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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/All West Apartments in
Curaçao/Westpunt

Ocean Encounters Diving/All West Apartments, Mar, 2010,

by Cynthia Franklin, KY, US ( 1 report). Report 5461.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving This was or first dive trip after becoming OW certified.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Boat dives were 60 minutes max, with surface intervals of 60 minutes.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Separate bucket onboard for cameras

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We researched this trip thoroughly, and could not have made a better choice for our first dive trip. Please see the Jan 2010 report for All West/OEW, it is spot-on.
We rented an apartment for the week at All West. It was roomy and immaculate. All of the apartments face the ocean, and we had a wonderful ocean view from our balcony. We were warned upon arrival to keep belongings locked up and use the safe. We did so, and never had any problems or felt the least bit uncomfortable in Westpunt. There is access to dive facilites on site for shore diving, and All West uses Ocean Encounters West as their dive shop.
OEW is only a couple of minutes away by car, or you can walk the shortcut. Even though this was our first trip, I am comfortable saying that OEW is a top-notch operation. They were accommodating to us newbies and still attentive to the more experienced divers. The gear is in terrific condition, and the attention to safety made us feel at ease. We had two dive masters on each trip, and the captain stayed aboard. Entry is giant stride off the stern. The dive boat Palavos holds 20, and we had at least 12 on each dive, but even with 18 it was still comfortable. The cabin gets wet on the rides out and back, but you can move to the bow to stay dry. The crew brings around snacks and drinks during surface intervals. They were all very professional, but still a lot of fun. Our fellow divers were usually a mix of American, Dutch and German with varied experience. All seemed to have a great time.
We dove Playa Kalki, Mushroom Forest, Sponge Forest, Watamula, Henry's Hole, Alice in Wonderland (shore dive in front the apartment), and snorkeled the Blue Room and the wreck at Jeremi. The coral was beautiful and the assortment of tropical fish was stunning, with lots of schooling fish. I have to say that was my favorite thing - to stop and upright myself and spin 360 degrees in a school of brilliantly colored fish! We saw a huge variety of small fish, a flounder, a small school of barracuda, morays and a slippery lobster in the Blue Room.
We made reservations via email with Bea, and she took care to answer all of our questions and concerns. She and the apartment owner, Louis, even arranged delivery of an anniversary gift basket at my request. Once we arrived, our introduction to the island was perfect - dinner the first night at Sol Food, where Sunshine sat at our table and gave us tips on what to do and see, and she even gave us a printout of these things. The food was great - you must try her homemade pizza! She's only open Fri - Sun, but it's worth it! You can't miss Sol Food - it's between All West and the OEW dive shop.
I would absolutely recommend All West and OEW for any level of diver, and to anyone looking for a wonderful relaxing holiday.
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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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