Published on March 7th, 2014 | by Emma Hackwood1
5 Reasons Why Cruises are a Diver’s Best Friend
There’s a lot of great reasons to take a cruise, but for Allisha Elson who recently became PADI certified, cruising has taken on a whole new meaning. She shares with us five reasons why cruising is a great option for travellers who want to do some scuba diving while on vacation:
I have loved cruising ever since my first cruise when I was 16 years old. There is never a dull moment with constant activities and entertainment planned throughout the day and being able to wake up in a new city or country every morning is an amazing experience in itself. I recently became a certified PADI scuba diver and with this, my vacations have taken on a whole new focus since returning from an amazing Caribbean cruise with Carnival Cruises, I realize that this travel medium is the best way for me to fully enjoy my vacation and newest hobby. Cruising is ideal for the following reasons:
5. Sugar Sugar
As a diver it’s important to have access to sugar. Usually before and after dives it’s nice to have some sort of sugar intake in the form of juice, pop, cookies, etc. On cruises these are all readily available in the cafeteria and extra can be stored for an afternoon snack. This is helpful because dive excursions provide very little in terms of a snack, if at all. The dives normally start earlier than other tours so it’s nice being able to wake up and have a full buffet waiting for you in the cafeteria.
If you’re anything like me, waking up early can be tough, so this is a major bonus. On the flip side, after a long and exciting day of diving; you board the ship and voila, dinner is ready! Nothing is better on an empty stomach than a wide selection of delicious dinner options.
4. Location, location, location
How often can you tell someone that you dove ten times, in five different countries during a seven day period? How amazing would it be to go to sleep at night, wake up in a new and beautiful country, and get to experience the local hospitality above and below the ocean? Trust me, it’s amazing! I’m already looking forward to bragging rights and I didn’t even have to pack and unpack bags, change hotels, or take flights.
3. Time Saver
Carnival Cruises have an amazing customer service desk just for excursions. At first I tried to do my own online research for each city; good dive shops, decent prices, legitimate certification, etc. However, after reading mixed reviews and visiting multiple illegitimate websites, I decided to go through the cruise ship and compare their pricing. It turns out the cruise excursions were extremely competitive with their pricing and were either the same price or slightly higher. The competitive edge here really comes from the peace of mind; knowing that these dive shops had obviously met Carnival’s approval standards for quality and value.
Prior to the cruise, I had been warned by my local dive shop that these cruise “excursions” would be nothing more than large poorly planned groups of people all swimming in the same space trying to observe the underwater life. However, in my experience the largest group I was in was 7 people including one dive master. They even split us into smaller groups based on skill level which made each and every dive amazing.
2. Travel light
One hard thing about going on vacations and planning dives is dealing with the equipment aspect. Just my fins alone were heavy, and trying to pack my luggage for a two week vacation with dive gear and maintaining the airplane weight limit can be a tricky situation. The nice thing is that with these excursions all your equipment is included in the price. Personally I still like to have my own snorkel and mask, but I could have easily left my fins behind. The dive companies that Carnival contracts with had equipment that was usually in great condition or in some cases newer than my own! After being away for 2 weeks and trying to bring home all sorts of souvenirs, it definitely would have been worth having that extra room in my luggage.
One of my favorite things about these dives was that I met at least 3-4 new people from all over the world on each dive excursion. It turned out we were all on the same cruise and we got to see each other every day given we were “regulars”. Although diving is something you have to do with a partner for safety reasons, it’s still amazing to do alone. Even if you don’t come with a partner, you will easily be able to pair up with someone who is not only at the same skill level but who is just as passionate about diving as you are!
After going on this cruise I will definitely think twice about diving in Vancouver again. Having dived in such warm and clear waters it will be hard to go back to the freezing cold Pacific Ocean. The delicious food, the exotic destinations and the friendly people created an unparalleled experience. Carnival Cruises was a marvellous host. Thanks for the memories and I’ll definitely be back for more!
More more information about cruising with Carnival Cruises or other dive excusrions, contact Allisha who is an International Travel Consultant at the Flight Centre Guilford location in BC. She can be reached online or by calling 1-866-273-5424.