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Dive Review of Coral Divers in
Curaçao/San Willibrordo

Coral Divers: "A Good Find", Sep, 2018,

by Peter Pinkerton, NY, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 10513 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 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We visited Oasis Coral Estate in Curacao in September 2018. It is at the location of the old Habitat. We had a great package through Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas that included a partial sea view studio apartment, a mid-size car rental, daily breakfast, and 6 days of 2 tank boat dives with unlimited shore diving.
The resort grounds are lovely with well tended landscaping and a beautiful infinity pool. The landscaping attracted beautiful birds including our resident hummingbirds.
The apartment was also nice, well appointed and roomy with good air conditioning and a view of the infinity pool and ocean.The only issue with the accommodations was the shower. It was large and lovely but the drain was the high point in the floor and there was not a lip to stop the water so the water flowed right out into the bathroom and hallway. A squeegee was provided but we always had a pile of soaking wet towels. There was a television that only worked on internet. I tried to get news from the states a couple of times but could not access any so just used the Wi-Fi on my Kindle.
The car was not a midsize but a Mini Kia Picanto with a standard transmission. We were able to get 4 in it to go to dinner but it was tight. That was definitely a mis representation.
The resort has 2 restaurants and Bread and More-a bakery/coffee Shop. We were told at the office that our breakfast package was with one of the restaurants and we could not use the bakery. On day 1 we discovered that the restaurant didn’t open in time for us to eat breakfast and get to the dive boat. Eventually I found someone who told me we could eat our breakfast at the Bakery (which opened earlier). We had a good breakfast sandwich there every morning and the women were great. We ate dinner at the bar restaurant twice during the week with mixed reviews and poor service. We had a good breakfast at the main restaurant on our last day. We never made it there for dinner.
The resort and the restaurants/bars are independent of each other so we always had to carry cash to pay for things like cold drinks, snacks, or coffee. We are used to being able to charge things to the room so that took some getting used to.

Coral Divers
We were a group of 4 well-seasoned divers who have travelled the world. We purchased a dive package that included 2 tank boat dives for 6 days and unlimited shore diving. We chose to use Nitrox tanks. Some days there were a variety of people who joined us on the boat. Some days it was just our group.
We are good with air consumption and the dive master we started out with had no issue with calling the dive after 1 hour. Three of us carry cameras so we move slowly and really enjoy the environment. After the first day dives were cut short (40-45 minutes). We are still not clear if that was because some of the divers ran low on air or if it was the dive master who ran low. After complaining they allowed us to dive the full hour knowing that if someone else came up early we would use our safety sausage to surface and signal the boat. As it played out, every dive after that was the full hour with no one coming up early.
Caremi (the owner), Susi, and staff were all very nice and pleasant to work with. We dove mostly with Martin and Cat and really enjoyed their style. There were a variety of young “helper” people coming and going and it took a while to figure out that there were really 4 primary staff. We really appreciated Caremi’s flexibility when responding to our issues.
There were large lockers for gear and smaller lockers for dry things that were always accessible. There are 2 rinse tanks with no labels so people were using both of them for everything. We are used to separate tanks for masks/regulators and another for wet suits and BCs. The idea of rinsing my regulator with someone else’s peed in wet suit didn’t work for me. I did appreciate that they added some sort of antibacterial for the wetsuits but did not need that in my reg or mask.
The dive master put a rinse bucket for cameras on the boat daily but there wasn’t any at the dive shop.
Coral Divers Boat was out for repairs and we used a rental boat the whole week. It had the WORST ladder I have ever seen. Rounded, slippery steps and handholds. The steps were alternating so we could not put both feet on the same step. Getting up the last step and on to the boat was really awkward.
The dive shop did not have a captain. There was a contractor there most days. He was experienced, helpful, and competent. There was a day when the surface current and wind were both very strong and the captain had a hard time. We had a brand new and very young captain the last 2 days. We are sure he has not had any experience on a dive boat. He will need a good amount of coaching to be successful. I would start by asking him to get off his cell phone while guests are on the boat.
We had 3 different dive guides over the week. Two of them were awesome-helpful, cognizant of our skills, and organized on the boat. The third one had terrible organizational skills. He wasn’t able to set the tanks up in a logical manner, wasn’t ready to get in the water with the divers, swam quickly, didn’t know how to deal with the surface current, etc, We actually wonder about his experience diving from a boat (or lack of it).
Most of the dives were 1 way dives (sort of like a drift dive but there really wasn’t much current). That was great as we puttered along and knew the boat would be there when we surfaced.
No issues with the Nitrox, the tanks were always full and at a good %.
The House reef was very nice with multiple sea horses and other critters. Easy entry and exit and a rope to make exiting effortless.
Websites Coral Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Carribbean, Maldives, Australia, Truk Lagoon, Costa Rica, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Philippines...and lots of other places!
Closest Airport Curacao Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dives were called after 1 hour. We dove our own profile but carry cameras and dive rather shallow and slowly so no need for restrictions.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The dive master put a rinse bucket for cameras on the boat daily but there wasn’t any at the dive shop. We used the outdoor shower and then took cameras to the room for better cleaning. We had an incident with surface current and poor planning that resulted in divers being towed behind the boat. Result was damage to my strobe from all the pounding.
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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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