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Dive Review of Dive Bus Curacao/Hilton in
Curaçao

Dive Bus Curacao/Hilton, Dec, 2010,

by Dorothy McDonald, OH, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 5907.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving throughout Caribbean and South Pacific
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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