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TradeWinds Cruise Club SCUBA diving

Discussion in 'Caribbean Timesharing' started by Judy, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Judy

    Judy TUG Review Crew: ELITE TUG Member

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    I just read an article in TimeSharing Today about an exchange cruise on the Coral Dream - TradeWinds Cruise Club. The author said that SCUBA diving was available and the the crew are certified dive masters.
    Has anyone dived with TradeWinds? How was it?

    The author of the article is Andrea Mansfield. Andrea, if you're here on TUG, I'd love to hear more about your diving experience on the Coral Dream.
     
  2. Larry

    Larry TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I don't dive but will be going on the tradewinds cruise club in December and can get you more information but if you go on their website they do answer the question. They have all of the diving equipment on board and it is included but I think there may be a nominal charge for the tank. There is a captain who is also a certified dive master on every cruise.

    I am leaving from St. Marteen December 15th and will write a TUG review when I get back. Can't wait to go !!!!!!!!:cheer: :banana: :hi:
     
  3. alanmj

    alanmj TUG Member

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    TradeWinds CruiseClub crew usually have a qualified Dive Master on board. The exception has been St. Martin, where the diving was done by dive shops. However, Klaus, the base manager at St. Martin, is a very enthusiastic diver, so wants to get the boats kitted out perhaps even with compressors.

    For St. Martin, the second dive location was much better than the first one. So if you're only going to do one dive (or rather, pair of dives), do the second one.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy TUG Review Crew: ELITE TUG Member

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    The website says that the cruises provide opportunities for 3 - 5 dives at $75 each. Do you know whether those are single or one-tank dives for that price? Or which cruises offer how many dives?

    I'm interested in learning about the quality of the dives and the onboard dive operation. That's something that the website won't tell me.

    alanmj, Thanks for the tips on the St. Martin cruise.

    Larry, Have a great time! I'm looking foward to reading your review.
     
  5. kccpa

    kccpa TUG Member

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    Single tank dives @ $75 ea.

    Went on a Tradewinds Cruise to the BVI's in June of this year. It was a great trip and would do another in a heart beat. Our crew had both a Dive Master and a Dive Instructor on board. The $75 is per single tank dive. The diving was OK. Visibility was just OK and not as clear as I expected but, nonetheless, there were lots of beautiful critters and interesting dive sites to make up for that.

    You'll have a great time!
     
  6. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    The $75 fee is definitely a single tax fee, however it supplies all your equipment. BC, reg, tank, belt & weights, mask, snorkel, & fins. So that is convienent.

    Owners of TWCC at a certain level of ownership, get diving at NO charge.

    I am assuming you are trading via RCI, so diving will be for a fee.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy TUG Review Crew: ELITE TUG Member

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    Sandy, Do you happen to know what level of ownership is required for free diving, and whether that is a guaranteed benefit or something that can be taken away at any time? Also, so you know whether it applies only to developer purchases or if resale ownerships can also qualify?
    If not, maybe you can point me in the direction of that information?
     
  8. cclendinen

    cclendinen TUG Member

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    Diving was free to members.

    We went to the Grenidines in October 2007. We did three single tank dives at $75.00 a dive.

    My understanding is diving is free if you are a member.
     
  9. Larry

    Larry TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Well I just got back on Sunday and although I had a great time this trip is not for everyone and did have some disappointments. I just submitted a detailed review and I guess it should be posted within a week or two although some of my reviews in the past were lost so this time I saved it in case I need to re-submit.

    Anyhow about the diving we only had one couple that wanted to dive and for whatever reason they needed to use a separate company in St. Martin that picked them up on the fifth day by dinghy for a one tank dive. They got back and said the diving in St. Martin was just OK and they had to pay the $75 fee. Don't know why diving could not be done off the boat but that's the way it was done.:hi:
     
  10. JoyceFNP

    JoyceFNP TUG Member

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    Larry, so did that couple only get 1 dive the whole week? That's not good! We will be in St Martin in April, and are looking forward to our multiple dives. I actually liked doing single tank dives, it didn't take all day and I didn't get so cold. What aspects of your trip were disappointing? I'm going to have to check out your review, hope it gets posted soon. I never got around to writing my review of the Grenadines trip.
    Judy, we have a resale ownership with Tradewinds, and our dives are free, but this will be our first trip since we purchased it. I think all membership levels get free diving, but they have changed the structure of the membership n the last few years, so the best people to ask are the Tradewinds staff. They are all really nice, and won't give you a lot of timeshare two-step talk, if you know what I mean!
    Joyce
     
  11. JoyceFNP

    JoyceFNP TUG Member

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    Larry
    After reading your review, I emailed Sheila in the main office for Tradewinds. She seemed to be very concerned, and forwarded it to the St Martin staff to find out what the problem was. While we had some mechanical difficulties, yours seem to have be extreme. I will tell you that itinerary changes aren't unusual at all, in fact it wasn't until after our cruise that we realized quite a few changes were made. Sheila in the office said that the cruise to St Barts is really rough, so maybe that's why they didn't go. But some kind of explanation, and a substitution should have been made. As for not getting off onto Anguilla, maybe the crew was waiting for you to ask. I know it sounds strange, but I spent about 2 days waiting for the crew to tell me what we were going to do next, then realized that it doesn't happen. They just kind of go with the flow, I guess. They don't seem to suggest options. We were lucky because the other couples were very experienced, and asked a lot of questions and knew the ropes. I will admit that the experience isn't for everyone (thank goodness or none of us would ever get to go!)
    Joyce
     
  12. alanmj

    alanmj TUG Member

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    Hi Larry,

    My wife and I are members of TWCC since Dec 2002, and did the St. Martin sail for the first time last June. Compared to the Grenadines (best) and BVI (next best), we also were disappointed by the St. Martin sail, but for other reasons than yours. We like sailing and long sails, and there just wasn't enough sailing for us. Due to flight screw-ups, we were actually picked up in St. Barts, so we did miss that long sail out.

    I'm surprised that you were not told things. The crews we've had have always been very informative. Every evening after dinner, or morning after breakfast, we were shown maps and told what the daily itinerary was going to be. I thought this was standard. For instance, we were told that the cat HAS to take the 2pm bridge into the bay as the later bridge up-time (5pm) is too late to get to customs for clearance as the French side closes early. So we also sat on the cat on the Friday afternoon - what a waste that is, and a disappointment after a wonderful week.

    The diving at the other bases is done off the boat, but at St. Martin was done by dive shops as the boats didn't have the gear. I did two 2-tank dives. The St. Martin base manager, Klaus, is himself a diver and he told me he was going to get the boats fitted out by the Fall, so I'm surprised/disappointed to hear that that's not happened yet. Hopefully still in the works.

    As you didn't join I guess you won't get another opportunity to try TWCC out, but sounds like you're not used to sailing anyway as those cabins on the Marquises are HUGE compared to other boats I've been on. You are certainly right that it isn't for everyone, and anyone thinking of trying it out should seriously think about the "inconveniences" before going. It is self-selecting, and TWCC members all get along so well as we like that sort of thing. The trips I've done rate as some of the best vacations I've ever had in my life - which is why we joined.

    AlanMJ
     
  13. Larry

    Larry TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    They only did 1 dive although they were thinking of 2 or 3 but didn't really push it since they were staying in St. Martin another week after the cruise and planed on doing 2-3 dives the following week.:cheer: :wave:
     
  14. Larry

    Larry TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Don't get me wrong I really did have a great time but was hoping that it would be something I could recommend to my wife and try a different location next time. However I know that my wife would have felt extremely claustrophobic in those cabims and would have hated the trip especially with the additional maintenance issues and the changes in the itinerary.

    The crew was great but it was only their second sailing out of St. Martin and had only been with TWCC for about 8 weeks total spending the first six weeks in BVI for training and they really just followed the other Cat most of the time.

    I enjoyed the longer sail to Anguilla and was really looking forward to sailing to St. Barts but for whatever reason we didn't get to go. Yes, this is definently not for everyone and only one couple from the two cats ( no one from our boat) signed up for the club.:hi:
     
  15. JoyceFNP

    JoyceFNP TUG Member

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    I'm saddened about what seems to be less diving than I had planned. I really liked doing the 4 single tanks dives. It doesn't take up the whole day, you don't have to sit around awaiting to be able to go back down, and you don't get so cold. I still am really looking forward to the cruise....just hope to have hot water.
     
  16. Judy

    Judy TUG Review Crew: ELITE TUG Member

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    Which of the Tradewinds itineraries has the best/most diving?


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. JoyceFNP

    JoyceFNP TUG Member

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    Judy
    I have only done the Grenadines, and I thought the diving was far superior to snorkeling. I was kind of disappointed in the snorkeling. I would think that the BVI would have the best diving. I can ask someone else though.
    Where are you staying in Cozumel? We leave in 2 weeks for Park Royal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  18. JoyceFNP

    JoyceFNP TUG Member

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    I heard back from another Tradewinds owner. She put her dive experiences in the order of the Grenadines for the coral and the fish, BVI for the wrecks, and the St Martin. I don't think she's done Antigua. If you go to the Grenadines, ask about diving Coral Gardens. I have NEVER seen coral like that before. It was incredible, and even the pictures on our cheap underwater camera were cool.
     
  19. Judy

    Judy TUG Review Crew: ELITE TUG Member

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    I just put Tradewinds Cruise Club Grenadines on my timeshare travel wish list :)

    Cozumel:
    We'll be staying at El Cid this year. RCI exchange. Last summer we stayed at the Park Royal. We liked it a lot, but thought that the AI would be too high if we did it as an exchange. When we stayed there, we rented through Expedia.
     
  20. JoyceFNP

    JoyceFNP TUG Member

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    I think it's $75 pp per day, so not too bad. Some of the resorts in Cancun and in PV are ridiculous now.
     
  21. Scuba Fletch

    Scuba Fletch Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I loved the diving in the BVI's with Tradewinds. Great variety - The Chimney, The Indians, Cistern Point, RMS Rhone.

    I wrote an article that was published last month - and it's listed in the BVI reviews as well.

    If I can help in any way, please let me know :hi:
     
  22. Strong1

    Strong1 TUG Member

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    Tradewinds diving

    Tradewinds cruises are really about the cruising experience. Diving is an "add-on", so this is not a "live-aboard" diving trip. I share this just so you can set your expectations and not be disappointed. They usually do 2-3 one-tank dives per trip.

    We thought the diving in Belize and BVI were the best. I believe only owners can book the Belize sail at this time, but it was fantastic. We are doing St. Martin in a week, so I can't comment on that itinerary yet.
     
  23. dchilds

    dchilds TUG Member

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    Trade Winds Diving

    We're Gold membership owners, which is one week per year for 12 years. They also have one every-other year, and two per year and maybe four per year memberships. Owners do get to take advantage of unused weeks within 60 days without using one of their weeks.

    It isn't like the Caymans. You won't do 2-3 dives per day. Tell them in advance that you want to dive often, and they may be able to increase your opportunities. We've done the BVI's twice, St Maarten once, and St Vincent & The Grenadines once. The Rhone was the coolest site (BVIs), and the Grenadines had the best fish & plant life. We did one owner referral, one last minute get-away, and used two of our weeks.

    The Grenadines have the most sailing, sometimes up to four or five hours. In the BVIs we sailed everyday, but only for an hour or two. St Maarten has two moderately long sails, Anguilla and St Barths.

    Our best diving ever in St Maarten was at Saba. (Trade Winds doesn't go there. No real place to park.)

    You can go on Trade Winds as a referral only once, but I think you can trade in with RCI every four years. You may be able to beat that in a last-call situation. Owners can rent out their weeks, and owner weeks include free diving.

    They are not also a huge dive shop, so the equipment is limited. If everyone is large or small or funny shaped, they may not have equipment that fits everyone perfectly. We brought two couples with us to the BVIs, all of us were small, and some of us had to use medium and even one large BCD. We decided to get our own dive gear so we know it fits, etc.

    Trade Winds has provided our most relaxing vacations ever. We're in Belize in March and back to the BVI's in December.
     
  24. janapur

    janapur TUG Member

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    I'm sure that the owner referral requires some type of ts presentation, but what would the other fees be?

    Thanks,

    Jana
     
  25. dchilds

    dchilds TUG Member

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    Trade Winds Info

    The captain and first mate hit you with a very low key sales presentation near the end of your week, usually on your last day of sailing, before your last night on board at the dock. If it's a no-sale, the local sales manager asks how things went, and verifies that you understood everything about a membership.

    If you can get an RCI last call week or extra vacation, I think that's the most affordable way to go on Trade Winds. You pay the week price, lowest is late summer or fall at $350, plus $725 (lowest price) per person all inclusive fee.

    Next lowest cost is owner referral. It's simply $1195 per person, including all inclusive fee. It may have gone up for 2008. You can only go on one of these.

    Next is exchange, which is your home resort maintenance fee, plus the exchange fee, plus the $725 all inclusive fee per person.

    Next is owner week, which is 1/6, 1/12 or 1/24 of your purchase price, plus the maintenance fee ($450 for 2008), plus the all inclusive fee. Ownership is between $1000-$1600 per week of use, depending on the number of weeks you buy.

    Most expensive is a rental at about twice the owner price. I'm not sure that this is really even available. That's about what other sailing companies charge, unless you fill a whole boat.

    Some islands now have a visitor/vacation tax of something like 15%, so you have to add that to all costs.
     

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