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Dive Review of Robert White/Sunset Waters Resort/Sunset Divers in
Curaçao

Robert White/Sunset Waters Resort/Sunset Divers, May, 2007,

by Robert White, CO, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 3345.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Key West, Belize, Bonaire, Barbados, Tahiti, Puerto Rico, Vancouver Island, Kauai, Dominica, St. Lucia.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minute limit
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Fresh water tank available.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Sunset Waters Beach Resort is located about 35 minutes via taxi ride from the capital city of Willemstad. The resort has planned activities such as shuttles to shopping centers where you can buy standard cruise ship fare trinkets. Shopping is not really that great on the island. Non divers should be prepared to enjoy lots of quiet time, baking in the sun, listening to some steel drums, and enjoying the swim-up bar.

Sunset Divers - a separate business from the Sunset Waters Beach Resort - is located at the bottom of a moderately steep hill a few hundred yards from the resort offering excellent diving on healthy reefs. The dive boat has a wide deck and good design to accommodate 12-15 divers very comfortably. It does not feel like a cattle boat. Sign up the day before on the dry board if you wish to go diving on a given day. Steaming time to the dive site seldom exceeds 15 minutes where the boat attaches to a mooring line. Entry is by giant stride off the stern. Separate onboard containers for cameras and masks lie adjacent to the entry point. Water exit is via two ladders on either side of the stern of the dive boat. The layout of the boat is remarkably suited to handicapped scuba divers, and it appears the guest rooms are as well, but don’t have wheel-in showers and have just regular toilets. The dive shop is on the same level as the sheltered dock for easy, calm boat access.

Lynn Bean runs a safe, tight ship. There are no unnecessary rules, but the current checks, roll calls, and critter finding were all appreciated. The divemasters are a bit on the outrageous side so be aware if you bring your kids, and if you don’t bring your kids bring a dirty joke to share. There is a 60 minute dive limit, but other limitations are per your own dive computer. I did not experience much current at most dive sites. Some divers had problems with sea lice, so I recommend full 3mm wet suit and a beanie at least in late May.

Sunset Divers has an efficient procedure where divers store stuff between dives in a small laundry basket and then load it on the boat for each dive. Dive masters will set up your BCD each day if you desire. Resort restrooms are approximately 50 yards away from the dive shop. There is a house reef with unlimited shore diving. Nitrox is an extra $125 / week or $12 a la carte. Though I am Nitrox certified, I didn’t even come close to pushing limits on air or no decompression limits on account of the relatively shallow dive profiles.

The dive shop is a full PADI training facility offering retail items. It has a separate convenient room to hang wetsuits and BCD / regulators with 24/7 access.

On my dives, generally along a drop-off wall, I saw frogfish, several octopi, spotted eagle rays, scrawled filefish, drums, numerous morey eels of various types. Fish life is small but abundant including lots of creole wrasse and brown chromis on the reef. There were no large pelagics. We did not spot a nurse shark during my week. Hard and soft corals are abundant and fairly healthy. Saw some large soft corals literally the size of small palm trees. Black and white banding disease is evident on brain corals on some dives, which reminded me of the fragility of our reefs.

Sunset Waters Beach Resort offers good quality food on an all-inclusive plan. Typical offerings include salad bar, fish, chicken, pork, and beef dishes, and always club sandwiches, hotdogs, and hamburgers. There was a barbecue buffet offered on some nights. Seafood is usually absent.

According to the hotel manager, the resort is now opening to locals on weekends for a discounted price that does not include alcoholic beverages. The program seems to be very popular and my weekend included approximately 150 additional weekend guests. Buffet and hotel facilities are crowded and stressed during this time, especially at breakfast. I can understand the desire to make the most use of the resort property if the demand from divers is not there, but the crowds and noise were a bit of a surprise. The hotel staff was always friendly and accommodating.

This resort is weak technologically. Wireless internet access, allegedly available in the bar area, was down. There is one computer in the office where you can buy an overpriced online access card for $10 / 30 minutes. The computer will cut you off when your time is up even if you are in the middle of an email. I did discover after a few days that my cell phone / Blackberry with email would work by the dive shop, however the resort never offered this information – I learned it from the dive staff. You must make prior arrangements with your cell service provider for international service. Otherwise there is a single phone outside the office where you can use a separately purchased phone credit card.

I paid $40 each way for cab fare (including $5 tip). Transfers are apparently available sometimes at a reduced cost, though this is never mentioned on the web site. In addition, the web site understates the remoteness of the resort – it took me 35-40 minutes drive each way and there are no other businesses within walking distance of the resort.
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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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