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Old 09-13-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
gonzalez8530
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Scuba Diving at Cast Cay

My wife and I are certified divers and just returned from Castaway Cay (CC). We noticed they had snorkel excursions to some outer reefs but no scuba excursions. Does anyone know why or if it is in future plans to offer scuba diving at CC? The reason I ask is that the kids are not certified but at CC, they can play outside with the kids club.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:56 PM   #2
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I wish there was scuba at CC.

I will suggest, though, if you want to dive, leave the kids onboard at the kids club and just let them know you'll be off ship. We did that with our then 4 year old, we took the three older kids on a three stop snorkel and it worked really well with the little one onboard.

If you are interested in diving in Nassau, Stuart Cove's is the best...look at shoretrips.com. They've got some great options through Stuart Cove's (cheaper than booking with Disney or direct with Stuart Cove's) and I state from personal experience their shark dives are amazing. My husband is doing another one, this time a two stop shark dive (one with a feeding box) in a few weeks...I can't because I have ear problems. He has been diving many dozens of times (I've only been a few) and he counts his shark dive in Nassau in the top three...Epcot's Divequest is also up there (he has done that one three times).
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
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AFAIK, Disney has no plans to offer scuba at CC. Someone atone point mentioned that they did,but there hasnt been any in several years at least.

Ill second SC. Word of advice though, book directly with them,or shore trips.com but dont tell them that you are on the ship, theyll tel you you have to book thru Disney. Tell them to pick you up at either Hard Rock, or Senor Frogs.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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That was our dilema on this last August trip. We did a double dip at CC with one stop in Nassau. Although the wife and I would love to have dived, we have two children that would have had to stay on the ship at Kid's Camp. They would have felt robbed not going into Nassau. We did a sea lion encounter at the Blue Lagoon and that was great, but with those clear waters, I sure would love to dive. At CC, at least the kids could play outside at the kids camp while we went off on a half day excursion and the guilt factor would be gone. We spoke to a CM (lifeguard) that said we weren't the first to ask and just recommended putting it into the comments. We did, and perhaps if the demand seems great, Disney will consider it. I'm sure safety is the largest concern and perhaps the reason if they may never do it.
We did dive in EPCOT and had the kids take pictures from the observation deck. That was great and recommend that to anyone.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truck1 View Post
AFAIK, Disney has no plans to offer scuba at CC. Someone atone point mentioned that they did,but there hasnt been any in several years at least.

Ill second SC. Word of advice though, book directly with them,or shore trips.com but dont tell them that you are on the ship, theyll tel you you have to book thru Disney. Tell them to pick you up at either Hard Rock, or Senor Frogs.
Through shoretrips, they'll pick you up at the ship, no problem. We haven't tried to book directly though except when we stayed at Atlantis. Through Shoretrips, they ask where you'll be...we always say Disney Wonder and it isn't an issue.

Stuart Cove's probably doesn't want to pick up with direct bookings, since they get paid no matter what! Shoretrips is the most reasonably priced, and I've had great experiences with them in so many different places, not just Nassau...I'd recommend them to anyone (and do, all the time).

Also, in regards to the kids feeling ripped off...since they've been to Nassau already, maybe next time they'll let mom and dad have some dive time. If not, perhaps try one of the snorkel trips, my kids went nuts for the three stop dive (last one was sharks). Or just do like my husband and me and take one every once in a while without the kids.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
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What happened was, that since both my fiance, and I are divers, I wasnt going to pay the DCL price, since for that price, I could do 2 2 tank dives in the keys,and we were bringing our own gear. I emailed Stuart Cove and asked them about the price, since I was going to be bringing my gear. DCL wouldnt budge on the price, since the gear is included. After talking with Bob K in South Florida who handles the cruise ship portion of SC, he told me that its in DCLs contract, and also several others, that you have to book thru the line, to use SC. Which is where, if you book thru SC separately, and say pick me up at the pier, the first thing they are going to ask, is what ship are you on?. As soon as the hear Disney or one of the other ships that have the same clause, theyll say call Disney and book.Even though you can save 60 dollars or better (Looked last night since we are talking about diving and staying there on our own. Its 100 for a 2 tank dive thru SC.If they have a special it can be cheaper) to dive.

The only way Ive found around it, is to say pick me up at Senor Frogs, or Hard Rock Cafe, on what ever date.

If youre booking the shark dive, its a different story, since DCL doesnt offer it thru the ship.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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If youre booking the shark dive, its a different story, since DCL doesnt offer it thru the ship.
Good point...we've only booked the shark dive or the snorkel trip while on a Disney ship...although it has always been booked through shoretrips. I'm not sure how it works with shoretrips on dives that are the same, since they are a separate company entirely. They do offer some of the same dives. Perhaps Stuart Cove's doesn't know where the guests are coming from until it is time for pick up, or soon before? shoretrips is usually cheaper than even directly with Stuart Cove's, which is something I've never understood.

Not to hijack, but have either of you ever done parasailing at Castaway Cay? I've got it scheduled for DH for something semi adventurous, but not sure if it is worth it.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:25 PM   #8
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Nope. Sorry. Usually when we are there, Im playing underwater tour guide for my kids.And the daddy shell.There.There. There. There..............................

Ill have to remember the survey about adding a scuba tour at CC. Ive told my fiance a few times, if they ever let on the ship with my tank, (133 steel)theyd wouldnt see me until the ship was reay to leave. :
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:50 PM   #9
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My DH and I would LOVE to scuba at Castaway Cay!!! I wish I knew why it hasn't happened (so far). We always dive at least once or twice per cruise, but would love to dive at Castaway Cay, too. Does anyone know why there's no scuba at CC?
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:07 AM   #10
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Rumor has it, that many years ago, there was scuba diving at CC. Personally, Ive never seen it there.

if I had to guess, one of the big reasons that there is no diving there,is that there is no op close enough that would make it worth while to do.Youd have to have someone come from Freeport, in order to do it. I doubt Disney would do it on their own, though I know there are scuba certified cms on the island to work on the netting and put things back after a storm etc.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:26 AM   #11
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Interesting discussion about diving at CC. I was thinking the reason would be the lack of a decompression chamber which would seem a major medical issue to add one. Realistically, they would probably never need emergency facilities but my guess is Disney would need to take all precautions. However, that said, if the dive was depth limiting to say under 40 feet, the risk should be quite minimal. Anyways, I'm just speculating as it would seem a tank fill station and equipment would be a minimal cost for Disney. The cost of the tours would easily recover the investment. Just think, the EPCOT Divequest must cost much more to run compared to the cost to run one or two scuba tours at CC.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truck1 View Post
Rumor has it, that many years ago, there was scuba diving at CC. Personally, Ive never seen it there.

if I had to guess, one of the big reasons that there is no diving there,is that there is no op close enough that would make it worth while to do.Youd have to have someone come from Freeport, in order to do it. I doubt Disney would do it on their own, though I know there are scuba certified cms on the island to work on the netting and put things back after a storm etc.
'Tis true about the rumor. We spent some time with one of the vendors waiting for the Seahorse Snorkel to encourage Disney to have Scuba again when the new ships come out - more ships, more divers. He suggested we all contact Disney (comment cards etc). One major porblem is as the poster suggested, the distance to the island is about 45 minutes. And the weather is potentially uncertain. Disney tends to cancel water events when other vendors still are going out. At least this has been our experience when we have booked - we always book with the dive operator and not the boat. Another problem he said was the level of divers - tours are usually for open water only. And the other rumor was that the kids and spouse got dumped on the island, not that CC is a bad place to be dumped. I was not lucky enough to be crusing when CC first opened so I do not know for sure.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:58 AM   #13
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One very good thing about Disney is their attention toward the comment cards. Hopefully this post will encourage all interested to request Scuba Diving at CC on the comment cards. I'm sure, with enough consistent requests, this type of excursion can happen. Or perhaps I'm just being too optimistic, but it's okay to dream.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:03 PM   #14
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Disney Ship Bottom 2-Tank Tour - Dive under the Disney Ships in dock at Castaway Cay for an underwater tour of the ship--Beginner divers will each be given a scraper to see what it's like to remove barnacles (keep as many as you'd like for souvenirs). Advanced divers will be given power tools to see how to keep the ship in tip-top shape by straightening the ships props and thrusters and maintaining the stabilizers!

It'd be a win-win!
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #15
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We cruized year one on Magic and Wonder and once a year for several years after . . . CC never had SCUBA in my experience. I'm SURE it has been mentioned many times on comment card with no movement that I ever saw over the years. Why? I dunno but here's some thoughts:

- most of the activities off the beach are actually run by a Bahamas conscession contractor who comes from a neighboring island (parasail, banana boat (remember that)). Perhands no one has been interested in the contract

- possibly the surrounding area doesn't really have decent diving .... just because you are in the Bahamas doesn't automatically mean good diving. Look at the Florida Keys - only a few areas actually support much diving. Not to burst anyone's bubble but the snorkeling at CC is really just on the fair side. Very safe and controlled for someone who's never done it, kids and adults, but truthfully, pretty mundain. It is possible also that any 'good' diving is at a depth that DCL considers too high risk . . . all just thoughts tho, I've never looked for a dive location there . .

- what you've joked about may be a MAJOR reason . . . ever notice most diving is kept FAR from the docks. Getting under a cruise ship without full knowledge of what you are doing by you AND THOSE ON THE SHIP is DANGEROUS. The ship is still 'running' at the pier and sucking in seawater to cool things. Get near one of those intakes and very very bad things can happen . . .
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