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Dive Review of Utopia Village in

Utopia Village, Mar, 2008,

by Richard Sinnott, MA, USA ( 1 report). Report 4041.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 1 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments Utopia Village was established over a year ago by seven partners. It’s like a beach house rented by friends. Nobody is in charge. Nobody takes responsibility. Sort of “Friends” meets “Gilligan’s Island.” Let’s start with the good. The facilities are nice but all of the outside wooden beach chairs and chaise lounges had no cushions and were uncomfortable. We met some very nice people there. The message therapist, Kim, gave a great deep tissue massage. We had a nice surprise on the way to a dive site when we ran into pods of dozens of spinner dolphins. We were able to snorkel with them for about a half an hour.

While diving was mediocre, the main problem with Utopia was a total disregard of customer service. They say coffee is available at 6:30 a.m. You were lucky to have it by 7:00 a.m. and you had to ask for hot water for tea. You’d always have to request something that the staff forgot about: plates, water, milk, even silverware. Breakfast was never served at 7:00 a.m. as promised. It was served when they felt like serving it. That was the way all the meals went. Lunch was often as late as 1:45 p.m., some two hours after the return from morning dives. While they tell you can special order appetizers from 3-6 p.m., when we tried to do so one day, we were told to “go to the gift shop and get some Pringles.” Dinner is supposed to start at 7:00 p.m. but one night, we weren’t served until after 8:30 p.m. However, the partners were going into the kitchen and getting bread and snacks while everyone else was waited for dinner.

Only one night was dinner ever started at 7:00 p.m. We had complained about the lateness of the dinner after the 8:30 p.m. fiasco. The next night was the only night it started at 7:00 p.m. The following night, they had three “unexpected” guests for dinner. Dinner didn’t start until 8:30 p.m. and we were the last served, even the “partners” who were at dinner were served before us. We were the only guests who were not friends or family of the partners. Women were usually served after the men. We were almost invariably served last! To add insult to injury, they didn’t have enough desserts for one of us because we were the very last ones served and they hadn’t accounted for the three “unexpected” guests, all of whom were served first.

The food was average with a couple of above average meals, the best thing being homemade tortillas. There was usually no choice for meals. It was obvious they often used leftovers for some of the next day’s meals and one desert of hard rice in some brown sauce was inedible.

The tap water was unsafe to drink so you needed filtered water in your room to brush your teeth. They never filled the water pitcher in your room. Dirty cups or dishes would stay outside our room for days. The shades in the room facing the ocean would not open. There is a thin, beach of rough sand. There is no way to get into the ocean without beach shoes or sandals because there is no “cut out” and it is all rough coral that will cut your feet up until you get a little ways out.

One day, nearly everyone else, included many of the partners, decided to go to Water Cay, a small nearby island. We wanted to stay back. At 11:00 a.m. we couldn’t get a drink anywhere. In the dining area, where there is supposed to be water and iced tea available, there was nothing but dirty dishes and cold coffee from the night before.

We got the feeling we were inconveniencing these people and that they did not get the concept that they were the ones who should be inconvenienced. Here is an example. One night we were awakened at 11:07 p.m. because some of the partners decided to crank up the music in the bar so they could dance. Another example is that one day, they were running short on water so instead of getting the water in the afternoon, when there were no dives going, they decide to do it in the morning and use the large dive boat. They packed seven divers with all equipment and several snorkelers in a much smaller boat that was not made for diving, causing a lot of discomfort. There was no shade in this boat so they gave us a couple of umbrellas. I’m sure everyone can figure out how well that worked.

None of the five partners present during our visit are experienced divers. The divemasters were well-intentioned but inexperienced. The diving was at best only average. The best marine life we saw consisted of a couple of seahorses and turtles. On the dive boat, there were not enough towels for everyone on any day. There were never enough water cups. The plastic wrap over the sliced fruit container would quickly blow off. The steering broke on the dive boat on our last day and we had to again transfer to the small open boat. After our very last dive, at night we had to retrieve our own dive equipment from the dive shop and bring it to our room to pack.

You got the feeling they were nickel and dimeing everywhere. While one or even a few of these deficiencies would not have been fatal, the combination is. In all our years of diving, we have never felt the need to write a negative review until now.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Cocos Island, Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Red Sea, throughout Caribean, Hawaii, Florida, New England
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-0°F / 27--18°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50-0 Ft/ 15-0 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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