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Dive Review of Dive Aruba/Renaissance Ocean Suites in
Aruba

Dive Aruba/Renaissance Ocean Suites, Jan, 2007,

by JoAn Ferguson, VA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3167.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving lots of Caribbean islands, Florida Keys, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 79 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 0 to 0 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No rinse bucket for cameras were onboard. Clive handed down cameras carefully.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Dive Op
I read lots of trip reports and reviews on scubadiving.com, Undercurrent, and scubaboard.com, which led me to the decision to dive with Clive Paula. Clive runs Dive Aruba (divearuba.com), a small dive op that takes a max of 7 people diving. He doesn't rush you and allows you to dive as long as you like. One of our dives was 1 hour and 14 minutes. He has a weekly dive plan on his website, but he alters the plan to get the best diving for the current conditions. On some dives, it was just our family and Clive; other days one or two others. One day there were 4 others a full boat, but still enough space for all. Even though Clive is a one-man operation, we never felt rushed getting in the water or out. It was very comfortable diving and safety was never a question. He was very aware of the experience of the divers and kept a close watch on the less experienced.

The Hotel
We stayed at the Renaissance Ocean Suites, which is right next to the Renaissance Marina where Clive's boat is docked. We stayed in a one bedroom suite that had a small kitchen (small refrigerator, microwave, and sink; no dishes or utensils). Apparently some of the other suites have a more complete kitchen. The balcony was big enough for three sets of gear. However, this is definitely not a dive resort; people ask all kinds of questions as we schlepped our gear through the lobby. They have a tiny beach (probably man made), but also a private island with two beach areas - one for adults, the other for families. A boat launch runs every few minutes. We don't spend much time relaxing at the beach, but I went one afternoon. It was a nice diversion for a few hours. Some people spend all day, every day on the island. There were two nice pools and a good (but expensive) pool bar. The Renaissance has two parts to it - the Ocean Suites (where we stayed) and the Marina Tower. The Marina Tower is for adults only and has hotel rooms, rather than suites. Most of the restaurants and other services are available at the Marina Tower. It is across the street from the Ocean Suites, and a golf cart shuttle runs between the two.


The Restaurants
Before going, I read many trip reports on Aruba (from divers and non-divers). Everyone raves about the restaurants. I did my research (including restaurantsaruba.com) and was ready with my list of restaurants that my family would love. After striking out on the first few, we just randomly picked. Then we tried getting recommendations from other people there. We didn't have any great meals lots of pretty good meals. We think that we are spoiled by all of the great restaurants in the DC area. Or perhaps we just didn't have good luck. So, I dont have any restaurants to recommend

Comparisons
So how does Aruba compare to some other dive destinations? Here's some thoughts on how it compares to other destinations that we've visited in the past few years.
Bonaire: Aruba has more variety (reefs, drift dives, and wrecks) and more topside activities (casinos, lots of restaurants, historic sites, horseback riding, ATVs, beaches, etc.). Arubas shorediving is very limited and the visibility wasn't as good.
Bahamas (AquaCat itinerary out of Nassau): Aruba has much healthier reefs (many of the Bahamas reefs were covered with algae with very limited fish) but very few big animals (didn't see a single shark in Aruba!).
St Croix and Grand Cayman: Aruba had better wrecks but no real wall dives.
Cozumel: Aruba has drift dives, but slow & easy drift dives, not the speed of the Cozumel drift dives.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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