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Dive Review of Brac Reef Beach Resort in
Cayman Islands/Cayman Brac

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Sandy Falen, KS, US
Sr. Contributor   (23 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6466
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Guanaja, East End, Little Cayman, Los Roques, Providencia,
Dominica, Bequia, Saba, Statia, San Salvador, Bonaire, Curacao, Grenada,
Costa Rica, Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay, Tobago, Belize, La Paz,
Fiji, Tonga, Kosrae, Palau
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Cayman Islands rules (?) 110' depth limit, and they're hung up on buddy
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
No bucket on the boat, but it wasn't needed. Staff was very good about
camera handling.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
I hadn't been to Brac Reef Beach Resort ("BRBR")in 15 years, and
I was amazed at how nice the facilities are. They rebuilt after Hurricane
Paloma in 2008, and they did a great job.  The rooms are spacious and
superbly comfortable, with semi-private deck or patio, large bathrooms with
dual-spray head walk-in showers, a large vanity with tons of storage and
good lighting, large closet with sliding mirrored doors, security safe (big
enough for tablet computer), flat-panel TV, DVD player, desk, leisure chair
& ottoman, WiFi, coffee maker, and in my case, a slightly-firm
king-size bed. Maid service was excellent, and I opted for a mini-frig at
an additional $5/day. The breeze was so pleasant that I turned off the a/c
and propped my lanai door open for sleeping. This might have been the
nicest accommodation I've ever had on a dive trip.

The dive schedule was relaxing, with the boat leaving at around 8:30 each
morning for a 2-tank dive. A single tank afternoon dive usually left around
2:00. "Valet diving" has evolved a bit, in that you'll handle
everything but your tank, BC, and reg each day.  It's not a big deal, as
the rinse tanks and drying areas are convenient and spacious. And you'll
still enjoy your BC and tank being brought to you at the back of the boat,
for easy donning before you leap into the blue.

And blue it was -- the water was stunningly clear, and warm enough that a
poly-pro suit and 3-mil vest kept me quite comfy during my 1-hour dives.

If you dive Nitrox, it's an additional $10/tank, if you use it for every
dive. You'll be asked to analyze and label your own Nitrox tanks in advance
of your dives, so that they're ready for the staff to load up each

I was delighted to see so many large and healthy grouper. They love
following the divers around, likely in part because from time to time they
get treated with "lion fish on a stick" -- the result of an aptly
applied spear wielded by the dive guide.  I'm glad to see BCBR taking an
active approach against the lion fish problem; based strictly on my own
observation in different areas of the Caribbean and Atlantic, I think it
makes a difference.  There is hope that the grouper and eels are learning
to enjoy this addition to their diet, and that they may already be preying
on them without assistance. In any event, it's entertaining to watch the
eels, grouper, and jacks zoom in for free sushi when someone makes a kill.

The coral in Brac is in decent condition.  Storm damage is evident in the
shallows, of course, and I thought there seemed to be too much
"creeping algae" in some areas. But the viz was fantastic, and by
Caribbean standards, the diving here is outstanding. There are dramatic
walls and beautiful shallows, and sightings included turtles, nurse sharks,
eagle rays, sting rays, large schools of grunts, gray and queen angels, and
reef squid. The Russian frigate, deliberately sunk in 1996, has become a
terrific photo dive.

Service on the boat was excellent. The staff here is friendly and
professional. My only criticism would be the rather archaic approach to
buddy diving. They don't hesitate to ask total strangers to buddy up,
regardless of skill level. In my opinion, no diver should be expected to
cut their dive short because the stranger they were paired with burns out
of air in forty minutes. If the rules require every diver to be
accompanied, then a crew member should stay in the water until the last
diver is on board. We all pay a lot of money to travel and dive; I don't
appreciate a baby divemaster scolding me for diving alone, right under the
boat, until the end of the allotted hour.

BCBR certainly elevates dive resort food to a new level; I was amazed at
the quality and variety of cuisine. I opted for the MAP (breakfast and
dinner included), which worked fine for me.  What impressed me the most was
the marvelous selection of salads and veggies, which are often limited to
non-existent at small island resorts. And if I decided I wanted something
for lunch, there was a good selection available from the bar menu.

For Cayman diving, I thought BCBR was a good value, and I won't wait
another 15 years to return.

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Other dive reports on Brac Reef Beach Resort

All Cayman Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Cayman Islands
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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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