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DarkJedi

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  1. Worth it? Yes, but I am biased. I think a lake is worth it just because it's underwater. If you have your own gear take it, there are tons of small operators that can take you out in small boats to very nice spots with only a coupe of people. Years ago we checked on CC and the recommendation was to just get a cab and ask for "Meat". Took the risk and it turned out that not only did the cab driver immediately know who I meant and where he was, but two other couples from our ship ended up being his other customers. Made for a great trip. The only real warning I will give is to watch your depth. The water is super clear and it is easy to end up much deeper than you wanted to go.
  2. Discovery scuba in Cozumel, you can do the dive with dolphins at Chankanaab Park. Go to their web site and wait for the little chat icon to pop up. Ask about any deals on the discovery dive and they should offer you a 2 for 1. When you get there you will check in where the dolphin pens are and they will direct you down the beach to the dive operator. You will kit up near the end of the reef/swim area and enter the water there, dive across the protected swim area to the dolphin area. Get out and wait for "your" dolphin to be available. While waiting you may have a chance to talk to trainers or the dolphin vet if they are around. Then you do your time with the dolphins. Afterwards you get back in the water and scuba back to the area where the dive booth is. Not sure how much time we were in the water but DW went in with 3000psi and came out right at 500psi as her first dive. Because of the price difference not a lot of people do the dive with dolphins, which with the 2 for 1 comes out to only about $30 more, we were the only two and got a ton of personalized attention.
  3. Nassau hands down for sharks. Because of the feeding and protection laws in the Bahamas there are plenty of sharks. In one week of diving we did 20 dives and saw sharks on 18 of the dives, almost always reef sharks as well as nurse. There are two main dive operators, Stuart's Cove and Bahamas Diving. Bahamas diving is closer to the cruise ship terminal and mainly dives the north and east side of the island. Stuart Cove is a farther ride across the island and mainly dives the west and south side of the island. Both are good operations, personally I prefer Stuart's Cove as I prefer the diving in that area more as it is closer to the Tongue of the Atlantic.
  4. Masks are about as personal as you can get, the best method is to try them on at a shop. Even two masks of the exact same type may fit slightly different. It should stick comfortably to your face with a slight intake of breath above water. Below water tightening the straps can actually cause creases in your face and make the mask leak more. For females, don't wear make up that will be where the mask seal sits, or bring make up remover and use it before wearing. If you simply can;t find a good mask, or if it isn't worth the trouble for a short time, you can apply something like petroleum jelly or food grade water resistant lubricant to the mask seal to help it seal better. Very useful trick for males with facial hair. I'm a big fan of freedive masks, even for scuba. But that is a personal opinion and not everyone likes them.
  5. Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, & Cozumel For diving from a ship: Cozumel: great diving relatively close to the cruise terminals. Lots of pelagic life, as long as you are diving within your limits very safe. Roatan: again close to the cruise terminals, or not too far to go to the west end and short boat ride from there. Not as much pelagic, more macro life. West end is entirely sanctuary so beautiful, but diving is either slow current or really fast current. Shallow and safe diving pretty much everywhere. Grand Cayman: a bit of a hassle to dive here but some stunning diving. Good mix of pelagic and macro life. Belize: Of the 4 spots the best diving, but very far from Belize City or the private islands to get to the dive spots. Depends on your available time more than anything which is why I put it last.
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