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Dive Review of Rainbow Reef Dive Center/Hilton Key Largo in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

July, 2015, an Instant Reader Report by D. Tan, NY, US
Reviewer   (5 reports)
"Keys Wreck Trek Continued"
Report Number 8292
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Andros, Bonaire, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Heron Island, Islamorada,
Little Cayman, Roatan, Saba, St. Martin, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport
MIA
Getting There
90-min drive from MIA

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
84   to 90    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
50   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Computers & air.  Depth limits suggested to extend bottom times.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
For Subscribers Only  
Small Critters
  For Subscribers Only
Large Fish
For Subscribers Only  
Large Pelagics
  For Subscribers Only
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
For Subscribers Only  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
For Subscribers Only  
Shore Facilities  
For Subscribers Only  
Comments
Just a small 5-gal camera bucket, and limited dry areas, not enough for a
serious photographer, but plenty for my GoPro. ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
For Subscribers Only
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
For Subscribers Only
Environmental Sensitivity  
For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation
For Subscribers Only  
Shore Diving  
For Subscribers Only  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
For Subscribers Only    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
For Subscribers Only    
Comments  
We've dove off of Key Largo for many years doing standard 2-tank charters
with Ocean Divers (now owned by Divers Direct).  Tired of the cattle boats,
we decided to try something different on this trip and booked 3 days of
private 2-tank charters for our group of 5 with Rainbow Reef Dive Center
over the July 4 weekend.  We wanted to do the Eagle wreck down off Lower
Matecumbe Key on Day 1 and, a few days before we were due to arrive, after
originally promising to take us in the morning, then saying they could only
do it in the afternoon and would limit us to 40 min dives due to the length
of the trip (apparently they wanted to book a second private charter on
this holiday weekend day), RRDC put us in touch with Islamorada Dive Center
for that first day (see my separate report: 
http://www.undercurrent.org/members/UCnow/dive_reviews/US_Continental/IslamoradaDiveCenter_FloridaKeys_report_8291.html).
 We then returned to RRDC for Days 2 and 3 and were overall very pleased
with the operation.  

We stayed at the Hilton Key Largo (a solid, but often pricey, resort-style
hotel, midway between Key Largo and Islamorada diveshops) and the RRDC boat
launch was a short 6-min drive up Overseas Highway, in the parking lot of
the Courtyard Key Largo under the big DIVE TODAY sign (don't follow Google
Maps to the dive shop itself, which is further up the road!)

We arrived at 8:00am, along with every other diver in Florida, so check-in
was a bit of a factory, but still well-organized.  Squeezing down the
narrow dock and passing their 3 jam-packed Newtons (we heard one diver
exclaim "You've got us packed in like sardines!"), we were very
glad to board our 30-ft Island Hopper, Tropical Explorer, with just our
group of 5, Captain Corbin, Mate Kenzie, and Divemaster/Guide Jardin.  The
boat was fully equipped with life vests, raft, EPIRB, O2, radio, large
cooler, a hot-water hose at the stern, and a small 5-gal bucket for
cameras, with a second for masks.  Other amenities included a sound system,
cooler, and various store-bought cookies between dives.  The standard ch
...
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Other dive reports on Rainbow Reef Dive Center

All The Continental USA Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to The Continental USA
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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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