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Dive Review of Sunset Divers/Sunset House in
Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Jeff Bloomer, IL, USA
Contributor   (14 reports)
Report Number 4279
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Throughout the Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
83   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
100 Foot maximum depth for 40 minutes were announced.  1 dive cut short
when some people dropped to 118 ft. to a very large lobster.  Bottom time
limits were not enforced.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Use of the camera bucket vs the mask rinse bucket could have been
communicated better.  The boats I was on had little room for working on
cameras.  The smallest boat had a large bench for cameras but this boat was
not laid out well for getting divers off the boat in any sense of order.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
2 stars    
The Good: This is a true diving resort.  I enjoyed the vibe of The Sunset
House, being surrounded by other divers and having direct access to the
house reef to dive anytime throughout the day reminded me of the old days. 
The restaurant on site is good as is the bar area.  My wife rented a BC and
it functioned well.  The other rental equipment I seen on the boat seemed
in good repair.  Sunset is a good choice for newer or less experienced

Grand Cayman offers a lot of good places to eat as well.  My top choices
are Guy Harvey's and Ottmar's Fisherman Inn for a great upscale meal and
Breezes for more affordable fare.

The Bad:  Bad is probably too strong of a word but the resort is showing
it's age and the rooms could use an updating.  We had an Ocean view which
was fine except for needing some TLC on things like laminate in the
bathroom peeling loose and light fixtures and lamps falling apart because
they were too loose.  I fixed the lamp so it wouldn't fall apart but left
the wall lamps to someone else. Our friends slider door out to the small
patio needed work or at least The Hulk to open and close it.

What I wish I'd known:  Accommodations: We were all charged an Energy
Surcharge which we were not aware of prior to checkout.  

The dive operation is too restrictive for anyone beyond a novice level. 
The 72 cubic foot tanks are, I'm convinced, designed to limit your bottom
time.  The profiles, even when diving computers is a bit irritating.  I
understand the need for a check out dive but we had to do one for the first
dive with the outfit and another one for the first 100 ft dive.  I can't
speak for everyone on the boat but our group included an Instructor and
tech diver (myself) and everyone else were at least Advanced and/or very 
experienced and with multiple specialties under their weight belts.  We
played along to get along but not my preferred way to vacation.  I had
confirmed with the DM on a earlier dive that my wife would use up her air
before I would and that I would bring her back to the anchor line and join
my two buddies to complete my dive.  The DM was fine with that.  If you
attempt this I would suggest making sure all members of the shop know how
you are diving since this agreement was not passed along to other DMs which
caused my wife to be questioned on the location of her buddy upon
surfacing.  Not a bad thing just something that could be improved on.

The only other thing I would suggest is that Sunset Divers should keep a
log of who has dived what sites.  We were taken to the same site twice and
although they offered to recall a diver they had in the water and move to
another site (we appreciated the offer) we didn't want to complicate
things.  A checkoff sheet, or asking prior to leaving the dock, would be an
improvement they may want to consider.

Finally, where did all the fish go on Grand Cayman?  12 years ago there
were big schools of Tarpon, eels peeking out to look at you and Grouper
staring back at you on most dives.  We only seen a few Tarpon, no eels, and
 small to medium Grouper.  I did see a lot of fishing going on by the
locals.  It's hard to believe that subsistence fishing is having that much
impact but if it's been a while since you've been to  GC don't expect much
different over other areas of the Caribbean and probably not as good as
some places.
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Other dive reports on Sunset House

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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