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Dive Review of Atlantis Azores in

April, 2013, an Instant Reader Report by Jeanne Reeder, MO, US
Contributor   (13 reports, with 9 Helpful votes)
Report Number 7138
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Raja Ampat,Papua New Guinea,Japan,Solomon Islands, Palau, Sudan,
Turkey,Cozumel, Belize,Roatan, Turks & Caicos, Saba, St.
Kitts,Statia,Cayman Brac, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, surge  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Maximum time 60 minutes; all dives were as a group including surfacing; all
ascend when anyone got 750 psi; if lost from group search for 1 minute,
then surface; dont dive below 110, probably because of the many nitrox
divers on board and our long distance to a chamber.     
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
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Small Critters
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Large Fish
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Large Pelagics
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Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
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On the dive deck there was a large area for cameras, an air-hose, and
lint-free towels.   ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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5 stars
Service and Attitude
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Environmental Sensitivity  
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Dive Operation
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Shore Diving  
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Overall Rating

Value for $$
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1 stars   
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Organization ruled as late afternoon we headed toward the liveaboard trip
to Tubbataha Marine Park. Atlantis resort staff facilitated our airport
check-in in Manila. We were met after the one hour flight to Puerto
Princesa on the island of Palawan, and escorted to an air conditioned VIP
room with bottled water and packaged chocolate chip cookies.   Upon arrival
at the Azores via their two hard-rubber tenders, we were served our
beverage of choice in the comfortable lounge adjacent to the dining room.
For the next hour we were informed about the Tubbataha Marine Park by park
staff. Azores Captain Randy Wright provided an introduction to the boat,
diving, and the staff.  DVDs helped make the presentations interesting,
but I was getting mighty hungry!

We got underway immediately after the briefings for the overnight 10-12
hour, 92 mile motor to Tubbataha, in the Sulu Sea, near the heart of the
coral triangle.   Trips are only made March to early June because of the
typhoons, high seas, strong currents and surges the rest of the year.  
Azores is a 107 foot vessel, very stable, and the crossing was smooth.  
There are 8 stateroom accommodations for 16 passengers.  Two of the rooms
are above decks and more spacious.  I shared my tiny room which allowed my
new acquaintance and I to pass only in one spot.  A slightly larger room
across the hall only held one person who also paid for a single willing to
share.   We eyed it with increasing envy as the days passed.  Our room was
scrupulously clean, carpeted even on the walls, mattress firm and sheets
and towels soft.  There was an abundance of fresh potable water and no
warnings to conserve, which is unusual on liveaboards.   Most of us made
use of the lounge area to watch movies or Capt. Randys streaming undersea
life photos or to make use of the excellent array of Identification

Five dives per day and plenty of food were offered, at a typical schedule
for liveaboards: 06:00 continental breakfast available, 07:00 dive 1, full
breakfast, 09:30 dive 2, snack, 11:30 dive 3, lunch, 15:30 dive 4, snack,
18:00 dive 5-dusk, dinner.  There was not a night dive because of the
strong variable currents and safety issues being so far from land.  Azores
used to provide EPIRBS, but they were deemed unreliable due to frequent
flooding.  They are on the tenders and the mothe ...
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Subscriber's Comments

By rskuhn at Sep 16, 2013 23:04 EST  
Great report - Thanks much !!
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