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Dive Review of St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures/Hotel Caravalle in
Virgin Islands/Christiansted, St. Croix

St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures/Hotel Caravalle: "Excellent Experience in St. Croix with S.C.U.B.A./Hotel Caravelle", Sep, 2017,

by Richard J Lunsford Jr, KY, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 9794 has 4 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Spent 8-days at Hotel Caravelle in Christiansted, St. Croix. On Aug. 6, 7 & 8, did 12 boat dives (6 2-tank trips, all with AL80 tanks, diving air) on S.C.U.B.A.'s dive boat Reliance docked at the boardwalk right across from the hotel. They setup my gear, swapped tanks between dives and took us out one trip with only 3 customers, & I think 1 was non-paying shop staff! Friendly staff, good general Caribbean reef diving, and plenty of Caribbean reef shark sightings (part of why I chose diving the north coast vs. staying in Frederiksted and diving the west coast this trip). A tropical storm dumped over 5 inches of water the evening/night of the 7th, and the overall trip viz. of 30-50' was lower than I'm told is typical (a dive professional indicated 60-80' is common). Saw a couple of octopus, some good-sized sea turtles (hawksbill & green), dolphins passed once within a dozen feet of me while I waited to descend to start a dive, other divers saw eagle rays, and we saw 1 nurse shark. Some big snapper but no large grouper. I'd give Bonaire or Belize's outer atoll region the edge on overall reef quality, but topside St. Croix was rather lush, beautiful and somewhat mountainous. Topside we did a rainforest 1/2 day Jeep tour with Tan Tan Tours (fun).

Of the 12 boat dives, max. depths ran about 51-77 feet deep, average depths 31-47 feet, guided dive times from 41-59 minutes, keeping within NDLs at 4 dives/day on air kept me mindful the last dive but wasn't a real problem. After diving, they offered to keep (& rinse) BCD, reg. & wetsuit; customers take other gear off (including boots & fins). Even when I encountered staff off-duty in town, they were friendly and greeted me warmly.

Hotel Caravelle was quite nice, good for the budget, the 2 queen beds comfortable (I like firm), a safe & mini-fridge were in the room but no microwave, the pool was decent-sized with 3-8 foot depths, Rum Runners restaurant was adjacent and a short walk to Angry Nate's restaurant was made often, and while Christiansted doesn't offer a sandy beach directly, a $5 round trip ferry (which I'm told runs 24 hours) over to the little island with Hotel on the Cay gets you sandy beach with gradual slope into the water, nice for our 4-year old daughter.

St. Croix is an excellent destination for a 'scuba trip disguised as a family vacation' (as my wife calls them). I did 1 shore dive each at Davis Bay (long swim-out), Cane Bay (really long swim-out) and Frederiksted Pier (Nice! Way more there than you can see in one dive) with Sweet Bottom Dive Center, Cane Bay Scuba and N2TheBlue, respectively. Had a fine experience with all 3. Cane Bay's wall may be my favorite reef of the trip.

More Extensive Report on ScubaBoard: St. Croix Research Report Aug. 2017 - [scubaboard.com link]

Richard.
Websites St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures   Hotel Caravalle

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire (> 150 dives), Key Largo (20 dives), Jupiter, Fl (17 dives), Belize via live-aboard (26 dives), Caymans via live-aboard (25 dives), North Carolina (9 dives), California Channel Islands (24 dives), several on Caribbean cruise stops.
Closest Airport Henry E. Rohlsen Airport Getting There Flew from Nashville, TN; layover in Charlotte, NC going, Miami, FL coming back. One day travel time each way.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 78-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions IIRC, don't exceed 130 feet deep, back on the boat with at least 500 PSI (nobody checked us).
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Cameras had a rinse bucket separate from masks. They'd take my camera as I climbed out and put it in the rinse bucket for me.
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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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