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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters/Sunscape Resort in
Caribbean (General)/Curacao

Ocean Encounters/Sunscape Resort: "Excellent experience", Apr, 2016,

by Sterling Levie, NJ, US ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8899 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Having been diving at Bonaire many times, I wanted to try Curacao. I went with my (non-diving) wife, my daughter, and my granddaughter. We stayed at the Sunscape Resort, Curacao’s only all-inclusive resort, for the convenience of diving and easy availability of dining and activities for non-divers.

Sunscape’s design, layout and accommodations are excellent. Sunscape has five restaurants, one of which is buffet style. The food is good but not great.

The resort is attractive and exceptionally well run, and the staff are always welcoming and cheerful. It occupies a long beach that fronts a lagoon with a dive shop and dock located at one end. it has an elaborate system of pools along the beach. Various resort sports are available, and there’s a fitness center and a casino.

Ocean Encounters’ main location is at the Lions Dive Resort next door to Sunscape, where they do their certification training. They operate their dive boats out of Lions and start their boat dive trips by picking up the Sunscape divers and making the two-minute trip back to Lions for the Lions divers.

I thought the dive operation was excellent. The DMs and captains were friendly, attentive, courteous and safety-conscious. I dove from the Galaxy, Princess and Star dive boats. Divers were given a quick overview of the safety features of the boat, and there were useful briefings for each dive site. Each boat had camera and mask tubs, cold water (and paper cups), and orange wedges for the surface interval.

Divers were divided into two groups lead by dive masters on the usual out-and-back courses. DMs did a good job pointing out hard-to-spot critters. The captains stayed with the boats.

We had two-foot rollers every day. To manage group entries and exits, the boats used trail lines. A DM would signal descent when the entire group was accounted for (some DMs suggested waiting for the group below the surface). Exits were from the line—hand fins to the DM, pull hand-over-hand to the ladder, and time the rollers to struggle up.

There was one safety lapse. DMs would offer to switch divers’ gear during surface intervals, which a few divers accepted. However, the switch was missed for one diver one day. He didn’t check his pressure before jumping, and wound up making a 45-minute dive on 700 psi, thanks to buddy breathing with DMs. Moral: be responsible for yourself.

My daughter completed the open water part of her training for Open Water certification with Ocean Explorers (she had finished her knowledge and pool training a short time earlier, in Boston). She was one of a class of five. Jordi, her instructor, was excellent in every way. All her training dives were shore dives in the small, sheltered, sandy bay in front of Lions Dive Resort. The staff provided rides for her between the resorts.

When she completed her certification, I was able to make three boat dives with my daughter. She had no problems adapting to boat diving and felt well-trained for her official OW dives.

My daughter and I both had problems involving PADI’s medical forms. She had had some sinus surgery years before, and I have a stent in a coronary artery. PADI requires a doctor’s approval for diving in both instances. Although it satisfied the PADI requirement, my daughter’s approval was challenged for not being on a doctor’s letterhead. In my case, my doctor’s approval was written on a prescription form dated two years prior, which was deemed out of sequence. Both approvals were eventually accepted, and we dove without incident.

Ocean Encounters seems to experience a lot of demand, so booking very early seems advisable. Although I reserved our spots for boat diving and OW training six weeks before our trip, we initially couldn’t get the times of day that we wanted. Due to cancellations, we were eventually able to get our desired schedules.
Websites Ocean Encounters   Sunscape Resort

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Bahamas, Bermuda, East Coast from Canada to Florida, Cocos, Galapagos, Great Barrier Reef, Palau, Banda Sea
Closest Airport Curaçao International Airport, Willemstad Getting There From New Jersey one has to connect thru Miami. We experienced awful immigration service in both directions, At Curacao immigration the queue was 45 minutes long. Returning, the immigration queue at Miami was at least 2 hours long—so long that we missed our connection and had to stay overnight.

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas surge
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Guided dives using the usual out-and-back courses, usually 60 feet max.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments
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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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