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Dive Review of Brac Reef Beach Resort in
Cayman Islands/Cayman Brac

Brac Reef Beach Resort, Mar, 2012,

by Sandy Falen, KS, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 6466.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Guanaja, East End, Little Cayman, Los Roques, Providencia, Dominica, Bequia, Saba, Statia, San Salvador, Bonaire, Curacao, Grenada, Costa Rica, Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay, Tobago, Belize, La Paz, Fiji, Tonga, Kosrae, Palau
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 100 to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Cayman Islands rules (?) 110' depth limit, and they're hung up on buddy diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments No bucket on the boat, but it wasn't needed. Staff was very good about camera handling.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I hadn't been to Brac Reef Beach Resort ("BRBR")in 15 years, and I was amazed at how nice the facilities are. They rebuilt after Hurricane Paloma in 2008, and they did a great job. The rooms are spacious and superbly comfortable, with semi-private deck or patio, large bathrooms with dual-spray head walk-in showers, a large vanity with tons of storage and good lighting, large closet with sliding mirrored doors, security safe (big enough for tablet computer), flat-panel TV, DVD player, desk, leisure chair & ottoman, WiFi, coffee maker, and in my case, a slightly-firm king-size bed. Maid service was excellent, and I opted for a mini-frig at an additional $5/day. The breeze was so pleasant that I turned off the a/c and propped my lanai door open for sleeping. This might have been the nicest accommodation I've ever had on a dive trip.

The dive schedule was relaxing, with the boat leaving at around 8:30 each morning for a 2-tank dive. A single tank afternoon dive usually left around 2:00. "Valet diving" has evolved a bit, in that you'll handle everything but your tank, BC, and reg each day. It's not a big deal, as the rinse tanks and drying areas are convenient and spacious. And you'll still enjoy your BC and tank being brought to you at the back of the boat, for easy donning before you leap into the blue.

And blue it was -- the water was stunningly clear, and warm enough that a poly-pro suit and 3-mil vest kept me quite comfy during my 1-hour dives.

If you dive Nitrox, it's an additional $10/tank, if you use it for every dive. You'll be asked to analyze and label your own Nitrox tanks in advance of your dives, so that they're ready for the staff to load up each morning.

I was delighted to see so many large and healthy grouper. They love following the divers around, likely in part because from time to time they get treated with "lion fish on a stick" -- the result of an aptly applied spear wielded by the dive guide. I'm glad to see BCBR taking an active approach against the lion fish problem; based strictly on my own observation in different areas of the Caribbean and Atlantic, I think it makes a difference. There is hope that the grouper and eels are learning to enjoy this addition to their diet, and that they may already be preying on them without assistance. In any event, it's entertaining to watch the eels, grouper, and jacks zoom in for free sushi when someone makes a kill.

The coral in Brac is in decent condition. Storm damage is evident in the shallows, of course, and I thought there seemed to be too much "creeping algae" in some areas. But the viz was fantastic, and by Caribbean standards, the diving here is outstanding. There are dramatic walls and beautiful shallows, and sightings included turtles, nurse sharks, eagle rays, sting rays, large schools of grunts, gray and queen angels, and reef squid. The Russian frigate, deliberately sunk in 1996, has become a terrific photo dive.

Service on the boat was excellent. The staff here is friendly and professional. My only criticism would be the rather archaic approach to buddy diving. They don't hesitate to ask total strangers to buddy up, regardless of skill level. In my opinion, no diver should be expected to cut their dive short because the stranger they were paired with burns out of air in forty minutes. If the rules require every diver to be accompanied, then a crew member should stay in the water until the last diver is on board. We all pay a lot of money to travel and dive; I don't appreciate a baby divemaster scolding me for diving alone, right under the boat, until the end of the allotted hour.

BCBR certainly elevates dive resort food to a new level; I was amazed at the quality and variety of cuisine. I opted for the MAP (breakfast and dinner included), which worked fine for me. What impressed me the most was the marvelous selection of salads and veggies, which are often limited to non-existent at small island resorts. And if I decided I wanted something for lunch, there was a good selection available from the bar menu.

For Cayman diving, I thought BCBR was a good value, and I won't wait another 15 years to return.




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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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