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Dive Review of Aggressor/Jardines Aggressor I in
Cuba/Jardines de la Reina

 
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Aggressor/Jardines Aggressor I: "Step back in time", Aug, 2016,

by Jennifer A Bowers, TX, US ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 9088 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I saw this trip offered on the Aggressor website, and trip was booked with their help through Oceans For Youth on an educational license. There was a lot of paperwork involved, but none of it was difficult, and the entire trip was extremely well organized and went without a hitch. None of our group of 20 encountered difficulties of any kind. Oceans For Youth pretty much took care of everything, and the guides, land tours, hotel in Havana, meals, transfers, and, oh, yes, the liveaboard diving were all excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip, and feel very fortunate to be able to experience Cuba legally, and before it becomes Americanized.
Breakfast buffet at the Iberostar hotel was plentiful and safe, be sure to try the banana smoothies, they were spectacular! Meals at restaurants in Havana were good, but remember the rules about safe food handling, and do not eat anything that cannot be peeled or cooked. About 1/3 of the group was stricken with Montezuma's revenge at the last dinner in Havana, which fortunately only lasted a few hours.
Be sure to bring your own toilet paper, or packages of Kleenex, as most toilets did not provide it. The bus transfer from Havana to the liveaboard was about 6 hours, but interesting and comfortable, and took 2 short rest stops, although there was a toilet on the bus.
The liveaboard was consistent with Aggressors high standards, and their motto of Eat, Sleep and Dive held true, as usual. The yacht is old, but recently refurbished, and everything was very clean and functioned perfectly. Rooms were small, but very comfortable. Food was somewhat less spectacular than most of the other Aggressors that I have enjoyed, but was plentiful and overall quite good. Mojitos flowed, and they were generous with the rum! Best pina coladas I have ever tasted! Had lobster several meals, prepared different ways, and it was all very fresh and delicious. I especially enjoyed the Cuban soups, and homemade ice cream on thinly sliced sweet pineapple.
Diving was all from tenders, and the sites were in pristine condition! We saw zero trash anywhere, and the sponges and corals were huge and healthy. Tons of fish, sharks, and large groupers on most dives. Viz was not optimal due to rains, and colors were lacking on the reefs, but the diving was still very enjoyable and easy. I would like to go back in the winter dry season, when the viz should be improved. Water was calm the entire week, no seasickness meds needed.
Overall, a great trip, very well organized, and well worth seeing and experiencing!
Websites Aggressor   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]Throughout Caribbean, South Pacific, Southern California
Closest Airport Havana Getting There Cuba Travel Services charter on American Airlines from Tampa

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions We were all on nitrox, so max depth 100 feet, all dives were one hour, stayed in group of 10 divers with 2 divemasters.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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 I am not a photographer, but most of the other divers were, and the facilities appeared to be clean and adequate for them.
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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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