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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/All West Apartments in

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Cynthia Franklin, KY, US (1 report)
Report Number 5461
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
This was or first dive trip after becoming OW certified.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 85    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Boat dives were 60 minutes max, with surface intervals of 60 minutes.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Separate bucket onboard for cameras
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
We researched this trip thoroughly, and could not have made a better choice
for our first dive trip. Please see the Jan 2010 report for All West/OEW,
it is spot-on.
We rented an apartment for the week at All West. It was roomy and
immaculate. All of the apartments face the ocean, and we had a wonderful
ocean view from our balcony. We were warned upon arrival to keep belongings
locked up and use the safe. We did so, and never had any problems or felt
the least bit uncomfortable in Westpunt. There is access to dive facilites
on site for shore diving, and All West uses Ocean Encounters West as their
dive shop.
OEW is only a couple of minutes away by car, or you can walk the shortcut.
Even though this was our first trip, I am comfortable saying that OEW is a
top-notch operation. They were accommodating to us newbies and still
attentive to the more experienced divers. The gear is in terrific
condition, and the attention to safety made us feel at ease. We had two
dive masters on each trip, and the captain stayed aboard. Entry is giant
stride off the stern. The dive boat Palavos holds 20, and we had at least
12 on each dive, but even with 18 it was still comfortable. The cabin gets
wet on the rides out and back, but you can move to the bow to stay dry. The
crew brings around snacks and drinks during surface intervals. They were
all very professional, but still a lot of fun. Our fellow divers were
usually a mix of American, Dutch and German with varied experience. All
seemed to have a great time.
We dove Playa Kalki, Mushroom Forest, Sponge Forest, Watamula, Henry's
Hole, Alice in Wonderland (shore dive in front the apartment), and
snorkeled the Blue Room and the wreck at Jeremi. The coral was beautiful
and the assortment of tropical fish was stunning, with lots of schooling
fish. I have to say that was my favorite thing - to stop and upright myself
and spin 360 degrees in a school of brilliantly colored fish! We saw a huge
variety of small fish, a flounder, a small school of barracuda, morays and
a slippery lobster in the Blue Room.
We made reservations via email with Bea, and she took care to answer all of
our questions and concerns. She and the apartment owner, Louis, even
arranged delivery of an anniversary gift basket at my request. Once we
arrived, our introduction to the island was perfect - dinner the first
night at Sol Food, where Sunshine sat at our table and gave us tips on what
to do and see, and she even gave us a printout of these things. The food
was great - you must try her homemade pizza! She's only open Fri - Sun, but
it's worth it! You can't miss Sol Food - it's between All West and the OEW
dive shop.
I would absolutely recommend All West and OEW for any level of diver, and
to anyone looking for a wonderful relaxing holiday. 
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