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Dive Review of Dive Bus Curacao/Hilton in

December, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Dorothy McDonald, OH, US
Contributor   (17 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5907
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
throughout Caribbean and South Pacific
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
77   to 79    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
We planned this trip so our newly certified, 25 year old nephews could make
their first ocean dives.  We used 2 different dive operations - The Dive
Bus and Ocean Encounters - so that our nephews could experience shore dives
as well as boat dives.  The arrangements were made before going to Curacao
and we planned to do 2 days of 2 tank diving with both operations, starting
with The Dive Bus and ending with Ocean Encounters.  Working with both dive
operators over the phone and through email was easy and both were friendly
and helpful.  

Delayed flights caused us to miss our flight from Miami to Curacao, so we
arrived a day late, losing one entire day of our trip which meant we only
were able to dive one day with The Dive Bus.  We had contacted them from
Miami to let them know not to pick us up at the resort as planned.  They
handled the change of plans very well,  helping us to remain calm. The
morning of our dives, Mark picked us up at the Hilton.  He was amazingly
upbeat and friendly.  Being with him just made you want to go diving. 
There were 4 other divers besides the 4 of us.  Mark asked that we all
follow him and stay within sight of one another.  It was an easy shore
entry, no current, a max depth of about 65'.  Mark pointed out various hard
to see things like scorpion fish.  It was a great dive for the new divers
and the rest of us enjoyed the dive too.  Between dives we had fresh orange
slices and water and we could relax on shore or snorkel.  After the second
dive there were sandwich fixings and we all made our own sandwich for
lunch.  Before starting the second dive Mark took our nephews aside for
some friendly pointers on how they could improve.  He did this in such a
friendly, helpful way that there was no embarrassment, just appreciation
for the helpful tips. It was a terrific first ocean dive experience for
them and we only wish we had not missed the first day as I'm sure they
would have benefited from the shore dives and from diving with Mark.  Both
Mark and Suzy were friendly, outgoing and helpful - we would definitley
dive with them again and feel new divers would have a very good experience
with The Dive Bus.

Our last 2 dive days were boat dives with Ocean Encounters which was
located on site at the Hilton resort.  These were also pleasant dives - all
drift dives.  The boat crews and office staff were friendly.  The boats
were well organized so that even with more than 20 divers it did not feel
crowded.  We were divided into 2 groups, with one group gearing up and
getting into the water before the other group geared up.  Whichever group
went second on the first dive went first on the next dive.  There was fresh
fruit, water and powdered orange drink between dives.  However there was
one very big disappointment.  We had arranged and paid for the dives before
leaving home and our second dive day with OE was to be a full day trip to
the Mushroom Forest.  That morning we arrived at the dock early.  We
noticed that our gear was not put on the dock that had the boat that was to
go to the Mushroom Forest.  We asked about it and were told that we were
not scheduled for that trip.  We said that we were scheduled to go on that
trip, had paid for it and had the email receipt to that affect with us. 
They checked their records and said they had made a clerical error - they
did have the documentation showing we had paid for that trip, but somehow
the 4 of us had not been put on the roster and there was not room for 4
extra divers on that boat.  Bottom line was that they refunded the extra
money and we had to go on a boat to other dive sights.  They were enjoyable
dives, and our nephews were excited with the new things they saw and
enjoyed the experience of diving a wall, but there was still a filling of
disappointment after hearing about the "must dive" Mushroom
Forest, paying for it more than a month in advance and then not getting to
dive it.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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