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Dive Review of NATIVE DIVERS/MARRIOTT OCEAN CLUB in
Aruba

NATIVE DIVERS/MARRIOTT OCEAN CLUB, Sep, 2005,

by JERRY BUTLER, CA, USA . Report 2085.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving RED SEA, FIJI, BARRIER REEF, HAWAII, TAHITI, COZUMEL, CANCUN, BELIZE, HONDURAS, MOST OF CARIBBEAN, CALIFORNIA, BONAIRE, ETC.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions DIVEMASTER ROMEO SUGGESTED DEPTH AND TIME LIMITS FOR EACH DIVE. DIVERS FOLLOWED THEIR COMPUTER PROFILE, AND MOSTLY STAYED TOGETHER IN OUR SMALL GROUP SINCE WE HAD THE BOAT TO OURSELVES.
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 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]RINSE TANK ON BOARD. PLENTY OF ROOM FOR GEAR, ETC

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments ARRIVED IN ARUBA WITH A GROUP OF 5 DIVERS AND 2 NON-DIVERS, FOR AN 8 DAY VACATION. FOUR OF US STAYED IN A 2 BR CONDO AT THE MARRIOTT OCEAN CLUB, WHILE THE OTHER 3 HAD THE SAME AT LA CABANA.
BOTH FACILITIES NICE, WITH FULL KITCHENS, A/C, CABLE TV, POOL, AND BEACH. MARRIOTT NICER, BUT MORE EXPENSIVE. WEATHER FOR THE WEEK PERFECT. 85-90, SUNNY, AND BREEZY. WATER 80.
ENJOYED MANY NICE RESTAURANTS DURING THE WEEK. THE PADDOCK AND IGUANA JOES FOR LUNCH. EXCELLENT DINNERS AT TANGO ARGENTINE, QUE PASA, FLYING FISHBONE (TABLE ON THE SAND), AZZURRO'S ITALIAN AT PLAYA LINDA, AND SIMPLY FISH AT THE MARRIOTT. PASS ON CHARLIE'S IN SAN NICHOLAS.
BEGAN SEARCHING FOR A DIVE OPERATION. WE WERE 4 EXPERIENCED DIVERS, PLUS ONE FINISHING HER CERTIFICATION WITH A REFERREL COURSE.
FIRST 2 COMPANIES I CALLED, MERMAID AND PELICAN, WERE OBVIOUSLY "CATTLE BOAT" OPERATIONS, TAKING 16-20 DIVERS ON A 38 FT BOAT! DIVE ARUBA WAS BOOKED, BUT SUGGESTED NATIVE DIVERS FOR A MORE PERSONAL OPERATION. THEY BOOKED FROM A LARGE AWNING ON THE BEACH IN FRONT OF THE MARRIOTT. VANESSA WAS VERY PLEASANT, AND SINCE WE HAD 5-6 DIVERS, RESERVED THE 37 FT BOAT EXCLUSIVELY FOR US, FOR 3 DAYS. JUST WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR. CHARGED $50 PER TANK WITH OUR OWN EQUIPMENT, $70 WITH THEIRS. 4 REFERREL CERTIFICATION DIVES WITH EQUIPMENT WAS $225. PICKED US UP AT MARRIOTT DOCK, OR DROVE US TO ANOTHER HARBOR NEAR AIRPORT WHEN DIVING SOUTH END. OWNER, DIVEMASTER, ROMEO WAS VERY HELPFUL, FRIENDLY, AND PROFESSIONAL. ALSO HAD A DECK HAND ON BOARD TO ASSIST. VERY NICE BOAT, WITH DECK COVERED SEATING FOR MAX 8 DIVERS, BELOW DECK CABIN, HEAD, FRESH WATER HOSE, SWIM LADDER, SOFT DRINKS AND WATER. PLENTY OF ROOM TO MOVE AROUND. OUT AT 9, AND RETURNED AROUND 12:30 FOR 2 TANKS.
DIVING WAS TYPICAL CARIBBEAN. 80 DEGREE WATER. VIS 40-70 FEET. NUMEROUS WRECKS. SOUTH END HAD HEALTHIEST REEFS WITH LOTS OF TROPICALS, BUT VERY FEW BIG CRITTERS.
FIRST DIVE OF TRIP WAS ANTILLA WRECK, 400 FOOT WWII GERMAN SHIP, LARGEST SUNKEN SHIP IN THE CARIBBEAN. NEXT WAS SHALLOW PEDERNALIS WRECK, WITH "CLOUDS" OF TINY BAITFISH AND YELLOWTAILS. LATER DOVE DEBBY II, 70 FT DIVE WITH OK REEF AND WRECK, AND ARASHI REEF, 40 FT WITH LOTS OF CRITTERS FOR PHOTOGS, STING RAY, EELS, LOBSTER, FLOUNDERS, PLUS LOTS OF ANGELS, PARROTTFISH AND TRUMPHETS.
OUR LAST DIVE DAY WAS THE BEST. TOOK ROMEO'S VAN TO SOUTH END HARBOR.
DOVE "CHAIN SEA WRECK AND REEF". 95 FT IN-TACT UPRIGHT WRECK WITH PENETRATION INTO DECKWAYS AND ROOMS. ALSO NEARBY HEALTHY REEF WITH LOTS OF TROPICALS. SECOND DIVE TO 50 FT AT NEARBY REEF. DELAYED RETURNING TO SHORE, SINCE WE RECEIVED A RESCUE TOW REQUEST FROM MERMAID DIVERS BOAT, WICH HAD TO DROP ITS LOAD OF DIVERS ON A SANDBAR, WHILE WE TOWED THEM BACK INSIDE THE HARBOR. MADE US VERY THANKFUL THAT WE HAD FOUND NATIVE DIVERS.
IN SUMMARY, WE FOUND ARUBA DIVING TO BE BETTER THAN EXPECTED, AND MADE MORE ENJOYABLE BY HAVING OUR "OWN" PRIVATE BOAT FOR THE TRIP.
I WOULD RECOMMEND ARUBA AS A VACATION DESTINATION FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS PRETTY GOOD DIVING, AS WELL AS GREAT ON-SHORE FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES. GOOD HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, BEACHES, SHOPPING, CASINOS, AND WEATHER.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, EXCEPT THE REAL DIE-HARD DIVERS.
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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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