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Dive Review of HMS Minnow/Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort in
The Continental USA/Florida

February, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Steven Altchuler, MN, USA
Report Number 936
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
US, Pacific, Carribean, Asia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
73   to 73    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Return to boat with 500 psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
HMS Minnow:  The HMS Minnow is a 25' boat - holds up to six divers.  Jeff
tailors the dives to your preferences.  I was diving with my younger
daughter (Jr Open Water), so we dove shallow reefs and the Benwood, a
shallow wreck.  Jeff planned great dives, increasing in difficulty. 
There's no dive master in the water with you, but Jeff gives excellent
briefings, with charts, to help you plan the dive.  Jeff leaves the marina
earlier than most other boats, so he's able to get to the dive sites you

The boat is comfortable.  He carries first aid supplies, as well as oxygen,
marine radio, and cellular telephone.  With a quick email, he had nitrox
waiting for me for the dive.  Jeff does not intrude, but clearly observes
the divers and assesses their skills.  He had a rinse tank waiting on the
pier.  The only drawback is HMS Minnow has no head.  The HMS Minnow website
is <[hmsminnow.com link];, and his email is
<hmsminnow@msn.com>.  Jeff and I easily arranged our trip via

Summary:  I would easily dive with the HMS Minnow again.  It's excellent if
you want personalized diving, with the opportunity to do the dives you
want.  However, if you would prefer a divemaster in the water to show you
the sites, I would recommend another operator.

Key Largo Holiday Inn:  I'll merely list the facts:
o) Conveniently located to the HMS Minnow.
o) Check-in was simple and accurate
o) At dinner, our three entrees at the hotel restaurant came at three
different times
o) The room had a sleeper sofa in it.  It was made, with the sheets
covering the packing plastic which the mattress was left in.
o) We were locked INTO our room.  When we went to get ice at bedtime, the
door would not open.  It took over one-half hour before they could unlock
it from outside, and then another one-half hour before it was fixed enough
that the door could be open and shut from inside the room.  However, no one
at night could reprogram the lock and they did not call in anyone who could
reprogram the lock.  As a result, one of us needed to stay in the room at
all times until the next morning.  This meant we could not have breakfast
together.  (If we hadn't tried to get the ice, we would have discovered all
this as we tried to leave for our dive the next morning.)
o) At checkout, I was billed for a meal that someone else had.  It took
them ten minutes to verify the charge was not mine.
o) The hotel website links to "Visit Our Other Hotels and
Resorts" -- The Marriott Key Largo, The Ramada Key Largo, The Marina
Del Mar, The Travelodge and Suites.
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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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