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

May, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Robert White, CO, United States
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 3345
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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

Water Temp
80   to 81    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minute limit  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Fresh water tank available.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
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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