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The Best Scuba Diving Cruise Ship Stops In the Caribbean

If you’re passionate about scuba diving cruises, it’s because you can’t resist the temptation to dive in unfamiliar waters that you’ve never seen before and may never see again.

  1. Scuba Diving from a cruise, which means booking a cruise and then your dives with the dive centers at each location.
  2. Scuba diving cruises, also known as liveaboards.

Both forms are an exciting way to explore the seas and enjoy the diving experience. They offer you the best of both worlds, allowing you to explore the depths and relax on deck. Therefore, the question we ask ourselves is not so much which is the better option, but which one suits me better.

If you have doubts about whether to choose a scuba diving cruise or to dive from a cruise… Take a look at the table of contents!

1. Scuba Diving on Cruises

Who wouldn’t want to embark on an unforgettable diving adventure aboard a cruise in the fascinating Caribbean? Truly, a cruise is one of the best ways to explore new and amazing corners while enjoying the thrill of sailing on the open sea.

Scuba diving on cruises provides the chance to enjoy captivating stops along your travel route and discover new opportunities to savor each destination. By booking your dives with the dive centers you choose at each point of your itinerary, they will open the door to a world of underwater wonders for you.

These professionals are experts in the art of diving, ensuring that all your needs are met and that your safety is paramount.

Advantages of scuba diving on a cruise:

When it comes to enjoying scuba diving on a cruise vacation with a stop at a dive center, there are numerous advantages to keep in mind. Here are some key benefits:

Convenience: During these dive cruise stops everything is meticulously organized for you. Furthermore, dive centers are often located near the port, making access easy. Additionally, at other ports of call, when you don’t plan to take a plunge into the water, you can savor local cuisine, immerse yourself in native culture, admire historical sites, and seamlessly blend in with the daily life of the place for a few hours. Relaxing on pristine beaches or in charming natural pools is also an option.

Professional Guidance: Dive centers at cruise ship stops boast seasoned dive instructors and guides who possess an intimate knowledge of the local dive sites. They offer expert guidance, ensuring that your diving experience is both safe and exhilarating. These professionals are well-versed in marine life, underwater topography, and any unique considerations specific to the area.

Equipment Rental: If you don’t have your own scuba diving gear, fret not. Dive centers at cruise ship stops typically provide equipment rental services. This means you can dive without the hassle of lugging your equipment around or worrying about its upkeep. You’ll have the opportunity to rent top-notch gear that’s well-maintained and perfectly suited to the local diving conditions.

Certification Opportunities: Even if you’re not a certified diver yet, some dive centers at cruise ship stops offer introductory dive programs and certification courses. This means you can either learn to dive or further hone your diving skills in a convenient and controlled environment.

But as what truly elevates this experience for a diver is the chance to indulge in scuba at every port of call, we are going to tell you about the 5 most popular cruise ship stops for scuba diving in the Caribbean. Do you already have your mask and fins on?

scuba diving cruises - montego bay

1.1. The 5 Most Popular Scuba Diving Cruise Stops in The Caribbean


1. Cozumel (Mexico)

The first among the most popular cruise ship stop for scuba diving in the Caribbean that we highly recommend is Cozumel. This island consistently ranks as one of the finest diving destinations worldwide, also for scuba diving from a cruise. Its crystal-clear waters, stunning beauty, and abundant marine life make it a top choice.

Here, you’ll easily encounter fascinating creatures such as turtles, eels, nurse sharks, eagle rays, and even the endemic Cozumel Splendid Toadfish. Thanks to its rich marine fauna, Cozumel has been extensively documented and explored by renowned oceanographers, including the legendary Jacques Cousteau.

If you’re eager to embark on similar cruises for scuba diving in Cozumel, simply book your excursion from the Dressel Divers Dive Center in Cozumel . Plus, don’t miss out on their exclusive offer of complimentary nitrox!

They conveniently reside in the heart of the Cozumel Marine Park, ensuring an unforgettable dive experience. So, when planning your next cruise adventure, make sure to include Cozumel on your scuba diving itinerary.


2. Playa del Carmen (Mexico)

Playa del Carmen, Mexico, stands as the ultimate scuba diving cruise stop in the heart of the Yucatan. This breathtaking destination offers an array of options to cater to divers of all skill levels, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking an unforgettable underwater adventure. Along its expansive coastline, you can explore the wonders of the deep, encountering bull sharks during the winter months and tarpons in the summertime. But that’s not all – Playa del Carmen also boasts the mesmerizing cenotes, a natural wonder found deep within the Yucatan jungle. These sub-aquatic caverns are truly unparalleled in the world, offering a scuba diving experience where you’ll feel like you’re suspended in mid-air.

One of the most awe-inspiring features of cenotes is the way sunlight cascades into the cavern shafts, creating a magical and mesmerizing light show. It’s an experience like no other, and it’s one of the primary reasons why Playa del Carmen is renowned as one of the top cruise ship stops for scuba diving in the Caribbean. Whether you’re on a scuba dive cruise or a cruise with scuba diving as an option, this Mexican gem promises an underwater adventure that will leave you speechless.


3. Montego Bay (Jamaica)

Montego Bay has abundant marine life and a huge number of fairly virgin spots to discover. But if there is one place that stands out it is the Marine Park, a wonderful area of reefs extending 6 square miles (15 km2) full of abundant types of marine animals and coral. We especially recommend visiting the Airport Wall dive site. If you prefer snorkeling, the Marine Park’s crystal waters are also the perfect place for you. Finally, you should also visit the Luminous Lagoon, and swim in glistening waters. Here you can find more info about how to book excursions to all these places in Montego Bay.

cruise ship stops for scuba diving in the Caribbean - Grand Cayman

4. La Romana (The Dominican Republic)

The fourth of the most popular cruise ship stops for scuba diving in the Caribbean that we recommend is La Romana, in the Dominican Republic. Here you can choose among many local reefs as well as uninhabited islands. In addition, in La Romana you can enjoy 2 different wreck dives, among which we highlight the impressive St-George. We also recommend visiting Saona Island, its reefs are among the best of the Dominican Republic. You will be astonished by the beauty of its protected natural park and its huge natural swimming pool.  Last but not least, you should also visit Santa Catalina, an island baptized by Cristopher Colombus himself. Here you could dive among its spectacular wall and coral reefs or stay on the surface snorkeling in its crystal-clear waters. Excursions are available from Dressel Divers Dive Center in Bayahibe.


5. Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands)

The Cayman Islands stand out as a top-tier dive destination for countless scuba enthusiasts. The allure lies in its awe-inspiring drop-offs, thrilling wreck dives, and the most stunning coral reefs you’ll find in the entire Caribbean. Of the three islands, Grand Cayman reigns supreme among divers, and it’s the one we wholeheartedly recommend for your visit. There’s an array of exceptional dive sites waiting to be explored, each offering its unique underwater marvels. Among the must-try spots are Kittiwake, an impressive 17-meter/55-foot artificial reef, Stingray City, renowned for its shallow dive on a sandy seabed, and Babylon, a sprawling pinnacle with a captivating canyon slicing through the North Wall. Rest assured, you’ll discover hundreds more dive sites, and any choice will undoubtedly be a triumph for you and your fellow adventurers.

cruise ship stops for scuba diving cenotes

2. Exploring Scuba Diving Cruises or Liveaboards

Diving cruises, also known as liveaboards, are specially equipped vessels designed to accommodate divers for several days or weeks. These vessels typically feature comfortable cabins, relaxation areas, dining facilities, and on-board diving equipment. Divers can enjoy multiple dives per day, exploring different dive sites at each destination.

Advantages of scuba diving cruises:

Access to Remote Dive Sites: diving cruises provide access to diving locations that are inaccessible from the shore. This means divers can explore reefs, wrecks, and other points of interest that are not available to one-day divers.

Extended Dive Time: being accommodated on a boat allows divers to make multiple dives per day, enabling them to delve deeper into dive sites and spend more time underwater.

Immersive Experience: by living aboard a boat, divers can fully immerse themselves in the diving experience. They can share stories and experiences with fellow divers, savor delicious meals, and unwind in a marine environment.

Convenience and comfort: A scuba diving cruise ship provides convenience and comfort. You don’t have to worry about transporting your gear or finding dive operators at each destination. The cruise ship is equipped with all the necessary facilities, including dive equipment and experienced dive guides.

Guided dives and expert knowledge: scuba diving cruise ships often have experienced dive guides who are familiar with the local dive sites. They can provide valuable insights, point out interesting marine species, and ensure your safety during the dives.

Opportunity to meet fellow divers: diving cruise ship allows you to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for diving. You can exchange stories, tips, and experiences with fellow divers, creating a sense of camaraderie and enhancing your overall diving adventure.

best scuba diving cruises stops - La Romana

3. Scuba Dive Cruises Hand-Picked by Dressel Divers

Have you ever watched a documentary about the wild reserves of the African savanna or the forests of Borneo? They are filled with giraffes, zebras, elephants, bears, and monkeys of all species.

Scuba Diving Cruises are like wildlife reserves but in the ocean depths, allowing you to explore and get up close to giant mantas, sea lions, dolphins, and even sharks, all while they lock eyes with you.

Do you dream of living adventures inside a marine paradise? Would you like becoming one with the underwater world? With our selected Scuba Diving Cruises, you can embark on dive safaris that bring you up close and personal with the wonders of the ocean.


Imagine rolling out of bed and diving straight from your cabin door into the crystal-clear waters, that’s how close you’ll feel to the reef. And when you choose Scuba Diving Cruises, you’re guaranteed an exceptional experience because we’ve preselected only the finest options for you.

Why Choose Scuba Diving Cruises with Us?

We handpick the BEST scuba diving cruise for each destination, ensuring it aligns with Dressel Divers’ high standards and Quality Selects Associate Recognition.

Operators undergo quality checks conducted by Dressel Divers’ owner or top managers.

Benefit from our 30 years of experience in creating memorable dive experiences.

Get to know scuba diving cruise destinations with Dressel Divers here.

So, whether you choose scuba diving from a cruise or liveaboard scuba diving cruises, the choice is ultimately yours. To assist you, consider your preferences, diving experience level, and the destinations you dream of exploring.

Count on us if you need advice. The ocean is calling you, and scuba diving cruises allow you to answer the call. Contact us and dive right in!