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Dive Review of Avalon Diving/Ocean Doctor/Tortuga floating hotel in
Cuba/Jardines de la Reina

 
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Avalon Diving/Ocean Doctor/Tortuga floating hotel: "Jardines de la Reina Tortuga Floating Hotel", Sep, 2015,

by Barry Zigas, DC, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8520 has 1 Helpful vote.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Florida, Grand Cayman, California, Turkey
Closest Airport Havana Getting There Long long drive from Havana to Jucaro, then 3-5 hour boat trip to the reef

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 90 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits noted in every briefing, turn around at 1000 psi/70 BAR, safety stops all dives. Dives were generally in groups, but plenty of leeway for individuals with our divemasters.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments No dedicated rinse tanks or equipment tables. Crew very helpful in handing down equipment after backrolls and taking back at dives' end. N ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Ocean Doctor runs sanctioned people-to-people trips to Cuba and works with the Cuban government to develop, improve and monitor ocean and marine conservation. Their trips include 3 full days in Havana with organized meetings and tours of Old Havana and a more rural community, along with the 5 days of diving on the Jardines. While pretty expensive, the accommodations, meals, and transportation are all included; the Ocean Doctor trip leader and the Cuban guides were terrific; and food and the Havana hotel were first class. The vibrant Cuban culture suffuses Havana's street life; we were free to walk around, shop in small privately owned shops that have begun to flourish under recent liberalization, and see impromptu musical groups in the parks. The iconic 1950's American cars are still much in evidence, though there are many more other, late model cars from Europe than I saw when I visited in 1978. It wouldn't be Cuba without cigars, which are for sale in the hotels, special shops and from "entrepreneurs" on the street who solicit buyers pretty aggessively. US visitors will be taken aback by the amount of smoking in hotel lobbies and bars. Mojitos and other rum-based drinks are ubiquitous.

The Tortuga Floating Hotel is a basic and comfortable lodge with family-style dining room on the first floor and 8 bedrooms along a single corridor on the second floor of a moored barge. En suite baths with showers; plenty of h ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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