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Dive Review of Atmosphere Resort in

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Gaylyn Franz, CA, US (1 report)
Report Number 6490
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Palau, PNG, Australia, Carribean, Hawaii, etc
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
Water Temp
81   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minute dive max  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
There are no fresh water rinse tanks on the boats.  The resort has fresh
water rinse tanks and a large room for you to setup your gear
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
5 stars   
3 stars    
The dive operation was run very professionally.  The dive briefings were
thorough, the dive guides (majority) were extremely knowledgeable and could
find AMAZING little stuff (thanks Richard and Gabi). Though we had 5 days
of unlimited diving, it was a challenge to get in 4 dives a day, let alone
5, so I would not recommend that package.  The dive staff were extremely
hard working schlepping your gear to and from the boat over the sand. 
Though that was positive, the negative was sand in regulators, broken
"pokey" sticks, and a free-flowing reg on our last dive due to
sand caught in the reg.  The dive staff would check out your gear but they
have a "no fix" policy.  The diving is done from the traditional
boats which you need to get on via the beach.  Being a petite 5' 2",
the water would be chest high without waves.  The week we were there the
seas were pretty rough so I got a couple of face full of water just trying
to navigate to the ladder.  Our dive buddies and my hubby were taller (6')
and they also had a little struggle.  If the seas were calm it would not be
a big deal.  You do a backward roll off the boat which is very easy.  The
majority of diving is muck diving and man made reefs.  Though we saw some
great things, it got a little tiresome after 5 days.  I highly recommend
going to Apo island as the coral is beautiful.  Do NOT expect to see large
schooling of any type of fish.  It isn't here.  Though they have the marine
reserve (small and only 8 years old) there is still a lot of fishing going
on around it.  The diving was very easy and would be great for a beginner,
only a few sites with any current.  We couldn't do the day trip (via boat)
to see the whale sharks due to the rough seas, but the resort did offer a
van to take you to snorkel with them.  It left at 5:30am and returned
around 2pm and cost approximately $100 (whether you went via van or boat).

As for the resort.... the rooms are large and spacious and you get your own
purified water dispenser.  The shower is outdoor which is nice, however
there are no mats so you almost kill yourself coming back into the room
with the tile floor.  The outdoor bathtub was good in concept but not in
reality as the paint was chipping off and I wouldn't use it for a bath. 
However it was great for cleaning my wetsuits! 

The food was 5 star to 3 was very inconsistent.  When it was
good, it was VERY, VERY good.  When it was bad, it was ok.  However if you
had any issue with your dish, the chef would come out and ask you what was
wrong and attempt to fix it - so in all a very positive experience.  The
curry dishes and local food dishes were always excellent, so order those
and you can't go wrong. 

The one thing I felt at atmosphere was getting 'nickle and dime'...which is
so 2000.  Most luxury hotels/resorts bundle in stuff and raise their rates
slightly to cover it.  For example, if you wanted tea after breakfast, you
had to pay for it.  There are no coffee/tea facilities in your room. 
Sounds picky, but as one reviewer wrote, you just left breakfast and you
have to pay $3 for a pot of tea which is a Lipton teabag and hot water! 
Also expect to pay at least 5x for everything - a beer costs 21 pesos at
the store, but you will pay 110 pesos at the resort. A $5 bottle of wine
will cost at least $40... I could accept 3x, but not 5x...though I did buy
3 bottles while I was there ;-) .  Recommendation -you pass a huge
mall/grocery store from Dumagutee airport to the resort - pull over an pick
up a few bottles of wine/beer/soda and put them in your fridge  Wish I 
knew that! 
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