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Dive Review of Southern Cross in
Cayman Islands/Little Cayman

Southern Cross, May, 2007,

by Darren Dawson, SC, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3357.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Google Darren Dawson for a longer version of the trip report and slide show

Air travel was easy for us, as we were able to fly Delta from Atlanta to Grand Cayman then take the Cayman Airways flight from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman. The only snag we experienced was a one hour delay on our return flight from Grand Cayman to Atlanta.

Southern Cross is definitely the most upscale dive resort that we have visited. It is small and intimate, with a maximum of 24 on-site guests. It is an all-inclusive resort that includes lodging, meals, and diving (or fishing). The resort motto is “barefoot elegance” and it is an accurate descriptor – Darren never wore shoes, even to meals, and we both dressed very casually at all times.

The staff members are all very attentive and always greet you by name throughout your stay. They do everything they can to make your stay as enjoyable and memorable as possible.

The meals here are simply excellent, and it is obvious that there is a real chef in the kitchen. The seafood was fantastic, as were the homemade soups we enjoyed at lunch and all of the unusual salads and side dishes at lunch and dinner. Meals always included lots of delicious fresh fruit and vegetables. And we can’t forget the awesome lunchtime cookies and evening desserts. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style. Breakfast included meats, pastries, bread, bagels, fruit, and cereal as well as made-to-order omelets. Lunch was also served buffet style. Homemade soup and fruit and salad were always included. Sometimes hot food was served (quesadillas or grilled chicken, etc.) and other times we made sandwiches with nice deli meats and cheeses. Dinner alternated between plated meals, which you selected from a menu during lunchtime, and buffets. Meals were all served in the main common building and guests had the option of eating in the indoor dining area or outdoors by the pool at breakfast and lunch – we ate out by the pool most of the time. On Friday night, the resort hosts a dock party with an elaborate buffet served on the dock, and some local residents and guests from other resorts join the Southern Cross guests for this event. It was definitely the most memorable meal of the trip.

The rooms do not have phones, computers or televisions -- this made our stay very relaxing. There is a phone in the main office that guests can use and calls are billed on the honor system at 50 cents/minute, and there is also a computer with internet access set up near the office for guests to use free of charge. The air conditioning in our apartment worked very well. Electrical outlets were standard US-type outlets so no power adapters are needed. The tap water is potable.

The dive operation at Southern Cross is definitely first class – the divemasters work very hard to make the diving easy and fun for the guests. We completed 17 dives during our stay: 3 per day for five days plus 2 on our last dive day. We booked the dive package in advance when we made our reservation. The resort operates two very nice dive boats that are spacious and well laid out for diving. The boats both have ample dry storage and camera rinse tanks on board. The divemasters set up the guests’ gear each morning and switched tanks over between the two morning dives. Cold drinking water was always available and fresh fruit was always offered between dives in the morning.

For the 2-tank morning dive package, the boats leave the dock by 8:00 and go around to the north side of the island to dive sites in Bloody Bay and Jackson Bay. Boat rides are about 30 minutes each way. On most days, the divemasters gave afternoon divers the option of an afternoon or a dusk dive, and we did the dusk dive on 4 of the 5 afternoons that we dove. These were definitely some of the best dives of the trip. There was a minimal up-charge for the dusk dive ($10/dive).

The diving on Little Cayman was as good as we remembered from our trip on the Cayman Aggressor in 2001. The walls at some of the sites in Bloody Bay and Jackson Bay are absolutely breathtaking -- sheer walls with lots of colorful sponges and corals. For the first few days, we experienced some rough waters (though not really bad), but the end of the week was remarkably calm – almost like lake water on the last day. The most notable thing about the diving to us was the vivid clear blue water – it was absolutely gorgeous – almost surreal in some places.

Overall, in comparison to other dive destinations we have visited (Belize, Bonaire, Bahamas, Cozumel, Dominica, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Hawaii, Roatan, and Utila), we both agreed that the quality of the diving on Little Cayman was on par with the Bay Islands (Roatan and Utila), a notch below Dominica, and notably better than the other destinations. We should note that the diving in the Bay Islands is quite different from Little Cayman (more color and macro in the Bay Islands but more stunning walls in Little Cayman), but we rank them similarly in quality for different reasons.

All in all, we had a wonderful dive vacation at Southern Cross. In fact, when you take all things into consideration, we consider this trip to be our best overall dive vacation. We enjoyed perfect weather, great accommodations, relaxing diving, and fabulous food. Southern Cross is a beautiful, well-run resort and Little Cayman diving is excellent. We’d love to return again in the future.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Bonaire, Bahamas, Cozumel, Dominica, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Hawaii, Roatan, and Utila
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Standard
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 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 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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