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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/Breezes Resort in

August, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Carol Sommers, IL, US
Reviewer   (5 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6291
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Florida springs, keys and coast, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Sea of
Cortez, Yap, Palau, Great Barrier Reef, North Carolina, Lake Michigan,
Belize, Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 82    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
time limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 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):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
3 stars    
Curacao is a little bit of the Netherlands next to Venezuela which made it
more interesting than the usual Caribbean Islands, especially if one has a
non-diving mate.  I had signed up five days of two-tank morning dives and a
daily afternoon shore dive.  Everyone was very nice, but not as safety or
service-oriented as I am used to. The boat came to our dock each morning
and then went around to other resorts before going to a dive site. The
first day, the pick-up was at 8 and we returned at 1 pm having done two
forty-five minute dives.  I was only able to do the shore dive where you
needed to be on the dock at 2 pm because my room was close to the dock.
Other days we got back eariler so it was possible to have lunch before the
next dive.

On one trip the woman sitting next to be got up and immediately fell on the
deck.  This was because there was no traction and the divemaster said they
had problems with the people who repaint the decks since after one month
they became slippery again.  This problem was known, yet there was no
non-skid rug put on.  My husband, who is a non-diver, rented a bicycle and
as he rode away from the rental counter hit a raised pipe partially
imbedded in the pavement, fell and was injured meaning he could not snorkle
for days.  The resort said that they knew about the danger and the person
renting the bicycle was supposed to tell customers to walk the bike away
from the counter. He received daily medical care from the nurse and we were
given a few free meals. We did go snorkeling once, but it was quite
dangerous since there were so many boats and windsurfers. When we were
inside the breakwater and despite towing a huge floating inner tube with a
dive flag on it, a teenager's windsurfer's boat mast fell within inches of
my head.

I am very buoyant and need a lot of weight on shallow dives so asked if I
could pass up the weight pouches.  Ocean Encounters offered to take my bc
up, but I said if they just pulled up on the tank as I ascended the last
ladder steps, it would be ok.  That worked out well, except that the crews
changed often so at times I had to struggle up--I'm also a senior citizen
now.  Another diver who was 72, was never offered any help, but I don't
believe he asked for it.

Everyone had to set up their own tanks for every dive.  Out of 15 dives,
there  were two offers of help from the divemasters, but after taking them
up on one offer and  having my gear not set up correctly, I continued to do
it myself, having to take 16 pounds of weight out of my bc every time and
putting it back in after putting the bc on the new tank.

The diving was better than I expected, having enjoyed Bonaire and hearing
from another diver that Aruba was really bad.  The tally for the trip
included 6 turtles, 8 spotted moray, 2 balloonfish, 3 lettuce sea slugs, 2
scorpionfish, an 18 inch long porcupinefish, 8 spotted drums, 3 honeycomb
cowfish, and 3 squid sightings plus the usual Caribbean fish. Orange
elephants sponges grew to 4 feet across.  Watching a cleaner fish going all
the way into the mouth of a creole wrasse several times and being spit out
was amusing. There were not a lot of parrotfish and the last dive sight we
were taken to was at least 70 percent covered with algae. A night dive on
the Tugboat (which is about 100 feet from an oil platform with blazing
lights) was well-worth the $85.00. We were able to follow the reef at night
and end up at the boat which we could explore until our safety stop was

There were no big fish and most evenings there was a local fishing right
from the resort pier.  It's a shame they don't realize the importance of
conservation.  The Mushroom Forest was really unique to see, but the reef
was not very healthy.  A site called Beacon Point had  beautiful pillar
coral and wonderful sealife. It was necessary to be next to the divemaster
in order to see special sightings and about half the divemasters swam much
too quickly.  The group became very strung out, especially if one wanted to
take pictures or stop and watch fish. Dive briefings were super brief or
non-existent.  The shore dives had mostly new or novice divers and were
done non-stop with a strict limit of 40 minutes.  Divers had asked to see
the Superior Producer wreck, but were told that it was impossible because
of government restrictions. 

Despite the non-perfect situation, I did enjoy myself overall and the
person who booked my trip did ask for comments.  I included the above
information which he forwarded to Ocean Encounters and hopefully, they will
improve the particular items.

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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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