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Dive Review of Dive Tech/Westin Casuarina Spa and Resort in
Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman

Dive Tech/Westin Casuarina Spa and Resort, Apr, 2006,

by David Vickery & Suzanne Leeson, NJ, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 2964.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Yap, Palau, PNG, Australia, Maldives, Hawaii, Caribbean and Central America
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Not below 130 feet, surface with 500 psi, no dives longer than 60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Rinse tank on boat, camera table on boat which is not supposed to be used for anything other than cameras, though you will find other soft items on it. We are unaware of camera assistance or developing available at the dive shop.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We still think that Dive Tech is one of the best, if not the best operations on the East End. In GC they are the best shop for technical training. They do take their tech diving very seriously; if you sign up for a course it is not a guaranteed C-card, and you may spend the bulk of your vacation in class or on training dives. You will, however, learn what you signed up for.

Once certified in an advanced course you are able to rent doubles and deco tanks for use on the daily boat dives and you will likely be excused from diving with the group. While this is diving freedom, it also means you are responsible for your own dive, and your own safety. Advanced divers are still asked not to exceed 60 minutes of bottom time on any given dive; to do so is impolite to the other divers on the boat. If you feel compelled to do some serious tech dives, you should check in with the shop where they can advise you where to go, provide a DM, and possibly arrange a charter if need be.

Non-tech divers should not be scared away. If you are a competent sport diver you will be treated like an adult. The scooter rides are a gas, the staff is helpful and enthusiastic. Parents should know that there are courses for all levels of kids, even a Kid's Dive Camp Week. Your kids could not learn at a better place.

Still lots of turtles to be seen, a few sharks, (we have seen hammerheads) and the odd eagle ray or two on the wall. Tarpon Hole has a large school of the big silver guys, and lots of tropicals on the shallower top reefs. The walls and overhangs are dramatic, especially if it's just you and your buddy.

Direct flights make GC a short hop to get to from the east coast, far better than traveling 8 - 10 hours to get to Bonaire.

The Westin is the best hotel on the island if you like a laid back pool atmosphere in the afternoon with an ocean view, and reasonable comfort. The Ritz Carlton is open now, but we found the hotel repressively stodgy, and the pool is not near the ocean. Their restaurant Blue is arguably the best on the island, but you will pay for it. Their best deal is the Champagne Dive, a glass each of Dom Perignon, Krug, and Moet & Chandon Nectaire for $51. Full sized pours, too. Chat up the waiters (many of the guests are repressively stodgy as well) and you may get an extra dessert or glass of wine.

We always enjoy Restaurant Pappagallo, and for two people who are surrounded by Italian restaurants at home that's saying something. We prefer the Calypso Grill for lunch, when it's quieter. Other than that, explore the native roti shops or the shwarma stands
for cheap eats.
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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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