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

October, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by William Ungerman, California, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5204
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy, surge, no currents  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Suggested to stay withing recreational dive limits.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large rinse bucket on board reserved for cameras.  Had out and retrieve
cameras to divers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
We met Ed Buckley at the Long Beach Dive show in May and he made diving St
Croix sound exciting.  My wife maybe was influenced and was plied with two
airline bottles of Cruzan Rum.  Naw.  So, we booked with St. Croix Ultimate
Bluewater Adventures.  We flew into St. Croix airport (a funky little
airport) and took the thirty-five minute drive in a taxi into
Christiansted.  We opted to stay at the Caravelle Hotel, on the boardwalk,
centrally located, and right next door to the dive shop and dock where
their boats depart.  Ed and Molly greeted us like long lost relatives and
it was genuine too.  We met the staff including Roger, Jon, Michael, Susie,
Ross, and Cindy.  These are the most accomodating and friendly people we
have run across after diving the world for twenty or so years.  In fact,
that's their slogan:  The friendliest dive shop on earth.  Small venue,
huh?  Roger took our wish list of dive sites and during the following week,
fullfilled it, with the exception of a few modifications based on
recommendations from experience.  The diving was between a four and a five
based upon the Caribbean scale.  The visibility was typically 80-100 feet
but ran to 40-50 on a couple dives.  A must dive is the Frederiksted Pier. 
We dove the Bonaire Town Pier but this one was better.  We did it as a
night dive and it was spectacular.  Other good sites were the Butler Bay
Wrecks, Eagle Ray, Salt River, and North Star.  Pavillions was great.  All
gear is taken care of.  You never have to touch it after the first day. 
They wash, rinse, store and remount.  Perfect service.  The boat (Reliance)
is large and spacious, covered with all the amenities.  Giant stride, easy
ladder return.  Current line always in the water.  Personal attention if
you want it (or need it) otherwise you can do your own thing.  Your
competence is respected.  The diving is at least as good as most of the
Caribbean.  We have been to St. Thomas and St. John and dived both. There
is no comparison.  St. Croix wins hands down and even when compared and
contrasted to other Caribbean locations.  For me, this is a toss-up with
Cozumel for top Caribbean honors.  The Hotel:  The Caravelle is a little
threadbare and weather worn but you couldn't ask for a better location or a
nicer staff.  They were outstanding.  The bed was a King four-poster and
the room had a view of the marina and pool.  The Rum Runner restauarant on
site was closed but the locals said it was a highlight.  They do a nightly
Tarpon feed and the beasts are there every night, feed or not.  Other good
restaturants are Shenanigans (for breakfast and lunch), the Fort Christian
Brew Pub (all three and night life), The Bombay Club for upscale dining. 
The front looks like a cross between the entrance to bin Laden's cave and a
third world prison but the interior is cheery and the food is superb.  Also
try Angry Nates and the Lost Dog Pub in Frederiksted after the night dive
for a brew.  Open containers are okay in the USVI so the police will hold
your open container while they write you a ticket for talking on your cell
phone.  Mosquitoes are fierce and they are those pesty silent stealh ones. 
It rained for ten minutes every day and the daytime temps in September
topped 100 degrees.  Do your shopping at the Pueblo Market, fifteen minutes
away or at Sunny Isles shopping center if you need Wal-Mart.  If there is a
negative (for us anyway being from smokeless California) it's that
everybody smokes.  Yep, with roosters waking you at 0600, it's a grand
place to relax, kick back, enjoy some great diving and meet, mix and mingle
with some really grand people.  As the man said, I'll be back.             
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