So while we are avid scuba divers, our typical vacation has been made up of a combination of scuba diving and sightseeing at our destination. We would normally stay at a traditional hotel and find a local dive shop that was close by. This model has worked well for us but has also been fraught with challenges when it comes to cleaning and transporting dive gear. After a morning two-tank dive, dragging our dripping equipment through a fancy hotel lobby and trying to rinse it in the shower or tub has always been a challenge. Most hotels don’t want you to dry gear on their balconies either. Despite this we’ve worked out systems that included bringing our own boot dryers and hangers, which have served us reasonably well.
When planning our Grand Cayman trip, our first inclination was to do the same. We had scoped out and reserved the traditional name brand hotel on Seven Mile Beach and even found a dive shop that would pick us up. What actually bugged us about this was the expensive resort fees these places charged for activities and services we would mostly be missing out on when heading off resort for our dives. Suffice it to say that this opened up the idea of making a change. When a local diver friend told us that the best diving was actually on Grand Cayman’s East End, this was enough to push us further afield to try new options.
In the past our holidays had been a couple of days of diving intermixed with other activities and perhaps we felt we would not be ready for a dive resort. As we read more and more however, the idea of a package that included the diving, having the dive boat just outside our room, and even hanging around with other divers started to appeal to us more and more.
Based upon the recommendation of our friend we picked the Compass Point Dive Resort (Ocean Frontiers diving is on site) located on the East End of Grand Cayman. We are so happy that we did, the rooms were great! Clean, spacious and well appointed with comfortable beds, a full kitchen, washer-dryer and huge balcony outside a living room. Our suite was a two bedroom two bathroom 4½ that could have accommodated four easily and even six with the Murphy beds in the living room area. For the two of us it was great to spread out and make ourselves at home, even if we didn’t use the second bedroom.
The restaurant (Eagle Rays) was next door and we even had breakfast included with our package. Quite honestly the place was extremely comfortable and we felt at home with plenty of room to lay out our stuff unlike a typical cramped hotel room. Catering to divers, no one looked twice at our wetsuits drying on the balcony and with the dives starting at 7:30 am most people were in bed early. Little touches like rinse bins, hoses, and even key coded locks for doors and safes made for fewer things to worry about losing overboard. Further, hanging around with experienced divers, many of whom were repeat visitors at the resort, we had the opportunity to make new friends and learn a lot of good tips on photography, equipment, and even technique and air consumption.
This was our first dive resort holiday and our first time doing repeated daily dives. We are sure it won’t be our last now that we’ve experienced the convenience of a resort tailored to divers. It was exactly what we needed to make our dive holiday more relaxing. When doing multiple dives, we didn’t have much energy to go hiking in the afternoons either. In fact, it’s probably not a good idea to do a lot of cardio or strenuous activity when off-gassing (DAN recommends avoiding exercise 24 hours before or after diving).
As we waited for our delayed flights at the airport, we were already thinking that not only do we plan to return to Grand Cayman and to Compass Point but we will definitely plan to look to dive resorts as a preferred choice for upcoming dive destination holidays.
What’s next? Maybe one of those liveaboards? If you’ve been on one please tell us all about it.
Related post: Diving Grand Cayman’s East End