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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters West/Hilton Curacao in
Curaçao/Westpunt

Ocean Encounters West/Hilton Curacao, Aug, 2011,

by Michael Gallay, NJ, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 6166.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Antigua, Bonaire, Cozumel, Aruba, Isla Mujeres, Nassau, Florida Keys, South Florida, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Providenciales, Grand Cayman
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Boat Diving was in groups with divemaster. Once competence was shown we were allowed to roam as long as we stayed in sight and were there for a safety stop after 55 minutes. Unsupervised beach diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 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 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 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The dive operation is top notch, with very mature, experienced and professional dive masters. Ocean Encounters West is a separate operation from Ocean Encounters, located at several other sites on the island. Boat diving is available and worth it for sites inaccessible or difficult to access from land, such as Watamula, which is 5 minutes away and a spectacular dive. Beach dive from the facility is Alice in Wonderland, which is great and worth more than one tank. The boats are well set up and the captains are very experienced. Perhaps because of the distance from town, most of the divers were proficient and things went smoothly even when the boats were loaded to capacity. Excellent customer service and the manager, (Brian) takes a personal interest in his customers and their experience. Overall, the diving rivaled our experiences in Bonaire and Cozumel in the last several years.

Unforunately we stayed at the Hilton, which is a 40 minute drive to OEW and which is a sub-standard facility for the brand. Divers would be happier at Lodge Kura Hulanda, which is adjacent to OEW or All West Apartments, which is nearby.
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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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