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Dive Review of Sandals in

Sandals: "For the inexperienced and risk-aversed", Jan, 2016,

by Thomas W. Doeppner Jr., RI, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 9107 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 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments I chose to dive with Sandals because my wife no longer dives: we wanted a nice resort along with good diving. The first indication that this was unlike any other outfit I've dived with is that I had to get a detailed letter from my physician before I could dive with them. I wasn't allowed to dive on the first morning because it was required that I do a checkout dive, which are offered only in the afternoons. This turned out to be a half-hour dive no deeper than 40 feet or so. The next day I was allowed to take the two morning dives. However, I was not allowed to go deeper than 60 feet because I do not possess an "advanced" certification. This despite well over 1000 dives over 30 years. They offered to sell me a PADI advanced course. I finally convinced them that the NAUI Open Water II certification I obtained in 1985 had been subsequently renamed "advanced" and I was thereafter allowed to dive "deep".

All dives were drift dives, and everyone was required to stay with the group. I complained once that the group was moving too quickly for me to take photographs, but the divemaster responded that they actually were moving pretty slowly and I should keep up. All dives were limited to 45 minutes or so, except afternoon dives, which were limited to 30 minutes. They may have had Nitrox, but it seemed pointless to pay the extra money to use it.

There was the usual assortment of southern caribbean sealife, including Longsnout Seahorses, Slipper Lobsters, Common Octopuses, Hawksbill Turtles, and, of course, Lionfish.

The resort can best be described as a cruise ship on land (and spread out a lot). All food and drinks (except for premium wines) were part of the package. There are a number of restaurants, most of them not bad. However, in keeping with the risk-averse theme, they refused to serve hamburgers that were less than medium-welldone. The resort has a small sandy beach and would take people on snorkelling expeditions.

Rooms were comfortable and nicely done up, though not particularly large. The staff were uniformly very friendly and helpful.
Websites Sandals   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving all over
Closest Airport Getting There changed planes in Miami

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 79-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-60 Ft/ 15-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions max depth of 60 feet, max dive time of 45 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments I had the feeling I was the first serious UWP the staff had ever encountered. I had to request a rinse tank after pretty much every dive. They were nice enough -- they usually carried by camera gear to the boat (after I'd carried a few flights of stairs to the dive shop).
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Report currently has 1 Helpful vote

Subscriber's Comments

By Steve Mitchel in CA, US at Oct 13, 2016 17:13 EST  
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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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