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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/Breezes in
Curaçao

Ocean Encounters Diving/Breezes, Sep, 2010,

by James McBride, TX, US ( 2 reports). Report 5703.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All though Carribean, Fiji, Palau, Maui, Honduras, Belize, Cozumel, Cancun, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 86 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Typical depth of 60' max but some went deeper. DMs were strict until they felt comfortable with skill of diver.
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 5 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 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Camera bucket on boat was 3/4 tall 55 gallon plastic drum w/ fresh water. DMs made sure that briefings covered differentiation of photo and mask buckets and the whys.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Dear folks,

For the record, Breezes hotel could really use a facelift these days. I can say this with confidence based on my occupation as I am on the road two to three days per week and stay at many hotels. I arrived on Friday night and did not have hot water until Wednesday. This was due to a plumbing issue and the required part to fix had to be shipped in from somewhere else. Bottom line, taking cold showers for a few days makes for a less than stellar vacation experience. Facilities were fair and clean but definitely showing signs of age and ware. If you are looking for a dive resort or place that caters specifically to divers, I would recommend weighing your options carefully.

On a very positive note, the food at the hotel was exceptionally good and offered much variety for the guests. Being that this was an all inclusive, the chow really stood above other AI hotels that I have been to previouly. The bar had top shelf liquors and a few of the staff were real characters with dazzling personalities (ie. Norma aka "Babylove"). If you meet her, you will likely not forget the person. Amazing how someone with many challenges in life could radiate so much joy:)

As for Ocean Encounters, I cannot say enough good things about how the operation runs. This is a benchmark dive operation and follows a very professionally managed business model. The people get to know their guests personally and make sure that people enjoy themselves at whatever level of experience they may have. The DMs work hard to ensure people's safety and don't compromise when it comes to standing their ground on following good practices. They also try to make it fun, exciting and relaxed.

I felt like a VIP when I told one of the DMs that I would like to dive Nitrox on my last day and the DM called into the shop from the boat to have them blend the gas to match my specific request. It has been my experience otherwise where a typical shop reprentative (whoever it may be) will tell you 32% is what you get pal! Very impressive indeed.

Be sure to tip these guys good as they deserve every bit of the gratuity that they earn. I only wish that my own colleagues could be as team oriented as the folks of OE present themselves to be.

To conclude, the coral health of Curacao has to be high on the scale as compared to much of the Northern carribean region seems to be these days. It is quite amazing and will entertain any diver with global experience. The macro life is everwhere and can be found on every dive without exception. If you like the small critters and you like to take photos then Curacao is a place you don't want to miss.

Good diving,
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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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