Author Topic: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman  (Read 5600 times)

RussFair

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Underwater photographer?: yes
Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« on: June 14, 2009, 18:45:10 UTC »
Got a last minute chance to go to Grand Cayman next week.  We'll be staying at the Morritt's Tortuga Club.  Anyone have suggestions for who to dive with in that area?  I've only seen 2 recent reviews.  We prefer to find someone who will treat us like experienced diving adults, and avoid the cruisers whenever possible.

We usually like to try to get 3 dives/day if possible.

Is shore diving a viable option?

Thanks for any input..

babylon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Total Dves: 0-100
  • Underwater photographer?: no
Re: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 19:36:18 UTC »
I have been visiting the East End of Grand Cayman annually (where Morritts is located) for about 8 years. Tortuga Divers is located at Morritts and are a great outfit to dive with. I have been diving with them for about 4-5 years. I think they are first-rate. They are also the most convenient if you are staying at Morritts. They have nice dive lockers and rinse tanks down at their private dock. You check in, put your dive stuff in the locker. Each morning, walk down to the dock (1-2 minute walk from any of the rooms), grab your gear and you go dive. If you go diving with these guys, tell them that Brad and Beth sent you. We just got back from 2 weeks with these guys. We know the crew pretty well after diving with them for several years.

I also hear great things about Ocean Frontiers but Tortuga Divers is more convenient if you are at Morritts. Whoever you dive with, get your reservations in at least a week in advance.  If you try to book once you are there you are likely to be disappointed. They were very busy when I was there. Both boats were going out every morning pretty much full while I was there. Unlike the rest of the island, the East End is not overbuilt and the resorts there are running about 80-85% occupancy while the west side of the island is suffering these days.

Have a great trip!

babylon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Total Dves: 0-100
  • Underwater photographer?: no
Re: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 19:42:17 UTC »
One other point about Tortuga Divers. They treat you like adults. For AM 2-tank dives: the first dive is 100' and is guided. At the end they let you swim around the shallow area (typically 50' at the top of the wall) for as long as you want. We were typically the last ones on the boat. The second dive can be guided or with a buddy, your call. They generally assume that everyone has a computer and watches their own NDLs.

babylon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Total Dves: 0-100
  • Underwater photographer?: no
Re: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2009, 20:52:11 UTC »
Shore diving on the East End is more limited and dive sites require a long swim. I have shore-dived Babylon but these days I usually stick to the boat. The west side of the island has quite a bit of shore diving: Eden House, Sunset, etc.

RussFair

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Underwater photographer?: yes
Re: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2009, 03:48:25 UTC »
One other point about Tortuga Divers. They treat you like adults. For AM 2-tank dives: the first dive is 100' and is guided. At the end they let you swim around the shallow area (typically 50' at the top of the wall) for as long as you want. We were typically the last ones on the boat. The second dive can be guided or with a buddy, your call. They generally assume that everyone has a computer and watches their own NDLs.
Their website puts me off a bit with the descriptions of the dives 100ft/35mins 60ft/40mins...  were you able to dive you computer profile or stuck to their tables?

How about the boats 21pax sounds like we need to grow horns or udders.  Did you feel crowded?

Thanks for your feedback

babylon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Total Dves: 0-100
  • Underwater photographer?: no
Re: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2009, 04:22:36 UTC »
I have never been on a boat that had more than 16 divers. This may sound like a lot but the boats are very roomy. Generally, most of the boats went out with fewer people. A full boat may have up to 16 divers, 2 divemasters and a boat captain who stays on the boat. I have also gone out on boats that have only had 5-6 divers. For the first guided dive, they would divide you into 2 groups of 8, one per dive-master. The second group usually goes in about 5 minutes after the first group so that you stay completely separate. They guide the first dive down to 100' and keep you close together. After you shallow up, we just separate into buddy teams and do our own thing. We went up when our computers said to. Now, of course, you don't want to be a pain and keep the rest of the boat waiting if you are going to stay down 15 minutes longer than everyone else. That said, there is no one in the water to enforce their tables. My wife and I would typically be the last ones on the boat and they never made a point about us coming up late.


RussFair

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Underwater photographer?: yes
Re: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009, 05:01:38 UTC »
My wife and I would typically be the last ones on the boat and they never made a point about us coming up late.


Thanks, that is what I wanted to know.  I have heard a lot of hearsay about RedSail, but your experience makes it sound like we should be OK.

I for one am glad Ben added these forums ;D

babylon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Subscriber?: yes
  • Total Dves: 0-100
  • Underwater photographer?: no
Re: Looking for suggestions on Grand Cayman
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2009, 12:15:35 UTC »
Tortuga divers is part of Red Sail but were an independent dive outfit before that. As such, it seems that they have maintained a lot of their original character. I have dived with Red Sail on the west side of the island and didn't like them near as much.


 

Get the diving news serious divers need!

Sign up for our FREE monthly email
with real diving news you won't find elsewhere!

Make your next dive trip the best one ever!

Get the diving info you need with monthly issues online, the 800 page The Travelin' Diver's Chapbook, 24/7 access to 1000's of honest diving reports and much, much more.

Special Offers for Our Readers
Get discounted dive trips/ equipment/ ... from dive businesses the world over.