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Dive Review of Dive St. Kitts/Marriott Royal Beach Hotel & Casino in
St. Kitts and Nevis

Dive St. Kitts/Marriott Royal Beach Hotel & Casino, Nov, 2009,

by Henry & Carol Ziller, CO, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 25 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 5286.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Carribean, Mexico, Central American, Indonesia, Micronesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Inform the divemaster when you are at half a tank.
Safety stop with 750 psi back on the boat with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments There was a large dedicated camera bucket on the boat, but no place to work on a camera except on the bench seat area.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Tourism is relatively new to this island. It used to rely on sugar for the livelihood of its population. The islanders have abandoned their fields for tourism, we hope it works out for them. A tour of the islands main attractions cost us $80 for three of us and took two afternoons to complete. The cruise ships come in most days and shopping is typical in the area where they dock.
We stayed at the Marriott Hotel and Casino located in Frigate Bay on the southeast (Atlantic) side of St Kitts. This is a very large hotel and also has time share condos on site. It has several restaurants and bars. The swim-up bar has the best happy hour, but all the restaurants are expensive. A cab to downtown costs $10 - $12 to less costly restaurants. Try Ballahoo restaurant for the best burger ever according to our granddaughter. There are some about a mile or less from the hotel that are good. Try Buddys for bar-b-que ribs or chicken, or Ciao for Italian. The hotel has a nice beach, pools, spa (more expensive than stateside), basketball court, tennis courts and a golf course across the street. Power is 110, water is safe everywhere, and the rooms are huge. We had a one bedroom/two bath unit with a jacuzzi tub, separate shower, fridge, but no micro-wave.
We made reservations for diving with Dive St Kitts via email and Mike responded promptly. They offer a three to six day package, but he will give you the best deal at the end of your diving. You can change your diving without a penalty. We picked up a night dive and got a discount on it. We also dropped a couple of third dives mostly because they informed us they were taking some people out for discover scuba so the dive would be short and close in. That heads up from them was pretty nice I thought. Dive St Kitts is located at the Bird Rock Beach Hotel on the southwest side of the island and takes about 7 minutes to get to from the Marriott. Dive St Kitts has complementary pickup at your hotel. Mike is the Manager of Dive Operations and runs a pretty tight operation. All the staff, Captain Crabby (Kent), Dave, Jeremy and Elvis all share duties of dive master and boat captain. There is storage in the dive shop for all your gear so you dont have to lug it back to your hotel. They will take your BC and regulator from the boat and rinse them daily and make sure it is back on the boat all set up on the tank the next morning. You carry your wet suit and mask, fins, etc. Diving is from a covered 35-ft boat with two 250 hp outboard motors. Life preservers, oxygen, first aid kit, etc. are stored in a dry enclosure in the front of the boat. You can store anything you want to keep dry in there. Entry is back roll and the ladder for climbing back on has a center post so you could climb up with fins on but they have you hand up weights, then they take your BC and you take off fins in the water. Surface intervals are under the canopy at the rest/bar. Fruit and water is offered most days but one day was banana nut bread. The restaurant has pretty good food and drinks so after diving it is great for lunch. Dive St Kitts will call for your ride back to the hotel just let them know about 20 minutes before your ready to go.
The diving is about what I expected. Most sites are 5-15 minutes away including the signature dive - River Taw wreck. It is a good wreck dive with lots of fish, an octopus is hidden in the front bumper of the van located between the two sections of the wreck, and a very large old turtle hangs out at the wreck. Visibility was not too good on our three visits to the wreck. We did the dive one afternoon, then as our night dive with our granddaughter (her first) and then again in the day time with her. I really liked the Green Point dive. It has a reef that runs along the coast and ends in the sand at about 50-ft. There were lots of fish, but mostly small, a lot of babies, some rays one quite large (about four foot diameter), spotted drums, lobsters, and garden eels. Visibility was better on this dive. There are a significant number of flamingo tongues and they are killing the fans and other soft coral so the divemasters are removing them. I counted 20+ on one fan. Water was warm and calm. We used skins and were never cold.
The entire staff at Dive St. Kitts is down to earth and we enjoyed relaxing with them each afternoon. If we return to St. Kitts we will stay at Bird Rock Beach Hotel provided the staff remains about the same.
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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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