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Dive Review of Saba Divers/Queens Garden Resort in
Saba

 
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Saba Divers/Queens Garden Resort, Mar, 2012,

by Kimberly Krebs, MD, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6478.

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

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 no
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.
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 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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