Scuba Diving locations
We are looking for some advice from other Couples enthusiasts that also love to dive.
We very much love to visit Couples resorts. The accommodations, food, inclusions and staff are soooo good at Couples that we have a hard time looking or going elsewhere. That said, one of us likes to dive and would like to explore other, more fruitful waters than that found in Jamaica.
Have any other Couples fanatics found a resort with amenities similar to Couples in other parts of the Caribbean/Mexico? Diving as inclusion at the other resorts is optional (don't mind paying extra...). Thanks in advance for the advice!
I hear that Roatan is nice.
Well, believe me I've looked. I too would like to see other places but whenever I compare resorts I keep ending up back at Couples. DH and I both are AOW certified and we love the pampering, care, and love we get from the dive teams at Couples. We only dive on vacation because we really have no desire to freeze in Lake Ontario or surrounding areas. Yes, there are some wonderful wreck dives in Tobermory (5 hrs drive) but again - it's cold, even in summer. As for other Caribbean Islands, well, they just don't offer the same amenities and feeling of security and safety we feel at Couples. Not to mention the most amazing staff in the world! We've never been to Mexico or Bonaire although we know they are supposed to be diver's paradises. They're on the list, but for now, we love Couples and I can't seem to look at anything else. Well, I look, but I don't book.
Of course, we did dive in the Galapagos Islands and that was awesome! But that was a different sort of vacation altogether and I highly recommend seeing it while it is still relatively pristine. You'll see creatures that exist no where else on earth.
Cozumel for diving.. Still searching for our favorite resort. Blue Angel gets my vote for dive resort, shore diving and convenience to town. We've also stayed at Iberostar Coz. It was a decent AI and convenient pickup by other dive ops. Beach was not up to CN standards.
We will be trying Aura or Sabor this summer to research the Coz version of "adults only" AI.
The scuba diving in Bonaire is AMAZING but you wont find a resort that compairs to Couples ANYWHERE.
We did CN last September for the first time and loved it. We also booked September 2012 in March 2011 because of the $300 resort credit for booking early. When we cancelled our 3 week January trip to Hong Kong we had to go somewhere for at least a week so we booked to go to Cozumel for the first time. Then I said we had to do another trip so we booked Couples for May.
Cozumel - January
Jamaica - May & September
On our second day in Cozumel we loved the diving so much we wondered what it would cost to cancel Couples in May and book Cozumel. It was a $400 penalty but we still did it.
Couples room, food & service - 9 out of 10. Diving 3 out of 10
Scuba Club Cozumel room, food & service - a surprisingly 7-8 out of 10. Diving 9 out of 10
So we made the change. Now this year is
Cozumel - January & April
Jamaica - September.
We won't give that up because we love CN and need to go at least once a year. So we'll do two dives trips and one to CN to be pampered.
Even saw Randymon's posting about the new 2013 rates + early booking bonus coming soon.
Also we've just booked airfare to Cozumel again for January 2013 due to a great special offer at SCC . We plan to do CN again in September but will need to find maybe a totally new place (Grand Cayman perhaps) for May 2013.
Life is good when you have so many choices of where to go on vacation! 3 times a year!
As scuba instructors and avid divers, it's always a challenge for us to find that perfect combination of great diving, amazing beach... AND... a resort as fabulous as any Couples resort.... and not break the bank and/or travel across the world.
Places we've been:
Provo, Turks & Caicos - Amazing beach and fantastic diving, but the adult only AI there was no where near the same level as Couples.
Grand Cayman - Good diving, nice beach, but no AI's and very busy and expensive. I'd like to try the other 2 Cayman islands though (but not for the resorts).
Bonaire - Hubby went, I didn't. He loved the diving, but the hotel was very basic and beaches are about non-existent. Still, it's on my list as a dive only trip.
BVI - Great diving, some nice beaches, but we stayed with friends on Virgin Gorda. I don't think they have AIs, never mind couples only.
Cuba (we are Canadian) - didn't dive but the snorkelling was lousy. I hear forget the DR too.
Costa Rica - We just went to the Pacific side in Jan. Fabulous country and we found quite a nice resort, but forget the diving. I've been to PV, Mexico and personally I'd avoid the Pacific side of Mexico/Central America like the plague.
Maui - We've been before and are heading back in April. The diving is very good, but of course no AI's. We're doing the condo rental and cooking... uggg... but it's all about the diving this trip. I shall miss being pampered though.
We stopped at some islands on our cruise out of Puerto Rico that may be ok to good for diving, but we didn't since we only had a day... Dominica, Barbados, St. Thomas/St. John, St. Lucia... ???... probably not St. Kitts or St. Maarten... maybe Antigua... lots of AI resorts there... or Curacao? ...similar to Bonaire but more resort choices?
Our dive shop trips alternate between the far off and expensive (PNG, Micronesia, various South Pacific islands, Indonesia, Galapagos this year...) and closer, cheaper locations (Bonaire, Roatan, Big Island Hawaii). They are the pickiest for dive destinations but not as fussy about the resorts. Cozumel seems to have fallen out of favours with our most travelled divers (but never been so can't say). I'd like to try Belize and Roatan, but not for the (lack of Couples) resorts :(
Hope that gives some ideas though?
So we go to Couples and love the whole experience (and included diving)... and suck it up that Jamaica isn't a top dive destination... it's also not the worst! :)
Good luck! :)
How adventurous are you?
Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt is my world favourite. Diving locations there are out of this world. Coral right up to the beach in every resort. Jump off the end of the walkway thatís built over the coral so you donít damage it and follow the coral cliff down. Utterly amazing. Fish life is phenomenal. No boat trips needed, although you can take trips to the any of the fantastic reefs that surround the area. Hundreds of wrecks to explore. Snorkelling from the shore is a must do. So simple and again, no extra cost. Water temperature was good, only needed a thin wetsuit for the deeper dives.
Might be a long way from the US, but well worth the trip. In the Caribbean, have dived Cosumel and Belize but have say I didnít find anything to match the Red Sea.
Hotels are mainly AI but not up to Couples standard, general all buffet meals with local drinks. When you book make sure your hotel is beachfront, some are inland.
The Maldive's again were good, fish life fantastic, lots of the larger fish although last time I was there a lot of the corral had lost its sparkle and turned grey due to changes in water temperature or current flow. Water temperature can only be described as bathwater, you can stay in all day and not get cold. Accommodation was second to none, every room had two showers, indoor and outdoor. Food and service excellent. On arrival you kick off your shoes, throw your wallet in the safe and forget them. You truly wonít need either until you leave. TIP: Book a small Island with a house reef, ours was the size of a football field with only 30 rooms, pure luxury. Tried a larger Island but not quite as intimate. We worried about the small island being too small and getting board, not a chance, if I could have stayed, I would still be there. Best time to go, October to May.
Wow. Thank you all for all of the replies and the great detail. I'm am very impressed by the amount of information everyone has provided. Thank you again! We have been to CN and CSA twice each, and will be heading to CTI and CSS later this year to enjoy those resorts AND the diving. And, we'll take all of your advice and look at some of the nice locations everyone recommended.
Greg (tall) and Therese (not) :)
Oregon, WI, USA