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Dive Review of Abyss Dive Center/Holiday Inn Marathon Key in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys - Marathon

Abyss Dive Center/Holiday Inn Marathon Key, Aug, 2005,

by Joe Sindorf, MI, USA . Report 3048.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Red Sea, Hawaii, Florida Panhandle, quarries...
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 78 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 85 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions We had a one-hour bottom time or 500 pound limit, whichever came first.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Lots of great stuff to shoot. Rinse tub just for cameras on the boat.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Tremendous operation. This is a family owned and operated shop and it is very well done. The boat is in great condition and is fast. It is small, so you don't have the crowds you get on a big pontoon dive platform.

Cold drinks are provided on board, and there is plenty of comfortable seating either inside or outside.

We booked the package deal with the Holiday Inn which is on the same property as the Abyss shop. You will probably never get a better deal on room and diving. This was very inexpensive and a great value. But do not call the Holiday Inn about this, you have to book with Abyss. Very convenient to walk out of our room right to the dive boat.

The Holiday Inn is nothing to write home about. It is just your basic, well, Holiday Inn. We were on a family vacation and got two ajoining rooms. The teen daughters had their own room and my wife and I had our own room. Nice thing -- we didn't have to pay extra for this since the package is per person double occupancy.

Only disappointment: we booked our week of diving far in advance and when we got there wanted to change one day dive and have a night dive instead -- they would not do the switch. I can see their point, but it felt a bit cheap. Also they had a change of policy with the hotel so although we were told we got a breakfast buffet with our package we arrived at breakfast the first day to find that had been cancelled... not a huge deal, but a disappointment, and there was no adjustment in cost for the package.

But, even with those two minor issues, we loved diving here. The quantity of the fish did not seem as good as Key Largo, but the dives were spectacular.

One nice thing... actually a very nice thing... if you are doing multiple day dives, you can hang your gear in the shop and not have to try to store wet stuff in your small hotel room. This was a real benefit.

When you go, beg to dive at Pillar Patch - a tremendously healthy group of Pillar Coral teeming with fish.

This was the second week of a two week dive vacation in the Keys. We loved it. There are tons of great restaurants, email me for more info on those. Abyss dive shop has great friendly people who made us feel welcome, safe and comfortable. We can't wait to go back again.


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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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