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Dive Review of Marlin Bay Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Beqa Lagoon

July, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Barry Zigas, DC, United States
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 1113
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Mexico, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia, Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos,
Curacao, California, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
70   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Notify divemaster at 1000 psi.  No dives deeper than 100 ft.  5 minute
safety stops.  
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
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Rinse bucket on board.  No dry table on dive deck, but space in cabin if
needed.  Cameras handed to divers after entry, handed up on exit.  No photo
processing available at resort, no video or computer viewing facility.  I
used a digital and it was very easy.  Others had film cameras and video and
seemed comfortable.  Resort has 240V outlets in rooms for recharging.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Marlin Bay has recently changed hands and will soon be known as Beqa Lagoon
Resort.  New owners are about to invest several millions in expanded
facilities, chiefly a much larger swimming pool and expanded bar area.

The good:  one of the rare vacation destinations that lives up to the hype
and poster views.  Gorgeous location on Beqa Lagoon.  Beautiful grounds,
luxury bures (Fiji for cabins)with marble baths, lovely 4-poster king beds,
hammocks, chaise lounges in front.  Both ocean view and views overlooking a
koi pond. Appetizer and 2 main course choices for dinner, menu changes
daily with fish every dinner and chicken and other "turf" options
rotating.  All prepared with flair from fresh ingedients.  Desserts to die
for.  No other eating options on island.   No TV anywhere at resort.  Phone
and internet connection only at office.  Excellent service, warm and
friendly local staff who go out of their way to make you feel at home. 
Daily 2-tank dives leave 8 am, all equipment handled by staff after
arrival. Divers only look after wetsuits and cameras.  Night dives 2x
weekly if at least 4 divers sign up.  Shark dive Fridays for extra $FJ140. 
 Many dive sites to choose from.  Most days included 10-12 divers per boat;
additional boat added if more. Snorkelers welcome on boats.  60 minute
surface intervals.  Very plentiful smaller tropicals.  Good stands of
healthy hard and soft corals.  Divemasters will point out critters and
unusual fish, will help photographers find stuff if asked.  Spare but good
briefings.  Light supervision, but all divers checked in on depth and time
after every dive. Dives 40-60 minutes.  Many lionfish, stonefish, several
leaffish, white tipped reef sharks on about half the dives cruising by. 
Unlimited shore diving available, but no one availed during our visit. 
Afternoon local outings with Fijian staff are free, engaging and fun. 
Kayaks available all day for touring the lagoon, as is snorkeling equipment
for nondivers.  Full and half day fishing trips available for extra charge.
Decent massages in rooms available for charge. Lovely entertainment by
local acoustic bands most nights.  No programs for children.

The less good:    Boat trips to dives generally took at least 40 minutes,
one day more than one hour.  Conditions for 2 of 4 days were chilly for the
season, breezy to windy, intermittent rain.  Boats are well equipped, but
rocky in chop.   Vis less than expected, partly because of weather-related
churn, but still better than 40 feet most days.  Many sites had moderate to
strong current, staff sometimes tried multiple sites before finding
diveable location.  Surprised by amounts of dead coral.  Many fewer
schooling fish, large fish, pelagics than on Great Barrier Reef.  Very rich
in smaller tropicals.  

Heads up to all:  it's a 2-hour drive from Nadi Int'l airport, followed by
a 40 minute boat ride to island.  Transfer included, drivers helpful and
courteous, but it's a long additional trip after a long flight. OTOH, once
you're there you're definitely not in Kansas anymore!

Overall, the resort was wonderful, the diving somewhat lower voltage than I
hoped, but still among the best I've done.  Highly recommended.
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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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