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Dive Review of Sunset Divers/Sunset House in
Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman

Sunset Divers/Sunset House, Aug, 2008,

by Jeff Bloomer, IL, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports). Report 4279.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Throughout the Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 83 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 100 Foot maximum depth for 40 minutes were announced. 1 dive cut short when some people dropped to 118 ft. to a very large lobster. Bottom time limits were not enforced.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Use of the camera bucket vs the mask rinse bucket could have been communicated better. The boats I was on had little room for working on cameras. The smallest boat had a large bench for cameras but this boat was not laid out well for getting divers off the boat in any sense of order.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments The Good: This is a true diving resort. I enjoyed the vibe of The Sunset House, being surrounded by other divers and having direct access to the house reef to dive anytime throughout the day reminded me of the old days. The restaurant on site is good as is the bar area. My wife rented a BC and it functioned well. The other rental equipment I seen on the boat seemed in good repair. Sunset is a good choice for newer or less experienced divers.

Grand Cayman offers a lot of good places to eat as well. My top choices are Guy Harvey's and Ottmar's Fisherman Inn for a great upscale meal and Breezes for more affordable fare.

The Bad: Bad is probably too strong of a word but the resort is showing it's age and the rooms could use an updating. We had an Ocean view which was fine except for needing some TLC on things like laminate in the bathroom peeling loose and light fixtures and lamps falling apart because they were too loose. I fixed the lamp so it wouldn't fall apart but left the wall lamps to someone else. Our friends slider door out to the small patio needed work or at least The Hulk to open and close it.

What I wish I'd known: Accommodations: We were all charged an Energy Surcharge which we were not aware of prior to checkout.

The dive operation is too restrictive for anyone beyond a novice level. The 72 cubic foot tanks are, I'm convinced, designed to limit your bottom time. The profiles, even when diving computers is a bit irritating. I understand the need for a check out dive but we had to do one for the first dive with the outfit and another one for the first 100 ft dive. I can't speak for everyone on the boat but our group included an Instructor and tech diver (myself) and everyone else were at least Advanced and/or very experienced and with multiple specialties under their weight belts. We played along to get along but not my preferred way to vacation. I had confirmed with the DM on a earlier dive that my wife would use up her air before I would and that I would bring her back to the anchor line and join my two buddies to complete my dive. The DM was fine with that. If you attempt this I would suggest making sure all members of the shop know how you are diving since this agreement was not passed along to other DMs which caused my wife to be questioned on the location of her buddy upon surfacing. Not a bad thing just something that could be improved on.

The only other thing I would suggest is that Sunset Divers should keep a log of who has dived what sites. We were taken to the same site twice and although they offered to recall a diver they had in the water and move to another site (we appreciated the offer) we didn't want to complicate things. A checkoff sheet, or asking prior to leaving the dock, would be an improvement they may want to consider.

Finally, where did all the fish go on Grand Cayman? 12 years ago there were big schools of Tarpon, eels peeking out to look at you and Grouper staring back at you on most dives. We only seen a few Tarpon, no eels, and small to medium Grouper. I did see a lot of fishing going on by the locals. It's hard to believe that subsistence fishing is having that much impact but if it's been a while since you've been to GC don't expect much different over other areas of the Caribbean and probably not as good as some places.
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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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