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Dive Review of Marlin Bay Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Beqa Lagoon

Marlin Bay Resort, Jul, 2004,

by Barry Zigas, DC, United States (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 1113.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Mexico, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia, Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Curacao, California, Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 70 to 72 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Notify divemaster at 1000 psi. No dives deeper than 100 ft. 5 minute safety stops.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Rinse bucket on board. No dry table on dive deck, but space in cabin if needed. Cameras handed to divers after entry, handed up on exit. No photo processing available at resort, no video or computer viewing facility. I used a digital and it was very easy. Others had film cameras and video and seemed comfortable. Resort has 240V outlets in rooms for recharging.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Marlin Bay has recently changed hands and will soon be known as Beqa Lagoon Resort. New owners are about to invest several millions in expanded facilities, chiefly a much larger swimming pool and expanded bar area.

The good: one of the rare vacation destinations that lives up to the hype and poster views. Gorgeous location on Beqa Lagoon. Beautiful grounds, luxury bures (Fiji for cabins)with marble baths, lovely 4-poster king beds, hammocks, chaise lounges in front. Both ocean view and views overlooking a koi pond. Appetizer and 2 main course choices for dinner, menu changes daily with fish every dinner and chicken and other "turf" options rotating. All prepared with flair from fresh ingedients. Desserts to die for. No other eating options on island. No TV anywhere at resort. Phone and internet connection only at office. Excellent service, warm and friendly local staff who go out of their way to make you feel at home. Daily 2-tank dives leave 8 am, all equipment handled by staff after arrival. Divers only look after wetsuits and cameras. Night dives 2x weekly if at least 4 divers sign up. Shark dive Fridays for extra $FJ140. Many dive sites to choose from. Most days included 10-12 divers per boat; additional boat added if more. Snorkelers welcome on boats. 60 minute surface intervals. Very plentiful smaller tropicals. Good stands of healthy hard and soft corals. Divemasters will point out critters and unusual fish, will help photographers find stuff if asked. Spare but good briefings. Light supervision, but all divers checked in on depth and time after every dive. Dives 40-60 minutes. Many lionfish, stonefish, several leaffish, white tipped reef sharks on about half the dives cruising by. Unlimited shore diving available, but no one availed during our visit. Afternoon local outings with Fijian staff are free, engaging and fun. Kayaks available all day for touring the lagoon, as is snorkeling equipment for nondivers. Full and half day fishing trips available for extra charge. Decent massages in rooms available for charge. Lovely entertainment by local acoustic bands most nights. No programs for children.

The less good: Boat trips to dives generally took at least 40 minutes, one day more than one hour. Conditions for 2 of 4 days were chilly for the season, breezy to windy, intermittent rain. Boats are well equipped, but rocky in chop. Vis less than expected, partly because of weather-related churn, but still better than 40 feet most days. Many sites had moderate to strong current, staff sometimes tried multiple sites before finding diveable location. Surprised by amounts of dead coral. Many fewer schooling fish, large fish, pelagics than on Great Barrier Reef. Very rich in smaller tropicals.

Heads up to all: it's a 2-hour drive from Nadi Int'l airport, followed by a 40 minute boat ride to island. Transfer included, drivers helpful and courteous, but it's a long additional trip after a long flight. OTOH, once you're there you're definitely not in Kansas anymore!

Overall, the resort was wonderful, the diving somewhat lower voltage than I hoped, but still among the best I've done. Highly recommended.
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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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