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Dive Review of Saba Deep/Queens Garden Resort in

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Kimberly Krebs, MD, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 6477
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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

sunny, windy  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
79   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
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

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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