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Dive Review of BEACHES in
Turks and Caicos

BEACHES, Nov, 2004,

by Charles Levine, PA, USA . Report 1458.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments Beaches is billed as an "all-inclusive, family resort." All non-motorized water sports are "included." I attended a conference at the resort with 70 divers. We were asked no less than three times in the months and weeks leading up to the conference about diving abilities, dive log histories, etc., and yet had to complete yet another questionaire on arrival to the dive shop. Several divers who hadn't dived in 18-24 months found out, last minute, that they'd have to do a full refresher course, at additional cost, instead of diving the first two days! Most would have done a refresher at home before arriving in Turks had they known this policy in advance.

The dive operator was woefully unprepared to accomodate 70 divers with their three 42 foot boats. Divers were randomly assigned 30-36 per boat, regardless of skill level or previous diving experience. We were so late in leaving the dock first afternoon that the second dive became a twilight/evening dive, much to the DM's chagrin. Dive briefings were poor to non-existent. Dive profiles were straightforward: 60 feet for 30 minutes max. I've never come back with so much air after each dive.

Weather washed out our fourth day, but when we showed up on day 5, we were told that since we had missed the previous day, and hadn't signed up for day 5, we couldn't dive, despite booking a six day/two tank/day package! When we then tried to sign up for the sixth and final day, we're told that we had to sign up 24 hours in advance (0900 on day 5 for 0800 departure on day 6) but had missed the deadline!! Needless to say, Beaches left several dozen divers attending a conference at their resort VERY upset and displeased.

Reefs (what we saw of them) looked reasonably healthy. Sponges and corals don't show much evidence of damage or overuse. Fish variety was adequate, but the "follow the leader" requirements and limited depth/time profiles left little time to explore and absorb the wildlife.

If you have a family with young children and want a clean, family oriented resort and are willing to spend several hundred dollars/person/day, Beaches is for you. If you want to dive to your abilities and explore Turks and Caicos underwater, Beaches is definitely NOT for you. This is a resort that just happens to have some boats, some instructors, and some dive equipment...period.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Bahamas, Florida, St. Vincent, Pennsylvania
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-75 Ft/ 9-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Regardless of level of experience, number of dives, presence of buddies, dives were restricted to a maximum of 60 feet for 30 minutes on all dives. Night dives $60 per diver, not done.
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 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 1 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments No safe place on the boat to work on cameras, no fresh water rinse tank on boat. Shared fresh water tank with fins and masks on shore!
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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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