More about Compass Point Dive Resort
The entire trip was fantastic. We got our scuba certification at the resort as part of our vacation. Our instructor was very good, and the diving was incredible. The accomodations are great as well.
The only complaint was that there wasn't a lot of food options around, especially in the evening. There are several good restaurants around, but they were pretty pricey. Would be nice to have a small sandwich/grill shop nearby that was open in the evenings. Of course the room had a full kitchen, so we could have cooked for ourselves but chose not too. Not a major problem, but that was the only improvement.
Having said that, it is important to realize what part of the island the resort is on, and know what you are looking for in your vacation. If you are looking for somewhere in the middle of the action with lots of touristy things to do, you would be better off staying in Georgetown or 7 mile beach., especially if you are bringing kids. The East End still has some hurricane damage (to homes, not to infrastructure). It was a perfect spot for us as it is very quiet and not at all crowded. Lot of locals around rather than tourists. We drove to Georgetown/7 mile beach and looked around for 1/2 day, but much preferred the East End and were on that side the entire rest of the trip. Rum Point on the north side of the island is a great spot for snorkeling, and Compass Point is about 30 mins or so drive from there.
Bottom line: if you are interested in diving, relaxing and getting away from a ton of other tourists, East End is a great spot. If you are looking to be where everyone else is, rent scooters and go to American chain stores and restaurants then the West side is a better choice. We prefer the former, so it was perfect for us. We had a great time and will definitely go back.
If you have never scuba dived, then I highly recommend trying it. We were concerned about using vacation time to get certified, but it was better than starting it at home and finishing there. The first day was classroom and pool, but after that you were in the ocean diving for half the day so you are still getting time in the water. Much better than the diving spots we would have done around home.
Great trip, can't wait to go back.
Beautiful, peaceful, pampering dive and snorkel locale
The condos were beautifully decorated and spacious, each with an ocean view. The onsite Ocean Frontiers dive shop personnel were congenial and happy to accomodate any and all requests pertaining to diving, snorkeling or fishing. Pool was small but clean and refreshing, ocean front accessible to everyone with grills for cooking. High speed wireless Internet was excellent. It went down for a few hours one afternoon, but was immediately made a priority upon report.
Forget about the nasty Seven Mile Beach area - go where there is pristine water, calm and great local water fun - the East End! I would go back to this resort time after time - so far the nicest accomodations after four trips to the Cayman Islands. If you go, be sure to pat the sweet heads of the two dive doggies - Thumper and Bubbles. This is a suitable place for singles, couples and families - but not noisy rowdy dunderheads.
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The Best Cayman Diving - Perfect property, staff, dive freedom.
I've done about 100 dive trips of one kind or another, but this was one of the best.
The condo was impeccable. I've attached a view of the 2-bedroom unit's kitchen and living room, but it's the second, detailed view that counts. That's a dive boat you see, right outside the balcony! I could wake up, eat a bite, and walk over to the boat. My equipment would be there, all set up.
You can't review the condo without reviewing the dive operation. As with most of Cayman (but even more so), people come here to dive.
The staff is mostly English and very competent and helpful. Freedom has come to Cayman diving - They let me dive to my skills. That was a bit shocking, as I'd almost written Caman off as having dive operators who treated everyone as novices. The last time I was there, the would only let me use Nitrox for my shallow dives. Insane overcontrol replaced by freedom.
Don't get me wrong, by the way. These folks take care of beginners and do certification courses. However, they give much greater freedom than I'd been used to for the experienced divers.
This place is on the quiet East End. It's for divers or, perhaps, people who just want a quiet time. If you want parties, drinking and such, go to Seven Mile Beach, not here. The divers who come all the way to East End tend to be serious about diving, even the beginners. I didn't have to dive with people who were half-wasted from the night before, or with people for whom diving was only a detail of their vacation.
Typically, you could go out guided or in buddy pairs. If guided, they would bring you back under the boat and you could finish your dive in buddy pairs (officially). Right under the boat, you could wander the local patch coral, with its deep inter-patch crevasses, until you were out of air or bottom time.
Finally, these are good, good people. Somehow, I lost my rental car's keys just before leaving. I packed and unpacked three times, combed the condo, but no go. I had a non-cancellable flight and no time for a taxi to come. One of their staff actually spent 1 1/2 hours driving me to the airport (it's 45 minutes away). I've never been treated so well in my life.
Excellent dive company onsite
I did not stay at this resort, but did attend a PADI open water dive course. The dive school are called Ocean Frontiers. The people here are all wonderful and have first class teaching skills. They have been here a while and know all the best sites and have in-depth knowledge on all aspects of diving and sea life. There is a shop too. If your staying here and wanna dive- check these guys out- may be best to book ahead as they were busy when I was here. It is cheaper for 2 or more people to do this course, I signed up late and was the only one on the course, so it cost more but I would say the 1-1 tuition helped me so much. Highly recommended
From the moment you check in to the time you leave, you always get a smile from the wonderful folks at Compass Point. We booked our vacation there from 10/29/06-11/04/06 through Expedia as a package along with airfare and rental car. If you plan to stay here, you definitely need a car to get around as its about 45 minutes from the airport. Our 1 bedroom condo was on the third floor and has a spacious balcony overlooking the water. Great amenities like a washer and dryer in the room was a nice touch as it helps with wet towels and swimsuits. Our living room was roomy and was equipped with a dvd player and stereo. The kitchen had utensils, plates, glasses, pots and pans if you decide to cook a meal here and there. Because we were there to get our scuba certification, the classes took 3 days with lunch breaks in between. We actually went back to the room and microwaved lunch instead of going out which saved us money and time. There is a supermarket (Fosters Express) about a couple minutes from the property. (Right across from their sister resort, The Reef).
The place is far from the glitz and glamour of 7Mile Beach but if you like quiet this is your place. Their dive operation was top notch and they set up your equipment right there on their boats. You can tell they love their job and it makes you wanna go back for more.
Fabulous Island, Great Resort
If you like small, friendly, non-touristy spots than Compass Point is for you. Located in the East End, about 40 mins. from the hustle and bustle of 7 mile Beach and the swarms of cruise day-trippers in Georgetown, this small, dive resort was perfect for the R & R quiet respite we were after. We stayed in a 1 bedroom condo (there's also a building with 2 bedroom condos) and never heard a peep from the other 8 apts. in the 3 story building. Compass Point defintely caters to divers (we're not) and, from all we heard, does an excellent job in that area. The only drawback is that the small beach, while affording us wonderful views from our balcony, is not for swimming-it's very rocky. However, since we had a car, we simply spent our beach days at Rum Point, an incredible spot which offers everything-shade when you need a break, an abundance of chairs and hammocks, a great beach restaurant/bar, a delightful gift shop, wonderful swimming, watersports for rent and a bathroom/shower that was 4 star clean.
Don't miss swimming with the stingrays (we went through Red Sail Sports which is more expensive but well worth the extra), the turtle farm and the botanical gardens. Believe it or not, we never set foot on 7 mile Beach and lasted only about an hour in Georgetown. Way too crowded for us.
Two excellent restaurants are Portofino in the East End and Over the Edge on the way to Rum Point. Food on the idland is expensive but there are enough spots on the water that you can dine every night to the wonderful sound of waves at your feet.
We've been to several Carribean islands and will definitely be back to the Caymans.
Great place to stay and dive
Great place to stay, the diving was great. Everyone at the resort, working the dives were very friendly. It's so nice to walk out of your room barefoot and go to the boat and have everything ready for you. No gear to lug around, to rinse, they do it all! It makes it so much more enjoyable. The rooms were very nice no complaints at all. We (4 of us) would all recommend compass point to anyone looking to go on a dive vacation in the Caymans We would easily stay there again.
Nice place, great staff
We narrowed our destinations to Sunset House, Cobalt Coast and Compass Point. We eliminated Cobalt Coast based on reports about needing to truck the gear to alternate docks when the seas were rough. Sunset House had great customer service reps, but we couldn't get past their strict depth/time limits for diving. Compass Point has a protected anchorage/dock, allows computer diving and includes a rental car with their already low rate.
I can't say enough about the quality of the staff at CP. Leslie and Jennie were great in helping me book the trip and answering my incessant questions. Lianne and the rest of the desk staff were always quick with a smile and help while we were there. Likewise, the dive staff was very hard working and professional. I'd recommend them by name, but they rotate on annual contracts.
The condos are only a couple of years old and are in great shape with great sunrise ocean views. The en suite washer/dryer and fully equipped kitchen are great for self-sufficient guests. The only real downside was that the tile floors can be a bit slippery when wet - a common condition for divers.
DIVING - What you give up in access to the West End shopping and dining, you make up in access to great walls and coral gardens that are not being trampled by hundreds of divers per day. We actually had mediocre (for the Caymans) diving conditions owing to a 15kt+ NE wind that blew all week. The 3-tank excursion was canceled since the North shore was too rough, but CP happily refunded the upgrade and took us on a 2-tank trip to the South side instead. The only downside is that there is no shore diving.
Bottom Line: It's the best resort for computer divers on the island.
Excellent for Divers
To be concise, if you are a diver and do not need nightlife or crowds, this is the best place to stay on Cayman, bar none. Good staff (mostly, a few grumbly), convenient to good diving, nice rooms, etc. It is great to walk 100 feet to the boat and 100 feet back on return.
Make sure you include a trip to sting ray city, it is a memorable, relaxing experience.
Compared to Sunset House (which we looked at while there), Compass point is palatial. Sunset House was recommended by a friend but we found it dingy and depressing. Does not compare at all.
Diving convenient, right outside rooms (100 feet). Fairly well organized.
Staff cares for your gear (read the caveats below).
Quiet, beautiful location. Balcony facing the water, no bugs while we were there.
Condos are beautifully appointed, comfortable, clean. Bring your CDs and DVDs if you like that kind of thing.
Car rental included.
Laid back staff, generally accommodating, flexible.
Washer and dryer in room so you can pack lighter.
Most divers on the boat are experienced divers so it is a calm, fun trip, you can learn from others.
If you want to go to Seven Mile Beach (I don't), it is 45 min drive, sometimes heavy traffic in town. If you want night life or a bar, this is not the place to stay.
No restaurant on premesis (not a problem for me).
Their staff camera guy is inconsiderate, gets in the way of shots of other divers.
Room cleaning is minimal, you have to pay extra if you want your room cleaned during the week.
Check your gear. Several times items of our gear were not on the boat and equiment was not properly set up by their staff, air leaks. They also forgot to hang my wet suit on the last day so I had to pack it slightly wet despite attempts to dry it. Check your gear every day, in the end you are responsible.
Change money to Cayman dollars at the bank. You will be grossly overcharged otherwise even on credit card purchases.
Food costs in the supermarket are very high. Bring all non perishables you can carry. In general, there is not good value at the high end restaurants. We brought a few bottles of wine with us as well.
Bring motion sickness pills, you may need them in the winter. This resort is on the east end of the island and gets strong winds even after hurricane season.
Buy a large container of water first thing, water in the rooms is not drinkable.
Left hand driving but most islanders are easy going behind the wheel (they know you are a tourist and give way), except everyone speeds (2 to 3 x speed limit) when they can.
Occaisional power loses, bring flashlights or candles.
Overall, a very good experience, we will most likely be returning to stay at Compass Point.