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Dive Review of Ocean Frontiers/Reef Resort in
Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman's East End

March, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Roger, Donna & Kate Soape, Texas, USA
Report Number 1623
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Little Cayman, Belize Atolls (all), Cozumel, Chinchorro Banks, Gulf of
Mexico, Saba, Dominica, St. Vincent
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
77   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Cayman 100' max limit observed on day's first dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 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
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Grand Cayman still suffers from more Hurricane Ivan (Sept 2004) damage than
we expected.  On the East End, where restaurants are not plentiful to begin
with, about half are closed still undergoing major repairs.  The people
were great and industrious all over the island, getting back to their lives
without complaining.  Admirable; they will be up to full speed soon.

The Reef Resort is nice, clean and comfortable - a short drive or shuttle
ride from Ocean Frontiers dock.  It is on a pretty, broad beach.  Rooms
feature kitchens - especially nice for breakast (be sure to visit the
grocery store on your way from the airport) as dive boats leave the dock
about the same time the Reef's restaurant opens. 

The Reef's staff members were friendly.  The food was good there -
especially casual lunches in the bar area, even if the service was a little
more "laid back" than even island time should afford.

Featuring good food and good service were Cayman Kai Yacht Club and
Portofinos - both easy drives from the Reef.  Also living up to its great
reputation was the Lobster Pot - in George Town.  One might not have to
rent a car but would miss out without one.  (Besides, driving on the left
will keep you young!)

The East End is quiet.  It is far enough away from George Town's hustle,
bustle and cruise ships.  (At least six were in port at the same time one
day.  To watch is to see why the rest of the world often holds we Americans
in less than the highest esteem).  Yet the East End is close enough to town
to make afternoon excursions for shopping or evening trips for dinner.  A
good combination for us.

Hurricane Ivan may have clobbered things topside but, underwater, things
looked surprisingly unaffected.  The south side - where we had to make a
couple of early dives due to northerly winds - was hit hardest by the storm
and we saw some damage there to sponges and corals.  The north side is
where you want to dive and the prevailing southerly wind flow in the summer
probably makes summer a safer bet for diving it consistently.  There, the
walls are amazing.  The sponges and corals appear pristine.  Lots of very
nice swim-throughs (although sometimes too many for us as we like to hang
along the knife-edge of the wall and keep an eye towards the blue). 
Excellent overall fish life, too.  Only one day in our whole week of diving
did we even see another dive boat.  On that day we found the Cayman
Aggressor moored at one of the better northside sites.  The Ocean Frontiers
divemasters seemed surprised to encounter the liveaboard.

Ocean Frontiers does a seemless job with such a busy schedule.  Every one
of the staff always seemed cheerful and happy to help.  Two boats leave the
dock at 8:00 am each morning with 10 - 12 divers each for a two-tank dive. 
They then do it all over again at 1:00 pm.  We prefer diving in the morning
(although 19-year-old Kate may disagree) but found on our one afternoon
dive that Ocean Frontiers seemed to rush things a little less than on our
morning schedule.  

One day our second dive was done as a drift dive - which seemed to be the
great exception but was really great fun.  All other dives were from moored
sites.  The day's first dive is guided, with the Cayman 100' depth
restriction heeded - if not exactly strictly enforced.  A boat's divers are
split into two groups with a time-staggered start.  For the second dives
(which were consistently the best second dives we have done anywhere),
divers were on their own (or guided if they so chose).  The nature of the
place and the diving seems to attract, on average, more experienced divers
which was also a very nice treat.

We did not see as many turtles, eagle rays or sharks (other than nurse) as
we had expected.  Overall fish populations looked healthy, with good
numbers of larger adults.  Still, all in all, a very nice trip and an easy
getaway for us in or near Houston (with direct flights daily).           

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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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