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Dive Review of Dive Safaris/Atrium in
St. Maarten/Simpson Bay

Dive Safaris/Atrium, Jul, 2010,

by Joseph Williams C., SC, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5624.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Most of Caribbean, Mexico, Baja and Pacific coast Mexico
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Short dive time the first day, due to low experience of other divers on trip, then we dove our own computer profises.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Minimal on-board Photog. equipment, (separate rinse for cameras only), but Dive Safari went out of their way to point out good photo ops, including videos of sharks! Got some of my best ever.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Stayed at the Atrium, located on Simpson Bay nestled on the beach with 3 decent dive operations nearby. Our desire was to dive with Ocean Explorers, walking distance with gear from the hotel, but they didn't receive/respond to my E-mail requests, and were booked almost solid for the week. Turns out they have only one older boat in operation at this time, and may not have been my best choice.
The Scuba Shop is on the main street within a mile from the Atrium, and is home to Dive Safari. These folks have a good Catamaran hull dive boat, provided water and juice only. Dive sites are nearby, with well-maintained twin engines and GPS to get the group there. Dive Safari has top-notch instruction/certification business on the island, and were doing advanced skills for divers as well as guided recreational dives. Keep in mind this was the slow season for them, and should you come in a busy time, they will have small groups of divers together at the same skill levels, with their two boats in operation.
The Atrium is about the oldest "resort hotel" on the island, but has been maintained well, and is a popular place because of its location. No restaurant,but severalgood ones nearby. They are on the beach, and have a pool and kids pool. Rent a car and see the island. Duty free shopping is a must, as well as the beach in Phillipsburg.
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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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