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Dive Review of S/Y Philippine Siren in
Philippines/Tubbataha & More

S/Y Philippine Siren: "Awesome Diving on a Really Good Liveaboard", Jun, 2017,

by Gary & Robin Schiendelman, PA, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 26 reports with 41 Helpful votes). Report 9644.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our second trip on a Siren boat and our first to the Philippines. We liked our first trip with them to Palau and when we decided to go to the Philippines Mike at Reef & Rainforest suggested the Tubbataha and More itinerary.

We could not have been more pleased. The diving in Tubbataha was some of the best we've ever encountered. There were so many fish on every dive site that you didn't know where to look first. Lots of big fish too. Sharks, manta, eagle rays, a whale shark, tuna, huge schools of jacks. Plus lots of really healthy coral...both soft and hard. The reef is out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to be seen except one lighthouse and a lot of other liveaboards. All of the boats did a good job of sharing the dive sites and we were rarely in the water with divers from other boats except perhaps in passing. It was a fabulous itinerary. Be prepared for some currents in Tubbataha which can make still photography a challenge. The only downside was no night dives. This is a decision by the Siren for safety reasons due to current and being in the middle of open ocean. We still did 4 dives per day with the last one being at about 3:30 pm. After 5 days of diving in Tubbataha, we motored to Dauin for some muck diving with all of the usual critters and then stopped at Oslob where they feed whale sharks and finally an additional few days off Cebu. We did 42 dives in 2 weeks and enjoyed every one! The diversity of dive sites on this trip was quite nice and just what we look for when spending 2 weeks on a dive boat. One caveat is that they do limit your bottom time to 60 minutes..sometimes stretching it for 5 or 6 minutes but never more than that.

There were only 11 divers on the boat so we were divided into 2 groups for diving. Although initially they told us the groups would rotate 1st and 2nd into the water, at one point we did have to remind them about that. The boat has a large platform used for boarding the RIB's and there were always 3 crew members to help. We boarded with all gear on but some guests had their gear loaded into the RIB. Same with the exit, some came out with gear, others handed theirs up.

All of the Siren boats are essentially the same. They're not perfect...but what is?? Some people complained that the A/C in the salon was not on...we thought it was fine with open doors and a nice breeze. Some have complained about the set up of the dive deck, but we didn't find it a major issue. The salon is a step up and tall people can't stand up..but it's fine when you're sitting down or if you're short. We felt all the important things are top-notch. Safety seems to be paramount now after some of the issues this fleet has had in previous years. The crew were very good and will give you as much or as little assistance as you require. Love that they rinse and hang your wetsuit after every dive!

Food was buffet style with at least 2 choices of main courses at lunch & dinner. Rooms are large and clean with good A/C. Water pressure in the showers was good and always plenty of hot water.

There are plenty of "luxury" liveaboards that really don't offer much more than the Siren boats. We have been extremely pleased with both trips on the Siren and this itinerary was outstanding...we will definitely consider doing this one again.

All in all, it ranks as one of our top 5 liveaboard dive trips. We would highly recommend both the boat and the itinerary. We've tried not to duplicate information you can find on the website in this review but anyone wishing more details or having any questions, please feel free to contact us!
Websites S/Y Philippine Siren   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, PNG, Solomon Isl, Red Sea, Maldives, South Africa, Mozambique, Cocos Isl, Galapagos, Socorro, Var Caribbean locations, New Jersey, Florida, No Carolina
Closest Airport Getting There Easy flights from JFK to Manila, Overnight in Manila then a short flight to Puerto Princesa

Dive Conditions

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

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minute dive times
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We had no photographers with really big set ups so there was enough room at the camera tables (inside the salon). If it was a full boat with lots of photographers, there might be an issue. They loaded your camera onto the RIB and handed it down. Post dive, they put your camera in the rinse tank.
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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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