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Dive Review of Little Cayman Beach Resort in
Cayman Islands/Little Cayman

Little Cayman Beach Resort: "Well run resort and dive operation", Nov, 2018,

by Hugh E Aaron, FL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 23 reports with 19 Helpful votes). Report 10665 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We first visited Little Cayman 29 years ago aboard the Little Cayman Diver. This was our first trip back. We normally avoid all inclusive resorts. However, on Little Cayman, an all inclusive resort makes sense as there are very few hotels, restaurants or dive operators on the island.

Given the limited competition and difficulty getting supplies and services on the island, one might expect Little Cayman Beach Resort to be mediocre. But that is not the case. Both the resort and dive operations at LCBR are first class operations than run like clockwork.

The hotel room was well appointed with a comfortable king bed, plenty of storage space, a fridge, a flat screen TV and a spacious bathroom. The windows in the room had heavy duty wooden shutters that could be closed at night to block out almost all the light. That made for very comfortable sleeping. The air conditioning seemed to struggle some with the humidity, but it was sufficient to keep the room comfortable.

Our LCBR package included three meals a day. They were all served buffet style with a nice variety of soups, salads, entrees and desert choices. The regular dining room was being renovated during our stay so a large conference room was used as a temporary dining room. It would have been fine except the air conditioning was really cold and the room was loud when full of people. Fortunately, for most meals, we were able to get a table on the screened front porch, which was delightful. To compensate everyone for the alternate dining arrangements, complementary wine was served every night. That was a nice treat.

LCBR has a large bar which is the center of the social scene when people are not diving. They have evening activities (e.g., trivia, karaoke, etc.) most nights for those who enjoy that sort of thing. Fortunately, It quiets down early as most people at the resort are serious divers who know better than to over do it the night before diving. At first, I was concerned that noise from the bar might prevent us from turning in early, but we hardly noticed any noise in our room, which pretty much overlooked the bar.

The resort offers complementary beach cruiser style bikes and kayaks. The bikes were badly rusted. Nevertheless, we still managed to explore most of the island by bike. There is one convenience/grocery store and a couple of restaurants. The store seemed well stocked, but expensive. We did not try the restaurants as all our meals were included in our LCBR package.

For such a remote place, the WIFI worked surprisingly well in our room and in most outdoor lounging areas. Speaking of outdoor lounging areas, there are many options - a large pool deck with hot tub, a deck overlooking the beach and, of course, the sand beach, complete with lounge chairs and shaded hammocks. We really enjoyed our downtime. There were some pesky no-see-ums at dusk, but they were not too bad.

LCBR is first and foremost all about diving. Most days there are five Newton dive boats going out. The boats are all well maintained and, as we have come to expect from Newtons, set up for serious diving. The boats all have a full complement of safety gear, tools, spares and fish identification guides. Surface interval snacks include fruit and various types of chips.

LCBR assign divers to the boats so that the boats are well utilized but not overloaded. There was always plenty of space available and its was easy to move around the boat. The daily dive schedule is a two tank trip before lunch and a one tank afternoon trip. There are also night dives some nights and a once a week trip to dive Cayman Brac. There are modest additional fees for the night dives and the Brac trip. We did not do any of the night dives or the Brac trip as three dives a day was enough for us.

LCBR assigns divers to a boat upon arrival and, for the most part, guests dive with that same boat all week. Our boat was crewed by Romel from the Bay Islands of Honduras and Phil from England. These guys were not kids taking a year or two off from something else. Rather, they are serious dive professionals. We were told that LCBR requires all its dive masters to have five years experience, be certified as an instructor and be capable of captaining the Newtons. Having such qualified staff really makes a difference. Romel and Phil took turns captaining our boat and leading dives. One of them always remained on the boat.

Romel and Phil took turns drawing detailed pictures of the dive sites. Their explanations were equally detailed, but they kept things interesting and even entertaining. And they were effective. We never saw anyone come up anywhere other than the stern of the boat even though many divers were diving on their own rather than staying with Romel or Phil.

Romel and Phil obviously love to dive and it showed. They were also very service oriented. LCBR bills its dive operation as ďvalet diving.Ē They arenít kidding. In fact, being relatively independent, it took some time to get used to such a high level of service. For example, on Newtons we are used to gearing up at the tank ranks and then awkwardly waddling back to the stern for a giant stride entry. Not at LCBR. The Newtons have specials seats on both the port and starboard sides of the stern. When the diver is ready, he or she sits on one of stern seats and the crew brings the diverís rig to the diver and helps the diver put it on. From there, the diver simply stands up and makes a giant stride entry. The process reverses at the end of the dive. Each diver comes up one of the two ladders and immediately sits on one of the stern seats where the crew helps the diver take off his or her rig. The crew then takes care of each diverís rig from there, including swapping out tanks if the diver is making another dive.

Either Romel or Phil ďledĒ each dive. By led, I mean they guided anyone who wanted to be guided. On the other hand, buddy pairs are free to dive on their own if that is their preference. We really liked the flexibility as we are tired of trips were we are required to follow the guide around on every dive. That said, on most dives we stayed in sight of Romel or Phil as they know the sites well and were able to make sure that we saw all the good stuff.

We made 17 dives, all in Bloody Bay, which is about a 25 minute boat ride from the resort dock. Bloody Bay has over 20 mooring balls. We only repeated two dive sites all week and that was because we made a couple of dives from a different boat a couple of afternoons.

Bloody Bay is a protected marine reserve and it shows. The variety and size of the fish is impressive. The fish do not seem to be afraid of divers, especially the large groupers who sometime came over to check us out. Like the rest of the world, the reefs in Bloody Bay are showing signs of stress with very little stag horn coral remaining and plenty of strap and leaf algae on the reefs. That said, there is still plenty of other healthy hard and soft coral. We were told by a marine biologist on the island that Little Cayman is one of only three places in the Caribbean area where the corals are still growing - the other two being Bonaire and Flower Garden Banks. Iím not sure exactly what that means but I my take away is that Bloody Bay is still one of the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean.

As it turns out, the reefs on Little Cayman get a lot of attention from the marine science world because the Central Caribbean Marine Institute is located on Little Cayman. CCMI regularly attracts researchers from other prestigious research groups, including Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and the Smithsonian Marine Station. All those scientists monitoring the health of Little Caymanís reefs canít hurt. We toured the CCMI facility while on Little Cayman and were so impressed that we purchased memberships on the spot.

Most dive sites in Bloody Bay offer a combination of steep walls and shallower patch reefs. That means there is a nice variety and something for everyone, especially given that we were permitted to dive our own profile. Most sites also offer swim throughs. Some are quite extensive. Romel or Phil led anyone who wanted to follow them through the best swim throughs. I generally enjoy swim throughs but a few were a bit tight for me. There is always an option to skip any swim through and follow the diversí bubbles across the top. If you like swim throughs, bring a small light as there are often interesting things to see in the swim throughs.

The biggest problem with LCBR is we are now spoiled. The island is very easy to get to (at least from south Florida) and relatively inexpensive. There are very few mosquitos. There is virtually no crime. The reef is comparatively healthy. And, perhaps most important, the dive operation and resort are extremely well run and reasonably priced.

We have explored much of the Caribbean over the last 35+ years and while there are still many great places to dive in the Caribbean, Little Cayman in general and Little Cayman Beach Resort in particular are hard to beat.
Websites Little Cayman Beach Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving USVI, BVI, California, Hawaii, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Caymans, Curacao, Dominica, Roatan, Belize, Saba, St, Barths, St Kitts, Nevis, Saint Martin, Culebra, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Bahamas, Bonaire, Thailand
Closest Airport Little Cayman Getting There Fly into either Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac and then take Cayman Airlines puddle jumper to Little Cayman

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Around 50 minutes max bottom time on first dive of the day (typically a deeper dive), around 60 minutes max bottom on subsequent dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We did not travel with a camera. Although many others did.
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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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