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Dive Review of Blue Island Divers/Marriott Frenchman's Reef in
Virgin Islands/St. Thomas

June, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by David E. Reubush, VA, USA
Report Number 533
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Little Cayman, Grand Cayman, Belize, Galapagos, Red Sea, Dominica,  Turks
& Caicos (Provo & Grand Turk), Bimini, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, cloudy  
Water Temp
85   to 92    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Return with 500 psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Told them upfront that I had a camera.  No camera table on the boat and
rinse bucket was forgotten most days.  When they brought it it was a big
dishpan and camera and strobe would not really fit.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
The boat was small, with no head and, when you reach a certain age, a head
is a welcome relief after each dive.  (I was told a new boat is in the
works so this may not be a problem in the future.)  However, a great and
agreeable staff made up for any shortcomings.  We delivered the gear
(except for the camera gear) to the dive shop the day before we started
diving and the crew put it on the boat for us and picked us up at the hotel
dock. They changed BC's and regulators to the new tanks after each initial
dive and took the gear back to the shop and hung it up after each day's
diving.   The boat did not have a ladder so you had to swim up to the back
of the boat and take off your weight belt and BC which were lifted into the
boat by a crew member.  Then you had to kick up onto the swim platform and
climb the rest of the way into the boat.  This got interesting when the
boat was rocking and rolling early in the week.   The wind had been blowing
for about a week before our first day's diving.  As a result, the boat
could not go very far out and the visibility was only about 30 ft. because
of all the particulates in the water.   Things calmed down later in the
week and we were able to go further out where the visibility was up to
about 80 ft. and the dives were much more enjoyable.  While St. Thomas is
not Little Cayman there was plenty to see, including some interesting (and
large) wrecks.   I will probably return to St. Thomas (There was lots of
shopping to make my wife happy.) and will definitely dive with Blue Island
Divers again.  The clincher occurred when we settled up with Aitch at the
end of the week.  We had paid for 5 days of diving for myself and 3 days
for my wife.  Because of the poor conditions at the beginning of the week I
cut back to 4 days and my wife to only one.  Aitch refunded the difference
with ABSOLUTELY NO HASSLE.   He can also hook you up with a local car
rental that cost about half of the going rate for one of the majors.  The
two things that I wished I had known before I left home were the water
temperature (I didn't bring enough neoprene.) and visibility. (I would not
have bothered to haul the camera gear.)     
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All Virgin Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Virgin Islands
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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