Skin Diver Online HomeEnter our Email Contest
  • DIVING NEWS|
  • FEATURES|
  • ARTICLES|
  • SERVICES|
  • CONTACT US|
  • SCUBA GEAR|
  • DIVE SAFETY|
  • TRAVEL|
  • EQUIPMENT|
  • FIND|
  • Grand Cayman's Snow Summit
    Bob Soto's Again Offers A Winter Price Buster
    BY GERI MURPHY

    It's peak season in the Caribbean and vacationers are paying through the nose for a brief respite in the warm tropical sunshine;right? Wrong! If you are a diver headed for Grand Cayman, you can enjoy a winter vacation at low, summertime prices;more than a 20 percent savings on the going package rates.

    Ron Kipp, president of Bob Soto's Diving, has a reputation for being a creative (if sometimes bizarre) innovator but some people on Grand Cayman think he may have gone over the deep end. Just when everybody is supposed to be raking in the big bucks from profitable winter tourism, Ron is offering a complete air/land/dive vacation at bargain prices!

    The Package: What do we mean by bargain? How about a full week of diving, beach resort hotel accommodations and round-trip air fare for as little as $999? That's right, live like a king for peanut prices.

    Designed and priced exclusively for divers, Ron has slashed Grand Cayman's high season prices to the bone;combining air travel, hotel and diving for a fabulous dive vacation package that includes two tank wall dives, unlimited shore diving and a night boat dive.

    He's offering a wide array of choices, for five, six or seven night stays and priced for single, double or triple occupancy. Packages start at $799 (double occupancy), depending on your needs.

    Ron Kipp explains, 'My banker and accountant won't talk to me. Too bad, but I like the divers better than the bean counters.' And, to divers on a budget, Ron is a hero.

    Airline: All vacation packages include round-trip air travel from Miami to Grand Cayman aboard a Cayman Airways 737 jet, with mid-week departures. Optional upgrades are available for round-trip departures from Tampa, Orlando or Houston gateways or weekend departures.

    Resort: The package includes a stay at the Treasure Island Resort on Grand Cayman's famous Seven Mile Beach. The resort is conveniently close to George Town and within walking distance of nearby restaurants and a shopping center.

    The hotel has a magnificent open air lobby;where a continental breakfast is served every morning;two swimming pools, shopping arcade of stores and two restaurants. All guestrooms are air-conditioned and furnished with color TV, telephone, personal safe and mini fridge.

    Dive Services: Treasure Island Resort is also headquarters for a PADI Five Star dive store and training center called Scuba Sensations. Here, visitors can peruse the latest in dive gear and accessories, take a special course, buy film or arrange for an underwater video dive. Bob Soto's Diving buses pull up to the lobby every morning and afternoon to pick up divers and whisk them to waiting dive boats.

    The Diving: You are probably thinking there must be some catch;why would the prices be so low? Well, there is no catch. The diving is superb;actually a bit better now than in the summer. Winter is the dry season in Grand Cayman, so there is practically no effect from rainfall. The sun shines every day and the sky is bright blue and cloudless. Because it's in the center of the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands have been unaffected by El Nio.

    Underwater visibility is a phenomenal 100 to 150 feet along the drop-off. Surface conditions along Grand Cayman's protected West Wall are generally flat calm and, since a gentle breeze blows out of the northeast, winter conditions permit diving Grand Cayman's fantastic South Wall. The reefs are lush with sponges and marine life and visitors have an opportunity to encounter giant Tarpon, graceful Eagle Rays, friendly Stingrays, large Green Morays and an abundance of sea turtles.

    Reservations: Bob Soto's winter price buster will not last forever. The offer is limited and the rooms and plane seats will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. This special vacation program runs from January 4 through April 12, 1998, with a slight hotel room surcharge for March and April bookings.

    For reservations, call Leslie or Tommy at Bob Soto's Winter Dive Hotline at (888) 718-7400 or e-mail: bobsotos@candw.ky. It's a hot deal for divers escaping from the cold.