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Dive Review of Dive Taria Resort/same in
Cayman Islands

Dive Taria Resort/same, Oct, 2003,

by Jay & Sheila Harmer, CA, USA . Report 817.

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

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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