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Guest Comments
Island Dreams' 2016 Cuba Trip
Touring Havana and Diving Gardens of the Queen

Island Dreams Cuba Tour 2016 - Guest Comments

Copyright Ken Knezick - Island Dreams

"Wow, a wonderful step back in time. Bustling Havana was a pleasant and eye opening experience. Then the diversity and magnitude of marine life at Gardens of the Queen was also a step back. A return to a time when the oceans were teaming with marine life, providing an experience that is seldom experienced in today's oceans. And the crew of the Jardines Aggressor provided an exceptional diving and culinary experience." — Max

"Wow Ken, what a fantastic adventure to Havana, Cuba and Jardines de la Reina. The Parque Central Hotel had great breakfasts and good A/C. The side trips and dinners were superb. The bus ride to Jacaro wasn't bad since it was broken up with two stops with treats. Loved seeing so much more of the Caribbean and counting fishes with Pam. We saw over 160 species! What a joy. Enjoyed the entire group. Bravo!" — Sabra

"Wonderful destination to reacquaint myself with the Caribbean! The time in Havana would have been enough to call the trip a good one but the diving rapidly stole the show. The diversity and the abundance of the sea life took me back to my early diving days. Checked one off my bucket list that I really didn't think I would be able to. Thanks for getting everything together. Well done!!" — Fred

"Loved the deep water reefs, the narrow canyons, the shallow water reefs and the mangrove snorkel. Such a wonderful variety of fish from the Caribbean reef sharks and silky sharks, to the beautiful golden basslet. Where else in the Caribbean can you see goliath groupers, tiger groupers, Nassau groupers all on the same dive? You won't see a gigantic whiptail ray anywhere else, nor will you dive with a crew more ready and willing to please! Thanks Ken, for making this opportunity a reality!" — Pam

"Diving the Gardens of the Queens was delightfully rich with soft corals and very interesting topography. The crew made diving easy as tanks remain on the boat with BC's, although remaining in the sun for the week was not the best treatment. Dive masters on our boat were very attentive. The pace was slow and easy, just the way I like it. Currents were essentially non-existent, maybe ¼ knot at most, and at times there was minor surge. Reefs were pristine from diver-fin damage. There was a goodly variety of fish, and seeing the silky shark was a real treat. It's a very good trip for beginners to advanced. It was a convivial group of diverse divers led by Ken, who is a dynamic personality and fun to be around. Thanks Ken for being so great at answering emails before the trip, too, and keeping us apprised of all the details." — Jeanne

"Havana is an amazing city ready for renovation. The buildings, dating back to the early 1900's, remind you of old-world Europe. With the right kind of TLC and investment, Havana stands to again become a world class city. Cuba, the country, has been affected by the USA embargo but the people have hospitality in their DNA. That chapter of USA/CUBA relations are long overdue to be put away in the history books. Diving in the Garden of the Queens was so special at this point in history. There were no signs of the dive sites being affected by throngs of divers. Every dive was special. The Crew of the Jardines Aggressor, like the people of Havana, have hospitality in their DNA. We couldn't have asked for a better group to take care of us. I'm so glad I got to experience this part of Cuba at this point in history." — Scott

"Several wonderful highlights on this trip: 1) Seeing the magnificence of the "former glory" of old Havana before the onslaught of changes, 2) The wonderful friendliness and hospitality of Cubans everywhere!!, 3) The wonderful crew aboard the Jardines Aggressor, and 4) The beauty and wonderment of the Gardens of the Queen!!! Every dive was greeted by groupers or sharks who accompanied us most of every dive. The fellow divers were great as well; the knowledge of fishes aboard was such a great learning experience. All in all, an absolutely fantastic trip! Thanks to Ken for a wonderful trip." — Melissa

"What a treat to see Havana in its splendor (albeit sadly decaying), I could easily envision the "glory days". The dive group gelled together very well. All the Cubans I met, both in Havana and on the boat, were genuinely warm and welcoming and tried hard to please. It was nice to see so many adult fish of many species roaming the waters of the Garden of the Queens, and fun to play a role, albeit very small, in the Reef fish count. Thank you Ken for organizing another great trip." — Jill

"Just an amazing trip. Never in my lifetime did I ever think that I would ever get to go to Cuba much less dive the waters. It exceeded all my expectations. The trip from the airport in a 1959 Dodge was special. Talking with the people in the Artists' Market was enlightening and hopeful. The Staff of the dive boat were the best I have seen in a long time. The trip was very special to me and it exceeded all my expectations. After diving the Garden of the Queens, you can understand why Castro saved it for himself. Thank you for a great time as always." — Debbie

"This is the first time that my husband and I were on a liveaboard. It was great! The staff was unbelievable! Anything you asked for was taken care of immediately. The food was amazing. The Cuban people have such great outlooks on life and are very kind. We are so happy that we came on this trip and will go on another gladly! Thanks for everything." — Dan and Debbie

Learn more about diving Cuba:   Cuba Dive Report

Ready to see Cuba for yourself? Give Island Dreams a shout.
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Island Dreams Cuba Tour 2016 - Guest Comments