23 Sep 2007 11:36:19
Paul Foley
cruising and scuba

Although a cruise ship is hardly the ideal way to plan a scuba vacation,
I gotta admit that my first dive was a Princess Cruises deal in Mexico.
Enjoyed it immensely, and it got me hooked (though a friend found the
dive an "experiment in terror"-- well, it was PADI!)

My question is, how widely are cruise ships regarded as Invaders from
Hell in Carribean dive destinations? How badly do they monopolize the
local dive resources when in port? And (selfish as it is) how can I
avoid them? My guess is that some destinations like Bonaire are less
infested than a place like the Caymans.


23 Sep 2007 09:13:30
Greg Mossman
Re: cruising and scuba

On Sep 23, 8:36 am, Paul Foley <paulfxfo...@earthlink.net > wrote:

> My question is, how widely are cruise ships regarded as Invaders from
> Hell in Carribean dive destinations? How badly do they monopolize the
> local dive resources when in port? And (selfish as it is) how can I
> avoid them? My guess is that some destinations like Bonaire are less
> infested than a place like the Caymans.

While I support the theory of cruising, the practicality is that they
stuff thousands of people into these boats at rock-bottom prices
(i.e., $499 for a week), then send them to tiny islands, some of which
have smaller populations than the boats. You've suddenly outnumbered
the natives 2-1 by a horde of pale Kansans who have never even
traveled out of their own state before let alone to another country.
It's ugly, plain and simple.

Just as ugly as the cruiseship hordes parading through town is the
effect they have on the locals and their attitudes toward all
visitors. Instead of local color, the locals realize that all the
cruisers want are cheap margaritas and loud music, or cheap jewelry.
The main street in Cozumel is now a string of jewelry stores peppered
with a few margarita and loud music joints where you can buy the same
tanzanite (mined by genuine slaves!) and imbibe the same whistle-
accompanied tequila poppers that you can get in every other Mexican
cruise-ship port. Divers, who used to like a bit of local color and
appreciate the laid-back feel of the place, are now treated like they
came off the boat and are hustled just the same by the jewelry stores,
ripped off by cab drivers, and given the same lousy food and watered
down loud margaritas. (Substitute watered-down rum punch and loud
Reggae for the rest of the Caribbean outside Mexico)

One way to avoid them, as you suggest, is pick a place where they
don't go. Bonaire doesn't get many ships. On my last trip, I didn't
really notice any impact in town, but that's probably because I was
out diving all day. I only noticed there was even a cruiseship there
on one night when we ate dinner opposite the dock and were treated to
the sight of it pulling away and cruising off in the distance all lit
up. It was a pleasurable sight, for once, and maybe that's how it
used to be in "the old days". On the other hand, in Cozumel for
example, there can be up to 8 per day, bringing potentially 25,000
tourists in at a time.

Another way to avoid them is to avoid the town, since that's where the
majority of cruisers will stay and crowd. Like penguins, they feel
safer all bunched together. Therefore, in places like Cozumel, you
could stay at one of the all-inclusives located a couple miles north
or south of town and only see the cruise ships from the dive boat. In
Grand Cayman, one island you mention that has a lot of cruiseships
stopping over, there's no real reason for a diver to spend time in
Georgetown as there are plenty of dive resorts, hotels, restaurants,
and dive operations based outside the town. I stayed at Cobalt Coast
the last time, probably 10 or 15 miles from Georgetown, went there
straight from the airport, and didn't see a single cruiser the entire
trip.

Finally, there are liveaboards. You do the same thing as the
cruisers, i.e. cruise from place to place. The difference is that
you're cruising to barely- or non-inhabited locales for great diving,
and you're guaranteed in some cases not to see anyone else that's not
aboard your small boat, let alone a megacruiseship filled with
thousands.



23 Sep 2007 16:09:53
Dan Bracuk
Re: cruising and scuba

Paul Foley <paulfxfoley@earthlink.net > pounded away at his keyboard
resulting in:

:Although a cruise ship is hardly the ideal way to plan a scuba vacation,
:I gotta admit that my first dive was a Princess Cruises deal in Mexico.
: Enjoyed it immensely, and it got me hooked (though a friend found the
:dive an "experiment in terror"-- well, it was PADI!)
:
:My question is, how widely are cruise ships regarded as Invaders from
:Hell in Carribean dive destinations? How badly do they monopolize the
:local dive resources when in port? And (selfish as it is) how can I
:avoid them? My guess is that some destinations like Bonaire are less
:infested than a place like the Caymans.

I see cruisers as a bunch of people enjoying their vacations. They
are, quite simply, no big deal. Also, since most of them don't dive,
they don't really monopolize the dive resources.


Dan Bracuk
Never use a big word when a diminutive one will do.

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27 Sep 2007 16:09:47
John Hanson
Re: cruising and scuba

On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 11:36:19 -0400, Paul Foley
<paulfxfoley@earthlink.net > wrote in rec.scuba:

>Although a cruise ship is hardly the ideal way to plan a scuba vacation,
>I gotta admit that my first dive was a Princess Cruises deal in Mexico.
> Enjoyed it immensely, and it got me hooked (though a friend found the
>dive an "experiment in terror"-- well, it was PADI!)
>
I thought this was a thread about gay sex among scuba divers when I
read the subject.


27 Sep 2007 14:38:12
Greg Mossman
Re: cruising and scuba

On Sep 27, 2:09 pm, John Hanson <jhan...@northernlinks.com > wrote:
> On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 11:36:19 -0400, Paul Foley
> <paulfxfo...@earthlink.net> wrote in rec.scuba:
>
> >Although a cruise ship is hardly the ideal way to plan a scuba vacation,
> >I gotta admit that my first dive was a Princess Cruises deal in Mexico.
> > Enjoyed it immensely, and it got me hooked (though a friend found the
> >dive an "experiment in terror"-- well, it was PADI!)
>
> I thought this was a thread about gay sex among scuba divers when I
> read the subject.

And that's why you decided to proceed to read the posts too?



27 Sep 2007 21:47:32
John Hanson
Re: cruising and scuba

On Thu, 27 Sep 2007 14:38:12 -0700, Greg Mossman <mossman@qnet.com >
wrote in rec.scuba:

>On Sep 27, 2:09 pm, John Hanson <jhan...@northernlinks.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 11:36:19 -0400, Paul Foley
>> <paulfxfo...@earthlink.net> wrote in rec.scuba:
>>
>> >Although a cruise ship is hardly the ideal way to plan a scuba vacation,
>> >I gotta admit that my first dive was a Princess Cruises deal in Mexico.
>> > Enjoyed it immensely, and it got me hooked (though a friend found the
>> >dive an "experiment in terror"-- well, it was PADI!)
>>
>> I thought this was a thread about gay sex among scuba divers when I
>> read the subject.
>
>And that's why you decided to proceed to read the posts too?

Does that make me gay curious?


27 Sep 2007 20:30:52
Greg Mossman
Re: cruising and scuba

On Sep 27, 7:47 pm, John Hanson <jhan...@northernlinks.com > wrote:
> On Thu, 27 Sep 2007 14:38:12 -0700, Greg Mossman <moss...@qnet.com>
> wrote in rec.scuba:
>
> >On Sep 27, 2:09 pm, John Hanson <jhan...@northernlinks.com> wrote:
> >> On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 11:36:19 -0400, Paul Foley
> >> <paulfxfo...@earthlink.net> wrote in rec.scuba:
>
> >> >Although a cruise ship is hardly the ideal way to plan a scuba vacation,
> >> >I gotta admit that my first dive was a Princess Cruises deal in Mexico.
> >> > Enjoyed it immensely, and it got me hooked (though a friend found the
> >> >dive an "experiment in terror"-- well, it was PADI!)
>
> >> I thought this was a thread about gay sex among scuba divers when I
> >> read the subject.
>
> >And that's why you decided to proceed to read the posts too?
>
> Does that make me gay curious?

Or curiously gay. Take your pick.



28 Sep 2007 05:45:46
Carl Nisarel
Re: cruising and scuba

John Hanson <jhanson@northernlinks.com > wrote:

> Does that make me gay curious?

Well, you do spend a lot of time what scantily clad power lifters and body
builders, right? If the cup fits, wear it.


28 Sep 2007 11:01:48
John Hanson
Re: cruising and scuba

On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 05:45:46 +0200 (CEST), Carl Nisarel
<hostlbuddha@postmaster.co.uk > wrote in rec.scuba:

>John Hanson <jhanson@northernlinks.com> wrote:
>
>> Does that make me gay curious?
>
>Well, you do spend a lot of time what scantily clad power lifters and body
>builders, right? If the cup fits, wear it.

I don't spend any time with bodybuilders. Those people have major
issues. They're just about the lowest form of life on earth (I never
pass up the opportunity to rail on bodybuilders).


28 Sep 2007 20:43:59
Carl Nisarel
Re: cruising and scuba

John Hanson <jhanson@northernlinks.com > wrote:

> I don't spend any time with bodybuilders. Those people have major
> issues. They're just about the lowest form of life on earth (I never
> pass up the opportunity to rail on bodybuilders).

So you are not disagreeing with my assertion that you spend a lot of time
with scantily clad power lifters?

Would you be using definition #2 for "rail"?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rail

Or definition #9?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rail&page=2

If the cup fits, wear it.


02 Oct 2007 16:47:42
Dillon Pyron
Re: cruising and scuba

Thus spake Paul Foley <paulfxfoley@earthlink.net > :

>Although a cruise ship is hardly the ideal way to plan a scuba vacation,
>I gotta admit that my first dive was a Princess Cruises deal in Mexico.
> Enjoyed it immensely, and it got me hooked (though a friend found the
>dive an "experiment in terror"-- well, it was PADI!)
>
>My question is, how widely are cruise ships regarded as Invaders from
>Hell in Carribean dive destinations? How badly do they monopolize the
>local dive resources when in port? And (selfish as it is) how can I
>avoid them? My guess is that some destinations like Bonaire are less
>infested than a place like the Caymans.

We really enjoy cruising. But we enjoy other travel, too. When we
were in Cozumel in 2004, we found that since we left the pier at
around 8 every day, we didn't see much of the madding crowd. We got
back, had lunch, cleaned our gear and took a nap. By then most of the
peeps were back on board, except for the crazy drunks who wouldn't be
getting on board until five minutes before sailing time (25 minutes
after you were supposed to be on board). There are never more than
one or two ships in Cozumel after about 5pm, and none on Sunday. Most
ships leave Grand Cayman by 4 pm.

If you are there for a dive vacation, you'll be in the water well
before the cruisers get in their dive boats. In Cozumel, most of the
cruise ship sponsored dive excursions don't leave until the afternoon.
And there are only about 40 to 50 total spots between all the ships.

Carol's ENT says "I won't tell you you can dive, I won't tell you you
can't." Typical. So right now I'm planning on diving on Thursday and
Friday with Mike Severns next year. We were supposed to go to Playa
del Carmen in August just before school started, but Dean frightened
us off (cowards!) and we went to Albuquerque instead. But I've still
got a great agent rate to Secrets, so we may go there in December. But
I also have a good rate on a cruise out of FLL that leaves the Friday
after class is over.
--
dillon

Elvis is still dead