Cruise Ship Guests FAQ

Carnival Corporation built a cruise ship port at the south end of Grand Turk in 2006. Contrary to what some people believe (and what some websites claim), the island of Grand Turk is not owned by Carnival Corporation. Now a British Overseas Territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands (one of which is the island of Grand Turk) were inhabited by Taino and Lucayan Indians long before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 (some say that Grand Turk was actually his first sighting of the island which he called San Salvador). Carnival Corporation does own the cruise ship port which they built, but this is only a small portion of entire island of Grand Turk.

That said, Grand Turk isn’t a big place (only 7 miles x 1.5 miles at its widest point) and is easy to explore by taxi, bicycle or on foot. An alternative to Grand Turk cruise excursions is booking directly with an independent operator. There are independent operators who provide tours and trips, but please be sure you are making a reservation with an established, licensed and insured vendor. Since Grand Turk is so small, trips can often get sold out and therefore, advance reservations are recommended with any operator you choose on the island.

If you’d like to see reviews from other travelers, you can find us here on TripAdvisor. For information about the island where your cruise ship will be docking (Grand Turk), you can also look at the more specific TripAdvisor pages and forums for Grand Turk and Cockburn Town (the capital). For activities, you can view Things To Do in Cockburn Town and/or Things To Do in Grand Turk if you plan to explore the island of Grand Turk outside of the cruise port.

Yes.  We can take cruise ship passengers diving and snorkeling with advance reservations.  We are not the dive operator who handles the cruise ship diving and snorkeling excursions, but we are able to take direct reservations from cruise ship passengers who prefer not to join the ship excursions for diving and snorkeling.

Our trips carry fewer passengers than the cruise ship excursion boats, offering you a more personal (and less crowded!) experience.  Our boats are 24-28′ Carolina skiffs which we limit to a maximum of 8 divers on our certified diver trips or 14 snorkelers for our “snorkel only” trip, and often our groups are much smaller than that.

If you are not a certified diver, you can try scuba diving while on Grand Turk with our Resort Course!

Alternatively, if you are not a certified diver, you may wish to try our snorkeling trip during your visit.

And for those of you who are certified divers, we offer two types of scuba diving trips.

We are located in town, approximately 3 miles from the cruise center.  As we are not the dive operation that does the cruise ship excursions, we are not allowed to pick you up at the cruise ship.  It is a short taxi ride costing roughly $5 per person (zone B) each way from the cruise center into town.  Once you reach our office, you will be met by our team to get signed in and out on your adventure.

We do not offer trips to Gibbs Cay when cruise ships are in port as our customers find this very small island too crowded when the cruise ship excursion boats are visiting.  Also, we do not support fish feeding or harassing the stingrays in any way (you can refer to our Environmental Responsibility statement for more information). However, we do offer snorkeling trips and sometimes stingrays can be seen along with a variety of other marine life.

All dives are in the Columbus National Marine Park along the incredible Grand Turk “wall”.  The top of the wall starts at 25-30 feet and drops off to over 7,000 feet.  The most active reef zones are from 30-60 feet.  Our Divemasters select the sites each day based on diver input and weather/sea conditions. Please visit our Diving page to see some of the sites that we regularly visit.

We offer dedicated snorkeling trips which visit two sites: one shallower site and one along the famous Grand Turk “wall”. On the shallower site, depths are typically less than 10 feet of water, allowing a closer view of the marine life. On the latter site at the wall, the boat will be anchored in approximately 25-30 feet of water. Under normal conditions both sites together provide a very good snorkel trip with a quite healthy reef system and marine life. If wind increases, or water clarity drops, this can impact the snorkeling quality. Summertime here generally offers the calmest weather and sea conditions, while the winter weather conditions can be more variable.

First, send us an e-mail with your arrival date, cruise ship name, number in your party and trip type preference and we’ll see if we already have other reservations from your ship for the type of trip you want to take.  If we don’t yet have anyone else reserved for that trip/date/time, some of our guests choose to use the “roll call” forum on to find other people on their ship who are also interested in a non-excursion snorkel or dive outing.  In addition, we can keep an eye on incoming bookings if you have interest in a specific trip and would only ask you for a deposit if we reach the trip minimum for your arrival date/time before our remaining boats are reserved for different trip types.

Yes. Grand Turk is a very small island (7 miles by 1.5 miles), with only a few operators who are licensed to take cruise ship passengers diving and snorkeling. In fact, apart from the cruise ship offered excursions, we are one of only two operators licensed to take customers from the cruise ships diving. We are a small business and take bookings on a first deposit, first reserved basis, and some days can fill up quite quickly. If you want to be sure that you are able to get out on the water (which is beautiful here!) during your visit to Grand Turk, please contact us in advance of your arrival to make a reservation.  We require a deposit to make a reservation and hold your space on the boat.

Send us an e-mail to let us know the trip you would like to reserve, as well as your date of arrival and ship name, so we can check on availability for you.  To make a reservation and hold you a space on our boat, we require a 50% deposit on Visa or Mastercard.  We only need card name, card number and month/year expiration date.  This information can be e-mailed to us (in pieces, using separate messages for security purposes) or sent to us via phone/fax at 649-946-2432.  The balance of the payment will be charged 24 hours in advance of your scheduled trip. Please note that we cannot hold a reservation without a deposit and bookings are taken on a “first deposit, first reserved” basis.

When we make reservations, we will also need the following information from you, depending on the type of trip you are reserving:

Scuba Diving trips (certified divers only):
1. Diver name and age
2. Certification agency and level (i.e. PADI Open Water, etc.)
3. Date certified (you will need to present C-card on arrival)
4. Estimated number of dives since certification course completed
5. Date of last dive (you will need to present log book or dive shop documentation on arrival)
6. Rental gear needed and sizes
–  Buoyancy Control Device (BCD):  Small / Med / Large / XL
–  Regulator: Yes / No
–  Wetsuit: Yes / No
–  Mask/Snorkel:  Yes / No
–  Fins:  Yes / No

Discover Scuba Diving course:
1. Diver name and age
2. Rental gear needed and sizes
–  Buoyancy Control Device (BCD):  Small / Med / Large / XL
–  Regulator: Yes / No
–  Wetsuit: Yes / No
–  Mask/Snorkel:  Yes / No
–  Fins:  Yes / No
3. Completed PADI Medical Form

Snorkeling trip:
1. Snorkeler name
2. Snorkeler age (for all snorkelers, including adults)
3. Estimated experience level with snorkeling (choose one from the list below):
– No experience / Have never snorkeled before,
– Some experience / Have snorkeled once or twice,
– Experienced / Have snorkeled a number of times, or
– Very experienced / Have snorkeled quite a lot

After we run your deposit, we will send you a booking confirmation by e-mail. Please view our booking terms and conditions here before making a reservation.

You can view our booking terms and conditions, including our cancellation policy, here.

Yes.  During the wintertime, the weather has the potential to be less calm than in the summertime.  The seas can be rougher, with some current, and/or the wind can be stronger.  This can create a choppier surface for snorkelers and potentially reduce visibility.  This is not always the case, but since snorkeling and diving are outdoor sports, it is important that you are aware of the potential for less than ideal conditions.

Wintertime is our busiest season and our boats can fill up quickly since we limit the number of people on each boat.  We take advance reservations with a deposit on a first come, first served basis.  You must make a deposit for us to hold space on the boat for you.

Also, for ships arriving in the afternoon, please note that our dive boats must be back on shore before sunset as we have no docks or lighted areas available for boat loading and unloading.  This may mean that you can only comfortably fit in a single tank dive during your visit, depending on your ship arrival date and time.

We typically pick up our divers and snorkelers in the boat on the beach right in front of the Osprey Beach Hotel, as our dive shop is located on their property.  In some situations (particularly during the wintertime) we may drive you from our office to an alternate beach location.