Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Fish 'n Fins/Rose Garden Resort in

Fish 'n Fins/Rose Garden Resort: "Stunning biodiversity, pristine reefs, many large pelagics and turtles", Aug, 2018,

by Marshall Kirk McKusick, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 10382 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We chose to dive Palau due to its rave reviews on Undercurrent, and were not disappointed. We had a truly magical 8 days of diving with Fish N' Fins. We booked a package with them in advance, including 2 dives per day, accommodation at the Palau-owned Rose Garden Resort (with fully-cooked breakfast), airport transfers, dive shop transfers each morning and evening, and packed lunches on the boat. NITROX certified divers can get NITROX for no extra cost. The total cost of the 10-day package was $3,500 for two. If there were enough divers who wanted to do a third dive (which occurred on 6 of 8 dive days) this is added for $65 per person extra. With the extra dives, a land tour, and all our dinners came to $5,500 for the two of us.
Fish N’ Fins: One of the larger tourist operations on the island, and also run land tours, liveaboards, and even skydiving. Do not let the size of the operation put you off. Even on the largest dive boats, our dive group was typically 5-6 and never exceeded 8. On the day with 8 divers, two divemasters were brought so that the group was split into beginners (30 min dives due to air consumption) and advanced (60 min dives). An advantage of Fish N’ Fins being a larger operation is that they can be relied upon to go come-what-may, even in rainy weather. Most of the crew were excellent, especially the local Palauan guides. Only a few seemed to be going through the motions of their job. We had several different dive guides, each of whom had a different perspective on what to highlight which kept the diving interesting, even when we returned to the same dive site. Fish N’ Fins operate a fleet of small fast boats, holding up to 12 (including crew). The fast boats got us to the dive sites in about 45 minutes, whereas we observed slower boats from other operators who took 60-90 minutes to get to the same sites. Lunches were delicious, and there are close to 20 items on the menu to choose from.
Ecosystem: Palau has been a marine sanctuary since 1959, and began instituting fishing restrictions in 1963, which have become ever more strict over time. They are currently in the process of ending all commercial fishing, apart from local fisherman, who are limited to the lesser of 5 fish or 10lb of fish per day. The result is a thriving reef with huge numbers of fish which then supports many turtles, sharks, and other pelagics. The coral is practically pristine due to the ocean currents protecting the island (so far) from the worst of global warming. Sharks are particularly prolific, being observed on every single dive. Water visibility was variable with weather, but at times exceeded 120 feet. Numerous pelagic cleaning stations dot the barrier reef, to which Mantas were regularly observed in the day time. On one dive we had two giant 16ft+ wingtip Mantas to a station. Giant anemone are everywhere, in which live many critters including families of clown fish.
Dive sites: Most of the dive sites we visited were technically in the Philippine sea, with very warm waters and long drift dives along walls. The one dive we did on the South Pacific side had noticeably colder and deeper water. Palau’s signature dive site is The Blue Corner, which has very large schools of fish and giant pelagics. The current can be quite unpredictable and strong at tide changes, and a reef anchor is required. After tethering yourself to a rock, you float like a kite in the current, watching all the fish and sharks swim by. Another popular dive site is German Channel, due to its sheltered nature inside the lagoon. While visibility is poorer on German Channel, this is a prime site for spotting Mantas, as we did on both of our dives there. Another great site is the Ulong Wall, where great shoals of Spanish Mackeral wheel about, and we saw mantis shrimp, scorpionfish, and yet more giant Mantas.
Rose Garden Resort: We cannot recommend the Rose Garden Resort strongly enough. The place is a beautiful old-fashioned wooden shangri-la with immaculately maintained gardens. Since the restaurant prides itself on its gigantic burger “man-vs-food” challenge, we weren’t expecting gourmet food. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find their chef excellent, and the menu had a wide array of delicious local and international delicacies. We were particular fans of the fresh local-caught fish, which we chose to have steamed with garlic-rice in the Palauan way. The restaurant is usually packed with locals, an excellent sign. Unlike the other foreign-owned resorts where cocktails are $15, all their cocktails are $6, and liters of draft beer are also $6. Thus, a dinner for 2, including tip and a couple drinks each, rarely exceeded $50.
Summary: We highly recommend a visit to Palau and its pristine reefs, and would recommend both Fish N' Fins and its Rose Garden Resort package.
Websites Fish 'n Fins   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Belize, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Curacao, Hawaii, California
Closest Airport Koror International Airport (ROR) Getting There From the continental USA, all flights to Palau go through Guam. You can get to Guam either via Honolulu, or Tokyo Narita

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 45-120 Ft/ 14-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions On drift dives, especially with the strong currents that can be found in Palau, very sensibly all divers have to stick together. Depth limits are not strictly enforced for experienced divers, and you may dive your own profile.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments A separate camera rinse tub is provided on the dock, but there are no provisions at all on the boats for cameras. We took to rinsing off our lenses as best we could with the drinking water and stowing the camera under the benches wrapped in a towel in the ample space provided
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 1 Helpful vote
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 450 dive reviews of Micronesia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that scuba dive. Looking for sharks, wrecks, kayaking, tropical islands? We specialize in adventures to Micronesia.

Want to assemble your own collection of Micronesia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2023 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.1 seconds