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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters/Lions Dive in
Curaçao

Ocean Encounters/Lions Dive, Mar, 2007,

by Steve Davidson, GA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 3551.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Belize, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Saba, Tahiti, Roatan, Utilla, Costa Rica, Keys, NC, Cozumel, Mayaha, Virgins, T&C, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None to speak of.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments I was lazy. I didn't take many pics.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments First time to Curacao after a dozen trips to Bonaire. Great resort although my bed was hard as a rock. Lions Dive is an older resort but it is a really romantic setting. We were in the older part and it was well maintained but our bed needs to be replaced. The newer part is a multi story deal but still nice and overlooks the pool and restaurant. They both have their good and bad aspects. If I went back, I wouldn't much care which part I stayed in. The setting is awesome with a huge beach and lots of beach seating with umbrellas and shaded palapa style stuff. If you go with non-divers, this is definitely the place to stay. You could park yourself at this resort and not leave again. The food at the resort was good, nothing to write home about but adequate. We took most of our meals across the lagoon at a restaurant near the Aquarium.

Ocean Encounters is a good operation, well equipped and staffed with friendly and helpful staff. They have two great dive boats, well equipped and, for the most part, properly maintained but the one we were on belched huge clouds of black smoke constantly. The wife got deathly seasick, and she is not prone to seasickness, so we didn't dive much for that reason. It wouldn't have been so bad if the boat anchored during the dives but it would circle the area while waiting on the other divers so that it was almost constantly enveloped in its own stench.


Curacao is different than Bonaire diving-wise. Most of the diving we did was from the resort on the southern end of the island. The wife and I only made a few dives on the boat because of the effect of the smoke from the boat engine. It would have been a much more pleasurable trip on the other boat and if I went back, it would have to be on the condition that we were not on the boat that smoked so.
We did one day trip to the northern part of the island where we drove to another resort, boarded another boat and dove the Mushroom Forest and another site nearby. The water was calm and the boat was clean. I really enjoyed those dives but the wife declined to take the risk of getting seasick again on another smoker. Beach diving is what I enjoy about Bonaire but Curacao is so much larger and if you are staying on the southern end of the island, its an all day trip to the best shore diving. Crime is clearly a problem on Curacao also as can be gleaned from other posts on this site.

Curacao is picturesque and much larger than Bonaire. I would definitely go back although if diving is your primary reason for being there, it seems that the northern part of the island is a better choice for calm conditions. Otherwise, Lions Dive is a great resort, located on the main beach and the associated restaurants and gift shops on the beach. I highly recommend it.
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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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