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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/Sunscape Resort in
Curaçao/National Underwater Park

Ocean Encounters Diving/Sunscape Resort, Oct, 2012,

by Randy Kettering, IL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7123.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The hotel was under renovation and owner transfer but that was known and not really problematic. The resort had numerous free water sport activities, a climbing wall and even a trapeeze! for those so inclined. The food was served both buffet style in the main dining area and sit down style at the 3 specialty restaurants. Seating and reservations were not a problem. Beverage service was unlimited and free (top tier liquors and beer included). Rooms were spacious but dated and like regular hotel rooms (no frig or microwave) but undergoing renovation in other areas of the resort.
As for the diving
I found the dive staff to be engaging, fun, professional and very laid back. We visited ten unique dive sites. We dove our own profiles and did not have to remain bunched up. Dive master did point out seahorses and other hard to spot critters. One of the highlights occurred when we encountered a pod of dolphin on our way back to the dock. The captain turned the boat around and eventually stopped allowing us to don our masks and snorkels (for those who had them...now I know why we should have them handy) and allowed us to interact with a pod of 30+ dolphin for probably 20 minutes or so. Very accommodating!

I dove the Superior Producer as a shore dive (101 max depth) and encountered a huge grouper that allowed me to video him.

Shore diving from the resort dock was very satisfying in both the afternoon and at night; I was lucky enough to encounter two squid mating and video the 5 minute encounter. Though the dive shop would closed at 5pm, they would leave tanks available and the drying room open for night dives. There were drying racks on the dock to hang your stuff after diving; the ever prevailing breeze dried stuff quickly. Lockers with locks were available for valuables (bring your own lock if you are security phobic). They encouraged you to retrieve your gear and take it to your room but if something is left hanging at 5pm they secured it in a locked room.

I found the diving and the water visibility as good as Bonaire. The reefs appeared to be in very good shape at least in the protected National Underwater Park area. The resort is located right next to Lion Dive Resort, the aquarium and Mambo beach.

In all, it was a wonderful experience. In fact, it was so good and the value for the dive dollar so unparalleled ANYWHERE, that our group is returning 10/13. The dive staff was relaxed, the diving nonrushed and I got the impression they really wanted us to have a varied dive experience. They do have a set schedule of dive sites they visit each day but it probably does vary based upon weather conditions. The water was like glass the week I was there so we were not "confined" to repeating any dive site.
Websites Ocean Encounters Diving   Sunscape Resort

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, St Vincent, Bequia, Mayreau, Roatan, Utila, Bahamas, Cozumel, Mahajual MX, Dominica, Oahu, Maui, Key West, Sea of Cortez, Bonaire
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70-100 Ft/ 21-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions!
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments There was a small rinse bucket on board that would not accommodate a rig with two strobes. They did not instruct others that it was a CAMERA ONLY bucket and others used it to rinse masks.
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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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