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bubbles
01-11-2008, 01:51 PM
Hi,

I am totally addicted to diving in tropical waters. I eat, sleep and breathe diving and yet as I live in the UK - diving holidays can prove very expensive due to the distance we have to travel from the UK.

We always go on package deals and stay in big AI resorts in the Caribbean or the Maldives. Whilst I realise there is no alternative where the Maldives is concerened - is there a cheaper way of visiting the Caribbean? If anyone knows of a cheaper way to have dive holidays PLEASE, PLEASE let me know!!!
:)

bottlefish
01-12-2008, 01:45 PM
Bubbles, flights to the Carribean are quite cheap, you can find self catering accomodation for most destinations advertised on line as well, why not do the leg work yourself? You wont have a rep or travel agency to go back to if it goes wrong or if it isn't up to expectations, however I reckon you will save money, and will also have the freedom to eat where you want, choose which dive operator you go with etc. It's worth grabbing a lonely planet guide for the destination you want to go to as well, the books may have been started for the backpackers market, however the accomodation listed generally covers a wide range of budgets, from the basic hostel to the 5 star hotel.

Also, get in touch with dive centres in your area to see if they have anything booked, or would be interested in setting a group trip up for you, take advantage of the discounts that will bring. There's quite a few in Reading, also Aquatic Element (www.aquatic-element.co.uk) has recently opened up in Windsor.

lottie
01-12-2008, 09:32 PM
Bubbles.....
As bottlefish mentioned, flights to the Caribbean are cheap - moreso in the off-peak season (feb, july to november) - I've got flights with Virgin Atlantic for as little as 400 quid.

Not to beep my own horn too much - but if you want a cheap place to stay - checkout my parents guesthouse link below..stay per night starts at $190 for two people for the room per night, inclusive of breakfast and you'll probably see alot more of st lucia than you would staying AI.

Diving is about EC$170 per dive (cheaper if you do the two dives a day)
(EC$5 = 1 quid) - checkout the scuba st lucia link in my signature.

HTH

bubbles
01-12-2008, 11:37 PM
What are the beaches like in St Lucia? Also if we were to do Self Catering or stay at your parents lovely guest house (just been checking out the link) how expensive is it to eat out in St Lucia?

bubbles
01-12-2008, 11:42 PM
Bottlefish - your link was interesting! Didn't like the look of the ice diving on the site. :eek: Do they ever advertise Caribbean or Maldives? Also do they ever do 14 nights?

lottie
01-13-2008, 01:51 AM
The beaches are gorgeous...proabbly not quite the white-sand ever expanding beaches that you see in the holiday brochures, but the beaches are good - not crowded and theres loads of variety (when you know where to look!)

Eating out varies from restaurant to restaurant. You can have a meal at the Ladera Resort (5 star, gorgeous food, views looking out to the pitons) thats about EC$200/300 (50 quid) per head for a three course meal, not including drinks. Then theres a local place (really nice, small, popular as well) thats about c. EC$75 (15 quid) per head for a two course meal.

bottlefish
01-13-2008, 04:05 AM
Diving around the Pitons is special as well (as is a trip up to the hot springs), a locally managed natural reserve, one of the few successes where the concept of mantaining nature has overriden the fisheries. I haven't been there for a while, I'm sure Lottie will have loads of info though...

Re Aquatic Elements, give John (the owner) a call, mention my name (Stuart from Bottlefish). If he can set something up, he will, it'll only take a couple of interests to make it worth his time. The trips you see publicised on the site are all in response to requests from his customers and club members.

Ice diving? brrrr, leave that to the eskimos :)

bubbles
01-13-2008, 05:23 PM
Agreed lol