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Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Raleigh, NC
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805 posts
137 reviews
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Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Hey GC Experts - We have circled back around and have decided on GC for our next dive vacation. But since the last time we went diving there, we have both (a) discovered shore diving and (b) had children.

That being said, our priorities on our GC trip will be getting to shore dive sites and getting our 2 kids to their programs. Not sure if this will be a hotel/condo kids program, a snorkel/dive program or a combination of the above. Beach would be good, too.

Which part of the island do you recommend for our accommodations?

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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1. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

How old are the kids? I don't know of any dive op who has a kid's program. They can do a cert course as a junior diver at 10, but younger than that, I think you need to find the sitter/kids camp yourself. Places you can go shore diving are plentiful. Eden Rock, Sunset House, in front of the Turtle Farm by Macabuca, etc. You cannot take the tanks away from where you rent them, so for instance you cannot just hop in the water at the resorts in front of SMB etc. When we started going to GC and our kids were too young to dive we stayed at the Hyatt (no longer there) so the kids could go to the camp there. We dove with Red Sail who were the in house op. We did this because the dive boats leave at 8 and the camp started at 9. They were very helpful in arranging care for the extra time (we did pay extra). I know the Ritz Carlton has a wonderful kids program. I don't know if the Beach Suites have a program. You might be able to enroll them at the RC program depending on availability even if you don't stay there. I would recommend that you stay in a condo and bring an grandparent, friend, auntie, etc., It will be much cheaper and easier all around. I hope this helps. Things might have changed, but as recently as a few years ago a friend was thinking about setting a program for diving parents (she was the former nanny to a pretty well known person and he ran a dive shop). It was a "new" idea as it didn't already exist. They left GC before it got up and running. Perhaps someone else has done a similar thing -- maybe others here might know of it. Good luck and happy diving!!!

Raleigh, NC
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805 posts
137 reviews
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2. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Well, a few of the dive shops (Divertech, maybe Red Sail) seem to have snorkel/SASY programs for kids as young as 5. (My son will be 7; my daughter will be 11.) I was hoping to put them in one of those for a few days, but they are fairly expensive.

Several hotels appear to have kids camps. Last year, in Curacao, we stayed at the Hilton for one night, but they let us put our kids in the program even after we moved to a condo. I'm cautiously optimistic I can make this happen. With two kids, we much prefer a two-bedroom condo to a hotel.

Another idea is hiring a dive master or dive shop employee to teach the kids to snorkel while we go diving, alternating with a kid sitter. The problem here is finding people you trust. I'd also prefer that they be with other kids, because it will be more fun.

Where we stay may be determined by where we can find stuff for the kids. Open to suggestions...

Trophy Club, Texas
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands
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6,435 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

The Ritz Carlton's kids club as well as their Ambassadors of the Sea programs are highly regarded and they do accept children staying at other properties, space permitting.

Florida
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682 posts
49 reviews
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4. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

We are going to GC in March and after tons of research are doing shore dives at Turtle Reef and Lighthouse point. These are only about a five minute drive apart from one another. We plan to do Turle Reef first, then grab lunch at the restaurant that is right there then head over to Lighthouse point. We also went to Curacao and loved the shore diving. GC appears to have easy entry shore dives like Curacao. We also are doing a private boat 2 tank trip with Living the Dream Divers and it is a husband and wife team. If you book them you can have one of them go diving with you and the other stay on top teaching the kids how to snorkel.

Raleigh, NC
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805 posts
137 reviews
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5. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Wow, Live the Dream divers sounds like a good suggestion. I'll look them up. Thanks.

Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
805 posts
137 reviews
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6. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Haven't heard from Living the Dream divers and having little luck with kids programs. The RC Ambassadors of the Environment seems cool, but very $$$. Actually, all of GC seems very expensive.

I know the diving is better in the Caymans, but we may go to Aruba instead.

Florida
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682 posts
49 reviews
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7. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Did you email or call them? I emailed them at first and they responded the next day and then I followed up with a phone call and they answered right away.

Raleigh, NC
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805 posts
137 reviews
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8. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Emailed through the contact form on their website. No answer as of yet.

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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9. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

As mentioned many many times - e-mail is not the best option contacting businesses in GC or many other places for that matter. They don't do much e-mail business so don't check them daily and if their connection is down (which oftens happens on the island) you are out of luck. Call directly -- it is not expensive and it is a small price to pay for peace it mind it gives. We still book our car, and even our diving if it is the busy season by phone before we go. If we have someone doing a class or have a special request we do it weeks before we go. Good luck!

Raleigh, NC
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805 posts
137 reviews
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10. Re: Best Location/Access to Shore Diving and Kids Programs

Point taken. But not sure I will call.

I may back off of GC until the kids are older and we can do it affordably.

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