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Dive Review of Abyss Dive Center/Holiday Inn Marathon Key in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys - Marathon

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Joe Sindorf, MI, USA
Report Number 3048
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Red Sea, Hawaii, Florida Panhandle, quarries...
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy, surge  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 85    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We had a one-hour bottom time or 500 pound limit, whichever came first.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Lots of great stuff to shoot. Rinse tub just for cameras on the boat.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
Tremendous operation.  This is a family owned and operated shop and it is
very well done.  The boat is in great condition and is fast. It is small,
so you don't have the crowds you get on a big pontoon dive platform.

Cold drinks are provided on board, and there is plenty of comfortable
seating either inside or outside.

We booked the package deal with the Holiday Inn which is on the same
property as the Abyss shop.  You will probably never get a better deal on
room and diving.  This was very inexpensive and a great value. But do not
call the Holiday Inn about this, you have to book with Abyss. Very
convenient to walk out of our room right to the dive boat. 

The Holiday Inn is nothing to write home about. It is just your basic,
well, Holiday Inn.  We were on a family vacation and got two ajoining
rooms.  The teen daughters had their own room and my wife and I had our own
room.  Nice thing -- we didn't have to pay extra for this since the package
is per person double occupancy.

Only disappointment: we booked our week of diving far in advance and when
we got there wanted to change one day dive and have a night dive instead --
they would not do the switch.  I can see their point, but it felt a bit
cheap.  Also they had a change of policy with the hotel so although we were
told we got a breakfast buffet with our package we arrived at breakfast the
first day to find that had been cancelled... not a huge deal, but a
disappointment, and there was no adjustment in cost for the package.

But, even with those two minor issues, we loved diving here.  The quantity
of the fish did not seem as good as Key Largo, but the dives were

One nice thing... actually a very nice thing... if you are doing multiple
day dives, you can hang your gear in the shop and not have to try to store
wet stuff in your small hotel room.  This was a real benefit.

When you go, beg to dive at Pillar Patch - a tremendously healthy group of
Pillar Coral teeming with fish.

This was the second week of a two week dive vacation in the Keys. We loved
it.  There are tons of great restaurants, email me for more info on those. 
Abyss dive shop has great friendly people who made us feel welcome, safe
and comfortable. We can't wait to go back again.

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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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