Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

The three night cruise ship dive trip is a quick, easy, affordable and satisfying Dive Cruise. Consider the three-nighter to Nassau and CocoCay on Royal Caribbean. We get to cruise, we get to dive, and we feel like we’ve cheated by logging three dives on a three-day weekend! It feels like a seven-night vacation. Royal Caribbean offers a three-nighter out of Port Canaveral nearly every weekend of the year. It’s a perfect trip for a fast taste of diving in the beautiful Bahamas! 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Day 1 Starting the Cruise

Driving or riding in your Uber, Lyft, shuttle, or whatever – enjoy the view of the Royal Caribbean ship as it appears larger and larger as you get closer to the start of your three night cruise ship dive trip. See if you can remember where your cabin is located and try to determine if you can spot the general area where it lies. Take note of the volumes of food and beverage being loaded on the ship, as well as the volume of luggage coming aboard! Wow! Hopefully you will have a speedy trip through disembarkation to the vessel.

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Boarding

Boarding time is around 11:00 a.m. on Friday. On Monday, you can disembark anytime from about 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. And in between, you are going to cram six day’s worth of fun into three! Once in the disembarkation building, you will check in, have your photo taken for reference as you get on and off the ship in port or make purchases – if you didn’t do that in advance online – and head to the ship. Oh, yeah, they will try to take your photo next to a photo of a ship. I always pass in favor of getting on the real ship. I can take a photo later!  

We like to arrive far earlier, about 10:00 a.m., and get on the ship and start our vacation six hours earlier than the last call. That gives us nearly a whole extra day of vacation on board! 

With the morning boarding, we check our bags. You can bring them on board yourself, but then you must drag them around until your cabin is ready about 1:00 p.m. Plenty of people do just that. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Before Lunch

Once on board, we walk around a bit exploring and getting the layout figured. We locate the gym, the spa, the pools, the hot tubs, the easiest path to our cabin, the dining room, and the Diamond Lounge for a fancy coffee and to meet the concierge for the voyage. We might need their help later making sure we have priority disembarkation at each port to make our diving connections, if they are early dives. We’ve even been guilty of swinging by the dining room to scope out our table location, and even take a peek at the evening’s menu.

Then we head to the buffet lunch in the Windjammer. Next we head to the adults-only pool where it’s quieter. Swimming, reading, maybe a fancy tropical drink while we listen to the “welcome aboard” band playing island music. 

Sometimes we opt for a lighter lunch in the Solarium area, maybe a salad and a sandwich and some fruit. We might even stroll around topsides to see what marine traffic is operating in the area, look at the sea conditions, admire the coastline, and just enjoy being outdoors. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Exploring Your Cabin

Around 1:00 p.m., your cabin will be ready! It’s always exciting to see how smartly all the amenities and details are included in the space. We like to go ahead and get our dive gear organized for the next day’s first dive. That’s my SeaToSummit dry sack – lightweight and perfect for travel!

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Sail Away Party

The ship leaves Port Canaveral about 4:00 p.m. Friday evening. There is a muster drill, then a cruise away party topsides. We enjoyed the bungy jump as we headed offshore! What a way to get a “jump” on the fun!

We like to stay on deck until we are well offshore, watching the Pilot Boat pick up their pilot and head back into port. It’s fun to observe an inlet different from the one where I work, and see what marine traffic is in the area. Once out of sight of land, you will begin to lose cell phone coverage. Watch for the “cellular at sea” text – that tells you it’s time to place your mobile on airplane mode to avoid roaming and other charges. 

As a Diamond status cruiser, 5:00 p.m. is my happy hour! Free cocktails until 8:30 p.m. – and the chance to meet up with other Diamond cruisers and hear RCI corporate news, new ship predictions, tips and just general cruise chat. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Dinner

Sometime in the evening, we head to dinner. The dining room is a nicely elegant choice, although there are others. It’s fun to go through the whole experience, and the wait staff usually is absolutely excellent; better than most on-shore restaurants. 

After dinner, there’s plenty of time to lose a bit in the casino, catch a show, go dancing, stroll along the promenade watching the ocean go by, have your photo taken while you are all dressed up, or visit one of the several ship’s bars. In the evening, the shops will open, so a bit of watch or jewelry shopping is fun, as well as testing out new fragrances and contemplating the Duty Free Store. All caps. Very. Important. Store. Make note of prices so that when you are in town the next day, you are making informed decisions. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Evening at Sea

There’s fun to be had for as long as you can stay awake. There’s usually a live show to see in the theater. A late-night pause in the hot tub, a nightcap in a seaside spot, or even another stroll around the ship checking what books are in the library, the ship’s progress on the chart, or a trip to the customer relations counter for any lingering questions. OH! And a quick stop by the “Future Cruises” desk to either make a reservation for an appointment, or to drop off a reservation form. Booking on board saves you a bit off the next cruise, and it’s nice to end the current cruise knowing there’s another one in your future. 

If you think of it, around midnight, be sure to look off the port side of the ship to see the lights at the Freeport Docks on Grand Bahama Island. You might even want to run an app like Navionics that will give your location even when you are off cellular data. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Day 2 Arrival in Nassau and Diving off New Providence Island

In the morning, it’s all open ocean, but you can start to see the island of New Providence where the capital, Nassau, lies at the Northeast tip. It’s time to gather your gear and figure out where is the best spot to be for disembarking.

With luck, the ship will turn around, giving you a panorama view of the fantastic Nassau Harbor. The ship must clear customs before anyone gets off. You can watch the dock hands getting organized, running lines. 

Suddenly, you realize this is not just a three night cruise ship dive trip, but an actual decent vacation with a foreign destination!

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Meeting Your Dive Team

In advance, you will have made arrangements of where and when to meet your connection to your dive organizer. 

If you are diving with Stuart Cove’s, you probably are meeting at the fountain that lies just outside the market. First you will go through an inspection for your oversize bag, have a brief pause, receive a sticker to put on it, and proceed through the gates out to the fountain. 

Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, you have a 45-minute bus ride to the other side of the island; to the southwest end. It’s a great chance to see a lot of the island, admire the vegetation, and see some historical buildings. You might see some wedding parties in the lush landscaping around the fancy resorts. Sometimes the bus will stop for a diver at one of the resorts, so you might get inside the gates and get a closer look. 

On our last Dive Cruise, we got to see part of the enormous Bahia Mar complex, which we would not have gotten to see otherwise. You can read about that in The Trip to SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas.

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

First Two Dives!

Once at Stuart Cove’s, it’s time to pay any remaining balance, and get your gear on the boat and go diving. The return should get you back in time for dinner. If you miss your early dinner, then just go eat in the Windjammer. 

For the full details of this dive, read: SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Other Options for Diving Nassau

We’ve got another three night cruise ship dive trip planned in February, and this time we hope to dive with Bahama Divers for a different experience. They are located a lot closer to the cruise port, on the northeast side of the island. We’re considering the Blue Hole, Barracuda Reef, Ocean Wall, wreck and reef dives. So many fun choices!

Diving with Bahama Divers, it’s a much shorter trip to just outside Nassau, under ten minutes. We might choose them for our dives in February, so I’ll update this section then. 

We are hoping diving with them will give us enough time to dive, late lunch back on board, get cleaned up, then head into town to one of our several favorite secret off-the-beaten-path spots. There’s plenty of time to make the midnight sail-away!

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Night Life

Dinner is more formal tonight, so it’s a fun opportunity to dress up and take some snaps! That would be after you decide if you’re washing your gear tonight or after tomorrow’s dive. 

Options for tonight might be 80’s Disco Inferno Party, a comedian, live music, dancing under the stars… The ship leaves Nassau at midnight, so it’s a beautiful sail-away from up on deck. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Day 3 Diving off Little Stirrup Cay

Breakfast on board, then head off the boat to meet up with your dive crew! Our next cruise will be our first with the new pier at CocoCay – previously, you had to catch the first tender off the boat. The island is named Little Stirrup Cay, and RCCL has named it CocoCay as a private island destination. Actually, they have renamed it “Perfect Day at CocoCay” after a makeover.

The purchase of your shore excursion through Royal guaranteed you on that first tender off the boat. If the seas were too rough, the tenders could not run, and you might miss the island experience entirely. Now, with the pier, getting ashore is a guarantee. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Dive Brief for Today’s Reef Dive 

Dive setup is on the ground outside the dive shop. You will have a dive briefing, then head out. The dives here are early in the morning because they tow you to the dive site by personal watercraft. After this, the personal watercraft are busy on guided tours and other activities.

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Getting to the Dive Site

Don gear, walk to beach, and be towed out! Wheeee! Everyone waits on a line on a float until the entire diving party is on location, then down you go! The single dive is about 45 minutes. The dive crew will allow you to store your gear in their shed as you lunch and explore the island. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Post Dive

There’s a huge lunch on shore, then it’s a nice walk to the other end of the island. Jitneys also will transport you to the far end where you can gaze due West and dream of early fishermen and sailers who plied these waters. 

You dive is over by 11:00 a.m., so you could lunch back on board and have the pools all to yourself… or a chance to look over your gorgeous photos!

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Afternoon

There’s still a half day in the Bahamas! Either lounge on shore on on the boat! At some point, make a plan to wash out your gear. Enjoy the amazing color of that turquoise water over pink sands as much as you possibly can. 

We haven’t done this cruise since the new pier was built. Previously, the ship anchored, then you took a ferry to the island. On return, you were required to pass through an X-ray machine on the island. I predict now it will simply be the one on the boat, just like in other ports. You might ask why if you were on their private island you would be scanned. Because you are coming into contact with … well, let’s just say you wouldn’t want to discover that one of those wild iguanas had crawled into your dive bag during lunch and tried to stow away! 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Back on Board

Time to get all those three night cruise ship dive trip GoPro videos and photos downloaded!

You’ve got time for a massage at the spa, a workout in the sea view gym, some more rock climbing or bungy jumping, or just relaxing by the huge pool, or, the adults-only Solarium pool.

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Night At Sea

Endless things to do – casino, surf machine, or whatever the ship has is all yours for one more evening. 

Dinner, dive summaries, and another night for shopping, exploring the ship, strolling around. Maybe a late-night comedian! When they say for the children to leave… it’s about to get good! 

You can leave your luggage outside your door tonight so you don’t have to haul it off the ship tomorrow. 

This is also a great time for any additional duty-free purchases, and to make a reservation for a future cruise so you take advantage of additional discounts and special offers as well as lower prices.

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Day 4 Disembarkation

The ship will come into port long before the sun rises. Breakfast can be a leisurely event. 

When you’re ready, head to one of the disembarkation lounges and head back to land. You take your luggage with you, or pick it up right before customs if you put it outside your cabin the night before. 

Make connection with your method of transport back to your car, retrieve it, and head home. You will be amazed that you feel you packed a week’s worth of fun into a weekend; it feels like much longer than that. Just the reset you needed. 

Don’t forget to log your dives on the trip home before you forget air consumption, depths, sea life, and all the rest. 

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Happy Cruising! Happy Diving! 

For us, our closest port is Port Canaveral. Read my upcoming article, Why we cruise with Royal Caribbean, to learn about that. Subscribe so you know when it goes live!

That’s the basic timeline for a three night cruise ship dive trip. It always feels like you have crammed a seven-night cruise into four days!

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

You Can’t Bring Toxic Sunscreen

But you can bring reef-safe Sunscreen and Mask Defog that’s safe for water, marine life, and for humans! Stream2Sea have the only reef-safe sunscreen tested on fish. Plus, it comes in biodegradable sugar cane resin containers, so it’s a double win for us and the environment.

No matter where you plan to dive, whatever you put on your body will eventually find its way into a waterway, river, lake, stream, or ocean.Paragraph

Here’s an easy way to do your part in saving our oceans. Do your research! Then order reef-safe mask defog, sunscreen and hair products at Stream2Sea.com, use my code “KimW” for 10% off. AD: affiliate links used.

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

To Extend the Vacay, Reduce Stress

Stay at an Airbnb at your port the night before! This is not the time for rushing around, possibly missing your boarding time due to a delay.

So, here are two Airbnb discount codes. Try either one! The offerings from Airbnb change every couple months, so use whichever gives you the best deal. You can only use a code one time, so compare, choose whichever gives you the best deal since they change periodically, and make it count!

As of today, this one, Airbnb http://bit.ly/dwhAIRBNB says, “Kimberly gave you up to $55 off your first trip.”

Also today, this one, Airbnb http://bit.ly/dwhAirbnb2 says, “Deep gave you up to $415 off your first adventure. I’m ready to book from this one right now! I’m thinking it’s a computer glitch – so jump on it fast!

Today, this one from Uber: http://bit.ly/dwhUber This link currently is for $2 off first 3 rides, however, this also can change – sometimes it’s $5 off your first ride.

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

What to Read Next

For the definitive, funny, research-laden account of how we reduced the weight of our gear significantly for easier travel, read this: How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Here on the blog, a click on the “CRUISE” category will result in several articles. Here’s two fun, quick reads:

Dive Gear Luggage // Worth the Expense? // Pros and Cons

21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

cruise ship dive trip, Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

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