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Dive Review of St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures/Hotel Caravelle in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures/Hotel Caravelle, Jan, 2008,

by Dave Dori, MD, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3802.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Most all of the Caribbean Islands, Truk, Pilau, Yap, Sipidan, Kampali, Lankayan, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 10 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We have computers so there were no restrictions on us for either time or depth. Back on the boat with 500 PSI.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments They had a camera tank along with a dip tank on board and were willing to hand down and remove cameras for you while in the water.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The staff was very competent and professional. Ed & Molly are the owners, the DM's are Marc, Bill & Shelly, and another Bill. They are all very personable, provided good briefings and checked dive sights for vis and currents before allowing us to enter the water. We changed sites a few times due to poor conditions and time was not a factor to them. The dive boat was spacious and comfortable, cold water, fruit between dives, a hang bar @ 15 feet, a regulator always available @ 20 feet. Once you set up the first time the staff then removes your gear, rinses and dries it at the shop and sets it up @ the boat each day including change of tanks during a trip. 2 tank dives depart daily @ 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Beginners frequent the PM dives, some on AM dives but they are always with an instructor and go in after you do and were not a bother to experienced divers. They tried hard not to repeat sites if possible. We dove Cane Bay Wall once and did several dives @ Salt River, nice walls there. Most 2nd dives were within sight of the town of Christiansted. Vis was not so hot due to steady winds out of the East and exits were a challenge with a bouncing boat but the staff was very helpful. The DM would take your fins @ the stern and you could then pull yourself into the swim platform with the rope attached to the hangbar to a pair of ladders. I typically shed all equipment in the water and they were happy to accomodate me taking my weight belt and BC and then handing them up to the Captain.
The fish life was all small. Except for a couple of barracuda we did not see any big fish. We did not see one grouper the whole week. There were several eagle ray sightings along with a few turtles. One group had 3 dolphins swim thru them but we had no such luck. The coral was in bad shape, color was at a premium, brown algae was proficient in the coral. The diving was comfortable and enjoyable all in all.
We stayed @ the Hotel Caravelle, it's an older place right on the boardwalk with a great view. The rooms were so so with our A/C moderately successful @ keeping up in the daytime. The did have a small fridge and a safe in every room, no extra charge. The staff were friendly and helpful, my daughters bags didn't make the Cape Air flight from St. Thomas and the receptionist called the AM after our arrival and determined that they had them and would be delivering them that same day. So she had her own equipment for the first afternoon dive that day.
Rumrunners is the restaurant attached to the hotel, the food was good but it took the kitchen a while to prepare dinner meals when they were busy. Breakfast and lunch were ok and reasonably priced. Happy hour from 4 to 6 all over the town. Many good restaurants within close walking distance from the hotel, try Angry Nates if you visit, good food and a nice atmosphere. Many shops in close proximity to the hotel.
We rented a jeep on our off day and toured the entire island. It has many spectacular views and has several great resorts. Airfare from the east coast is approx. 1,000 + (Delta), the rooms were the same for double occ. The 5 day 2 tank dive package was 350. We enjoyed Christiansted very much, it was a pleasant and relaxing vacation and we would go back if the opportunity presented itself in the future.
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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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