
You had a tight budget goal (which I admire; there are a lot of divers looking to pinch pennies a bit, including me). Roughly how badly did your total trip cost overrun what you were looking for?My trip ended up being a bit more expensive than I planned.
I think including everything, eating out, getting ripped off by uber, the shuttle back, drinks, tips, etc it ran me between 3-3.5k. I stayed at the Holiday Inn, which was just a few minutes walk to either of their dock locations.You had a tight budget goal (which I admire; there are a lot of divers looking to pinch pennies a bit, including me). Roughly how badly did your total trip cost overrun what you were looking for?
I see 2 main ways to approach a budget trip; low total trip cost vs. low averaged cost/day. And that's without factoring in service and ease; Blackbeard Cruises' has a strong reputation for a value offering described as 'camping at sea,' but that's no more the same trip (or price tag) as a Belize Aggressor IV trip than a Toyota Corolla is the same as a Lexus. Different strokes (including price tags), different folks.
For a land-based stay (not live-aboard) with accommodations that are not part of a dive resort package (where they often assume at least 2 people in the room, so the price on a single is much higher), it is often not much more to put an extra person (or 3) in a room. Many hotel rooms offer a choice of 1 kingsize or 2 queenside (or double) beds. If you get a friend or two who pay their own way, and you guys share a hotel room and rental car, you can really cut trip price down. We got into that in Budget Trip Challenge: Bonaire.
If you like sharks, be mindful the lemon shark aggregation is in winter in the Jupiter area, and I suspect your trip costs wouldn't be terribly different (though your dive count may be less).
Jupiter 2014 - http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/florida-diving/491927-jupiter-trip-report-9-7-14-9-11-14-a.html (I didn't go during the lemon shark aggregation; I went to see the goliath grouper).
Emerald Charters Trip Report 2017 - Trip Report - Emerald Dive Charters Trip Report (Note: Even if this is something you ever wish to do, I don't recommend shark feed diving till you get more experience, particularly with some mid.-size, low risk species like sand tigers and/or lemons).
But here's an option that might work well for you, albeit it's not a big coral reef destination, and you need AOW and nitrox cert.s to realistically do it.
Morehead City, NC August 2015 - http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/no...us-dive-center-aug-9-13-2015-trip-report.html
If you stay at the Dive Lodge, you can keep costs down. It's not a high dive count destination (nearly square profile deep offshore wreck dives), and the Atlantic Ocean is not the Caribbean Sea (i.e.: long boat rides, conditions may or may not be 'sporty'), but if you want to spend quality with with fairly large, scary looking but low risk sharks (and without shark feeding), and hit a historic wreck or two, you might really like it. I've noticed trip organizers often arrange 'long weekend' type trips here, but I think several days is a better bet, not only to more fully experience it but in case bad weather cancels the diving a day or two.
Any particular reasons that stand out for your decision?It would depend on what I wanted to see. But I suspect I’d prefer NC to the panhandle, though I’d like to try the Oriskany some day. NC has a narrower window of good diving season than Florida taken as a whole.
Vidanta Resort NOT all inclusive dive shop / golf / waterpark all on premises full kitchen 2 bedroom sleeps 6 $2000 single not full kitchen $1,200 per week. 20 minutes north of Playa de Carmen to ferry to Cozumel 45 minutes to CanCun ferry to Isla Mujeres Luxury Vidanta ResortHello, I am based out of the US and would like to stay within an 8 hour flight out of Miami. I have my rescue cert, nitrox and cavern. I'm down for wrecks, reefs and caverns.
I don't want to go on a live aboard.
I'd like to stay in a hotel near a dive shop or preferably one with a dive shop/boats at the resort.
Not a big deal, but it would be nice if it's a place where a lot of other solo divers go so I'm not in a position where I have to play the 3rd wheel to other people's groups.
If any of you have any good ideas or suggestions I would greatly appreciate the input.