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Dive Review of Neco Marine/Cliffside Hotel Palau in
Micronesia/Palau

Neco Marine/Cliffside Hotel Palau: "excellent diving operation; okay hotel", Feb, 2014,

by Peter Rae, CT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 7820.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I have been with a number of diving operations in several countries, and think I can say that Neco Marine has been overall the best of the lot. The facility, the operation, and the personnel, including the office staff, are outstanding. The divemasters (Dale and Fabio) and the boat captain (Nick) I was fortunate to have for my trips are highly knowledgeable of the Palau sites and diving procedures, and are great people as well. It was really fun being with them. The nitrox was EAN28, and I dived in a 3mm shorty.

We did repeat visits during the week to the two iconic dive sites, Blue Corner and German Channel, and that was okay since the second visit to each was far better than the first. For Blue Corner, a re-do was important because the first time we approached it against a pretty strong current and had little time/air to hang watching the sharks, trevally and bumphead wrasses go by; the second and third times were smoother, and we were able to hook on and admire for a long time the abundance of big fish that cruise past the Corner. Re. German Channel, where giant mantas commonly feed, we had not so much luck during the first visit, but were very successful during the second one, during which one particular manta made repeated passes quite close by us as we knelt on the sandy bottom. Other sites visited were Sandy Paradise (twice), Ulong Channel, Ulong Wall and New Drop Off, all of which had very nice diversities of hard and soft coral, and a wide variety of fish.

I took Neco Marine's Special 2014 Cliffside Hotel single occupancy Package (7 nights, 5 days of two-tank diving), it being significantly less expensive than the corresponding Palau Pacific Resort Package. The Cliffside hotel was comfortable enough but a little worn. The staff were very kind and attentive, but the restaurant was just okay, and the bar kept irregular hours (due, probably, to the fact that there weren't too many guests that hung around the Cliffside in the evening; restaurants in the town - Koror - will send a driver to pick you up at the various and somewhat remote hotels). I did walk over to the Palau Pacific Resort one day (the Cliffside provides free day passes for use of the Palau Pacific facilities); it is a beautiful place located in a beautiful cove, but probably not worth it if you are alone and are principally in Palau for the diving.
Websites Neco Marine   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Baja California, US Atlantic coast, Indonesia, Croatia
Closest Airport ROR (Koror) Getting There I took United from Newark, NJ, to Houston. Had to overnight there for an early United flight to Honolulu, then to Guam, then to Koror. Not bad, just took a long time.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 76-80°F / 24-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-150 Ft/ 12-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions we didn't go below 90 ft., and the average depth was about 50 ft.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments No camera tank on the boat, which was okay. My one grouse was that several times at the end of a day I was only able briefly to hose off my photo equipment, as there were often wet suits in what was said to be the facility's camera rinse tank.
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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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