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Dive Review of Pirates Point Resort in
Cayman Islands/Little Cayman

Pirates Point Resort, May, 2013,

by Hollie Lindauer, OR, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 7028.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments On arrival first day some chop kept us on the south side (a bit deeper) but the viz was great and small eagle rays visited us a couple times.

There were no bottom time restrictions during my visit. Courtesy and deco considerations allowed 1:15-1:25 minute bottom times each and every dive for the full week. And always one dive master stayed in water to be last out, so an extra pair of enthusiastic eyes were below spotting and offering an added safety measure.

All of the dive staff have retained their enthusiasm for discovery underwater, and are excited to share their passion and skills with you. The guides show sincere respect for each other and work well as a team. They somehow figure out how to best help the dive guests and results in better, safer, happier divers.

Occasionally you might have a guest that is demanding in a non stop way, or destructive underwater, but the staff can usually find a resolution (in a good way), so that everyone can enjoy their dive time and protect the reef.

I must say that we had a stellar group this vist. I was one one of 6 return guests out of 18 or so, avg 16 on the boat, maybe 2 snokelers. The 'new' people were pretty much all new divers. Within the first 2 days the crew had them properly weighed for good buoyancy that allowed them increased underwater time, 45 -60 min bottom time and removed all threat of reef damage. Even the coral crusher (with claims of 2500+ dives) who resisted guidance, but must have relented to a quiet prayer from the staff since behavior eventually improved.

Gay was dubbed 'the scuba whisperer' by one guest, she is the buoyancy zen master. Each of the dive staff, Gay, Michele, Martha, Bob and Mike are great teachers, always willing to help the receptive diver. I must admit it's great fun to watch them at work underwater, motioning divers up from the deep, coaxing them down from the surface and rounding us all up into a well spaced, considerate group of good divers.

The fishes
Because the viz wasn't stellar on the Bloody Bay wall, maybe 60', we saw mostly just the occasional flash of reef shark skin and the unmistakable swim pattern, as they hung out in the deep during my visit. We had one or two sleeping nurse, lots of southern stingrays with jacks in tow, a couple eagle rays, smaller, spotted and green morays. One dive we had a lovely 6' free swimming, green moray who displayed and posed for us the entire dive. Several turtles each dive, all without concern for divers.

More fishes,
Michele is unbelievable at finding pregnant pipe sea horses, juvenile nudis, dragonettes, sea hares-just amazing. I keep thinking is that really alive and sure enough the head moves, or you can see the pregnancy bump. Mikey and Martha were consistently finding camouflaged neck crabs on the wall, seahorses and slender files.

Lots of nice juv trumpets, juv and intermed rock beauties, damsels, tangs, juv drum, intermediate scrawled file, nice schools of creole wrasses getting cleaned, juv and mid size peacock flounders on the sand, a couple of scorpion fish, jaw fish with eggs, oddly friendly hog fish, beautiful cleaning stations for the many big fat groupers who would tail us and allowed petting.

We had 6 huge tarpon under a ledge one dive, they remained undisturbed by our large group. Pretty groups of grunts, snapper and snapper, often posed against the deep blue of the wall. The occasional swirling ball of Kermit's or jacks.
No squid or juv trunks this time.

The reef
To my eyes it looked great. Healthy sponges, that were luminous with sunshine, nice unbroken whips and fans, even on the shear walls. The algea problem of years pasts has been resolved by sea urchins, and the Sahara sands are long gone.
The sand boulevards with coral oasis, always have nice rubble piles for the off white blennies, tile and jaws. We saw anemone shrimp, porcelain crabs, two claws, and all the cleaners, many large lobsters in lots of cubbies or out for walks.

Lion fish: culling had been a great success combined with limits on grouper fishing may be allowing the larger grouper to attack lion fish. Grouper will certainly eat injured lion fish.
While I did see one large lion fish, on most dives they are hardly prolific and the juveniles on the reef attest to a balance being achieved. The ccim does give presentations on request.

Little Cayman allows for moorings only at dive sites. The Agressor has a few days a week at lyb for diving, weather permitting. The maximum number of dive boats I saw was 5 on the entire south side. The other dive resort groups arrive a little earlier than PPR's boat and clear out by PPR's second dive. The other resort's dive boat's limit bottom time and go back to the resort(s) for noon lunch, then they have one or more pm dive. Personally I prefer doubling my underwater time and limiting my boat travel time so Ppr's schedule works best for me.

The boat
42' in board, two comfy platforms single ladder, shaded and sun deck areas. Drive time is 15-20 minutes to bloody bay wall and Jackson reefs on north side. Safety stop is about 45 min. Btw dives, the boat offers soft drinks, chips, crackers, pb and occasional fruits.

The schedule, loosely
8 am breakfast
9 am departure- 2 dives then returning around
2 or 2:30 pm lunch
Pm - free for reading, biking, walking, rinsing gear, etc
6:30 appetizers/ 7:30 dinner

Extra costs:
Night dive available
Nitrox available
Dive gear / lights - all looked good
Motorbikes, kayaks avail near by

The digs
The un-ac duplex ocean front rooms are more spacious and have a deck, the ac rooms are smaller, no views, less humid obviously. About 10 rooms or so total, some have diff layout. Simple, rattan furnishings, basic linens, hot water for showers. Water conservation in effect. There hadn't been much rain. They provide basic soap. Bring your toiletries.

Hammocks plentiful under palapas. Beach is narrow but pleasant, guest are sent further away for snorkeling.

The resort is very casual 70s Florida, inside and out. There is a bean shaped pool, wood picnic tables and stacking plastic outdoor furniture with colorful linens for outside sunning and dining. The AC club house is sectioned into quarters, with an office/shop, the kitchen, a caribbean trader viks stlye bar room and nice dining room. The sit down dinners are family style buffet nightly in the dining room. Free wifi at club house, one group computer avail. No phones in rooms. A fax and phone are in office. No tvs, they do have one in the bar for power point and movies.

The dive staff double as waiters and office staff too.

Meals are all inclusive including the bar for divers. Diane and Debbie greet you cheerfully with their wonderful spread at the start of the day. Gladys joins in at lunch. She still is hustling for dominos nightly and looks great. I think PPR still has the best food on the island. Gladys makes a real effort to offer a variety of great options at every meal, including wonderful salads, fruits, vegetables and grilled entres - often lacking in remote areas.


Logistics
Lyb is a pain to get to which is why it remains so nice, with so few residents and fewer visitors at the handful of resorts. There's a short gravel run way, no real stores, non existent night life, a field marine research station, iguanas, blue footed boobies, bone fish and good diving.

I like the caymans particularly because of the lack of poverty and theft issues. Many islands with great diving, lack basic infrastructure and government systems, resulting in car break ins, luggage theft, poaching in the Marine preserves, bad food and iffy water. Caymans just don't have these problems. They are quite well off and not cheap to visit.

Grand Cayman Airport
It's still a ladder on the runway airport, and customs/ luggage goes quickly. Security and customs on return is equally painless. Don't fret about a close connection to lyb, I'm sure I've done it in 30 min to gate from landing.

The connection flight to lyb and the brac, is often cloaked in mystery but efficient. The checkin counter is at the furthest tkt counter from security, if there is a line, and your time is short, politely let the tkt counter know which flt your on, they will assist. Once thru security (no wifi or decent food, but there is a bar and very limited gift shopping), Find the gate seating to be aware of boarding. Boarding is done w/in 5 min of departure for comfort and because its a short walk to the 16 or so passenger prop. one 55lb bag + 15 lb small carry on, but if its a full flt, bags might follow the next day. Delays happen. Eventually they'll let you know, its best to stay calm.

At will seating on board with bench seats open to cockpit. The pilots are good. You may want head phones or ear plugs. It's a pretty flight, with a nice ocean view and the islands reef with sand shoots glowing blue.

In the airport, once past security, there is no wifi, ATM or public phone. Food and shopping are minimal. On the second floor there is the hungry horse restaurant, with meagre food offerings but it has free wifi.

Miami Airport
There is nothing efficient about this airport. The construction is never ending and nothing is convenient. The rental car return area appears to re-locate every visit, well concealed by road construction.
Cayman Air is in Terminal E. On return, customs is actually in terminal F so you walk for what seems like miles from the plane to customs, then onto luggage, then further miles to the exit around D gates. Connecting flights may require you to re-enter security. This will be time consuming.
Websites Pirates Point Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving palau, wakatobi, misool, fiji, sharm el sheikh, roatan, belize, marathon key, cozumel, tahiti, philippines, grand cayman, little cayman
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60-90 Ft/ 18-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits always enforced 110', no limit on bottom time
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There are not the high tech set ups available for photographers that some resorts have, with computer work stations and lots of plugs - though wifi is available.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Douglas Garrouin VA, US at Nov 05, 2013 14:49 EST  
Good review! One tip I've learned -- after arriving in Grand Cayman, if there's a long line to the "gates" when you get ready to make your flight to Little Cayman, simply tell the security officers you're flying domestic. You'll be allowed to bypass the line, since it's being slowed by customs issues that don't apply to domestic flights.
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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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