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Dive Review of NATIVE DIVERS/MARRIOTT OCEAN CLUB in
Aruba

September, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by JERRY BUTLER, CA, USA
Report Number 2085
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
RED SEA, FIJI, BARRIER REEF, HAWAII, TAHITI, COZUMEL, CANCUN, BELIZE,
HONDURAS, MOST OF CARIBBEAN, CALIFORNIA,BONAIRE, ETC.
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
DIVEMASTER ROMEO SUGGESTED DEPTH AND TIME LIMITS FOR EACH DIVE. DIVERS
FOLLOWED THEIR COMPUTER PROFILE, AND MOSTLY STAYED TOGETHER IN OUR SMALL
GROUP SINCE WE HAD THE BOAT TO OURSELVES.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]RINSE TANK ON BOARD. PLENTY OF ROOM FOR GEAR, ETC
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
ARRIVED IN ARUBA WITH A GROUP OF 5 DIVERS AND 2 NON-DIVERS, FOR AN 8 DAY
VACATION. FOUR OF US STAYED IN A 2 BR CONDO AT THE MARRIOTT OCEAN CLUB,
WHILE THE OTHER 3 HAD THE SAME AT LA CABANA.
BOTH FACILITIES NICE, WITH FULL KITCHENS, A/C, CABLE TV, POOL, AND BEACH.
MARRIOTT NICER, BUT MORE EXPENSIVE. WEATHER FOR THE WEEK PERFECT. 85-90,
SUNNY, AND BREEZY. WATER 80.
ENJOYED MANY NICE RESTAURANTS DURING THE WEEK. THE PADDOCK AND IGUANA JOES
FOR LUNCH. EXCELLENT DINNERS AT TANGO ARGENTINE, QUE PASA, FLYING FISHBONE
(TABLE ON THE SAND), AZZURRO'S ITALIAN AT PLAYA LINDA, AND SIMPLY FISH AT
THE MARRIOTT. PASS ON CHARLIE'S IN SAN NICHOLAS.
BEGAN SEARCHING FOR A DIVE OPERATION. WE WERE 4 EXPERIENCED DIVERS, PLUS
ONE FINISHING HER CERTIFICATION WITH A REFERREL COURSE.
FIRST 2 COMPANIES I CALLED, MERMAID AND PELICAN, WERE OBVIOUSLY
"CATTLE BOAT" OPERATIONS, TAKING 16-20 DIVERS ON A 38 FT BOAT!
DIVE ARUBA WAS BOOKED, BUT SUGGESTED NATIVE DIVERS FOR A MORE PERSONAL
OPERATION. THEY BOOKED FROM A LARGE AWNING ON THE BEACH IN FRONT OF THE
MARRIOTT. VANESSA WAS VERY PLEASANT, AND SINCE WE HAD 5-6 DIVERS, RESERVED
THE 37 FT BOAT EXCLUSIVELY FOR US, FOR 3 DAYS. JUST WHAT WE WERE LOOKING
FOR. CHARGED $50 PER TANK WITH OUR OWN EQUIPMENT, $70 WITH THEIRS. 4
REFERREL CERTIFICATION DIVES WITH EQUIPMENT WAS $225. PICKED US UP AT
MARRIOTT DOCK, OR DROVE US TO ANOTHER HARBOR NEAR AIRPORT WHEN DIVING SOUTH
END. OWNER, DIVEMASTER, ROMEO WAS VERY HELPFUL, FRIENDLY, AND PROFESSIONAL.
ALSO HAD A DECK HAND ON BOARD TO ASSIST. VERY NICE BOAT, WITH DECK COVERED
SEATING FOR MAX 8 DIVERS, BELOW DECK CABIN, HEAD, FRESH WATER HOSE, SWIM
LADDER, SOFT DRINKS AND WATER. PLENTY OF ROOM TO MOVE AROUND. OUT AT 9, AND
RETURNED AROUND 12:30 FOR 2 TANKS.
DIVING WAS TYPICAL CARIBBEAN. 80 DEGREE WATER. VIS 40-70 FEET. NUMEROUS
WRECKS. SOUTH END HAD HEALTHIEST REEFS WITH LOTS OF TROPICALS, BUT VERY FEW
BIG CRITTERS.
FIRST DIVE OF TRIP WAS ANTILLA WRECK, 400 FOOT WWII GERMAN SHIP, LARGEST
SUNKEN SHIP IN THE CARIBBEAN. NEXT WAS SHALLOW PEDERNALIS WRECK, WITH
"CLOUDS" OF TINY BAITFISH AND YELLOWTAILS. LATER DOVE DEBBY II,
70 FT DIVE WITH OK REEF AND WRECK, AND ARASHI REEF, 40 FT WITH LOTS OF
CRITTERS FOR PHOTOGS, STING RAY, EELS, LOBSTER, FLOUNDERS, PLUS LOTS OF
ANGELS, PARROTTFISH AND TRUMPHETS. 
OUR LAST DIVE DAY WAS THE BEST. TOOK ROMEO'S VAN TO SOUTH END HARBOR.
DOVE "CHAIN SEA WRECK AND REEF". 95 FT IN-TACT UPRIGHT WRECK WITH
PENETRATION INTO DECKWAYS AND ROOMS. ALSO NEARBY HEALTHY REEF WITH LOTS OF
TROPICALS. SECOND DIVE TO 50 FT AT NEARBY REEF. DELAYED RETURNING TO SHORE,
SINCE WE RECEIVED A RESCUE TOW REQUEST FROM MERMAID DIVERS BOAT, WICH HAD
TO DROP ITS LOAD OF DIVERS ON A SANDBAR, WHILE WE TOWED THEM BACK INSIDE
THE HARBOR. MADE US VERY THANKFUL THAT WE HAD FOUND NATIVE DIVERS.
IN SUMMARY, WE FOUND ARUBA DIVING TO BE BETTER THAN EXPECTED, AND MADE MORE
ENJOYABLE BY HAVING OUR "OWN" PRIVATE BOAT FOR THE TRIP. 
I WOULD RECOMMEND ARUBA AS A VACATION DESTINATION FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS
PRETTY GOOD DIVING, AS WELL AS GREAT ON-SHORE FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES.
GOOD HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, BEACHES, SHOPPING, CASINOS, AND WEATHER.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, EXCEPT THE REAL DIE-HARD DIVERS.
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