P-Dub

P-Dub

My Dive Map

Reviews (3)

Sea Passion Hotel

4
4
5
3

The Sea Passion is a comfortable hotel, centrally located, with good views, a nice white sand beach, accommodating staff, and some descent food. The Japanese restaurant located on the second floor was good enough. Not great but a overall good value with the portions large. The Tempura I can highly recommend. You are provided a lock box behind the front desk counter instead of a room safe. The free breakfast is Asian style so don't expect bacon, eggs and pancakes every morning. You will always be able to get an omelets made to order but be clear with what you want in it and confirm your choices by waiting to see that the contents are as you ordered. Fresh OJ most mornings. Coffee was fine. Sometimes they will have pancakes, or waffles or french toast. Sometimes bacon, sausage, or hot dogs. It is what it is and it is included with your room so bear that in mind. Good enough for us and we have experienced PPR. Clean rooms but the walls a bit thin. Overall a good value and worth going back to

Visited on 06/2013 - Submitted on 02/15/2014
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Sam's Tours Palau

5
5
5
5

My wife and I dove Palau once before and were disappointed with the operation that we went with.
On our next dive trip to Palau we decided to give Sam’s a try to see if they would fare any better. We were very, very pleased with our decision!

We were happy with every aspect of Sam's Tours. A boat came by to pick us up from our hotel every morning. When we arrived on the first day I was blown away with the size of the operation and staging area. Each boat was able to tie directly to the dock so there were not hordes of people trampling from one boat over to the next. On our past trip with another outfit, it was a nightmare having boats all rafted up and all sorts of people scrambling over your gear to get to their boat. There was tons of room to set up and move around. The rinsing area was large and easily accessible. The area where you get weights and other gear you might need is organized and easy to navigate. The storage locker where you store you gear for the night is HUGE, clean, organized and SAFE! The gals at the front desk whisked us in and out in a matter of a few minutes. The boat assignment list was on a eraser board right outside the check in desk, easy to read, in big bold lettering. The tanks were already there on the boat with the correct valves correct size and nitrox. The whole operation was a smooth as silk and we hadn’t even left the dock for the dive. Within 20 minutes we were checked in, got our weights, loaded on the boat, tested our Nitrox mix and heading to the dive site.

We had the same dive master and captain for all our dive days. Jay-C (aka Jay-Z) was a consummate professional. Cool, calm and confident. Diving was relaxed and fun. We were paired with divers of the same ability levels and actually got to choose where we wanted to dive. For the first time diving on Palau I felt like I was on vacation from the moment we arrived at Sam’s dock to the day we left. Everyone was very friendly, helpful, accommodating and relaxed. The whole thing turned out to be a true pleasure.

If I were to have any gripes it would be only that we chose to do three dives per day and the rest of the boat was only doing two. Unfortunately there were not enough three dive a day divers to make a whole boat till the last day of diving and consequently the boat went in to the dock to drop off the '2 dive a day' divers. Then we were taken out, just the four of us, me, my wife, the captain and Jay-C. We had to dive inside the reef for two days, on wrecks, in less than ideal visibility. Ideally, we would have preferred to dive outside the reef but we understood. The final day of diving we had a full boat of eight divers all doing three dives. The last dive of the day and the trip for that matter was probably the best of my life, maybe second only to diving with Great Whites in the Farallon Islands, no cage. The only other gripe is I wish we got a bit earlier of a start in the day but I can hardly whine about that though.

Half of me does not want to write this review as it might impact Sam’s with more divers and I just want to have all the other divers still go with the other operations on the island. The other half that convinced me to go ahead with the review rationalizing that Sam’s deserves the business and can easily handle any uptick in the number of divers this may create.

Go with Sam’s Tours and you won’t be disappointed, I strongly recommend giving Sam’s a try. If you are a repeat visitor to Palau, you might not ever go back to anyone else, I know that we never will.

Visited on 06/2013 - Submitted on 02/15/2014
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Palau

0
5
5
3

PALAU!! Just the name alone conjures up magnificent images in our mind that we all have seen spread throughout the various dive magazines that we have all drooled over. If there is a more hyped up place to dive you will be hard pressed to find it. However, it is justified!

Palau is not necessarily an easy place to get to nor is it a budget travel destination. My wife and I are a military family stationed in Guam so we were on the assumption that the flight cost would be more reasonable from Guam. They are, but only slightly so. If you want to dive and are pining about the cost of the flight, don't, it will not get any cheaper. The only real advantage we have living in Guam is that we fly for a total of 1.5 hours versus, well depending where you are coming from, a lot or a lot more.

No matter where you come from you will be traveling through Guam and will arrive in Palau between later in the day to later in the evening. The downside to this is you have to pay for a hotel day and you have little to no opportunity to enjoy your first hours on Palau. The same applies to your departure date. All flights back to the US through Guam will be leaving between 1am and /or 3am. Therefore, you get to pay for another nights’ stay in your hotel of choice without really enjoying it. This is where the negatives end depending on the dive operator you choose.

My wife and I have visited Palau twice so far and have booked our third trip for this February 2014.

There is nothing like diving In Palau. It is “world class”! Go during high season (February to May or October / November) not peak season (December and January) and you’ll save a few bucks and still get awesome conditions. If you want big pelagics such as huge Dogtooth Tuna, Mantas, massive schools of barracuda and jacks and as many sharks as you care to see, tons of fish, exceptional reef health and awesome drifts Palau is the place. I have dove all over the world with over 3900 dives under my weight belt and the single best dive I have ever had was the Ulong area and the Ulong channel. I can’t even describe it. You are going to have to put a bit of effort in planning your trip to do Ulong channel as you have to hit it on an incoming tide at the time that your boat will be out there. IF you like Mantas go to Yap not German Channel. Better yet, go to the Big Island of Hawaii and save yourself a boatload of money and have some of the most memorable Manta experiences ever. Palau is NOT a dive destination for the newly certified unless you can prove yourself to be a competent and confident diver. The drifts can be fast and the drop-offs substantial. Visibility has always been fantastic and it is easy to get deep fast without realizing it. Take your camera if you have one and if you don’t get one. These days they have very good housed point and shoot cameras that won’t set you back too much and you won’t regret it. All the rest of the spots are absolutely breathtaking with some better than others but all offering a unique taste of the underwater world that is Palau.

Visited on 06/2013 - Submitted on 02/13/2014
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