We chartered a private (inflatable) motor boat just over a week ago from Scuba Fun for four of us. One person in our party had just gotten their open water and this was their 5th &6th dives, the rest of us had 22-25 dives under our belts.
Our guide was Jude and she was very professional and took care of us well--setting up our gear yet making sure we did our own safety checks. We did a backward roll into the water and Jude stuck with us during the dive, had us check our air and pointed out lots of things along the way. Both times we dove on a line which was helpful and completed our safety stops. They offered buckets/hose all set up to rinse our gear when we returned to dock without asking and recommended a great place nearby for lunch. We highly recommend Scuba Fun. It was quick, effortless and safe, which meant worry-free. Our captain was a French guy--Frank, I think-- who was friendly and made sure our dry bags were stowed safe and kept dry.
As for the dive sites, we dove Fishbowl (drift) and The Maze (surge), and both were amazing. Because it is an underwater nature preserve, the reef is in great shape and untouched. Earlier that week we dove in St. Thomas, and we all agreed that the underwater landscape and wildlife was MUCH more vibrant in Sint Maarten. We saw a reef shark, a stingray, barracuda, lobster, elkhorn coral, moray eel, queen triggerfish, huge schools of blue tang, anemone and lots of nudubranchs (very cool), none of which we saw in St. Thomas. Because of the current/surge, there was a bit of sediment in the water but still pretty fair visibility and still got some great photos (see attached). Also, the visibility was still better than St. Thomas.
Our only other complaints were that it was a bit of a walk to and from from our cruise ship (Norwegian Sun) in the hot sun. We got a little confused getting out of the port and finding the main street, although we did find it in the end without too much trouble since they did give good directions. However we would advise requesting someone to meet you at the gate perhaps, ideally with a van.
Also, because it was a private boat (which was nice) the ride in the inflatable was more bumpy and wet as opposed to a bit larger boat. It was covered, which was very nice on a sunny day, however there was no restroom. Although some in the group were able to relieve themselves in the ocean (hey, you all do it), some of us were not able to, therefore we were inclined to avoid drinking liquids on the trip, which is not a good idea while diving.
Let's just say this made the bumpy ride back somewhat uncomfortable. That said, they did warn us beforehand so it was our own fault for not going off the back as many do while others look the other way as is so often necessary on many of these dive trips (especially since aside from the guide/captain we did have the boat to ourselves).
Overall, a very positive experience and a great end to our trip. We were very sad we had to get back on our ship and weren't able to stay for another day of diving... We hope to make it back to Sint Maarten one day!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.