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Dive Review of Rainbow Reef/Ramada Inn in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

Rainbow Reef/Ramada Inn, Apr, 2006,

by Jeremy Ellis, GA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 2948.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Aruba, Bahamas, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Caymans, Cozumel, Florida Keys, St. Vincent, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Divers with computers were allowed to dive their own profiles. The captain did recommend maximum bottom time.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boat had a separate rinse tank for cameras and the staff was very helpful handing you the camera when you entered the water and collecting it from you at the end of the dive. No dry work area on the boat or at the dock.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Rainbow Reef is a dive operation that is trying to make a name for itself but still needs some work. The dive staff is very friendly and helpful. Some of the divemasters are young and don't always show up promptly for the boat to depart in the morning. The nitrox fills tended to be on the low side (30%to 31%) and we had to bring our own analyzer as there wasn't one on the boat. Once out on the water, the service is solid. The boats are equipped with all the necessary equipment (first aid kit, oxygen, etc.). The staff chooses the sites to minimize currents and maximize visibility so you may tie up to a site or two before jumping into the water. A divemaster is always available to guide a dive, but on our boat most divers were happy to dive their own profiles. The captains know the sites well and provide very good reviews of the sites and suggestions on what to see and where to find it. They went out of their way to get us to the dive sites that we wanted to dive, specifically the wrecks which tend to get very crowded. So, we headed out a little earlier to dive the Spiegel Grove, Eagle and the Duane. They have several dive boats and unfortunately for us their large boat was out for repair when we were there so we were a little crowded on their 2 smaller boats (12 divers per boat that should have helf 8-10), but since it was all our group we were OK with the crowding. The diving remains some of the best. The wrecks are amazing with tremendous fish life including schools of jacks and snapper and a Goliath Grouper on the Eagle.

The Ramada Inn is right next to the dock and within walking distance of a few good restaurants. The food in the area is fairly good and not too overpriced. The hotel has a great pool and hot tub that make the surface intervals relaxing.
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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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