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Dive Review of Dive Taria Resort/same in
Cayman Islands

October, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Jay & Sheila Harmer, CA, USA
Report Number 817
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean from Turks & Cacaos to Bonaire to Cozumel and Pacific from
Southern California to Marshal Islands to Fiji.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
100 ft max 1st dive no time limit w/t computers or tables, 60 ft max 2nd
dive, no time limit w/t computers or tables.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
This was a trip of surprises.  Our first surprise was the friendly airport
manager and residents offering us transportation to the hotel.  But, before
we could decline the hotel van arrived and we loaded in for the 5-minute
drive to the resort that is located on the southwest end of the island just
across the end of the runway.  The morning jet noise was not that bad.  

We were escorted quickly to our room that was basic with A/C, ceiling fan,
excellent cross ventilation, a balcony overlooking the freshwater pool,
sand beach and offshore reef.  It is a nice hotel/resort complex that
included tennis courts and beach volleyball and the usual beach sports
equipment.  Free bicycles were also available but watch out for the bugs if
you visit any of the caves.  Check the tires, as some were nearly flat.  
The whole complex is in a remolding phase suffering from recent hurricane
damage, but everything we used was repaired and serviceable.  

We settled in and went to the dive shop where we signed the usual wavers
and exhibited our C cards and received an introductory briefing.  Nothing
unusual in this until we were surprised to find that it was MANDATORY to
have a dive timer or computer and an octopus regulator.  I was unable to
establish the source of these rules, certificating agency, Cayman Diving
Association, or liability insurance.  We had dive computers but I was
without a spare regulator.  The shop offered me a regulator for $5.00/day. 
Not a budget breaker but if I had known about this beforehand I could have
brought one from home.  I remain incredulous that after singing releases of
responsibility, initializing paragraphs, all witnessed that dive operators
still want to control your behavior.  

Our next surprise was the excellent meal service.  Dinners included, steak
and lobster, carved ham, prime rib, roast turkey, crab, shrimp and various
fish dishes.  Sides were excellent and varied and dinner included wine and
deserts.  Salads were fresh and included all the fixings.  For breakfast
you could order eggs any way, pancakes and French toast with ham, bacon,
sausage, fresh fruits, cereals, with coffee, tea and juices.  Lunches,
which were not included in our package, were offered as a choice of self
made sandwiches @ $7.50, salad bar @$10.00, and what they called a Full
Lunch@$15.00, which included all of the above, plus an entrée like
ribs, meatloaf, or monster burgers.  The service was buffet style in an
air-conditioned restaurant that created a friendly chatty atmosphere.  

The diving was generally good and the dive staff competent and courteous. 
The boat was twin diesel cabin type that sometimes became crowded with 12
or more divers.  Fruit and chips were offered between dives and plastic
trashcan was filled with fresh water for cameras but not for masks.  A
regulator was hung over the side if necessary and fills were consistently
3000 and when a tank came up low it was quickly exchanged.  We dove the
west end both on the north, better, and south sides of the island.  Transit
times were from 10-30 minutes.  We saw plenty of small tropicals and large
fish, especially grouper, rays, and turtles and invertebrates like lobsters
and crabs.  We had a close encounter with a very large eagle ray and swam
with a turtle at arms reach for about 25 minutes.  The general restrictions
were 110 max 1st dive, 60 max 2nd dive and except for the Little Cayman
trips were not time limited.  A dive master was in the water after the last
person left the boat and so we generally never really saw him or her.  No
offer was made for guided dives but the briefings were good noting the
occasional mild currents and bottom points of interest.  

There was a minimum of equipment schlepping.  There is an on pier equipment
storage area with numbed pegs and hangers.  They offered to rinse and hang
your gear and have it ready for the next days dives.  However, I had
trouble connecting with the dive-master and boat captains who exchanged
underwater duties.  I cant specifically fault their actions its just that
I didnt get that same warm and appreciated feeling that I generally
receive form other boat crews.  

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, weather permitting, a trip is attempted to
Little Caymans Bloody Bay Wall.  This was easily the best diving of the
trip.  However, the long transit, 45-55 minutes each way, necessitated
reduced bottom times.  This coupled with a late return and a rush to get in
lunch before the restaurant closed somewhat lessened the value of the
better dive sites.  Night dive are also scheduled on these day however it
takes 6 for a trip.  Unfortunately, on both days we were unable to gather
enough divers.  

A welcome surprise was received upon checkout.  The dive show offered the
required octopus regular gratis.  This seems like a fair policy for shops
that have unusual requirements.  

For our last surprise we were told that we had to have our luggage,
including dive gear, ready for transfer to the airport at 2:30 P.M. on the
day of our last dive.  This meant that we had to pack wet dive gear and
live out of our carry-ons for the last night.  This seemed to be related
to a restriction on the amount of baggage that Island Airs aircraft could
haul, as the deHavilland DHC-6 was nearly full.  By the way, it also seems
that Island Air requires that batteries be removed from checked baggage. 
So it might be a good idea to do this before you reach the airport counter.
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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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