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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/Kura Hulanda in
Curaçao/West End

February, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Michael Drumstas, MA, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 6491
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Extensively throughout the Carribean,Riviera Maya,Cozumel,sea of
Cortez,Hawaii.and North of Cape Cod
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
78   to 80    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Loosely follow group. Back on board w/500psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Rinse bucket on shore and on boat that is pointed out on briefing. There
are picnic tables at dive operation.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
3 stars    
We stayed at the Kura Hulanda on the west end of Curacao on the
recomendation of fellow divers and the online literature. We arranged
transportation from the airport through the hotel as we had a 9pm arrival.
Upon being seeing our name on a hand sign we were told to go wait by the
curb. Still lugging our own bags we ended up in a van/taxi with another
couple staying at a different location. The driver never greeted us other
than a nod of his head and never asked if we minded going to the market, as
requested by other couple, before making our way to Kura Hulanda. We
arrived around 10pm and were able to grab a bite to eat after check
in.Hotel staff was friendly and accomodating throughout week. With the
exception of wireless internet, or lack of, resort was nice. The waterfront
suite had drop dead views and had decent furnishings. The suites had a
"galley" kitchenette which had microwave, two burners,small
fridge,coffee maker, ample glasses and dishes.No pans-they could be rented
for ten dollars a day!!!! OK so wireless is advertised as in- room. We
could get a slight signal in the hallway outside of the bedroom door and
that was after calling and having staff come to our suite to show us where
the hot spot was !!Ocean encounters west is the dive operator. You carry
your gear on and off of boat with barely a hand stepping from dock. Set up
own gear, break down own gear and carry and rinse your own gear.The dive
briefings were accurate and concise but groups of ten divers was a bit too
much under water. I am a photographer and was allowed too hang back and
shoot unimpeded. No pelagics, no grouper??? never been diving and not
spotted a grouper before. LOTS of lionfish..everywhere. The operation
manager, Brian, was asked why no staff were hunting them every dive and his
reply was that it was futile so why bother.They advertised a hunt lionfish
tuesday afternoon dive but that consisted of divers pointing them out and a
divemaster spearing them. Brian stated that the first juvenile lionfish was
spotted 2 1/2 years ago and now groupings of 5-6 on every dive. I have
never seen groups before. We spotted well over fifty on each dive.Corals
are in great shape and there are juvenile fish on pretty much all sites. It
just seemed to us that the staff and operation in general was not overly
friendly or helpful. Maybe being the house operator will do that. We found
juvenile spotted drum, parrots,angels,wrasse and eels. Diving was just OK.
Water temps were around 80 f and vis was good ,in the 100 foot plus on
every dive. Kura Hulanda is about 45 min by car from Willemstead and it is
worth it to rent one instead of relying on shuttle from hotel. Make sure to
make your way to Sol by the hotel one night as the food was fantastic and a
reservation is needed.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Jmatulis at Jun 24, 2012 09:00 EST  
Been to Curaçao the last six years. Going this week again. We stay
at All- West apartments. It's allot cheaper than Kura. The dive crew has
been helpful to my group and always helped with our gear. We had to bring
our personnel gear to the boat and assemble it ourselves . Don't most
divers want to assemble their own gear ?
 Curaçao is all about shore diving. Go Porta Mare  and Casa Abou
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Other dive reports on Ocean Encounters Diving

All Curaçao Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Curaçao
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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