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Dive Review of Crystal Blue Resort in
Philippines/Anilao

Crystal Blue Resort: "Great Macro Photography!", Oct, 2016,

by Tim, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 9323.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 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 Excellent destination for diverse macro photography. The resort caters to dive photographers with its dive guide “spotters”. As with any destination, Mother Nature’s cooperation can make a huge impact on your experience. We arrived during a typhoon and were happy that we only missed the first day of diving. It seems the dive sites visited by this resort are fairly resilient. The macro subjects are why we came here and we weren't disappointed: Cuttlefish eggs, Rhinopias, Cardinal Fish with mouths full of eggs, Pygmy Seahorses, macro shrimp and nudibranchs of every color imaginable were some of our favorites. Maybe because our focus was critters we were limited to sites where they thrived; but we did not see any large fish or schools during our trip.

All of the staff were courteous and happy to accommodate any special requests. The resort is well laid out on a bay-front hill – so there are stairs. The rooms are adequate, but nothing special. Bring your own entertainment. The common areas are very nice. The food was great the first couple of days, but lacked variety and became very monotonous on a 10-day trip. There is no pool and nobody swam in front of the resort while we were there.

The staff takes care of your dive gear from the time you arrive and cleans it after your last dive. Check your own Nitrox. Dives are planned for 70-minutes and they do have 100’s for those who need a little more air. CBR has an equipment rental shop if you aren’t packing your gear or have something break. It is mostly muck diving. Because most of the sites are in a bay or channels, there can be a current. For the most part the dives were very easy.
The dive sites are 20-minute or less via the unique Philippine dive boats. The boats are "functional", we found them acceptable for the amount of time we had to spend on them. We usually went out for 2-dives at a time and SI was spent on the boat or on shore. A couple of times we had 4 divers, but normally we had 2 or 3. Coffee, Hot Chocolate, water and cookies are served between dives.
Night dives are available.
Websites Crystal Blue Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving California, Hawaii, Florida, Cuba, USVI, BVI's, Belize, Honduras, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, La Paz, Indonesia, Chuuk, Palau, Fiji, Egypt, Saba, Dominica, St. Maarten, Bahamas
Closest Airport Manila Getting There LAX to Manila, 3-hour van ride

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-60 Ft/ 6-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments All of the guides are known for their ability to spot macro subjects. They are trained to look for the habitat with the highest probability of finding the stuff you are looking for. Our guide, Edgar, was exceptional. Combined with Mike Bartick’s guidance and assistance, we were thrilled with the images we took from Anilao.
There is dedicated fresh water rinse tanks for cameras, compressed air and a well appointed air conditioned camera room. Individual stations have plenty of power outlets and lighting. The room is locked in the evenings. It is near the dive locker at the base of the hill, so it is best to plan what you need to avoid multiple trips up the stairs to your room.
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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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