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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters in

December, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Bear Johnston, California, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 3796
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
California, Florida, Hawaii and all over the Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 81    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We were given a time limit to be back on the boat  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The had a dedicated bucket for cameras
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
I had scheduled two days of diving with Ocean Encounters.  The day before I
was to dive with them I had planned to do a shore dive with another
operator.  My flight to Curacao was delayed a day because of weather, and
was unable to dive the day before my scheduled dives with Ocean Encounters.
 Upon arrival on the island, I went to Ocean Encounters to check in and
sign all the release forms.  They told me before I could dive with them I
needed to do a check out dive.  My original plan was to do that with the
other company, but was unable to do that.  I asked if I could get there
early before the boat was to leave and do the check out dive as not to miss
another day of diving.  They said no, because they open at 8 AM and the
boat leaves at 8:30 AM.  Since I had already paid for the dive, the person
I was talking to said, the boat could come back after the first dive and
pick me up and I could do the one tank afternoon dive.  I said great, and
asked if I could bring my camera along on the check out dive.  This is when
another person, who seem to be the store manager, interrupted and said,
"The check out dive was not for them but for me. This is the
Caribbean." I then politely explain to them, that I was a scuba
instructor and respect their rules.  I also told them, that I really didn't
need a check out dive for my benefit, that I had recently dove Monterey
California in 55 degree water in a dry suit and that 81 degree water off
Curacao was the temperature of the pool I teach students.  I also said that
with in the last year, I had dove Bonaire and the Florida Keys. This person
then said, I didn't need the check out dive.  I thanked them and the dive
the next day went well.  They run a very clean boat.  Dive briefing s was
well done.  There were two divemasters in the water with the divers.  Roll
call was done before and after each dive.
The next day I was scheduled to dive Klein Curacao which would be an all
day affair.  I was told they would pick me up at 6:00 AM at a hotel up the
street from where I was staying.  When asked about just picking me up at my
hotel, I was told the person picking me up didn't know where it was.  So I
get up at 4:45 AM.  Drag my wife out of bed to drive me to the other hotel
only to stand there in the dark for over an hour.  No one came to pick me
up.  Needless to say, I was not a happy camper and the thought of losing
another day of diving was not sitting well with me.  I did drive to the
dive shop and confronted the same manager person.  She said sorry, but they
have no control over that, because they contract the pick up service.
I looked at her and said, "Well I guess we both lose today.  I lost a
day of diving and you lost a customer and a sale."
Over all, they run a very nice operation.  They are big, but you are just
another customer to them.  I had a much better experience with another
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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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