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Dive Review of Sam's Tours/Palau Pacific Resort in

Sam's Tours/Palau Pacific Resort, Apr, 2009,

by David Dornbusch, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4783.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Fantastic 7 days of diving. Had a boat exclusively for our group of 5 most days. Never more than 8. Jade, our dive guide, was one of the best we've ever had, letting us dive as we liked, pointing out what I never would have seen by myself, such as tiny red crabs I could barely see even with my magnifier, leaf fish, and a baby shark tucked deep inside a hole. 2 manta rays together, many sharks, turtles, free swimming morays, sweetlips, schools of snappers, jacks, numerous schools of barracuda (hundreds), clouds of pyramid butterflies, 5 ft. giant clams, nudibranchs of all sizes and colors, napoleon wrasse, humphead parrots, leaf fish, lion fish, and a nudi that Jade said, "I never saw that one before." Most dive sites were extremely plentiful with huge varieties and schools of fish as well as hard and soft corals, all living up to Palau's reputation for bio-diversity. We hooked into Blue Corner and were dazzled for nearly an hour on three dives, watching a parage of fish of all sizes, some in huge schools of a dozen varieties. Snappers were scraping themselves against the reef sharks like, "who can touch the meanest kid on the playground and get a way alive?" Jellyfish lake every bit as fascinating as its reputation. Do it between your 2 dives and miss the after-dive crowd.

Palau is everything its reputation and pictures say it is. The dive sites are almost all 45 min. to an hour away, but accessed through a beautiful maze of limestone lush islands. The live-aboards might access more, and more remote, sites. But, I got as much as I wanted and more at Blue Corner, the manta cleaning station in German Channel, and a half dozen other wonderful sites.

The walls drop to beyond where you want to dive. We stayed above 80 ft. and extended all our dives to over an hour.

Sam's had excellent equipment, very well maintained. Service was great, even rinsing and hanging out our wetsuits and putting them back on the boat ready for us in the morning.

Palau Pacific Resort is extremely comfortable, even luxurious, with wonderful plentiful breakfast buffets of fruits, pastries, etc. and eggs, pancakes, french toast to order.

A few bugs, but no biters, not even at sundown. But, make sure to bring rain gear for the dive boat! And not just a shell. Take something with warmth. 85 degree rain is comfortable on land, but not in downpours hitting you at boat speed for 45 minutes. All the dive masters have full length coats with hoods. It rained off-and-on for 3 out of our 7 dive days (mostly on for one day), but the rain influenced our choice of sites only one day. 7 days of diving was perfect.

Get a massage. There's a blue & white place on the right heading north from the town center. It has terrific masseuses from China. Can't recall the name. But, if you ask for a cab driver named Ninus, he'll know the place and get you the $40/hour massage for $30. All the women and men in our group loved it. Nadine went twice. Visit the acquarium on your day off. It's small but excellent. Ask about their coral cultivation project.

For dinner, do not miss the Taj! Our group agreed that it's the best Indian food we've ever had, including everything we've tried in the Bay Area. Next best was the Penthouse. Forget Rock Island. I know it has good reviews, but the food was only fair to bad. Kramers was plentiful, but only good to fair. Nice setting though. Dragon Kai for Japanese food only fair to poor. We tried rock crab or mangrove crab every place we went. Neither is particularly tasty without a good sauce, which was wonderful at the Taj. Same for lobster. Did I mention the Taj? We went there 3 of our 8 dinners in Koror and still talk about our dinners there as much as we mention the diving. I know, I know - "Bay Area foodies."

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Red Sea, Fiji, Sipidan, Great Barrier Reef, Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, Turks & Caicos, Tahiti, British Virgins, Puerto Rico, Bahamas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Really no restrictions. Our group of 5 agreed to maximums of 80 feet and profiles that gave us an hour or more for every dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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