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Dive Review of Dive Aruba/Renaissance Ocean Suites in

January, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by JoAn Ferguson, VA, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 3167
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
lots of Caribbean islands, Florida Keys, Hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
0   to 0    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
Shore Facilities  
No rinse bucket for cameras were onboard. Clive handed down cameras
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
The Dive Op
I read lots of trip reports and reviews on, Undercurrent,
and, which led me to the decision to dive with Clive Paula.
Clive runs Dive Aruba (, 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 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

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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Other dive reports on Dive Aruba

All Aruba Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Aruba
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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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