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Without a doubt I'd pick St. Thomas over St. Maarten for scuba diving.
I liked my trip with www.admiraltydive.com They pickup at the cruise dock and it isn't a cattle boat operation. There are a couple other dive OP's to consider. Chris Sawyer dive center and Blue island divers, but I haven't used either so I can't make a personal recommendation.
I would have to say St. Thomas only because we have dived St. Maarten and did not like the experience. The dive op was less than safe (from a boat perspective), and the reefs were....well, crap. We went with Dive Safaris, which I do not recommend, and only did two dives since we were cruising, so maybe a different site and different op would yield a different opinion.
Bruce is right! That's easy St Thomas. We have dove there 3 times with Chris Sawyer, great operator, but you must take taxi to Red Hook to dive with them. http://www.sawyerdive.vi/index.htm
Love the diving here excellent coral, topography, and fauna. You won't be disappointed.
St. Marten, save your money and pick up some good bargains in town.
Great prices on cheap booze.
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We used Blue Island Divers, they were great. They picked us up right by our ship, and we had them all to ourselves - 3 of us plus their captain and a DM. Very nice dives.
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Here is another vote for St. Thomas. Last three cruises dove here with Underwater Safari at Buck Is. which is close to Havensight cruise pier. It is only about a 20 minutes boat ride away and is the only good dive site close off of the south coast. Dive operator team were fairly good and the site offers a nice reef and a freighter wreck at same location so boat doesn't move between two dives. You go south off boat for reef and north for wreck.
Have dove St. Maarten with Dive Safari and was not as impressed.
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