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Dive Review of Cane Bay Divers/Carambola Resort in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix, USVI

Cane Bay Divers/Carambola Resort, Aug, 2008,

by Joe Williams, sc, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 4282.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments My wife and I decided to try a destination a little different from the usual fare for us, and chose St. Croix at the assurance of our travel agent that past bad reputation issues were no longer the case. We were very lucky with the weather conditions in early August, and spent a week, (Saturday-Saturday) at the Carambola resort. The resort did have on-site diving facilities, but only for shore diving. The main shop is a 5 minute drive down the coastline, and although we rented a car, I think others were transported either by the hotel or Cane Bay Divers to the landing at Cane Bay.
Dives from both Cane Bay shores and Carambola resort shores were pretty spectacular for the area, including a visit from a pod of 7-8 dolphins (wild) investigating us at descent for 5-10 minutes. Got some pretty good photo and video of this, and the encounter was quite the buzz all week! Also present were occaisional stingrays and squid and turtles, although I never spotted a turtle this trip. Other notable creatures were various eels, LARGE lobster, stonefish, seahorses and even a batfish! I got photos or video of all, and even a daytime dive under the pier at Frederiksted is just about guaranteed to produce octopi, seahorses, stonefish, etc.
The Carambola resort lies on a property once owned by the Rockefeller family, and is perhaps one of the most beautiful sites on the Island. All facilities were up and running, in spite of this being in the off season, including the Mahogany room fine-dining restaurant. Although we pre-paid for diving and car rental (a must), there is no problem arranging this after arrival at Carambola.
For divers, this place may be a little pricey, as is true generally in the Virgin Islands, but the Cane Bay group is very competitive with their pricing and multi locations around St. Croix.
Overall diving was very good because of the health and diversity of the reef system, but not being a marine reserve tends to eliminate a lot of larger fish. We didn't make the trip to Buck Island, a 30-45 minute boat ride to the USVI's only marine reserve that I know of. I felt this trip was really catered to novice divers and snorklers, and locals confirmed this. Not to be missed if you wanted to introduce or include family or friends to the underwater world, however.
We did extensively tour the topside sites, but you can probably see the best sites all in one day, if you are mostly interested in diving. Don't miss the Pirate's Buffet at Carambola on Friday night, even if you stay elsewhere on the island, because it is well worth the price for food and entertainment.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, BCS Mexico, Caymans, Grand Turk, St. Lucia, Roatan and other Caribbean sites.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-75 Ft/ 9-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Frequently finished dives under the boat when anyone got to 1500 psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments Due to the tiny boats (modified zodiac), I must be critical of setup for serious UWP. This being said, it wasn't of any aparant concern to anyone carrying larger cameras and strobes, as the distance to sites was never more than 10-20 minutes, and camera hand-off is easy form a small boat.
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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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