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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/Breezes Resort in
Curaçao

Ocean Encounters Diving/Breezes Resort, Aug, 2011,

by Carol Sommers, IL, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6291.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Florida springs, keys and coast, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Sea of Cortez, Yap, Palau, Great Barrier Reef, North Carolina, Lake Michigan, Belize, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions time limits
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

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 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 [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Curacao is a little bit of the Netherlands next to Venezuela which made it more interesting than the usual Caribbean Islands, especially if one has a non-diving mate. I had signed up five days of two-tank morning dives and a daily afternoon shore dive. Everyone was very nice, but not as safety or service-oriented as I am used to. The boat came to our dock each morning and then went around to other resorts before going to a dive site. The first day, the pick-up was at 8 and we returned at 1 pm having done two forty-five minute dives. I was only able to do the shore dive where you needed to be on the dock at 2 pm because my room was close to the dock. Other days we got back eariler so it was possible to have lunch before the next dive.

On one trip the woman sitting next to be got up and immediately fell on the deck. This was because there was no traction and the divemaster said they had problems with the people who repaint the decks since after one month they became slippery again. This problem was known, yet there was no non-skid rug put on. My husband, who is a non-diver, rented a bicycle and as he rode away from the rental counter hit a raised pipe partially imbedded in the pavement, fell and was injured meaning he could not snorkle for days. The resort said that they knew about the danger and the person renting the bicycle was supposed to tell customers to walk the bike away from the counter. He received daily medical care from the nurse and we were given a few free meals. We did go snorkeling once, but it was quite dangerous since there were so many boats and windsurfers. When we were inside the breakwater and despite towing a huge floating inner tube with a dive flag on it, a teenager's windsurfer's boat mast fell within inches of my head.


I am very buoyant and need a lot of weight on shallow dives so asked if I could pass up the weight pouches. Ocean Encounters offered to take my bc up, but I said if they just pulled up on the tank as I ascended the last ladder steps, it would be ok. That worked out well, except that the crews changed often so at times I had to struggle up--I'm also a senior citizen now. Another diver who was 72, was never offered any help, but I don't believe he asked for it.

Everyone had to set up their own tanks for every dive. Out of 15 dives, there were two offers of help from the divemasters, but after taking them up on one offer and having my gear not set up correctly, I continued to do it myself, having to take 16 pounds of weight out of my bc every time and putting it back in after putting the bc on the new tank.

The diving was better than I expected, having enjoyed Bonaire and hearing from another diver that Aruba was really bad. The tally for the trip included 6 turtles, 8 spotted moray, 2 balloonfish, 3 lettuce sea slugs, 2 scorpionfish, an 18 inch long porcupinefish, 8 spotted drums, 3 honeycomb cowfish, and 3 squid sightings plus the usual Caribbean fish. Orange elephants sponges grew to 4 feet across. Watching a cleaner fish going all the way into the mouth of a creole wrasse several times and being spit out was amusing. There were not a lot of parrotfish and the last dive sight we were taken to was at least 70 percent covered with algae. A night dive on the Tugboat (which is about 100 feet from an oil platform with blazing lights) was well-worth the $85.00. We were able to follow the reef at night and end up at the boat which we could explore until our safety stop was due.

There were no big fish and most evenings there was a local fishing right from the resort pier. It's a shame they don't realize the importance of conservation. The Mushroom Forest was really unique to see, but the reef was not very healthy. A site called Beacon Point had beautiful pillar coral and wonderful sealife. It was necessary to be next to the divemaster in order to see special sightings and about half the divemasters swam much too quickly. The group became very strung out, especially if one wanted to take pictures or stop and watch fish. Dive briefings were super brief or non-existent. The shore dives had mostly new or novice divers and were done non-stop with a strict limit of 40 minutes. Divers had asked to see the Superior Producer wreck, but were told that it was impossible because of government restrictions.

Despite the non-perfect situation, I did enjoy myself overall and the person who booked my trip did ask for comments. I included the above information which he forwarded to Ocean Encounters and hopefully, they will improve the particular items.

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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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