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Dive Review of UBS/Celebrity cruise ship in
Virgin Islands/Tortola

UBS/Celebrity cruise ship, Dec, 2005,

by Hilary S, WA, USA . Report 1713.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Bahamas, Keys, St. Thomas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We chartered a private boat with UBS to dive the RMS Rhone on our short stop while cruising the E. Caribbean. I had explored many options other than chartering our own dive boat, but found that none of the other operators could guarantee us to be back to the cruise dock by 1pm. Although UBS was expensive for two of us, I went ahead and booked it since we wanted very much to dive the Rhone. As luck would have it, we met up with another couple who wanted to share our charter with us. Because there were 4 divers, the cost was below what any other dive op in Tortola would have been.

The boat was a 6-pack and with 4 divers and a DM/Captain, we had plenty of room. The trip out to the Rhone was a fairly quick ride, and we quickly moored to a ball to dive the bow first. Our captain was also going to act as dive guide and show us the highlights of the Rhone. We geared up and descended to the wreck at 80 feet. The bow is in amazing condition and basically intact, and it was fabulous to look around inside and see the structure of the ship as well as coal that was sitting on the ground waiting to be shoveled into the boilers.

Unfortunately, although the couple who joined us were AOW certified, apparently they hadn't dove in about 4 years. The gentleman was a major air hog and within 25 min. had sucked his tank down and they needed to head for the surface. The DM told my husband and I that we could stay and explore for a few minutes, but had the other couple both go to the surface as they were buddies. We enjoyed another 10 min. of bottom time before heading to the surface and our safety stops.

Our DM/Captain provided us with drinks and ginger snap cookies during our SI and we had a good time chatting about diving around the world.

The second dive was shallower at about 50 feet (max) and consisted of the rear of the Rhone. The stern is totally broken up, but you can still clearly see the propeller, the mast, a couple of boilers, and an anchor. Unfortunately for us, our camera chose to seize up and we got very few useable pictures of either the bow or stern. <argh!>

Again our charter-mates sucked their air quickly, so headed back to the boat early. We stayed and looked around some more, but realized that we were getting short on time (not air), and had only an hour to get back to the ship before sailing. This time we both surfaced with over 1100 psi in our tanks, and felt a sense of disappointment that both dives couldn't have been a little longer.

Once back on board, we stowed our gear and readied ourselves for the trip back to the dive shop. Our DM then broke out another package of cookies and opened the cooler to reveal BEER! We all enjoyed a few Heinekens on our way back to the dive shop, and once back they provided us with transportation back to the ship. We were dropped right at the pier and had a very short walk back to the ship.

One thing is sure from our experience with UBS and Tortola....we WILL return one day and definitely will do another private charter with UBS. Tony and Kate (the owners) were amazing to deal with in planning our charter and Kate was a hoot when we got back to the shop after our dives.
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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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