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Dive Review of Avalon Diving/Ocean Doctor/Tortuga floating hotel in
Cuba/Jardines de la Reina

September, 2015, an Instant Reader Report by Barry Zigas, DC, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
"Jardines de la Reina Tortuga Floating Hotel"
Report Number 8520 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Florida,
Grand Cayman, California, Turkey
Closest Airport
Getting There
Long long drive from Havana to
Jucaro, then 3-5 hour boat
trip to the reef

Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 90    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits noted in every briefing, turn around at 1000 psi/70 BAR,
safety stops all dives. Dives were generally in groups, but plenty of
leeway for individuals with our divemasters.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
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Small Critters
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Large Fish
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Large Pelagics
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Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
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No dedicated rinse tanks or equipment tables. Crew very helpful in handing
down equipment after backrolls and taking back at dives' end.  N
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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4 stars
Service and Attitude
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Environmental Sensitivity  
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Dive Operation
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Shore Diving  
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Overall Rating

Value for $$
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4 stars   
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Ocean Doctor runs sanctioned people-to-people trips to Cuba and works with
the Cuban government to develop, improve and monitor ocean and marine
conservation.  Their trips include 3 full days in Havana with organized
meetings and tours of Old Havana and a more rural community, along with the
5 days of diving on the Jardines.  While pretty expensive, the
accommodations, meals, and transportation are all included; the Ocean
Doctor trip leader and the Cuban guides were terrific; and food and the
Havana hotel were first class.  The vibrant Cuban culture suffuses Havana's
street life; we were free to walk around, shop in small privately owned
shops that have begun to flourish under recent liberalization, and see
impromptu musical groups in the parks. The iconic 1950's American cars are
still much in evidence, though there are many more other, late model cars
from Europe than I saw when I visited in 1978. It wouldn't be Cuba without
cigars, which are for sale in the hotels, special shops and from
"entrepreneurs" on the street who solicit buyers pretty
aggessively.  US visitors will be taken aback by the amount of smoking in
hotel lobbies and bars.  Mojitos and other rum-based drinks are

The Tortuga Floating Hotel is a basic and comfortable lodge with
family-style dining room on the first floor and 8 bedrooms along a single
corridor on the second floor of a moored barge.  En suite baths with
showers; plenty of h ...
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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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