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Dive Review of Finz Key West/Casa Marina in
The Continental USA/Key West

Finz Key West/Casa Marina, Jul, 2014,

by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB (Top Contributor Top Contributor 35 reports with 18 Helpful votes). Report 7681.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I was on a family holiday, with 4 days in Key West. My son and I did two days of diving on the wreck of the Vandenberg (Key West's signature dive site. We did one two tank afternoon trip with Finz and another two tank morning trip with another operator (subject to a separate review.
I booked with Finz in advance because they were the only Key West operator I could find who had larger (100 cf as opposed to standard 80 cf) tanks. They also offer small fast boats and maximum 6 divers on the boat (we had 4 on our trip. The boat crew of two (captain and dive guide) were friendly and helpful.The dive briefings were good.

The Vandenberg is quite recently sunk, so hasn't yet got mauch coral growth but it has got reasonable fish life established (barracuda; jacks and smaller schooling fish. There are octopus and smaller critters on the boat itself. The wreck itself is magnificent 524 ft long and 71 ft across - it is BIG. There are lots of interesting and safe (if guided) swim throughs. Finz also provide a dive guide. Other operators generally do not provide a guide, apparently you are given a briefing and a profile and you dive unguided in a group or buddy pair. This wreck is not only big - it is relatively deep, sitting in the 50 to 140 ft depth range. This is a classic "square profile" dive site and you have to complete your safety stop on the line. Currents can run. This is, in my mind, an advanced dive. You need pretty good skills and decent gas consumption. I strongly recommend you go with an operator who provides a guide (it costs more than other operators) or you insist on getting (and you'll pay more) a guide. It will make your dive much better, you'll see more, including some gentle but fun swim through penetration and you'll be much safer! I can't believe that operators put divers on this advanced wreck without a guide - that's a disaster waiting to happen.
On the days we dived (the 4th July weekend) some operators had attached a large Stars and Stripes to the superstructure - a really nice touch and made for some good photographs.This is a world class wreck. We did 4 dives and frankly we could have done more
Websites Finz Key West   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Cuba, Bermuda, Florida, Hawaii, Spain, Red Sea, Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Sipadan, Malapascua, Palau, Galapagos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 29-°C / 84-°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Finz were good about respecting divers abilities. They did not impose a time limit
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

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