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Dive Review of Discovery Palawan in
Philippines/Tubbataha

Discovery Palawan: "From Tubbataha to Quarantine Hell", Jul, 2022,

by Lisa Annaheim, FL, US ( 2 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 11972 has 3 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report


Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Room service Bellman Bars on the window Maintenance fixing the phone The facility

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The diving was amazing in Tubbataha! Pristine reefs, huge schools of fish, mantas, sharks, Napolean Wrasse, baracuda! The boat was spacious and the staff were very attentive. The food was good and plentiful. Was it worth the horrible experience we had? NO WAY!!!
We were not told about the potential consequences of a passenger testing positive for Covid while under sail. If we knew the outcome, we never would have gone on this trip! The Philippines requires a negative Covid test for non-boosted visitors. We had 3 tests prior to leaving the states (all negative). We were tested again when we arrived on the boat with a rapid test. One guest had a questionable test result, and they tested him a second time. The second test was negative. The guest was allowed on the boat. 3 days later that same guest tested himself and he tested positive.
At that point, we were told the trip would continue as planned. The positive guest would stay in his room and we had the option to test ourselves if we had symptoms.
The day before we were scheduled to arrive back in port, we were told all guests must take a rapid test. Those who were negative could leave without any problem, and the positive testers would need to be quarantined. At that point, there were 4 positives, and the remaining 17 were negative.
When we arrived in Puerto Princesa, we were informed that we would be transported to a government facility for PCR testing. Upon arrival at the facility, we were told that we must isolate there for 2 days, and have a test at the government controlled lab after 2 days of isolation. We were placed in dirty rooms with poor plumbing. The conditions were beyond disgusting. After 2 days, we were taken to a facility for testing. All but 3 guests were asymptomatic. We received test results later that day, and 16 of 21 guests tested positive. We were required to stay in this facility for another 6 days. All 27 crew members were negative. We all took rapid tests- and they were negative.
We asked to be retested, and were told there was only one place to be tested (the government facility). During our quarantine, we were treated like we had the plague.
This was by far the worst travel experience I ever had. I would not have traveled 9000 miles to be stuck in a facility that did not really care about us or our wellbeing. The boat operator never told us that this could be an outcome during our trip. We would have stayed home if we knew the horrors we had to endure.
Words of wisdom - find out about the CoVid protocols wherever you travel!
Websites Discovery Palawan   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Thailand, Tahiti, Palau, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Bonaire, Barbados, Turks, Dominica, Antigua, Florida, Bahamas
Closest Airport Puerto Princesa Getting There 40+ hours to travel from US.

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 84-85°F / 29-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions One hour maximum dive time.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
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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