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Dive Review of Sam's Tours/Palacia in

Sam's Tours/Palacia: "Great Diving, Guide, and Captain", Sep, 2017,

by Dan Gowen, FL, US ( 2 reports). Report 9870.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The absolute best thing about the trip was being and diving with a group of friends, all very well-trained technical divers, who came together from around the world to dive Truk Lagoon and Palau.

Our trip leader selected Sam's Tours for the Palau portion and Odyssey Adventures for Truk. The tour arranger, World of Diving, has us all meet in Guam and inflicted Untied Airlines on us. Three times we had to transit that mess at Guam airport. Never again!

The best thing about Sam's Tours was our guide, Matt, and our captain, Jimmy (I believe). The rest of the team at Sam's was friendly and competent. They seemed to have everything we needed for configuring our rebreathers, doubles, and bailout and deco tanks. The Trimix and EANx gases were accurately mixed.

Our captain made the long trips to the dive sites enjoyable and safe. I advise divers to bring warm, water repellent gear in case of inclement-weather rides.

Each day we made three dives of 90-110, 60-75, 60 minutes. Fantastic viz, wonderful corals and animals, and enormous schools of tuna, jacks, and sharks. Of course, there were lots of turtles and mantas. This was a top trip.

The only down side for us was Sam's managers insisting that our guide pay for disown gases and scrubber. Many of our group work at dive operation and find this policy abhorent. We divers paid the fee for the guide, at our insistence, not his.

The Palacia Hotel was quite good, and with its oriental flair, had great food for a vegan like me. My non-vegan companions were happy as well. Internet, as noted in other reports was spotty, but that should change soon with the arrival of fiber cable from Guam.

Websites Sam's Tours   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Belize, Bonaire, Croatia, Florida, Hawaii, Indonesia, Kenya, North Carolina, Virginia, Senegal, Spain, Solomans, and Venezuela.
Closest Airport Koror Getting There United (unfortunately). Everything goes through Guam which means unnecessary US Customs and Immigration harassment coupled with United delays makes for a lousy voyage.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 82-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 75-150 Ft/ 23-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Visibility limited how much spread we had. The rebreather divers tended to be deeper than OC divers, but we stayed together.
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 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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