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Dive Review of Avalon lll in
Cuba/Gardens of the Queen

Other Cuba reports
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Avalon lll: "Gardens of the the Queen is a must dive destination!", Mar, 2019,

by Frederick Michael Maisch, MI, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 10899 has 1 Helpful vote.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My dive buddy Neil and I were very fortunate to book our Cuba excursion through PADI Travel on the brand new Avalon III put into service in January of this year. I can't overstate how wonderful the ship and crew were, as they have everything you could ask for aboard the boat. The dive deck was enormous with plenty of room to change and fresh water tank for cameras and wetsuit rinse and even a bathroom. The sun deck has a bar, hot tub and lounge chairs. Our cabin was large with a balcony, twin beads that were very comfortable, and a large and functional bath and storage and everything worked! The ship has a large modern kitchen and the chef and food were extraordinary. There were 15 divers on our trip, 6 with the major camera equipment took a skiff and 9 on the 45 foot cruiser. Gear was always setup for us by the crew and up to 4 dives/day were offered. Nitrox was $100 US. Tips for the crew were suggested to be around $400 total for the dive crew and boat staff and they were worth it! Tips and alcohol were the only thing needing to be paid in cash at the end of the trip and euros were prefered.

As a US citizen you need a tourist visa which we got on the plane and a Cuba Eco Letter you need in advance. There are a few other requirements you can google, but US Immigration asked for nothing more than my Passport which does get stamped in Cuba.They have lectures on the boat which were interesting and met a requirement.

Most of our dives were drift. You see many sharks up close on every dive, also huge eagle rays, tarpon, black and golith grouper, green eels and a couple of big turtles.The coral, sponges, tropical fish and general reef conditions were healthy and plentiful. Cuba should be on every diver's bucket list as, in my opinion, it is the best dive experience in the Caribbean. We did not have time to visit Havana but did see much of the country on our ride to and from the boat. Very strange to see more horse pulled carts than cars for transportation. There appears to be widespread poverty, but the people are friendly and resourceful. Speaking Spanish would be a plus if you visit!

Websites Avalon lll   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cayman, Florida, Palau
Closest Airport Camaquey Getting There We flew from Toronto to Santa Clara direct on WestJet a 3.5 hr ride to Jucaro where we met the boat.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Always dove as a group with the dive leader.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Fresh water tank for cameras, large tables with electrical outlets
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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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