debi - Bluewater Dive Travel



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Reviews (1)

Crystal Blue Resort


I'd done my research, but still wasn't sure of what I would find at Crystal Blue/Anilao. I was not disappointed by the hotel, staff or diving. The diving was phenomenal and made up for the travel time in getting to Manila. This trip was part of the Blue Water spring photo workshop. This was the first visit to Anilao and first photo workshop that I have participated in.

Food - variety of food and quality was very good. Not five star meals, but very tasty and satisfying and plenty to eat after diving. Enough selection that everyone had something to enjoy, including vegetarians (and other food restrictions were accommodated). Open air dining room, and with fans/breeze very few bugs to annoy you. This is the only area that has wifi, but was also where people hung out between diving. Wifi worked very well while we were there, a number of people used skype/facetime to call home.

Rooms - Well maintained, and what you see on the website (superior). I'm used to sharing a king size, so the beds seemed pretty small, but with two beds, we used both. Large shower and enough space on the sink counter for our toiletries. no TV but didn't really need it or have time to watch anything. Massages were nice and cheap.

Diving - Great set-up for cameras (now I'm spoiled). Camera room with individual stations with AC and power at each station. Bring your camera down and dunk in 2 big rinse tanks that were for cameras only (another set on the other side for gear rinse), leave it on the table beside the rinse tank and your boat crew will take it to your boat.
Panga boats are a neat experience and crew helped you get into your gear, changed your tanks, and helped you get into the boat (with our without gear - preferred without gear), and handed down cameras. Helped you up the ramp to the boat ... helped with everything you wanted/needed. Went out for 2 dives morning and 2 dives for afternoon and sunset. or skip a dive and just let the boat know so they can be close to pick you up or drop you off.

Dive Guide - not a dive master, a guide. He helped you find all sorts of macro subjects. We would be working on a shot, and he'd be calling us over to another subject. Help set-up the subject for shots. I wouldn't have found half the critters I did without him, as he knew what could be found on the different dive sites.

Critters: ribbon eels, flamboyant cuttlefish, frogfish (multiple types and multiple fish), blue ring octopus, mantis shrimp (peacock, pink eared), pipefish, pygmy seahorse, ornate pipefish, crabs (orangutan, candy, …), filefish, gobies, shrimps… and nudibranch (lots of different nudibranchs)

The workshop was well run, and kept us hopping. Review photos between dives and review them as a group in the morning before diving. After lunch workshop on different topics, and mostly focused on macro as that was the majority of the subjects for the week. Afternoon/Evening after diving ask questions or get help from the pros from Blue Water and Crystal Blue's Mike Bartick.

Visited on 05/2016 - Submitted on 08/15/2016
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