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Dive Review of Crystal Blue in
Philippines/Anilao

Crystal Blue, Feb, 2014,

by Pec Indman, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 7530.

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 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My husband and I came to Crystal Blue for a two week underwater photography workshop mid-February to early March. Our flight to Manila came in at 3:00am, but the van driver was waiting for us, right we were told he would be. We got to the resort, had breakfast and checked in, and dove after a nap and lunch. Mike Bartick is the general manager and teaches underwater photo. He is an incredibly enthusiastic, fun, friendly, and helpful guy.

Our room had everything we needed and was very comfortable. Good bed and fluffy towels. The camera room, designed by Mike, was a perfect and safe place to leave everything from cameras, computers, lights. The cubby's were well light and all provided outlets for charging electronics. Everyone felt safe leaving our precious cameras there.

The dining room has big and inviting, It adjoined a lobby area with books, magazines, and fish ID books. All open air, the dining room overlooked the ocean and was a great place to watch the sunset. Often we'd leave computers and phones in the dining room while we were diving. The food was great! Chef Ray always gave us lots of choices for each meal. There were always veggies, pasta, fish, shrimp, beef, pork and chicken. Desserts were great. There was always plenty to eat, and special requests were easily available.

Dive boats were banca style, with 3 crew. Usually there were 4 or 5 divers and a Dive Master. We mostly dove with Edgar, but also with Glen and Ricky. All were incredibly able to find minute creatures. Some so small they were hardly visible to the eye. Edger even helped me at times hold one side of my new camera during it's first underwater adventure. He really made sure I had time to take all the photos I needed. The staff was very friendly, took care of our gear, and made sure we got on and off the boats (walking down a little plank) safely. I saw so many creature I'd only read about, and got pictures of most. There were gear and camera rinse tanks, and an area right there to hang your wetsuits and gear between dives. Outdoor showers (if you didn't want to just go to your room) and always lots of big towels available. My husband always inspects where the tanks are filled and the compressors, and found it spotless and well maintained.

The staff at Crystal Blue also must be mentioned. They were friendly, eager to help in any way, and so polite. If I walked into the dining room with a puzzled look, they knew I was looking for my computer, and point me right to it. We felt very safe and extremely well cared for. We have been to a few of the more expensive dive resorts in the Philippines, but we preferred the atmosphere (and the price) at Crystal Blue.

The photo workshop led by Mike Bartick and Alex Tyrrell (from England) was beyond my wildest expectations. We had daily lectures and photo reviews, meals together, and both were always available for questions and feedback. Everyone improved!

I am ecstatic! What a trip of a lifetime. I can't wait to go back.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Puerto Galera and Dumaguette, Philippines, Fiji, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 76-77°F / 24-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions We were usually diving at the sandy bottom, 70 ft. Then up sandy slope to 15 ft. Below 500 PSI.
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 3 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 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Outstanding camera room, with towels, outlets for recharging, spacious well lit surfaces Big rinse tanks for cameras only at resort. Boats were small and dive sites were close, so no real need for rinse tanks on the boats.
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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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