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Dive Review of Fish 'n Fins/Palau Plantation Resort in

Fish 'n Fins/Palau Plantation Resort, Mar, 2014,

by Debbie Pasich, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 7546 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments If you’re looking for gourmet food and/or bargains, Palau is not the destination for you. If you’re looking for terrific diving – book a trip tomorrow!
We dove with Fish N’ Fins and their dive operation is pretty good. Depending upon the dive guide, the dive briefings can be anything from so detailed you can’t wait to hit the water to abbreviated crib notes. Yes, that is what I meant. Not just crib notes but the abbreviated version. Suffice it to say that at least one of their dive guides could use some training. Unlike many other dive operations, Fish N’ Fins leaves it up to you to put your gear on and off the boat every day as well as switch your own tanks between dives. Nitrox is free for those who are certified.
The winds were running north/south during our week so we were somewhat limited on our dive site choices but they were all good. “Blue Corner” was a lot of fun as you hook yourself to the reef with a reef hook so you’re flying like a kite in the current. You just hang there as you watch the sharks (black tip, white tip and gray reef) swim back and forth contemplating their prey. The corals in this area weren’t very colorful but the action certainly made up for that. The Ulong Reef area is some of the most colorful and densely packed coral we’ve ever seen. One dive will start you on the Ulong wall and finish in the Ulong channel so you get a combination of incredibly beautiful corals as well as soft corals and the predators that the currents bring in along the wall. The German Channel is the place to go if you’re hoping to see mantas. When the tidal flow is right they come to this area to feed and cruise among the coral heads which are their cleaning stations. In addition to the sharks on almost every dive and the manta ray, we saw several huge schools of fish including barracuda and snapper, fearless napoleon wrasse, spade fish, turtles, beautiful butterfly fish, numerous other tropical fish and a couple moray eels. We saw more tridacna clams than any other south seas trip we've made and some of them were in excess of 2' long! We saw only one lion fish.
The boats are powered by twin 250 hp motors and while they are fast, it still takes about 45 minutes to reach the furthest dive sites. The scenery of the rock islands is breathtaking and the 45 minutes goes by really quickly. It’s a back roll into the water and all of the diving is drift diving with the boat quick to pick you up at the end of the dive. The dive guides were extremely diligent about counting the number of people in the group – the largest of which was 13 people. Surface intervals dictated by our next dive site, took place either on the boat or on beautiful beaches with a box lunch. The food was decent and you get about 10 different items to select from for lunch.
We stayed in a “cabin” room at The Palau Plantation Resort. The room was comfortable and clean. My only complaint is the wood floors and relatively thin walls as both contributed to easy sound transference between rooms. They also have cottages which would eliminate the noise issue. The staff at the Resort were all very friendly and the front desk was really on top of their game. They knew what each guest was doing for activities and had any supplies needed (just a beach towel or a towels and flashlights, etc) ready to hand to you as you left the property. The girls serving in the restaurant were cheerful and happily provided us with pitchers of ice water and filled our water bottles with ice whenever we asked. We ate only one meal (breakfast) at the Resort finding the food to be a bit expensive with pretty small portions. Fish N’ Fins picked us up every morning so we had them pick us up early and we ate breakfast at the Bar-Ra-Cuda restaurant affiliated with Fish N’ Fins and literally right next to the dock. The food and portions were good and it gave us the opportunity to get our gear on the boat prior to everyone else arriving.
I highly recommend the trip to Jelly Fish lake. Our dive guide took us to the lake before our two dives with the intention of getting there before the crowds and it worked! It was just the 10 of us in the water and it was a very unique experience – well worth the $$!
Dining in Palau is varied – Thai, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Palau, American – you name it. Emaimelei is a little place recommended to us by a couple cab drivers as where the locals go and it was indeed filled with locals. Good food – large portions. The “Drop Off” had pretty good food but the service is simply atrocious. Trip Advisor gives Kramer’s a good rating – don’t bother. The local’s like to go to Kramer’s to watch their sports – they LOVE American football. We tried the local coconut crab and found it interesting – it really did have a hint of coconut flavor!
It’s a long haul to get there but certainly worth the travel time!
Websites Fish 'n Fins   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Carribean, California, Fiji, Honduras, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 83-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-150 M / 164-492 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions They gave desired depth and dive time but didn't babysit. If diving with two guides, the air hogs would surface with one guide allowing the rest of the group to dive longer.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 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 4 stars
UW Photo Comments No camera tank or table on boats.
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Report currently has 1 Helpful vote

Subscriber's Comments

By ALFRED E KHOLOS in CA, US at Apr 06, 2014 03:42 EST  
Thanks for the review. I'm planning a trip to Palau, a live-aboard on the Palau Aggressor, then on to Yap for a few days. I'm glad to hear that the reefs are in good shape.
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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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