• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Dumaguete + LOB any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by Hoag, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Hoag

    Hoag Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Ontario - Just outside of the GTHA
    1,926
    1,657
    A (some what) local dive shop is running a trip which will be 4 days in Dumaguete followed by a week on the LOB Atlantis Azores at Tubbahata in late March/early April 2022. spots are going quickly so if I go, then I have to make my mind up soon.

    Has anybody been to Atlantis Dumaguete?

    Has anybody ever been on the Atlantis Azores or to Tubbahata?

    What was Tubbahata like? Another thread indicated that March may be too early, but they didn't say if that would be due to the conditions or the marine life.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks.
     
  2. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,360
    2,765
    Tubbataha is great diving. March may be slightly early in that conditions can sometimes make it super rough and affect diving or the itinerary due to it being on the earlier side. Sometimes it’s fine. Same with June being on the later side. Catch it in mid april to mid May for optimal, more predictable conditions. Healthy reef, lots of coral. Not as much density and color in life as some regions of Indo but still very good. Atoll diving so there are some great walls. Lots of sharks - like seeing water on a dive. Whale sharks!!!!!

    I have spoken to people who have dived and stayed at Atlantis resorts in Dumaguete and Puerto Galera as well as with the Atlantis Azores for their liveaboard to Tubs. Everyone was happy with everything but the caveat is that you are paying a premium, and perhaps unnecessarily, given the multitude of options that are available in both land and liveaboards.

    For liveaboards, I would also consider Solitude and Discovery Fleets. I did the latter and was happy. They managed the groups very well. We didn’t run into any other divers on our dives even from the same boat unless there was a whale shark.
     
    Hoag likes this.
  3. Hoag

    Hoag Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Ontario - Just outside of the GTHA
    1,926
    1,657
    Thanks. I appreciate the info, but if I go, I won't have any control over timing or what Live Aboard or any other aspect of the trip, since it is all being arranged by the dive shop as a group trip. My decision would be simply to go or not to go.
     
  4. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,360
    2,765
    Are you open to arranging travel yourself? What benefit is there in going with the shop? It’s a genuine question and you may have a great reason to go with them. I ask because it often ends up being same or more expensive than booking on your own in my experience, as the shop profits off the “free” spots instead of sharing the discount across everyone that’s going and sometimes if you try to book in on the same flights or get the package deal together it’s more expensive than piecing your own flights together. At best it is the same as what you could book on your own but at that you can pick dates you want for yourself.

    You can often times book direct with the same folks for the same base price and get your own air for same or even less without restrictive dates and itineraries that might not work for you. Additionally, if you’re able to get your own group together, you can all save by sharing the “free” spot. Just something to think about. :)

    I find the shop trips bad value for me, but I can see the comfort and convenience of having everything done for you. I suggest working with an agent if that’s the case. When I book with an agent it’s the same cost as booking direct with the convenience of someone in my time zone and with no language barriers, more payment options, etc.
     
  5. Hoag

    Hoag Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Ontario - Just outside of the GTHA
    1,926
    1,657
    I have almost always done dive trips as a part of a group. It means that I am traveling with people I know and consider to be friends. For me, this travel is not only simply diving, but also has a social aspect to the trip.

    It is one thing to go to Vegas for a weekend by myself, but a trip to the Philippines I want to be with other people.
     
    outofofficebrb likes this.
  6. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,360
    2,765
    I think that’s fair and a good reason. :) I am the same so understand. I usually grab a group of people together and do trips together regularly. Dive Tubs. It’s good.
     
    Hoag likes this.
  7. Hoag

    Hoag Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Ontario - Just outside of the GTHA
    1,926
    1,657
    Cool. Thanks.
     
    outofofficebrb likes this.
  8. Damselfish

    Damselfish ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    9,235
    1,807
    Traveling with a group can have variety of benefits. One is the social aspect, which is especially nice on a long trip to a place you haven't been yet. A downside is having to go when they have booked, when you might have picked a different time on your own.

    I've done Tubbataha on the Azores, and Atlantis Dumaguette, though not on the same trip. It's all good. If my shop was going to do this trip and I wanted to go there with that group, I'd take my chances on it being towards the fringes of the season. I think this is a matter of conditions more than differences in marine life. It is a looong crossing, and there's not much more than a couple guano covered rocks out there.

    Atlantis provides excellent service, and you pay a premium for it. They're especially good at logistics. If you were to book this trip on your own, they're good at making things as painless as possible. OTOH, we had some real, um, interesting folks on our Azores trip, which isn't something they can fix.

    I haven't found that shops charge more for their trips than the regular going rates. With info and everything so readily available it seems hard for them to do that. It's just that you may not be able to get the deal you can get via a private group trip. Or discounts that get offered closer to the trip, long after the shop booked. I don't begrudge a dive shop the free spots if they earn them - I've traveled with one shop that is great at running trips and earns it, and one shop that was actually more trouble than doing it myself.
     
  9. Hoag

    Hoag Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Ontario - Just outside of the GTHA
    1,926
    1,657
    @Damselfish thanks. By the time we will get in to Tubbahata, it will be almost a month into the season, so hopefully things might have smoothed out by then.

    One of the advantages for this trip is the flights. The good news is that Philippine Air Lines flies non-stop from Toronto to Manila (Airbus A350). The bad news is that it is almost a 17 hour flight (16+40) that crosses a lot of time zones and the International Date Line. (That is one of the big reasons that the dive shop has started things off with 4 days at Atlantis.
     

Share This Page