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Dive Review of S/Y Philippine Siren in
Philippines/S/V Philippine Siren

S/Y Philippine Siren: "Malapascua & The Visayas - 10 Nights", Sep, 2018,

by Jon Hoffmann, GA, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 17 Helpful votes). Report 10572 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Travel: When going to Asia, I generally like to arrive a couple days early to acclimatize to the time zone and provide a buffer for any travel issues. We booked rooms at the Be Hotel as the price was reasonable and the beach property looked good on the web. Would have been nice for them to warn our travel agent and/or provide notifications on their web site they were conducting renovations. Rooms were not available at afternoon check in, so we went to the makeshift bar/restaurant to wait. Slow service, tolerable food and warm beer. After being given keys to rooms already occupied, finally rolled into what reminded me of a tired old Best Western motel room. Immediately checked out and walked a couple hundred yards up the road to the Movenpick. Found a major discount on from and couldn’t have been happier. Highly recommend- great property and people. Would definitely consider it as a land based option next time I dive Cebu. They even took the initiative to contact WWDT to change our pickup to the Movenpick, which was about noon the day of departure. The van arrived promptly and it was about 25 minutes to the Cebu Yacht Club where we were given a beer while waiting for all 14 guests to arrive. There was no diving on the day of embarkation as we motored to Cabilao that evening. For the day of disembarkation, there is a wake up at 7AM, breakfast at 7:30, and all shuttled off the boat at 9AM. The airport is only 15 minutes away depending on traffic, so a noon departure from the Cebu airport should be fine. Our 12:40 flite was an excruciating wait as there isn’t much to do in the airport.

The ship: The boat is a decent size for the number of guests (max 16) and crew. A bit different that the dive deck is at the bow. But makes sense as all dives are via dingy boarding amid ship on the port side. The cabins are significantly larger than most liveaboards with 2 singles on either side of the cabin (no bunks) but can be pushed forward to create double beds. Cabins 1 and 2 at the bow, are smaller and have double beds accessible only on one side. They are also noisier from time to time as they are up against the anchor locker, but are at the end of the hall so there is less hall traffic noise. My cabin (#1) had an AC unit that struggled to keep tolerable and the head suffered from a minor infestations of tiny ants the first few days. Passengers were generally older with all being serious photographers. A nice international mix of British, Scottish, Eastern European, Chinese and US. The cruise director was British with a crew of 14 Filipinos. Most passengers had been on Siren Fleet trips before. It appears they have a loyal following. Plenty of good food, with a “dinner briefing” every night and beer, wine and soft drinks included. I definitely packed on some pounds over the 10 days. Weak cell phone reception was available most of the time, but data speeds were very slow. Plenty of camera tables with outlets, but could get crowded at times. There were assigned drawers provided for each passenger to store camera gear, etc to keep the table clutter to a minimum.

The diving: The general diving schedule calls for 4 per day including a night dive before dinner. Even though we started the trip with a new moon, there was never any meaningful current. Diving at Cabilao was mediocre but the water a warm 82 and seas flat made for a great 1st day. Then on to Panglao and Balicasag for day 2. Good diving but nothing exceptional for the area. Day 3 was arguably the best day with a guaranteed whale share dive at Oslob then on to Dauin for killer muck and night diving. The crossing to Apo island on day 3 was a little rough due to an approaching typhoon but well worth it. Apo is one of the last pristine reefs in the area. Then on to Moalboal to find shelter from the typhoon and get a few dives in at Pescadore Island. We were able to sneak a morning dive in the next day at Pescadore but then the coast guard prohibited any boats from moving so that they could dedicate all resources to dealing with typhoon related issues well north. The crew did an awesome job of trying to organize a trip to shore and provide onboard entertainment to kill the boredom of the lost diving day. When the coast guard finally allowed us to sail, the crew did their best to try and make up for lost time by sneaking in 3 dives on a day that would have normally been needed for the long catch-up motoring to Malapascua. Once in Malapascua, we crammed in 5 dives kicking off an early morning dive at Monad Shoal for the almost guaranteed thresher shark encounter. Then on to the Gato area for 4 more dives before heading back to Cebu. All diving is done from 2 RIBs. Once your BC and reg are connected to a tank at an assigned station, they are never removed or cleaned until the end of the trip, All fills were exactly 31% nitrox and always over 200 bar.
Websites S/Y Philippine Siren   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Costa Rica, Thailand, Micronesia, Maldives, Indonesia, PNG, Palau, Malaysia, Philippines
Closest Airport Cebu Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 79-83°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Usually 60 Min max
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 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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