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Dive Review of Scuba Safaris/Marriott St. Kitts Villas in
St. Kitts and Nevis

Scuba Safaris/Marriott St. Kitts Villas, Jun, 2009,

by Randi Dillow, CA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 4887.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Monterey Bay, Sea of Cortez, Cayman Islands, Kona, Belize Atolls, Cozumel, Bonaire, San Salvador (Bahamas)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Return with 500 pounds of air
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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 Due to the state of the economy we were committed this spring to only taking a dive vacation where we could utilize BOTH a timeshare exchange AND frequent flier miles (about as likely as lightning striking). A last minute timeshare exchange came up at the Marriott St. Kitts Villas and frequent flier seats were available in early June so we made the trip. The Marriott St. Kitts (Villas) is a very pleasant, comfortable (if not luxurious) place to stay. Renting a car allowed us to get out and see much of the island, and the car rental agency (Thrifty) also provided us a rental car when we went over to Nevis for a day at no extra charge.

Prior to leaving for St. Kitts we emailed the four dive operators in the St. Kitts/Nevis area and received a quick response from all of them. One of them was rather negative about the adult rider who wanted to come along with us every day (Pro Dive, Inc), another (Dive St. Kitts, which is the only dive operator on St. Kitts who goes out 7 days a week) indicated the rider would be beached if enough paying divers came along and told us the boat they would be using that week would not be covered. Kenneth Dive Center and Pro Dive, Inc., each take one weekend day off which meant we would have to change operators if we wanted 6 consecutive days of diving with one operator (we arrived on a Friday). Therefore, we opted to dive with Scuba Safaris on the island of Nevis who picked us up every morning at 9:30 a.m. sharp at Reggae Beach (about a 20-minute beautiful drive south of the Marriott Hotel) and who let our rider come along at no additional charge. They rinsed, stored and set up our gear every day (nothing was ever forgotten), they served rum punch on the way back to shore and, on the day we decided to spend the afternoon touring Nevis, they provided us a place to change at their shop, a ride to and from Charlestown where we picked up our rental car and a private water taxi back to Reggae Beach for a very reasonable price. We had read in a previous Undercurrent report that Scuba Safaris was a very good operation and we concur. All of the dive masters were excellent. We basically had the 34-foot boat to ourselves all week.

Although the diving is not particularly challenging or renowned, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We saw numerous tarpon, eagle rays, sting rays, turtles, nurse sharks, dozens of lobsters, slipper lobster, crab, a sea horse, great barracuda, spotted drums, flying gunards, eels, lots of black coral, volcano vents and the usual Caribbean reef fish. We also dove the wreck of the Christena, a ferry that went down in 1970 which tragically resulted in the deaths of more than 200 residents of the islands. Most of the dive sites Scuba Safaris frequents were along the passage between St. Kitts and Nevis, and the rides to the sites were very short. Our deepest dive was 91 feet (the volcano vents) and our reef dives were in the 25 to 40 foot range. Visibility was 60 feet on the best days, 40-50 feet on the worst. No current. We found St. Kitts/Nevis to be an extremely enjoyable dive location, particularly since it has not yet been overrun with tourists and cruise ships.

Reggae Beach, where we picked up the dive boat, is a very pleasant remote spot with a good restaurant/bar and nice beach with beach chairs and umbrellas for rent by the day. Wilbur, a 600-lb local pig born in 2002, lives on the premises (we watched him take a bath in the surf one morning), along with an orphaned green vervet monkey and his orphaned goat companion. We saw a lot of wild monkeys and mongoose on our trip out to Reggae Beach, a trip we would highly recommend whether you dive with Scuba Safaris or not. We also recommend the trip to Brimstone Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a very impressive view of the two islands and St. Eustatius, and a trip to the beautiful island of Nevis (2 miles away).

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to St. Kitts and Nevis. We believe there are plans in the works to turn St. Kitts into another major cruise ship destination, but hopefully it will be a few years before that happens. Right now it is a very beautiful, friendly and enjoyable place to go for a relaxing dive vacation and Scuba Safaris turned out to be an excellent choice.
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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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