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Dive Review of Saba Divers/Queens Garden Resort in

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Kimberly Krebs, MD, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 6478
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Little Cayman, Bali, Belize, Raja Ampat, Key Largo, Florida
Springs, Turks & Caicos
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 wait on the surface for all divers to get into the water,
which was sometimes irritating given the extreme chop. We stayed together
as a group.  
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  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Small bucket on the boat, not large enough for larger cameras. Larger rinse
bucket at the shop and a shower if you care to rinse in fresh water by
showering with your camera.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
I wrote another review of Queens Garden, if you wish to see that.

We started the week diving with Saba Deep, who would definitely be my
preferred dive operation on the island. Three days in, the boat's shaft
broke and we were forced to transfer to Saba Divers. They are very
different organizations.

Like Saba Deep, Saba Divers is completely valet. They offer to take your
equipment and set it up for you and deal with it for you through your trip.
However, they only did this for us on our first and second day, and on our
third day a different set of DMs were on board who didn't set it up for us
OR move it to the other tank after the second dive. It seemed that most
divers on board preferred to set up their own equipment and the staff was
not consistent with this policy.

Water and iced tea were served on board and there were cups to mark with a
sharpie. The boat did two dives each day, picking us up from Queens Garden
at 9:15 each morning (Saba Deep's dives started at 9). This meant that Saba
Divers were the last people out of the harbor every morning and when we
requested certain dive sites we were repeatedly told every day that we
could not do them because Sea Saba or some other boat (Caribbean Explorer
was in town also) was already on the dive site and we would not be able to
do the dive there. This meant that we did one dive site three times during
the trip - conditions were also such that our choice of sites is limited.
If you want a better choice of dive sites, definitely don't go out with the
latest dive operation.

The boat did not return to the harbor after the first dive. Only two dives
were offered each day. We asked for an afternoon dive one morning, only to
be told that they didn't have enough staff and needed more notice (Saba
Deep would have done this for us). The next day we were not able to do an
afternoon dive, but one was offered and lunch was not available for anyone
doing all three dives - you would have had to have known to bring it in
advance, divers were asked to remain on the boat.

On our second day, we headed to Third Encounter which is a pinnacle with a
spectacular "needle" nearby. we had done this dive with Saba Deep
earlier in the week and were excited to see the needle again. The dive
master took us down and then led us in the wrong direction into the blue
until we were basically out of no-deco time (this was at about 115 feet).
We saw nothing but blue on that dive. Then, on the second dive, they
offered to take us to a site where someone had seen 6 reef sharks a week
earlier, but since the top of the reef was at about 70 feet, we could only
stay there for about 25 minutes after our previous deep dive. We felt that
this was a completely wasted day, and it was the same day where they
refused to do an afternoon dive. 

Staying together as a group, we were forced to dive the profile of the
worst diver in the group, so for some of the deeper dives we had to go
shallower, and we didn't have any dives with Saba Divers longer than about
50 minutes. 

At the end of the trip, they offered to clean our equipment and take it
back to Scouts Place (not our resort, and a $25 taxi ride to get to).
Thankfully, Saba Deep offered to clean our equipment and return it to us.

There is a small bar next to Saba Divers offering some food, but the taxi
driver is arranged in advance and we found that there was not enough time
to get your food before the taxi insists on you getting in and heading back
to your hotel, so it's not advised to eat there. It's also not as good as
the food at the restaurant next to Saba Deep.

Skip Saba Divers and head on down to Saba Deep if you are looking for a
good dive operation in Saba.
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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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