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Dive Review of Dive Dominica/Castle Comfort in
Dominica/South

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Janine Davis, TX, United States (1 report)
Report Number 2593

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Reporter
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Maldives, Wakatobi, KBR, Tasik Ria,(Indonesia), Truk, Palau, Yap, Tahiti,
Belize, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, Catalina, Monterey CA, FL, TX, Jamaica,
St. Lucia, Costa Rica

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, rainy, cloudy  
Seas
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
?  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
100 foot max depth (Dominican restriction)  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Comments
Fresh water rinse tank - covered on boat.  Adequate area for cameras on one
dive boat, minimal on the other.  Good macro and healthy corals, but fished
out - the largest grouper I saw was about 12".

Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
1 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
The Dominicans were sometimes friendly, sometimes downright surly in their
attitudes.  There is a 15% VAT on EVERYTHING you buy.  Also a 10% service
charge at all restaurants.  So a Sandwich that costs $10 EC (about $3.85
US) will end up costing $ 12.50 EC - add $1.00.  
THe restaurant at Castle Comfort was appalling.  Food was mediocre and the
service abominable.  Breakfast was included in our package, and one could
select from a limited menu.  Fruit and toast as wellas juice and coffee
were part of the breakfast.  If you had already eaten your allotted fruit 
and requested a banana (one of our group did just that) the response was
NO!

You were requested to order lunch during breakfast, so "it would be
ready when you got back from diving) which I did on the first dive day - a
tuna sandwich, which was unrefrigerated, and the bread so stale and crusty
it had to have been prepared at breakfast time!  When I requested wheat
bread instead of the stale white, I got the same wilted lettuce and wrm
tuna on new bread.  

When we asked staff people where else we could eat, we were told that they
were not allowed to suggest alternative places.  We found a couple anyway -
the Green Flash, just south of the lodge about 1/2 mile walk was
wonderful.

The dive operation was somewhat better, and the dive crew took care to only
take us where there was good visibility and no current.  They were
courteous, and helped out when asked, but no more than that. They were not
all trained, and one poor soul tried to take a BC off a tank by lifting the
tank and pulling the BC off from the bottom!

The offered boat night dive is extra, and so is nitrox.  Shore diving is
free, if you stay at the resort and dive with Dive Dominica.

The island has fabulous waterfalls and rain forests, and on the day prior
to departure, we did a tour called Waterfall Mania ($80 US including VAT -
not including tip).  Saw 8 waterfalls at 3 locations, but some of them were
challenging to get to.  Wear waterproof shoes (preferably not slip ons). 
Also, some of the climbing is slippery, but safe enough.  Shopping was
nonexistent - and expensive, compared to the same items anywhere else I in
the Caribbean. 

The diving was very good, including the shore dives.  My buddy and I opted
to skip a day of boat diving when the previous day the boat had gone out
with 16 divers and 3 crew - (management response was that the craft was
coast guard rated to 24 people) - too many divers for the boat and for me -
the first several days there were between 7 - 10 divers. 

I am glad I went, but the experience could have been made MUCH better by a
little bit of courtesy and had I not had the feeling I was being squeezed
for every dime I could afford to give.  

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Other dive reports on Castle Comfort Lodge

AllDominica Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Dominica
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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