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Review Highlights
If you ever leaned into marine life or career add this dimension

Vivid in my brain weeks later! Karl was a great host and guide to what lies literally in his... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
NoCallsNow
2000ft under the sea

This was an amazing experience. I am a certified scuba diver and have seen all sorts of sea... read more

Reviewed 16 October 2020
skipmarsh
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Denver, Colorado
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Reviewed 16 October 2020

This was an amazing experience. I am a certified scuba diver and have seen all sorts of sea creatures, but what I saw at 2000ft was just awesome. It takes about 40-46 minutes to descend the depths and you will see all sorts of bioluminescent creatures starting around 800-1000ft. Karl turns the lights out and it is as dark as dark gets. Then you start to see the wonders of these creatures, truly something I will never forget. Then when you get to the bottom a whole new world comes in to view. Once the lights are back on the colors and visibility are unreal. You might have seen some of these sponges, shrimp, squid and other sea creatures in a magazine or National Geographic special, but seeing them in person and so close is indescribable. If you are a fan of the underwater, this has to be on your bucket-list.

Date of experience: October 2020
Thank skipmarsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2020

This is something that just can't be done anywhere else. It's a little pricey, but you won't ever forget the trip. Karl Stanley built the sub and runs it. If you get the chance, try to see the bottom floor / basement of his house; it is literally carved from coral reef and is truly unique and fantastic! Karl is a super nice guy and extremely professional and friendly - and laid back island style, too. Karl is easy to work with and responds well by email to help you get lined up for your dive.

This is not just a 'touristy' thing to do - it is something few people really have the opportunity to do and something you'll never forget. You need to plan at least a couple of days on the island - ideally more than that - because these trips can be cancelled by weather. Make the sub trip the 1st priority and do your other sightseeing around it. I took the 2000'-2100' deep Lophelia Reef Excursion - there are shallower, shorter, easier, cheaper, more comfortable trips that would be fun - this trip is 4+ hours and cold at the bottom and that part isn't "fun". INTERESTING NOTE: Today's Seawolf Submarines can dive to 2,000' - but you can't look out the windows!

On any of the trips you'll be seeing ancient coral, "new" coral, creatures and plants that none of your friends or neighbors have seen anywhere but on TV or at the movies - and probably not there, either. As we reached the depth where light doesn't penetrate at all, Karl switched off the lights for a bit - total darkness. Then, they were switched on for a couple of seconds and then back off and that's when the "fireworks show" of bioluminescence went into action - only briefly. The off/on was repeated a few times - it was great!

Some Advice: Take a warm jacket - it gets COLD down deep - and wear comfortable shoes you can slip off because no shoes in the sub - do wear heavy, warm sox. This trip is not for fat people! I'm 5'8 and 180 pounds (a bit plump) and was on the dive with another guy about my height and a little slimmer and a lot younger (I'm 73). Getting in is a bit of a task - 1st one in has it easiest; after 4 hours scrunched up, getting out is a task, too. The 2000 - 2100 foot deep trip to Lophelia Reef is a solid 4 hours of sitting tightly packed (butt-to-butt) with the person going with you; it's cramped and cold once you get some depth - that's why I say it isn't FUN - but it is a Great Experience! If you have a good smartphone you should be able to get some good pictures with it. I took 2 cameras: Canon EOS 7D Mark 2 with a 24-135mm zoom lens and a little point & shoot. The Canon was useless for movies at depth because it could never get a good focus and kept the lens trying to focus; for still shots it was pretty good with the zoom. The little cheap point and shoot with a zoom did a really nice job for movies. I just kept switching back and forth between cameras. I believe a real camera will give you a lot more than a smartphone and I'd recommend a good point-and-shoot with zoom. Use a big memory card and have a spare in your pocket just in case; spare battery, too.

Date of experience: February 2020
Thank Frank D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2020

Did the 2000 ft excursion. Karl, the man who built this sub has made it possible to do something that no one else in the world could do except for researchers. The trip was amazing from Karl's excellent communication to his skills in the sub to our final goodbye. Karl is truly and expert and a gentleman who made this adventure something I will never forget. I won't get into the dive itself as that has been covered by numerous reviews already.

Honestly, I could see people paying 5 even 10 times more than what he's charging. I highly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity. What a rush it was!

Date of experience: January 2020
Thank extremetm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2020

I can’t find words to adequately describe this experience -- incredible, amazing, breath-taking, awe-inspiring, extraordinary, unforgettable! All apply but none really captures the feeling of traveling to another world -- the alien-seeming “inner space” 2000’ below the surface of the ocean -- and fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Although Karl makes this available to ordinary people, it is not just another touristy bucket list experience. It is a very rare and unique opportunity. For most private citizens outside the wealthiest who can afford fees of $45,000 and up to join an expedition, there are very few ways to go to depths beyond the 120 feet that can be reached by non-technical scuba diving or in tourist submarines that take non-divers to the same depths that recreational divers can reach. Karl’s is one of only two deep sea subs accessible to the general public. And the Cayman Trench off of Roatan is an ideal place for it. The cost, while quite reasonable for what’s involved, was a big stretch for my limited budget but I don’t regret the expense one bit. It was more than worth it! Thanks, Karl, for making it possible for us to fulfill our dreams of exploring the deep sea!

I would absolutely recommend this trip to anyone with a passion for adventure and an interest in learning about our hidden planet. But you don’t have to just trust me: As marine biologist Edith Widder says in one of her fascinating TED talks, "if you ever, ever get an opportunity to take a dive in a submersible, say yes -- a thousand times, yes -- and please turn out the lights. I promise, you'll love it."

Date of experience: January 2020
Thank explore961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2019

This is by far one of the most fun trips that I've had, and I've roasted marshmallows over lava, dove with great whites sharks, and have gone sky diving. Without a doubt, you should take the dive.

We took the trip that takes you down 2000 feet. It was amazing seeing the sunlight diasappear at 660 feet. We saw yellow sea fans that were around a thousand years old. We had bioluminescent plankton flash their lights at us when we turned out our lights. The crinoids we saw were like looking at a living fossil. The jellies came in all shapes and sizes.

Karl was way easy to work with. Whenever I sent him an email, he would respond. He met with us to go over what we need to bring and so that we could geek over the sub. He did everything to get us down into the water. He did have me leave my Mt. Dew topside because of the CO2 and being in an enclosed space. In short, he was a great person to work with.

The submarine was safe and comfortable. I brought my kids with me. They had a blast. You will need a jacket as you get deeper.

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank Danny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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