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

St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, Oct, 2009,

by William Ungerman, California, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 5204.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, no currents
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Suggested to stay withing recreational dive limits.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large rinse bucket on board reserved for cameras. Had out and retrieve cameras to divers.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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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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