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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters in
Curaçao/Hula Kulanda (sp)

May, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Allan Freilich, NY, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 6103
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
NY city areas,Bonaire, Belize, Roatan, St.Lucia,Grand
Cayman,Bahamas,Cozumel,Florida,No. Carolina
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
follow the leader, 60 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Real trouble for those with big rigs. they only carried a small shallow
rinse tank. Luckily from I got the idea of bringing my own
soft pak cooler--had staff fill it up before going out on the boat so I
could soak my rig
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
I knew this place was far from the airport and town and we all agreed (5 of
us in total) to rent the largest car (toyota helux) and go shopping first

soon as we got there I had mentioned when booking that i wanted a villa
closest to the dive shop--of course, we ended up all the way at the other
side furthest from the shop.  meant lugging my near 50lb rig back and forth
after each dive a long distance (felt like 1/4 mile but I'm sure it wasn't)
and up and down 2 sets of stairs. Uggh! 

The villa was very clean and three of us managed to have enough room
without complaint.  It had a kitchenette (which we didn't use) and the
bathroom was the nicest I've seen at any Carribbean dive resort. The staff
made the beds and had a treat on the pillow at night.  The hotel staff was
very friendly and courteous.

Nitrox was always available. Cattle boat diving.  Squeezing up to 21 in a
boat meant for 18 max was not great. Claimed one captain was on vacation. 
Luckily all divers were mature and very competent.

Pre-dawn diving or night diving meant locking up gear in a separate room
which in the dark wasn't the easiest thing to do, but apparently very
necessary due to the crime wave hitting these islands over the last few

On this northern side of the island I really didn't find any great wide
angle opportunities-I shot macro for the whole trip.  Turtles, some saw
barracuda, and of course, tons of Lion fish.

Saw pod of spinner dolphins on a boat dive and one of our group really
insisted for the captain to stop so we could go in and swim with them.  (I
couldn't get even near to them, but it was very cool)

Dive shop operation left very bad taste in our mouths due to an incident
that i agreed not to talk about on condition of the settlement.  Let's just
say that leaving equipment on a boat after a dive may not be the best thing
to do.

Food at restaurants have something called 'service charge' which we thought
was a tip.  It wasn't!!  Or at least the waiter when asking why we didn't
tip said that this money went to the operation of the hotel??  Maybe a
shakedown?  we tipped extra but was just simply annoying.  Food $$$.

2nd trip to Curacao, and i think that's it.  Live aboard is the only way.
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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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