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Dive Review of Mermaid Divers/Renaissance Beach Resort & Casino in
Aruba

Mermaid Divers/Renaissance Beach Resort & Casino, Aug, 2002,

by Barry S. Yoss, NY, USA . Report 84.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman; Cozumel; Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 25 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 100 feet (most dives were 50-90 feet)
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No camera bucket on board.
Divemasters did point out critters to photographers.
Interesting wrecks, especially Antilla and airplane.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Hotel used to be the Sonesta Beach Hotel until bought by Marriott in June, 2002. Well maintained, comfortable rooms. Small terraces. We had room overlooking the pool, with afternoon sun, convenient for drying dive gear. Downtown location across from marina, convenient for shopping for non-divers. Two casinos within 3 blocks.. Many excellent restaurants nearby. Inexpensive taxi ride to Palm beach for other dining choices. Three pools available between hotel Marina Tower and Suite (timeshare) buildings nearby. Beach available at Suite building and larger beach on private island reached by complimentary shuttle boat (10 minutes one way.)

Small dive operation. Boat moored across from Hotel (very convenient.)
Office at Manchebo Beach Hotel. Free pick at hotels. Dive boat is 38 foot Mermaid II, equipped with DAN oxygen, radios, cell phones, and marine head. We had 8-16 divers per day. Students were segregated from certified divers. Dive packages begin with three dives and average out to $25/dive with tank and wt. belt. Other equipment available for rental. Boat captain (Tito) very helpful with equipment, espec. for my buddy with recent back surgery. Divemasters were safety conscious, and made an effort to find critters. Green morays seen on almost all dives. Reasonable numbers of typical caribbean reef fish. Antilla wreck was excellent with many areas to swim into and through. Lack of shore diving was a disappointment for one of our group who gets seasick on dive boats (Bonaire would be a better choice.)

Aruba is a reasonable choice for a group of mixed divers and non-divers.

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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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