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Dive Review of Garden Island Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Tavenui

June, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Mike Cavanaugh, TX, US
Contributor   (12 reports)
Report Number 5557
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Australasia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive time was limited to 45-50 minutes. Required to stay with group as
group would surface together due to strong surface currents.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 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
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
No rinse buckets on boat for cameras or video housings. Would place camera
in basket but "NO" water bath or tub. The dive shop had to water
rinse tanks for cameras but they never filled them with water. Rinsed gear
with hose and then took to room for proper wash up.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
Garden Island Resort has undergone a small change in ownership, management
and renovation. The rooms were nicely furnished with beach views. Plenty of
balcony space to hang out wet items to dry. Housekeeping was good and
towels were changed if requested.

The restaurant was moderately furnished but felt cold and sterile. We
caught the resort in between dive groups so there were not many people
staying at Garden Island while we were there. The restaurant provided a
menu daily which had 1-3 choices in food selection for lunch and/or dinner.
You were required to pave your order for lunch and dinner at breakfast
before you took off diving for the day. Food quality was always good and
portions were appropriate. Service was very slow but this is "island
time" and there is really nothing else to do but drink
"kava" or go to your room :)

The manager was friendly but didn't seem really plugged in. Everyone was
very happy to accommodate but you would not get what you asked for the
first time (quick to please, slow to deliver). We were greeted by many of
the staff and our farewell was again many of the staff singing a farewell
song. There is "NO" TV in the rooms but you could borrow DVD's
from the front desk for the DVD player in your room.

The dive shop was sparsely stocked with dive gear and accessories so bring
what you need because you won't find it here. We brought our own gear but
the dive shop did have gear that was in fairly good condition. On our first
day after arrival the dive shop agreed to take 6 divers for 2 afternoon
dives and then a night dive. The dive shop normally makes a 2 tank boat run
in the morning and only dives in the afternoon at special request. The
Rainbow reef diving was quite nice and there were lots of soft coral, reef
fishes and macro stuff to find and photograph. The dive leaders (I won't
call them all dive masters as I'm not sure that would be a fact) were for
the most part attentive to the divers often pointing out things to look at
but several of them would just find a place to hang out on the bottom
waiting for the divers to explore and move on. The dive staff (water &
boat) was not overly helpful or attentive getting off or on the boat but we
had all experienced divers on the boat that didn't require much assistance.
The dive staff would cart your dive gear off the small aluminium transfer
boat and they would rinse and then hang your gear for the next day. The wet
suits were rinsed separate from the regulators (another pet peeve for me).

The only complaint or pet peeve I had with the dive shop is that their
compressor for air was located less than 20 feet from a gas pump for their
vehicles. The smell of gasoline was present on a daily basis. If you are
anal about your air quality like I am that is a problem. My dive buddy had
a banger headache after the first dive but no one else reported and bad air
symptoms. The nitrox is blended using partial pressure and they were
consistently spot on for a 32% blend. 

Overall this dive destination ranked in the top 10 location we have been to
and I would give it a 7 overall average ranking.
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Other dive reports on Garden Island Resort

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Diving Guide to Fiji and Tuvalu
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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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