In October, I had one of the best weeks and definitely one of the best vacations of my life. It was full of surprises and sunsets, laughing and lounging – and unlimited diving, of course. Moreover, it forever changed my opinion about all-inclusive dive resorts. 

Getting to Grenada 

Grenada sits further south in the Caribbean, above Trinidad and Tobago. Therefore, this little nation remains a bit off the beaten path as far as Caribbean dive vacations go. Nevertheless, it is super accessible – just one direct flight from Miami. 

The Sandals Resort is located on Pink Gin Beach in the town of St. George’s, Grenada, a quick five minutes from the airport. Everything and everyone is tropical, luxurious, relaxing and pleasant. 

It’s an all-inclusive resort geared towards couples, and I’d imagined it was going to feel like a hodge-podge of cruises and Disneyland – with manicured beaches and somewhat “basic” diving. Thankfully, the entire experience was anything but that. 

Instead, the resort and the diving completely blew me away! I really had no idea what a rich and fun-filled time I could have coming to Sandals as an uncoupled diver with friends. Now, I plan to book more all-inclusive dive resort getaways! 

Perk 1: Unlimited Diving

For divers, perk #1 of a resort like Sandals Grenada is unlimited diving. To be honest, when I first signed up, I had no idea that Sandals even offered diving, much less unlimited. However, once we got there, I quickly realized what an amazing perk this is! 

Here’s why. 

A diver gives the "okay" signal as he hangs onto a wreck in Grenada while diving with Sandals Resorts.
Grenada is known as the Shipwreck Capital of the Caribbean, and for good reason. The wrecks are intricate and intact — a joy to explore. Tiffany Duong/Ocean Rebels

First, having unlimited diving takes the pressure off of having to dive every chance, every day. Unlike on typical dive vacations, you aren’t paying as you go. Therefore, if you want to go into town one morning or skip an afternoon dive to lounge by the pool, you can – guilt-free. 

Every dive was spectacular, with biodiverse and healthy reefs and intact wrecks to explore.

Scuba instruction is also available, so new divers can get their PADI and experienced divers can advance their certification levels. Then, you can keep diving to explore and practice. Moreover, the resorts have gear available, making it super easy for any divers coming in or for people who want to try scuba diving for the first time.

A Comparison: Dive Resorts vs. Liveaboards

My all-inclusive dive experience at Sandals Grenada actually rivaled that of any great liveaboard – something I was not expecting. I’ve been lucky to experience my fair share of great liveaboards, and they are my favorite way to dive. In fact, a liveaboard trip to the Galapagos inspired me to quit a job I hated and change my life for the better. Therefore, I wasn’t expecting to love the dive resort experience as much as I did; this week of diving and relaxing at Sandals Grenada took me by surprise!

I found Sandals Grenada to have most of the perks of a liveaboard without being so remote and isolated. For example, at both Sandals and on a liveaboard, stay, food and diving are included. You dive with the same instructor/guides the entire week and can build a rapport. Also, everything is happening in the same place (ship or resort), making diving super convenient: you dive where you stay. 

However, for Sandals and other dive resorts, not being away at sea allows you to bring non-divers along with you.

Perk 2: Accessible for Many Levels of Diving

Resort diving also accommodates more levels of divers. In my experience, liveaboards cater to somewhat more advanced divers because they often target more challenging dive sites. In contrast, my dive group during my Sandals vacation included Open Water Divers up to Master Scuba Diver Trainers. Some of my group took lessons during the week and earned new certifications. I loved that we could all be on the same dive together, just at different depths. Because the shop had the luxury of choice of dive sites around the entire island, we could accommodate this. 

A freediver floats in the middle of a circle of sculptures underwater.
Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada is accessible to snorkelers, freedivers and scuba divers. Many of Grenada’s dive sites were similarly accommodating to different levels of dive experience. Tiffany Duong/Ocean Rebels

Perk 3: Room and Service Amenities

My goodness, I could go on and on about the luxury of these all-inclusive resorts. Our room had not one but two bathtubs and a long balcony with an ocean view. 

Sandals also offers rooms with butler service. Coming in, I felt a little funny about having a butler because I did not know what to expect. But, they were so professional and kind, and the services offered really made our stay completely worry-free. 

For example, as divers, we are usually told when to show up for a boat. Then, we have to do the mental math and work backward to figure out when to wake up to get ready, eat and pack our gear to be there in time. Instead, at Sandals, our butler knew we were diving and did all that calculation for us, saying we should wake up at X time to eat at Y to have Z minutes to digest and leisurely get down to the shop. That was such a gift!

Moreover, our butler ordered us room service breakfast and a wake-up call! Finally, after the dives, he had a warm bubble bath drawn for each of us in our room and afternoon snacks waiting! That ultimate luxury made me feel so taken care of. I cannot imagine any week of diving feeling as pampering and luxurious. Start-to-finish, these were truly worry-free dive days – something I have never experienced before.

While different resorts will have different features available, extra space and amenities are a welcome change from more sparse, cramped ship quarters. 

Perk 4: Luxury Resorts and Cultural Experiences

You also have an entire resort and town at your disposal. For example, instead of one ship galley on a liveaboard, we had multiple dining options on-site. Our butlers made reservations for us at the sushi restaurant, the steakhouse, and the Caribbean spot. We also could choose between the relaxing pool, the “party pool,” and our own dipping pool. There were shops, spas and all the other luxuries you’d expect.

In town, we had the chance to taste and discover why Grenada is called Spice Island. One day, we went out for lunch at a local favorite restaurant for Grenadan specialties like crabbacks and lobster – it was delicious! If we wanted to hike, there were plenty of waterfalls to explore and cool pathways recommended to us.

Having these options helps to diversify your vacation and make it more realistic for newer divers and non-divers to come with you and enjoy their time, too. Plus, you can dive travel and explore new cultures. 

Sandals-Specific Shout-Outs

In sum, my entire week at Sandals Grenada was adventure-filled, relaxing and so much fun. I will not soon forget it and tell anyone who will listen about what a great experience it was. In fact, my friends and I are already scheming to see whose birthday we can all come back to a Sandals for. 

So, the next time you want to book a dive vacation, I’d urge you to consider a Sandals Resort or another all-inclusive dive resort. It might just be the getaway you didn’t know you needed. 

Friends stand together at the water's edge with a sunset in the background at Sandals Resorts
My dive boat buddies became new friends during our week of diving and fun adventures together. Tiffany Duong/Ocean Rebels

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