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#53939 - 06/10/02 12:35 AM lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 2
2firefighters Offline
2firefighters  Offline
I have never used the internet to ask for advice but I would really appreciate some. My boyfriend and I are looking for a place to stay in Ambergris Caye the first week or two of December. I was interested in Casa Caribe partly because of the dive packages which sounded good but if I read another message right it sounds like it might be closed?? Also captain Morgans seems to get a lot of mixed reviews. We want someplace on the quiet side, with a pool, good access to snorkeling. Also, is there any windsurfing in December? Are the bugs horrible then? Anyone have any comparison of Ambergris Caye and diving in Turks and Caicos? I really appreciate your suggestions.
Thank you so much.
Ariane and Scott

#53940 - 06/10/02 10:05 AM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,080
KC Offline
KC  Offline
Are you firefighters in NYC? If so, we have a special.

Kathy //

"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
#53941 - 06/10/02 11:14 AM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,157
silkpainter Offline
silkpainter  Offline
Have you looked into Gaz Cooper's Playa Blanca Dive & Beach Club? 4 really nice brand new condos with full kitchens and a penthouse. They are building thatch roof casitas. I've been up to the property, and its lovely, quiet & clean. They do air, accomodation & dive package vacations also, with their own dive shop on premises. Their website is

#53942 - 06/10/02 11:32 AM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,080
KC Offline
KC  Offline
I **THINK** that Gaz is also participating in the special for NY firefighters. Not sure, but worth asking.


"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
#53943 - 06/10/02 07:36 PM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 945
Gaz Cooper Offline
Gaz Cooper  Offline
Yes I am participating in the NYC Firefighters program and offer 50% discount off rack rates to all NYC Firefighters.

Beginning of December is fine, its quiet and generally bugs are nt too bad

all the best

Gaz Cooper
Playa Blanca Dive & Beach Club

#53944 - 06/10/02 08:53 PM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 39
ljacks Offline
ljacks  Offline
I guess that my reply will be different than most. I suggest that you stay away from dive packages, There are a lot of dive shops. here and they will book you without notice. If you take your first day to walk along the beach in town, you can visit the dive shops and choose a company that you feel comfortable with. That way you need not make a financial commitment that you cannot get out of, and will be able to select the company you like.

All the best

#53945 - 06/10/02 11:57 PM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 381
Wendy Offline
Wendy  Offline
I agree with LJ -- you don't need to book a package dive. Rates are almost the same and I think you should take a few hours and visit a few of the shops, talk to the operators and then decide which place suits your needs. I think choosing should depend on your "feel" for the operator -- not just the cost.

[This message has been edited by Wendy (edited 06-10-2002).]

#53946 - 06/11/02 12:55 AM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
While what Wendy and LJ say is valid as to finding which shop you wish to dive with, I've noticed that often you can get a dive package for less than you would get it, booking the accommodations on your own and then booking the dives separately. If you can satisfy yourself before you go that you are going to be happy with the dive operator and the selected acco, perhaps a package is a better way to go. The other thing that you can do, is not book any dives until after you arrive. Shop around for the operator that appeals to you. Most of them are around the same price for one dive or one two tank dive, however, if you book a block of dives or alternately make a certain number of dives with them the price can be reduced for your overall dive experience with that operator.

If you want seclusion and romance, you will be well served with Gaz at Playa Blanca. If you'd rather be south of the cut then another premier operator is Amigos del Mar. You won't go wrong with Barefoot either and I hear good things about Amgerbergris Divers. Any of the operators will pick you up at the dock, where ever you stay. Some operators are affiliated with specific resorts and you can sometimes get a better deal that way when booking the package.

I'm rambling but it for example, you know that because of what you've read here, you would like to stay at Banana Beach and you know that Amigos is their affiliated operator, and you can get a better price overall for the acco and diving, maybe you should go for it. As long as you know you are going to do all of the dives that are included in your package, what's the problem? It's potentially a money saver for the same package you would have booked individually.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#53947 - 06/11/02 02:39 AM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 39
ljacks Offline
ljacks  Offline
If you are booking instruction .. then yes book in advance. This is because of the shortage of good instructors.

If you are booking recreational dives .. wait until you get here. The problem with booking dive packages is that the money you pay in advance is usually not refundable if you do not make the dives for any reason (including weather). I have run into people that were not happy with the company that they selected and ended up diving with someone else .... never getting refunded for the original package they paid for. The reason, I think, that these packages are discounted is because of the guarantee the operator has for payment. I believe the industry here is better served by people coming and choosing a company where they have met the operator, liked what they find and then make a choice. No one here is so busy that you need worry about being able to book dives at any time, and also, within reason being able to negotiate a little. Remember though, the best of the companies may not negotiate a lot. Bottom line .. you get what you pay for.

[This message has been edited by ljacks (edited 06-11-2002).]

#53948 - 06/11/02 11:47 AM Re: lodging/dive packages  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 945
Gaz Cooper Offline
Gaz Cooper  Offline

While I agree with some of your comments should someone wish to stay at my resort and dive with us pre-booking is highly reccomended as dive boat space is VERY limited and my in house guests and package divers get Priority space.

i only operate 2 boats with just 6-8 divers MAX Am and Pm each boat and once I am full thats it.

I focus on a very high level of service and keep numbers small I charge more than most diveshops but limit the number of divers I will take on any boat.

Should anyone book any package of mine and WE cancel because of weather then we offer a refund on that dive based on the amount paid in the package. (In many cases the amount paid is much lower than normal rack rate)

You are correct in that should a person decide not to dive for there own reasons ie hungover decide to go on another trip then in normal circumstances its not refundable however if someone is genuinly ill we will refund or issue a credit.

However Packages tend to offer a better value overall when you take into account accomodations etc.

If people read reccomendations of a certain operator time after time such as Amigos I think they can safely assume that it is a quality dive operator and they should feel totally comfortable booking a package with them.

As you mentioned the best companies will be less inclined to offer a discount outside of the ones they get in a pre-booked packages and the only reason I am offering a 50% discount to NYC firefighters is for the hard work they have done over the past 12 months and because by god they deserve it.

Dive Safe

Gaz Cooper
Playa Blanca Dive & Beach Club

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