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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/Breezes in

September, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by James McBride, TX, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5703
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
All though Carribean, Fiji, Palau, Maui, Honduras, Belize, Cozumel, Cancun,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, no currents  
Water Temp
86   to 86    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Typical depth of 60' max but some went deeper.  DMs were strict until they
felt comfortable with skill of diver.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Camera bucket on boat was 3/4 tall 55 gallon plastic drum w/ fresh water. 
DMs made sure that briefings covered differentiation of photo and mask
buckets and the whys. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
Dear folks,

For the record, Breezes hotel could really use a facelift these days.  I
can say this with confidence based on my occupation as I am on the road two
to three days per week and stay at many hotels.  I arrived on Friday night
and did not have hot water until Wednesday.  This was due to a plumbing
issue and the required part to fix had to be shipped in from somewhere
else.  Bottom line, taking cold showers for a few days makes for a less
than stellar vacation experience.  Facilities were fair and clean but
definitely showing signs of age and ware.  If you are looking for a dive
resort or place that caters specifically to divers, I would recommend
weighing your options carefully.

On a very positive note, the food at the hotel was exceptionally good and
offered much variety for the guests.  Being that this was an all inclusive,
the chow really stood above other AI hotels that I have been to previouly. 
The bar had top shelf liquors and a few of the staff were real characters
with dazzling personalities (ie. Norma aka "Babylove").  If you
meet her, you will likely not forget the person.  Amazing how someone with
many challenges in life could radiate so much joy:)

As for Ocean Encounters, I cannot say enough good things about how the
operation runs.  This is a benchmark dive operation and follows a very
professionally managed business model.  The people get to know their guests
personally and make sure that people enjoy themselves at whatever level of
experience they may have.  The DMs work hard to ensure people's safety and
don't compromise when it comes to standing their ground on following good
practices.  They also try to make it fun, exciting and relaxed.

I felt like a VIP when I told one of the DMs that I would like to dive
Nitrox on my last day and the DM called into the shop from the boat to have
them blend the gas to match my specific request.  It has been my experience
otherwise where a typical shop reprentative (whoever it may be) will tell
you 32% is what you get pal!  Very impressive indeed.

Be sure to tip these guys good as they deserve every bit of the gratuity
that they earn.  I only wish that my own colleagues could be as team
oriented as the folks of OE present themselves to be.

To conclude, the coral health of Curacao has to be high on the scale as
compared to much of the Northern carribean region seems to be these days. 
It is quite amazing and will entertain any diver with global experience. 
The macro life is everwhere and can be found on every dive without
exception.  If you like the small critters and you like to take photos then
Curacao is a place you don't want to miss.

Good diving,
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