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Dive Review of Red Sea Diving College/Radisson SAS Sharm El Sheikh in
Red Sea/Sharm El Sheikh

Red Sea Diving College/Radisson SAS Sharm El Sheikh, Nov, 2003,

by Alan Mayfield, AE, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 897.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Naples Italy, Athens Greece, Lake Tahoe, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 73 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 80 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None. On the first day of diving, my air consumption was very good and the divemaster allowed me to stay down until I was down to 500 psi. Depth restrictions were lax. No one in my group wanted to go deeper that the 100-110 foot depth.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This trip was a dream dive vacation for me. I have made over 1000 dives and been an instructor for over thirty years. I made the arrangements for this trip for myself and five other divers. I work at the American Embassy in Athens, Greece and completed all reservations via the internet. Red Sea Diving College had been mentioned in previous "Chapbook" articles as " the facility that I would use the next time I dove the Red Sea". That statement pointed me toward them, and I was not disappointed.

We were picked up at our hotel every morning and driven to the shop to begin the day. Our gear was checked out the first day and placed into plastic cartons. These were moved from boat to boat each day from then on. Although I changed plans one day and dove a different site than the rest of my group, my gear was there, on the boat waiting for me. After the dives, we were transported back to our hotels.

The sites were wonderful. I had read that they weren't as good as they were when the area was under Israeli control, but I found the coral to be plentiful, beautiful, and the fish everywhere. Lunch was included each day for a small additional fee. Pasta was a main selection, but other food was always included.

Most of the dives were drift dives which allowed us to complete the dives and relax on the surface as the boat returned to pick us up. The dive I made on the day I dove without my group was to the "Thistlegorm". It is a WWII British supply ship that was sunk early in WWII. It was 100 feet to the bottom and about 80 feet to the deck. The holds were open and contained jeeps, motorcycles, trucks and other war supplies. The fish life around the wreck was abundant.

The divemasters (ours was Hooch) were very knowledgeable and allowed us to enjoy the dives at our own pace. They were there to lead the dive, but not there to restrict safe exploration. The group I dove with were all experienced and Hooch allowed us to enjoy the dives. My last day of diving was with the other people that accompanied me. They arrived a couple of days after me and were placed on another boat. They had told their divemaster that they didn't want to go deep and their divemaster accompanied them at shallower depths. Other members on their boat were allowed to dive deeper. The divemaster could watch both groups because the visibility was excellent. She was perfectly suited to divers of that level of training and experience. This illustrates that Red Sea Diving College can provide excellent service to all levels of experience and training.

Overall, the dive facility was outstanding. On the second day, our van that was taking us to the harbor, broke down, but we were stranded for only about five minutes before another van picked us up. One area for improvement would be to increase the number of vans available to transport divers to/from the shop. Often, the wait at the end of day would be several hours after arrival at the shop before a van would be available to return us to our hotel.

We stayed at the Radisson SAS Resort. It is a new resort located about five miles from the airport in the direction opposite the town. They offered a full B&B service or full Board. The meals were well prepared and served buffet style. They had special theme meals several nights. (We were there for six nights). The only downside to the resort was its location. Being so far out of town, we were dependent on their shuttle service. When you took the shuttle from the hotel to town at 7:00 PM you couldn't get back to the hotel until 11:00. Taxis were available and reasonable, but we could have walked to most resorts because they were much closer to town.
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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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