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January 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 45, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Readers Have Their Say about Our Review of Sunset House

from the January, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

An article in our November issue seems to have caused a stir, as the majority of reader letters we received focused on our travelin' diver's review of the Sunset House on Grand Cayman and the comments made about shoddy accommodations, bad food, and too many novice divers. The ratio seems about 50-50 for those who agreed with the review and those who didn't.

Dear Editor: While I value the majority of the reviewers' opinions, it seems this person was very illinformed of what Sunset House is about. My wife and I have visited about five times since the '90s, and it seems the same today as it was back then (although the lockers need to be replaced). How can someone who has over 3,000 dives, traveled around the world and lives in Bonaire, not know what to expect?

As you know, Sunset House has been around forever and is successful because people are there for the diving and feel the divers should be responsible for their equipment, etc. While I know that newbie divers can be problematic, they've never really lessened my enjoyment on a dive. On the other hand, perhaps this review will discourage other pain-in-the ass travelers from going to Sunset House.

-- Wayne Joseph (San Mateo, CA)

Dear Editor: Thanks for telling the truth about Sunset House. Undercurrent is the only publication that would dare do that, as [the resort is] well-funded and can buy lots of advertisements.

I took my first dive group of about 35 divers there in 1984, and it was great! It's also still very good if you are going to Cathy Church's place to get photo lessons, albeit the rooms and food are very expensive. But since we first started going, it seems they have gone slowly and steadily downhill over the years. We went back several times and each time seemed not to live up to the first. By today's standards, for experienced divers, they do indeed way overprice and underdeliver.

-- John M. Davis (Chattanooga, TN)

Dear Editor: As a faithful subscriber for more than 30 years, I read with interest the recent article on Sunset House. I have found it to be exactly as they advertise: a place for divers. The rooms are comfortable, the boats depart on time, the staff is friendly and the diving interesting. As for being under the flight path for the airport, that is correct, but the planes are high enough, it is not a disturbance.

I have never experienced any of the failings described in the accommodations. As for the diving, it is what it is: good visibility, warm water with a reasonable amount of underwater life, and close to mainland U.S.A. It is not Micronesia or Fiji, nor does it pretend to be. As for "newbie divers," everybody has to start sometime. Be tolerant of others.

As one gets older, those are things that have more importance than "hairy chested" diving. The reviewer obviously did not do his homework, or he would not have taken a 5mm wetsuit for 80-degree water.

My only complaint about Sunset House is the boats are a bit long in the tooth and showing wear -- and one has to carry one's weights back and forth to the boats.

-- William King (Isle of Palms, SC)

Dear Editor: We were particularly pleased with the article on Sunset House and Grand Cayman. Your field reporter did a spot-on assessment of the resort and the island scene. We have been frequent visitors to Grand Cayman since 1987 and had partial ownership of a condo along Seven Mile Beach for 30 years. The island has changed for the worse since the late '80s. It is no longer a tropical paradise.

Sunset House is old and tired -- a remnant of old Cayman. Though we have never stayed there, we always visit the outdoor bar/restaurant and take a shore dive or two there. It's refreshing to see an honest report about a dive destination instead of the rose-covered view that dive resorts and some dive magazines offer.

-- Dennis and Louise Marquering (Corvallis, OR)

Our Reply: Read Undercurrent's Reader Reports to get a spectrum of reviews of any dive resort and make your own judgment as to what suits you best.

Undercurrent's rule has been that we can correct errors in reporting, but not impressions.

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