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Dive Review of SCUBA (St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures)/Villa Margarita in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

SCUBA (St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures)/Villa Margarita, Jun, 2005,

by Nancy Olah, SC, USA ( 2 reports). Report 1957.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments SCUBA (St. Croix’s Ultimate Blue Water Adventures) tried very hard to live up to its reputation as the “friendliest dive show on earth”. Ed Buckley personally answered all of my questions by e-mail, whereas several other dive shops I contacted at St. Croix sent me the same “canned” answer multiple times and ignored the fact that I had asked specific questions about their dive operation.

SCUBA’s staff is extremely friendly and competent. We dove with Jonny, Dawn, Tom and Pete during our week stay. Our son, Nick (12) took Discover Scuba with Dawn (a patient, petite Brit from London with blonde dreadlocks) and then upgraded to a Junior Open Water PADI Class taught by Jonny. Both of them were fantastic with kids and very good teachers. Nick became a certified diver in three days and learned his skills well. My husband and I each did a total of 12 dives and especially enjoyed the diving at Salt River (the West Wall rivals walls at Little Cayman and Cayman Brac and the outer East Wall was also great), Pavilions at Cane Bay, Eagle Ray Bank, Sugar Beach and Sleeping Shark Hole. We saw hawksbill turtles on almost every dive (including two mating at the surface), lots of fish and critters, occasionally rays, and very nice coral formations (the swim throughs are particularly beautiful on the west wall at Salt River).

The Reliance has a marine head, fresh water showers, double ladders and separate rinse buckets for cameras. SCUBA staff are accomplished at giving “valet” service. Our gear was set up for us every morning, our tanks changed between dives, fresh water was brought to us when we got back on board after a dive, and they rinsed and stored our gear each night. No one mentioned tips (which I appreciated), so consequently I tipped very well for their exceptional service. SCUBA was a great dive operation and St. Croix has surprisingly good diving.

We stayed at a magnificent little guest house called Villa Margarita, which was oceanside at Salt River, the point where Columbus landed in 1493. This lovely guest house recently purchased by John and Adele Burkhardt a delightful couple from Maryland has three spacious units in addition to the downstairs owner’s quarters. We rented the two bedroom apartment with spacious living room, kitchenette, 2 bedrooms and 2 balconies facing the ocean for $165/night. (Two other units, a one bedroom apartment and a one bedroom suite also available.) A beautiful pool overlooks the white sand beach at the foot of the ocean and a gorgeous reef was 200 yards offshore. Adele and John met us at the airport, had us follow them in our rented car to the best grocery store on the island so we could stock up with provisions and made us feel quickly at home. They even have a happy hour from 4:00 – 5:00 in which Adele mixes any island rum drink you can imagine along with complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks. While relaxing on their beautiful deck by the pool, our host quickly filled us in on the best places to eat on the island pointing out those that were having specials on particular weekdays to stretch our travel dollars further. We can especially recommend Bacchus, which we visited twice and which had the best food on the island. We can’t say enough good things about St. Croix, Villa Margarita and SCUBA.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman, San Salvador, St. Lucia, Bonaire, Aruba, Great Barrier Reef, Roatan, Provo, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-90 Ft/ 18-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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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