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Dive Review of Saba Deep/Queens Garden Resort in
Saba

Saba Deep/Queens Garden Resort, Mar, 2012,

by Kimberly Krebs, MD, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6477.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Little Cayman, Bonaire, Key Largo, Raja Ampat, Bali, Belize, Turks & Caicos, Florida Springs
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We were asked to stay within no-deco limits, and were generally asked to be back on the boat with the rest of the group. We didn't have any dives longer than about 55 minutes.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments There was a rinse bucket on the boat, but it wasn't very large (could accommodate one or two smaller cameras). They did hook up a hose at the dive shop for rinsing.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We didn't have the greatest of conditions - it was extremely windy and choppy through our entire week. Generally the vis was pretty decent, but I know it could have been better.

Saba Deep is a pretty casual organization - dives are at 9, 11 and 1 and the boat returns to the dock after each dive. They, or a taxi will pick you up at your resort and take you to Fort Bay. Taxi fare is included in your package. The dive shop would allow you to make plans at the last minute, and they were extremely accommodating to everything that we needed.

The dive staff was professional and nice - they offered full valet service - give them your equipment and they'll set it up for you and you never need to touch it again. Nitrox was available, but not encouraged.

The first dive of the day was typically a deep dive on a pinnacle (100+ feet), making it pretty short. These were pretty spectacular, although the surface was so rough that getting into and out of the boat was a problem at times. You could giant stride or back roll to enter the water, back roll was encouraged during our stay because of the chop.

We saw mostly nurse sharks, but quite a few of them. Fish were plentiful - also lionfish. The marine park regularly goes on lionfish spearing dives. Turtles were found on nearly every dive.

Saba Deep's dive shaft broke on the boat on our third day of diving (causing no problem for us), so we had to dive with Saba Divers for the rest of the trip - which I will review in a separate review.

Queens Garden was a very luxurious resort. The staff was top notch. They arranged taxis when necessary, and dinner reservations each night. They offered assistance when we were ready to try some hiking. They were always there with a towel the second you were even thinking about heading down to the pool. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the staff.

Food at Queens Garden was very good - but expensive. We would run a $50 tab for lunch, for example. If you dive with Saba Deep, you can eat at the restaurant attached to the dive shop for cheap - I would suggest that. If you choose to eat in Windwardside, you will pay $25 round trip for a taxi. Taxis are a huge money maker in Saba - even if you share a cab, you may not get a break. That being said, try to share a cab when you can. This means paying your driver when they drop you off rather than paying them at the end of a round trip. We found that when we didn't pay the driver if we were able to share on the way back, we were still charged for the full fare.

We were in a superior suite including a Jacuzzi, which was a nice way to end the day. We were unfortunate to be on Saba during the medical school's midterm week, which meant that the med students were loud and rowdy. Once during the week, med students staying in the room above us overflowed the Jacuzzi on to our roof, waking us up and then keeping us up until after midnight.

Friday and Saturday, there were parties at the med school in The Bottom, and the sound echoes up the valley so loudly that I thought at first that the party was at Queen's Garden. Friday, the music didn't stop until 2:15am. With no air conditioning, you either have to keep the windows open and listen to it or close the windows and try to sleep in a stuffy room - and you'll still hear the music with the windows closed. Definitely check and see what the med school will be up to during your visit. This would have been a deal breaker for us if we'd known in advance.
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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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