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Dive Review of Dive Experience/Chenay Bay Beacg in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

February, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Ted Shieh, IL, United States (2 reports)
Report Number 4640
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
S. Pacific, Micronesia, Hawaii, California, US Midwest, Carolinas, Florida,
most of Caribbean, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos,  Thailand, Indonesia,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
must stay within view of DM, otherwise, none.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
all the DMs were excellent at spotting interesting animal life and at
finding subjects for my camera; Sam, the Capt/DM even would choose dive
sites based on optimal lighting conditions for u/w photography. Rinse
bucket for cameras is available on the boat, and staff understands the need
of the UWP.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
Booked a 6 tank package w/ Dive Experience at the advice of a local St.
Croix resident. Their name sums up the operation; and a lot of the other
divers I met on the boat are local residents. The crew are all very
experienced, and know how to give you just what you need respectfully. 
Gear is included in the standard price; therefore I left 1/2 of my dive
gear at home.  Their gear were in excellent condition, and were the right
stuff. You meet at the dive shop before each dive, which is in downtown
Christiansted, then walk 2 blocks to the boat/docks/storage area, where
your gear will be cared for and stored until your dive vacation ends.  The
crew handles, sets up, cleans all the gear. Sam, the DM/Capt./gear guru
made sure consistent and full service was delivered with a relaxed
attitude.  I had an old regulator serviced by Sam, between dive days, and
it came back working better than I've ever remembered, and cheaper than
anyone charges here in Chicago.   Sam, as were all the other DMs, was
excellent at spotting interesting animal life, and at finding subjects for
my camera. Rinse bucket for cameras is available.  Between dives, water and
hard candies are available; so bring a snack if you need a snack between
dives.  No time limits on the dives; DMs seem to know who needs and who
doesn't need individual attention; buddy system not enforced, but DMs kept
a head count throughout the dives. There were never more than 7 divers on
the boat.  Vis ranged from 100+ to 30 ft.  No current (which is the norm
there) Reefs were above average in health, with large healthy sponges,
surprisingly good variety of corals (but not always well-covered), and a
descent representation of Caribbean reef life.  Lots of Southern Stingray
sightings & Green Morays.  Night diving on the Fredricksted cruise ship
pier is available twice a week (on no-cruise ship days); you gown up your
scuba gear on the street, and walk the entire length of the pier, and jump
off the end of the pier, and dive/swim back to shore.  Descent nocturnal
critter sightings, but can be disorienting as dozens of other divers may be
there as well.  Overall, solid, first-rate dive op; would not hesitate to
go back to St. Croix knowing I could dive w/ Dive Experience.

Chenay Bay is 8 minutes east of Christiansted has horribly maintained
cottages in one of the most beautiful settings. The staff was friendly
(though several are poorly trained, and at times inept); restaurant and bar
served up descent food and drinks; the quiet beach was in a secluded bay
with calm waters-next to a turtle nesting sanctuary; kayaks, sail boats,
etc were available for use; the pool was nicely maintained.  But management
and maintenance of the cottages need a lot of work.  Not much to see
snorkeling in the bay (shallow with mostly turtle grass).  No working
outdoor shower when we were there, though there seems to be a slow project
ongoing to build one.  The cottages have a small kitchenette, but we had to
move twice due to major problems we found in the rooms that made the stay
unbearable (cracks in the tub, AC malfunctioning, numerous missing items in
the room, no maid service).  Some cottages were in better shape than
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