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Cayman Brac Beach Resort December 28 2019- January 4 2020

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by Redfoot, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Joneill

    Joneill Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    1,554
    1,336
    113
    I was there the first week of November and we were apparently one of the first groups to dive what they were going to call Lobster Pot. It was probably the best/healthiest site we dived on.

    I also liked Crab Alley - had a few reef sharks show up as well as a hawksbill turtle and lots of lobster. The Tibbets wreck was a nice dive as well - especially the friendly Nassau Grouper that followed us like a puppy and seemed to like to be petted! Lighthouse Reef was also good with some nice swim throughs and pretty healthy corals. However, Eden Wall on the south side had large areas of bleached coral which was disheartening to see.

    As you say, the resort was nice - the pool and bar area were great, food was good and the staff were all wonderful (resort and dive staff).
     
    Redfoot and KathyV like this.
  2. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    1,570
    1,068
    113
    When I was there last summer, I liked the resort, pool and food. The dive op was disorganized and did not communicate departure times and other instruction well. There were several significant delays in leaving the dock and/or we would get in at noon and be told the PM dive boat would depart at 1.10, so that lunch was rushed as well. Getting to the dock at 1.05, we then waited till 1.30 to board and leave. Not just once. The dive boat was packed. I also got the distinct impression we were being rushed, and taken to the closest spots, not the best spots. We dived a site around the point just off the airport runway, three times over a week. The reefs were healthy and the critters interesting, but I much prefer diving with Reef Divers on Little Cayman. They put a lot more effort into it. Sharon is a great manager and sets the bar high for the dive op which is reflected in the product they deliver.
     
    Redfoot likes this.
  3. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,077
    3,107
    113
    I am sorry to hear that. I haven't stayed at CBBR this year, but we didn't experience anything like that when we were there in the Fall of 2018. I wonder if they had some new staffing or management when you were there? Perhaps @Redfoot can update us as he was just there.

    I have seen some packed RD dive boats but they were always a group trip that wanted to dive together.
     
  4. Redfoot

    Redfoot Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    138
    122
    43
    From what I saw and experienced, they stagger the boats leaving in the morning (0800, 0815, 0830, 0845) to relieve congestion on the dock. Everyone left on time and then returned after their dives for lunch, I never saw anyone waiting around or rushing for food.

    We did have different schedule on day we went to Little, and also the day we went out towards the bluff. We left earlier and got back a little later, but I never felt rushed, nor did we ever leave late.

    I do believe there is new management (and new DM's) at Reef Divers, but I am not sure how long they have been there. You may have caught either the end of the last group or the very first few weeks with new management.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  5. Joneill

    Joneill Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    1,554
    1,336
    113
    I was there the 1st week of November and, honestly, saw no issues with the Dive OP - we were on Little Sister all week with CC, Sierrah and Ragnar. It never felt rushed, everything went smoothly and the crew was a blast! They were open to suggestions on sites and pretty much took us where we wanted to go - we did a repeat on the Tibbets as folks all voiced they wanted to go back. The only downside was that, unfortunately, we did not get over to Little Cayman as it was a bit too windy/rough to make the crossing.

    I will say (as someone else said earlier) that they did not seem that jazzed about doing night dives and we had to push it and did finally get 1 in on Thursday! Though, in fairness to them, conditions were likely a little sketchy to safely bring the boat back in the cut after night diving until later in the week.
     
    Redfoot and KathyV like this.
  6. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    1,570
    1,068
    113
    Maybe i just hit a bad week. Might try them again when I get a chance.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  7. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,077
    3,107
    113
    I've been thinking about this and it occurs to me that it may have just been a fluke because it happened on the News Years Holiday, which is also a Holy Day in some Christian sects.

    The few shops and restaurants on Brac were probably closed, so the CBBR was the only place open that could accommodate some unexpected visitors. It was nice of them to welcome the stranded cruisers for a day, but I hope that it doesn't become a regular event!
     
  8. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    1,570
    1,068
    113
    According to today's Cayman Compass this was not a fluke and may become a more regular event. The minister of tourism was on hand as well as a band and multiple vendors.
    There goes the neighborhood!!
     
    KathyV likes this.
  9. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    1,570
    1,068
    113
    Cayman Brac seeing more cruise ships
    By
    Jewel Levy
    -
    January 9, 2020

    Luxury cruise ship the Seabourn Sojourn called into Cayman Brac on New Year’s Day, bringing an influx of passengers to celebrate the holiday.

    “Having another cruise line calling in on Cayman Brac means more business for the craft vendors and the island,” said Chevala Burke, Cayman Brac District Administration marketing and promotions manager.

    Five to ten craft vendors were on site to welcome the 425 passengers. Visitors also toured popular tourist sites and were offered complimentary brochures.

    For many passengers, their first stop was the Brac beach nearby.

    Bob and Martha Kanyak, visiting from Stockton, California, said that before joining the ship they did their research about the port of call to find out about the environment.


    “We found it had beaches and snorkelling and we are happy to be here. We like smaller islands with less crowds,” Martha Kanyak said.

    A group of friends, Tessa, Natalia and Judy, originally from England but residents in Toronto, New York and Spain said they had been there for five minutes and it was gorgeous. “Our first impression is wonderful; we will just head to a beach and relax,” said Tessa.

    Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said government and the people of the Brac looked forward to providing Seabourn’s guests with an “unforgettable experience”.

    “Having another cruise line calling on Cayman Brac will mean more business for the people,” he said.

    Burke said several ships call at different times of the year to the Brac.

    332
     
  10. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,077
    3,107
    113
    Darn it! I was afraid of that!

    I understand that they need to boost the economy on Brac because the island is struggling and people need jobs - and tourism is a viable option for such a beautiful place. Fishing is one of the major occupations for Brac residents but the government is trying to reduce stresses on the native fish populations. So how will people be able to make a living?

    The Divi Brac Beach Resort property is gorgeous and has a beautiful beach. The Divi corp still owns it but they have long abandoned it and left it up to the Cayman government to pay for the demolition and clean-up, ignoring repeated requests from the government.

    I think that the Cayman government should "seize the property" or "make them an offer they can't refuse" and invest in turning it into a beach club for day visitors - or maybe convince Divi to turn it into a beach club. There are some beach clubs on Grand Cayman that make a lot of revenue from cruise ship visitors, like the Royal Palms and Rum Point.

    People could swim, eat, drink, enjoy the beach or choose to go out and enjoy snorkeling or boat/shore diving, kayaking, hiking, caving, rock climbing, biking, etc. - and experience the natural beauties of the Brac and spend money.

    Cayman Brac seeing more cruise ships | Cayman Compass
     

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