Frederick Michael Maisch (Okemos, MI), who was aboard in March, says "I can't overstate how wonderful the ship and crew were, as they have everything you could ask for aboard the boat. The dive deck was enormous, with plenty of room to change, a freshwater tank for cameras and wetsuit rinse, and even a bathroom. The sun deck has a bar, hot tub and lounge chairs. Our cabin was large, with a balcony, twin beds that were very comfortable, a large and functional bath, and storage -- and everything worked! The ship has a large modern kitchen, and the chef and food were extraordinary. There were 15 divers on our trip; the six who had the major camera equipment took a skiff, and the other nine took the 45-foot cruiser. Gear was always set up for us by the crew, and up to four dives a day were offered. Nitrox was US$100. Suggested tips were around $400 total for the dive crew and boat staff, and they were worth it . . . Most of our dives were drift. I saw many sharks up close on every dive, plus huge eagle rays, tarpon, black and Goliath grouper, green eels and a couple of big turtles. The coral, sponges, tropical fish and general reef conditions were healthy and plentiful. It is the best dive experience in the Caribbean."
U.S. citizens can legally go to Cuba, but there are a few requirement (see our "Easy Travel to Cuba" article in the March 2018 issue). Maisch says, "U.S. Immigration asked for nothing more than my passport, which did get stamped in Cuba." You must book passage through a dive travel agency, but view details and photos of the boat at travel.padi.com/liveaboard/cuba/avalon-iii