from 7 reviews
National Geographic Center
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center
|18th January 2013||WATCH OUT Do not prepay||No|
|2nd June 2012||First Dive With Ocean Encounters||No|
|6th October 2009||Best diving!||No|
|19th August 2009||Noisy & touristy hotel, not good for diving||No|
|19th April 2009||Corporate and Expensive||No|
18th January 2013 by kvlay
WATCH OUT Do not prepay
Visit Date: January 2013
We decided to dive with Ocean Encounters while on a cruise to Aruba and Curacao. Our ship arrived 4.5 hours late due to weather. When we arrived all of the shops were closed and when we returned to the US I contacted this operation 3 times asking for a refund and they refused! We had no control of the ship being late forcing us to miss our afternoon dive. They did not care about anything except our money! WATCH OUT
2nd June 2012 by mvmarshall
First Dive With Ocean Encounters
Visit Date: May 2012
Not overly impressed with the organization. As others have stated, it seems a bit expensive, especially when renting gear. The trips are limited to specific sites on certain days of the week, so you have to dive with this operation several days (and maybe not consecutive days) to see specific sites.
Maik was the Divemaster and Norah the Instructor on my trip to the Tugboat. Maik was very good about pointing out things to see underwater. Norah went with the snorkelers on our trip, but she interacted with everyone on the boat.
I would highly recommend both of them, especially Norah. The shop operation was a little disorganized, but the renal gear was in good shape.
6th October 2009 by divekaren
Visit Date: June 2009
We have been diving with Ocean Encounters for 3 years in a row. The staff is very professional and the boats are well maintained. Curacao is one of the few places that still has pristine dive sites and has become our "regular" dive destination.
They do require a "welcome dive" which is just a shore dive, either on your own or with a guide from shore. This is to allow you to check your weights and equipment so there is no delay on the boat the next day. We always do this dive on our own and it is a good opportunity to check weighting before embarking on a nice shore dive. Go to the left of the breakwater and head as close to the seaquarium as possible for the best diving.
The boats are in big and in good condition. They have water and tang on board, and serve a fruit snack in between dives. They will change out your tanks if you choose - it is optional. On our boats, most people changed out their own. Fills are good, and nitrox is available.
Most of the dive sites are close by - 10-15 mins, and there are a few longer excursions to Mushroom and Klein Curacao. Be warned that the ride can be rough out to Klein - so plan accordingly. Once there, the diving is worth it. Mushroom is my favorite dive.
Once at the dock, you can get a locker (key provided with c-card as deposit). Rinse tanks and outdoor showers are available as well. They have ice cream bars in the shop which is a nice treat after diving.
19th August 2009 by LauraV
Noisy & touristy hotel, not good for diving
Visit Date: July 2009
This is a good hotel with nice rooms but it wasn't what we were looking for. We like relaxed, laid back atmosphere and nature. This hotel is far from that: people are drinking beer and drinks all day long, loud music playing on the background, spinning lessons at the gym (just can't understand why would anyone go to a spinning lesson when you have the caribbean sea and beautiful nature right next to you...?), a breakwater was built on top of the coral reef (!) > everything was kind of artificial.
Also the location was poor: the hotel is located at the end of the road and there are no restaurants or cafeterias close by. During day time there is s free shuttle to the city center. In the evening you need to take a taxi or rent a car to escape the hotel area. There are two restaurants at the hotel but you get bored to them after a while. There are also some bars at the beach but they were too noisy and crowded for us. I highly recommend the restaurant which is next to the sea aquarium (2mins from the hotel). It's an Italian place and it has an Italian cook - here you will get authentic and delicious Italian home cooking and the prices are quite low.
Also the diving operator was very touristy. They have a lot of people in the dive groups, and since the groups mostly consist of holiday divers with little experience, they make only very easy dives, nothing special. They have a weekly diving programme, same places every week, and they don't take customers' wishes into account. The dive masters didn't seem to care much for the nature: they touched the corals and e.g. tried dig out some morays eels from their hiding places. If you want to dive at interesting sites and feel a bit of adventure, don't go here. I recommend diving with Curacao Dive Charters (http://divechartercuracao.com/), they will take you to places where the tourist driven diving operators won't.
If on the other hand, you enjoy lying on the beach and drinking daiquiris while listening to pop music, not looking for any kind of spectacular diving experiences, you might like this place. To us, it was too artificial.
19th April 2009 by kmkraman
Corporate and Expensive
Visit Date: November 2008
Ocean Ecounters was professional but felt a little like a cattle herding operation. I think one dive had almost 20 people, and most had at least 15 and we had different divemasters almost every day. In addition, trips to famous dive sites like the mushroom forest were extra even though they were not further away, it felt very corporate. It was in general very expensive which was especially disappointing because the quality of the diving was pretty poor as far as seeing interesting and abundant sea life. Would recommend cozumel, roatan, palau, and even florida keys over diving here.