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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters in
Curaçao

Ocean Encounters, Dec, 2007,

by Bear Johnston, California, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports). Report 3796.

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

Weather cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions We were given a time limit to be back on the boat
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments The had a dedicated bucket for cameras

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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 company.
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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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