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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters/Lions Dive in

March, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Steve Davidson, GA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 3551
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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

Water Temp
80   to 82    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None to speak of.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
I was lazy.  I didn't take many pics.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
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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