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

Brac Reef Beach Resort: "Easy Dive Trip: Good Food, Valet Diving", May, 2015,

by Rik Pavlescak, FL, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 8388.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I had the opportunity to travel with a group of divers. The package included round trip airport transfers, 17 dives, accommodations and meals. Nitrox was $10 extra per tank. A trip to the Bloody Bay Wall was an extra $35 per diver (about 45 minute boat trip away from Cayman Brac). Costs, all-in $2200 for a single room. (About $315 a night.)

Here's a breakdown:
Arrival at airport....walked out, looking for signage for transportation with the Resort's logo on it. No such thing....just a guy asking where I was going and telling me to throw my luggage in the pickup truck and get into a van. I wasn't sure that this was the arranged transportation: no list of names, nothing to indicate that this was the "official airport transfer". Folks in my group hopped on, so I did, too. It was the right van. Would be helpful to have a little signage or something with the resort logo on it.

The airport is only a 5 minute drive away from the resort. In fact, the rooms overlook the runway. No worries, though--only a few flights a day and they're generally quiet when they come and go.

The check-in process was very quick and very smooth. We arrived before noon--when I got to the room, housekeeping was still working on it, but let me move my bags in. No problem. I went to look for lunch since I had been traveling since very early in the morning. When I got there, I was told that lunch on the first day wasn't included. My package says, 7 days accomodations, all meals, etc. but I didn't argue. (Also didn't get lunch on final day because we had to leave 15 minutes before lunch opened.) They charged me an extra $22 for lunch for the first day.

Food: Each meal had a buffet. Those at the beginning of the week were EXCELLENT. Breakfast included cook-to-order eggs, omelettes, plenty of bacon, sausage, cereals, pastries, fruit. Lunches included great salads, sandwich items, cooked veggies, rice, potatoes, and at least two proteins (beef, chicken, seafood). All very tasty. AND Desserts! At least 3 desserts to choose from at every lunch. Way too easy to overeat.
Dinner: same thing with excellent soups, then great salads, tasty veggies, potatoes, rice, and three proteins: usually a beef, chicken and seafood. And again, three delicious desserts. All buffet style, all too easy to overeat. One or two meals missed the mark: one dinner was burger/hot dogs with picnic sides--they were o.k. but didn't match the quality of the other meals. Friday night was barbecue night: ribs, steaks cooked on the grill: very good.

Accommodations: upon entering the room I immediately smelled the "musty/mildewy" smell of a room that is near the ocean and has gathered dampness. I'm not sure if much could be done about it. The second floor room had a balcony and looked out to the pool--it was supposed to be "ocean view", which it is, if you look off to the right. Since I was solo, I had hoped for a king size bed, but it had two doubles. While others in the group had refrigerators in their rooms, I did not. (Oddly, I had emailed prior to traveling to see if they had fridges available, but no one ever responded.) The room was generally clean, but worn: carpeting is worn, bedspreads showing some age. The drawers on the dresser would not remain closed--kept opening on their own. The desk drawer had a small note "General Inspection: droppings in drawer" in it, along with droppings--looked like roach droppings. Odd that no one ever bothered to clean the drawer or remove the tag or droppings.

That said, room was cleaned each day and the housekeeping staff were courteous. Fresh towels brought each day. I'd say that the room compares with a Knights Inn or Super 8 type room: nothing fancy about it, but generally comfortable with WiFi. I checked out the TV one evening--very few stations, and half of them were filled with static, impossible to watch. No problem though, as I didn't really want to watch TV.

There is a nice swimming pool and a pleasant bar. The check-in area has a small gift shop, a "library" with DVD rentals and books to borrow. There is a "spa" on-site--although the week I was there, the therapist was on vacation and no services were available.

The purpose of the trip was diving. And the diving was great. Reef Divers have a good operation. Morning dives start at 8:15 a.m. (two tanks), generally a deeper dive and then shallower dive. Back into the Resort by 11:45 a.m. Lunch at 12:30 p.m. (til 2 p.m.). Afternoon dives leave at 1:45 p.m. Back by 3:30 p.m. generally. Quick swim, clothes change, meet up at bar, look at pics, and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Early bed time. Repeat. Diving offered many different sites: no repeats. On our last day (Friday morning) our group asked for two shallow dives instead of a deep dive and our request was met. The valet service of diving is EXCELLENT. After the first dive, the crew sets up your gear for you--no need to handle your BCD or regulator or weights for the rest of the trip. Each night you take fins/mask/camera with you (and computer if you want). The rest of the gear is washed and stored for the night and ready for the next day. The other great thing about the valet service, no need to walk around the boat with fins on or geared up. The boat gets to the site, ties up to the mooring line. Then there is a thorough briefing of the site. Then, divers carry their fins/mask to the back of the boat (3 drop off points: right/left/center) and staff bring the tank/bcd/weights over to the diver and help put them on. Then it's just a quick jump off the boat into the water. Each dive is guided with a dive master. Buddy teams can do their own dive or follow the dive master. Dive masters point out interesting things and get divers back to the boat. Each dive had a maximum depth and maximum time (generally 50-60 minutes). They ask that you are back on the boat with 500 PSI and each diver is to dive their own computer. A verbal roll call is taken at the end of each dive to make sure everyone is back on the boat. Great diversity of sea life to see: turtles, reef, schools of fish, macro, eels, etc. Definitely recommended dive outfit.

Cayman Brac is out there. The diving was good, so this trip met its objective. I understand that Brac Reef Beach Resort will be doing renovations to the pool and bar area August-November 2015. (Check to see if these areas will be open if booking during this time!). I'm hopeful that they'll take the opportunity to upgrade the rooms as well: carpeting on the steps are shredding, outdoor carpeting outside of the rooms need to be replaced, room furnishings could be updated, better TV connections are needed, bed spreads could be updated.

Last thing: gratuities. The dive shop is very clear with guidelines: $100 per week to be split among the staff on your boat; with an option to leave additional for any particular staff member if you wish. These are recommendations only: not required. It was very helpful. At the resort, they provide you with an envelope with more than 35 names on them--to leave tips for everyone from front desk to cooks, to servers, to housekeeping to even "maintenance" staff! No guidelines at all on how much is reasonable to tip, or how to split the tips. You could leave a tip for "all" if you chose, but still no guidance on how much is reasonable to leave per day. It would be better/easier if they either a) paid their staff a reasonable wage that doesn't rely on tips and include this in the fee or b) give some basic guidelines on tipping (like the dive shop, cruises, and other places.)

Would I return? Possibly, but it won't be my next dive trip. There are plenty of other places to dive, and I think more affordable places with better accommodations. (See my review in Roatan of Cocolobo). I will say that this was truly convenient: eat/dive/sleep and repeat. With valet service diving that was excellent. If you are going to dive in Cayman Brac then I have no reservation in recommending this place as an all-inclusive resort.


Websites Brac Reef Beach Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Costa Brava, Roatan, Key West, Cozumel, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Grand Cayman
Closest Airport Cayman Brac Getting There Fly to Grand Cayman, connect to Cayman Brac on Cayman Air

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80-°F / 27-°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back on boat at 500 psi; generally 50-60 minute dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
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 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Boat had a dry table reserved for cameras. Rinse tank and hose with fresh water available. Crew handed photography equipment to divers after they were in the water. Very photography friendly operation.
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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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