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Dive Review of Marco Vincent Resort & Dive Center in
Philippines

Marco Vincent Resort & Dive Center: "Great Muck Diving", Jul, 2016,

by Maurice J. Sheley, MD, US ( 1 report with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8986 has 3 Helpful votes.

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 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Just returned from two GREAT weeks of diving at the Marco Vincent Resort and Dive Center, White Beach, Puerto Galera. This was my first visit to Puerto Galera, but it won't be my last. The resort is perfect and the attention to detail and customer service is beyond any expectation. Puerto Galera is a macro heaven and Marco Vincent has a dive operation that can find them all. The staff is attentive, the resort is luxurious, and the diving incredible.

Marco Vincent's attention to detail and customer service begins at luggage claim in Manila. You turn over your bags and don't see them again until you reach your room and find them sitting outside your door. From that moment on you can't help but recognize just how devoted the staff is to ensuring you have a great visit / vacation. They know and greet every guest by name! Departing the airport, you travel by air conditioned van to the port (2 hours) where you board a Philippine banca (outrigger boat) for the crossing to Puerto Galera (1.5 hours). Upon arrival you are again met by Marco Vincent Staff for transfer to the resort.

Check-in was painless and included a refreshing welcome drink (Marco Vincent provides a welcome packet and required forms via email before your arrival). We were personally welcomed by Ms. Rizza Lyn Fermin (General Manager), and her front desk staff, Ms. Marianne Cay Rey and Ms. Lorgine Vigilla. After a quick shower and an excellent breakfast Ms Fermin provided my group an orientation briefing and a tour of the dive operation.

Resort:

Excellent! Five stars aren't enough. In addition to the main building, Marco Vincent Resort has a beach front bar / restaurant and a fully operational dive center. Inside the main building is a beautiful pool, the restaurant, and office, all a few steps from your room. Rooms are well appointed, the beds comfortable, and water in the shower both hot and strong. I had a single room (215) which included a queen bed, desk, couch, refrigerator (stocked with water, soda, and beer), flat screen television with multiple English channels, shower and tub. Marco Vincent also has internet throughout the resort, the beach bar, and the dive boat (if requested). Need something? Ask and it will happen.

Food

Incredible! This is the first dive trip during which I dove three or four times a day and still gained weight. Depending on the number in the group, breakfast will be either a buffet with eggs / omelets cooked to order, or an ala cart from the menu. Lunch is on the boat and fantastic. I ate lunch on the deck of Big Beth. Marco Vincent has five staff chefs with one assigned to the Big Beth. We enjoyed a full, freshly prepared lunch every day. The crew set up tables with table cloths and served via a buffet. Dinners were either at the hotel restaurant or at the beach bar. In either case, it included soup, main course, and dessert. If you didn't want the prepared dinner, you could order ala cart from the menu.

Dive Operation / Dive Boats:

Professional! The dive center has a repair facility, a camera room that provides a work space, multiple outlets, and pressurized air, with 24/7 security. Rental equipment is available and from my observation, in excellent condition. There is also a small, well stocked retail shop.

Dive gear is picked up at your room upon arrival and returned to your room (dry) on your day of departure. In between, it is maintained by the dive staff. You need only carry those personal items you need. The gear is rinsed every night and set up for diving the following morning. NITROX is available and in my case was a consistent 32%. Tank fills were always between 2950 and 3100 psi. Generally, there are three scheduled boat dives each day. Night beach dives are available. Loading and unloading is via a dock or from the beach. Neither require you wade through the surf.

The dive boat is either Lady Merci (40 foot cabin cruiser), or Big Beth (80 foot luxury dive boat). Both provide excellent dive platforms. Big Beth, however, was my favorite. Large and comfortable. Entry is either via a giant stride or, if you desire, the crew will arrange entry via the boarding ladder of which there are two. Both are stable and easily negotiated after your fins are handed up. Boarding is simple. Surface and the boat comes to you. The crew assists as you climb the ladder and returns you to your dive position and provides a hot towel and cup of ginger tea. Crew handles all cameras (be it a GoPro or $25k rig) with care, handing them down after entry or taking them before boarding. There are two fresh water stations on either side of the dive deck capable of soaking multiple cameras. If, as the case for a couple of days, there are too many cameras, the crew set up multiple rinse tanks around the dive deck to meet the need.

Depending on the size of the group, Marco Vincent will have one, two, or even three dive masters in the water. If a larger group, it will be broken into smaller groups to ensure every diver has a personized experience. We had six in our group and had at least two dive masters on every dive, often three. Mr. Marlon Albo (Dive Operation Manager) and Waren Sioco (Dive Master) made sure everything was perfect and are particularly adept at finding the tiniest critters. They know the reefs like the back of their hand and based on your interest, will find the creatures you seek.

It's hard to describe the many, many creatures and critters we saw. There were Nudibranchs of any color and size; Frog Fish from juvenile to huge; Pygmy Sea Horse; Thorny Sea Horse; Pipe Fish; Ringed Pipe Fish; Flamboyant Cuttle Fish; Blue Ringed Octopus, Mimic Octopus, Coconut Octopus; Turtles; Snake Eels; huge schools of fish, and beautiful coral; to mention a few.

Summary:

The Marco Vincent Resort and Dive Center is top shelf and has a staff (more like a family) that are committed to ensuring each guest has the best time possible. My sincere thanks to Kris Mears (Global Sales & Marketing Executive), Rizza, Marianne Lorgine, Marlon, Waren, and the entire staff at Marco Vincent Resort for a fantastic two weeks. I can't wait to return.
Websites Marco Vincent Resort & Dive Center   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Yap, Pohnpei, Marshall Islands, Japan, Mallorca, Belize, Roatan, Mexico, Little Cayman,
Closest Airport Manila Getting There Non-stop from NYC, LAX, SFO

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minute dive. Not strictly enforced.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 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 Resort has dedicated photo lab with individual work stations, outlets, and compressed air. 24/7 access and security. Large dive boat has two large fresh water tanks for cameras. Crew extremely careful when handling cameras.
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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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