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Dive Review of Amy Slate's Amoray Inn in
The Continental USA

Amy Slate's Amoray Inn, Nov, 2004,

by Dean Knudson, MN, USA (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 1605.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Austrailia, Bahamas, Mexico, Bonaire
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 77 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No DM in water, return within 60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Dedicated rinse tank on boat.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Our group stayed several days at this resort, then, after an abrupt cancellation by a Bahamas liveaboard berthed in Ft. Lauderdale, we changed our schedule and flew to Cozumel. The contrast in conditions was striking. The reefs in Florida seem pale green and colorless in comparison, and the visibility and structure in the Yucatan are much better. It is probably true that agricultural and urban run off in south Florida is affecting the coral color, and the degree of algae in the water, as is claimed by some. Needless to say, the structure and variety of dive sites in Cozumel is considerably better than anywhere in the keys. I've been to both places several times, but never dove in one location within 24 hours of diving the other.

Compared to Mexico, the prices for diving and accomodations in Florida are quite high, and the diving is medicore in comparison. Even when we are trying to accomodate beginners in our group, I doubt our club will return to the Key Largo area. In the future we will head to Cozumel and negotiate shallower dives for our newbies directly with the dive boat captains. A quick telephone call from Florida to Mexico a day prior to our departure allowed us to confirm rental of a three bedroom, two story luxury condominium with private pool and maid service, within walking distance of the dive pier, for a price of $125 per night. That was quite a value for the six of us, compared to the rates at Amoray, which hovered near $300 per night for the same group.

This resort is pleasant appearing, and the front office staff was accomodating and friendly. The dive boat staff, on the other hand, are a bit gruff and distant in their demeanor. One of the boat captains appeared to be in the process of resigning, and was debating this issue in a fairly stern fashion with his supervisor, on the morning before one of our dives, within earshot of our apartment's screened porch.

There is little to no choice of dive sites given to divers, any question regarding destination is answered with "We'll see when we get out there". In their defense, it's probably true that local conditions flucuate in the winter in the upper keys, however, I noted that getting back to the dock on time for the next scheduled dive was a very active concern of the captains, and may have influenced their dive site selection. We dove the same spot on consecutive days, and the captain just shrugged when this was mentioned. The Amoray Diver is a large boat that's filled with beginners on the weekends, and is pleasantly uncrowded weekdays in the winter. The boat is fast and modern, but can get crowded. There are five exit points on the boat, so entry and return are convenient, even when full.

Weather in the keys is very unreliable between October and March, any advanced purchase of dive trip packages is a considerable gamble. Diving can be washed out for a week at a time with a prolonged northern cold front and the resultant winds. Suprisingly, this resort still does not have an outdoor hot tub, which is a shame, since it's too cool in the winter to use the pool in the late afternoon and evening.

Hobo's has the best food in Key Largo, and it's right next to Amory Inn.

The Amoray staff was not willing to refund our payment when we chose to leave to Mexico a day earlier than our scheduled departure. I can't complain, since this was spelled out in the fine print. They did give us a one night credit to use in the future, and that seemed fair.
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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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