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Dive Review of Infiniti Liveaboard in
Philippines/Tubbataha

Infiniti Liveaboard: "Great diving in Tubbataha", Jun, 2022,

by Alice Ribbens, MN, US (Contributor Contributor 19 reports with 20 Helpful votes). Report 11959 has 4 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 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 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We had been to Tubbataha in 2016 (on the Azores) and always wanted to go back. Pre-Covid, it seemed like the boats to Tubbataha booked up years in advance. We booked spots on back-to-back weeks on the Infiniti for May/June 2022 in Feb/March. It is my understanding that the Infiniti started running sometime in 2018 or 2019, not that long before Covid. The owner is based in Washington state/British Columbia. The first week that we were on the boat was the first week that they ran after Covid and the owner was there when we first arrived. He seems very committed to getting the boat running smoothly and running a class operation. (He did not stay for the trip. I guess he was there to check on everything before the boat left.)

The diving was generally great, although we remember bigger schools of fish and more sharks when we were there in 2016. We also remember more dives with crazy currents on the previous trip so it is possible that the currents affected some of the sightings of pelagics. We saw lots of grey reef sharks and white tip reef sharks. One manta and one whale shark the second week; none the first week. Reefs are healthy. Lots of soft corals and hard corals. We're REEF surveyors and saw a lot of biodiversity in the fish species. We also saw octopus on a number of dives.

Because you are in a marine park, no reef hooks, muck sticks, or gloves are allowed.

The Covid rules were still in effect when we arrived in the Philippines (had to get tested within 48 hours of your flight departing to the Philippines) and they gave everyone a rapid test before we boarded the boat. The crew is all vaxxed and I understand they were getting tested fairly regularly. We were in one of the rooms on the lower deck, which are less expensive and supposedly not as nice as the upper deck rooms. We found it very comfortable. It had two beds that were probably slightly larger than twins plus an upper bunk. There was storage under the beds for suitcases, a desk (that we didn't use) and some sort of wardrobe with shelves and some limited hanging space. The bathroom was really big and really nice for a liveaboard--big shower, sink with shelves underneath, etc. We used the upper bunk for storage.

The mostly Filipino crew is fantastic. They put you in small groups to dive, trying to match people based on experience level and interest, which mostly works. Our second week on the boat, there was a big group from the US on the boat who all wanted to dive together so our dive group was the leftovers. Since this ended up being the 2 of us (both dive professionals) and 2 guys who had less than 50 dives, we would start the dives with the DM and them and then just kind of do our own thing. They wanted dives limited to about 60 minutes, don't go into deco, etc. Nitrox varied from about 28-33. 4 dives a day except the first day and last day were 3 dives a day. This may be related to the travel time to get to Tubbataha from Puerto Princesa so if you are doing a different itinerary, it might be different. The dive deck was very comfortable, except that it would probably feel a little crowded if the boat was full (which it was not for either of our weeks). Diving is off pangas, so you get geared up, walk down the stairs to get to the swim deck, get on the pangas, etc. The second week we were there, a bunch of people didn't want to walk down the stairs with their gear on so the crew coordinated getting dive gear to and from the pangas.

Big camera/charging room upstairs from where the dining room is. They don't want you charging anything bigger than a phone or iPad in your room. Ideally charge laptops and batteries for cameras and lights in the charging room.

There is a big sundeck with hammocks and couches one level up from the camera room. Boat is very solid and very stable but we also didn't hit any rough seas so take that with a grain of salt.

The dining room/salon didn't feel crowded. Some of the dive crew joined guests for meals. Meals were buffet style, but the food was varied and very good. Certainly better than some liveaboards I've been on. Beer/wine/alcohol is available free of charge if you are into that. There is a fancy coffee machine that makes great coffee and/or lattes. They seemed to deal with everyone's food allergies and dietary issues very well. I'm gluten free and used to just eating around things on liveaboards, but the owner apparently brought a bunch of gluten free pasta from Canada so whenever everyone else was having pasta, they would bring me my very own special plate of food.

If you do back-to-back weeks, you will likely have to get off the boat the last day and spend the night in town. We didn't plan for that, but it was not an issue to find a hotel room at the last minute--we didn't have an international cell phone plan so the assistant cruise director called a local hotel for us.

The one thing I wish I knew ahead of time: they do not take credit cards on board at all. So whatever you have to pay has to be in cash. We had to pay Tubbataha park fees as well as fuel surcharge so that was about $200 USD per person and we had to pay that right after we boarded. I did not feel hounded for tips like I have on some other boats, but if you want to tip or buy a t-shirt or anything, that has to be cash.

We booked the trip directly with Infiniti, which was a very easy process. We were able to use a credit card for the booking. They were very responsive to questions via email and had some helpful suggestions regarding places to stay, etc. Unlike some liveaboards, they were not able to help with internal flights or anything. This was a little bit of an inconvenience since we ran into some problems booking our flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa, but not an insurmountable problem.
Websites Infiniti Liveaboard   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Komodo, Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Philippines, Maldives, Palau, GBR, Fiji, British Columbia, Monterey, Puget Sound, Hawaii, Bonaire, Turks & Caicos, Caymans, Honduras, Belize, Cozumel, Akumal, Sea of Cortez, Lake Superior, Solomon Islands, St. Croix, St. Vincent, Socorro, Cuba, Lembeh etc.
Closest Airport Puerto Princesa Getting There short flight from MNL.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions No deco; dives mostly limited to about 60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments See above re: camera room. There was a dedicated rinse bucket for cameras and electronics on the dive deck. Since diving was off pangas, you had to get your camera on to the panga, but the crew helped with this. They would hand your camera down if you didn't want to backroll with it. They also made sure your camera got from the panga back to the rinse bucket on the dive deck.
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Report currently has 4 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Greg Bruce in WA, US at Jul 07, 2022 10:55 EST  
Excellent report and thanks for taking the time to write it up!
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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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