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Dive Review of ALDive/Cruise ship in
Dominica

ALDive/Cruise ship, Dec, 2011,

by Robert Smithson, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 6377.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Aruba, Virgin Islands, Catalina
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge, currents
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No diving below 100 ft.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments They didn't have any rinse tanks for my camera on board, but the guys were nice enough to rinse my case with a large bottle of drinking water--all was good.

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

Accommodations N/A Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I was on a two-week cruise with my girlfriend and I wanted to dive at a few locations. I was finding that the cruise lines padded the cost of the excursions a bit, so I decided to find a dive operator on my own. I read a lot of good things here about Dive Dominica, but quickly found out after contacting them that they would not allow me to dive with them since they contract out to the cruise line. I read a couple of reviews here for ALDive and chose them. It was a good choice as the experience was great. Turns out I met my dive buddy on the ship and the other three that joined us were also from the ship. Billy (the owner) was great as well and got everyone set up with rental gear (I had my gear with the exception of tanks, weights and wetsuit). The gear looked used, but not overly so--everyone commented that the rental worked well, with one exception--our one female diver's BCD had a very slow leak, but she was fine with it and didn't bother her at all. One diver had dived with ALDive before and noticed a new dock--a huge improvement from before where boarding the boat was a bit treacherous on the rocky shore. Bobby and Alan were our crew and they took us out in a small boat, but we could have squeezed a couple more on board if needed. A very comfortable ride out to the marine reserve at Scott's Head Point at the southmost part of the island with a total of seven passengers and crew. There were some pretty major currents there and a safety line was put to good use. We could have used a better weight check as a couple of us weren't properly weighted, but we got it under control quickly. After a descent to about 20 feet, the drop off took us down to about 95 feet. I burned through my tank in about 40 minutes since I was preoccupied with all of the things to photograph. Lots of fantastic coral and sponges with small schools of snapper, trumpets and various tropicals swirling around us. During the surface interval, we were treated to fresh fruit from Bobby's own trees. The second dive brought us to the Champagne Reef. That was the best dive of the day for me, maxing out under 70 feet for close to an hour of bottom time. I added a bit more weight and that made it perfect for controlling my movements better while taking photos. We made our way along a shear cliff face covered with amazing coral and sponges. All kinds of fish here...parrots, snapper, angels, etc. Found a huge crab jammed back in a little cave. Some puffers, morays, shrimp, and trumpet fish zooming around. Then we made our way to Chamagne Reef...amazing watching the bubbles rising from the underground hot springs. A fun day of diving was had by all. If you want a more intimate experience, I'd recommend ALDive in Dominica.
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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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