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Dive Review of Ocean Frontiers/Compass Point in
Cayman Islands/East End, Grand Cayman

January, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Sandy Falen, KS, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
Report Number 2499
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Most of Caribbean, Costa Rica, Fiji
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive your own profile.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Rinse tank on boat.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
Topside, Grand Cayman shows much evidence of severe damage from Hurricane
Ivan in 2004 (the old Cayman Diving Lodge is a shattered wreck). But the
wall diving, for which East End has always been famous, remains stunning.
The drop-offs, crevices, plunging vertical walls, and outstanding vis are
reasons enough to come to East End.  But I was equally impressed with the
first-class service provided by Ocean Frontiers.  From reservation to
diving to checkout (sob, sob), it was a first-rate operation.
I stayed in their on-site, 2BR/2BA, Compass Point condo -- easily the
nicest accommodation I've ever enjoyed on a dive vacation.  It was
practically new when Ivan struck, and shows no evidence of what had been
primarily cosmetic damage in the ground-floor units. The condo has a full,
well-appointed kitchen (microwave, dishwasher, smooth-top range -- the
works), stacking washer/dryer, whirlpool tubs, CD/DVD player, 3 Sony TVs,
including a closed-circuit channel playing U/W video. Best of all, there is
a large lanai overlooking the water, accessed from both the living room and
the master BR. The 2BR unit is quite a bit larger than the 1BR, and worth
splurging for, even with only 2 people. There is a lovely stretch of beach
(but little shade for the hammock), and a very nice pool and deck area.

Boats were roomy, and I liked the on-board Nitrox service, with a
crewmember analyzing both of your tanks before the boat left the dock. 
This was valet diving:  equipment was picked up at your room before your
first dive, was set up and waiting for you on the boat each morning, and
then rinsed and put up to dry each evening in a locked storage area. The
staff was friendly and competent, and incredibly well organized.  This is a
professional, well-run operation -- probably the best I've ever dived with.
Briefings were thorough (including drawings of each site) but not
excessively long. DM's are happy to let you dive your own profile, and I
never felt restricted. I was surprised to have seen few pelagics, although
I understood there had been numerous shark sightings in the previous week
-- we just weren't as lucky. 

East End is about a 40-minute drive from the airport, and an entire world
away from Georgetown's traffic, tourists, and cruise ships. Grocery, beer,
and wine shopping can be done near the airport, but stores are closed on
Sunday.  There is virtually no shopping in East End, but there are a
handful of excellent restaurants within reasonable distance.  The
Lighthouse at Breakers, while expensive, was outstanding (killer filet
mignon), and made for a memorable special-occasion dinner.  Grab some fish
& chips for lunch at Vivene's kitchen (and it is, literally, her home's
kitchen!); it's just down the road and within walking distance.  Vivene is
a Cayman legend, and one bite of her perfectly cooked fish will tell you
why. Take a drive to the north side and have a meal or two at Over The Edge
(aptly named given its proximity to the sea) -- the grilled tuna and wahoo
was positively moan-worthy.  There is no on-site restaurant at Compass
Point, but it's easy to prepare breakfast or quick lunches in the condo.

Your Cingular phone will work on Grand Cayman, but save it for emergencies
(like getting a Pina Colada recipe), as the roaming fees will come back to

As for Georgetown and Seven Mile Beach....  I made one afternoon journey
there, and it will be my last time. Traffic jams and hoards of "cruise
shippies" are not my idea of a dive vacation, and I found the turtle
farm to be a depressing rip-off.  East End was tranquil and friendly, with
top-notch diving, outstanding, professional service, and beautiful
accommodations. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
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Other dive reports on Ocean Frontiers

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

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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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