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Having just returned from two weeks at the Atlantis resorts...

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Invasion 2016 Philippines' started by DeputyDan, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,418
    5,267
    113
    Not sure if this applies to the Atlantis resort in P.G. or to the situation in Sabang, but when I was there the banks, etc. didn't accept MasterCard, only Visa and no one that I tried accepted traveler's checks. I only got out of Sabang when a nice couple from Hong Kong loaned me the money to pay off my hotel and diving bill. I paid them back when we all got to Manila.
     
  2. marku

    marku Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: Bisayas
    214
    26
    28
    Hi Dr.Bill and the rest of you Scubaboarders!

    Traveler's checks are difficult to cash here in the Philippines so most establishments won't accept them. Atlantis will accept all major credit cards (American Express, MasterCard, VISA). In Dumaguete, reliable 24hour access to ATM's is a 20min drive from the resort. The local ATM's will charge you 200pesos (approx. 4-5 $) though, unless you have a locally-issued ATM card. And the ATM's will only dispense local currency. Please note that only Dumaguete has reliable ATM access, Puerto Galera does not!

    Both Atlantis resorts are considered "cashless", which means that you don't have to pay cash for stuff you get from the resort's bar,retail shop, or your room's minibar, they just go on your personal bill which you settle at the end of your trip. You will need cash, preferably local currency, if you are going shopping or paying for services outside of the resort. Tipping the resort staff will have to be in cash as well; you will not be able to charge tips on your credit cards.

    I hope this helps. 2016 can't get here soon enough!

    -marco

    ---------- Post added November 18th, 2014 at 07:09 PM ----------

    Alrighty! Mr. Humann, the DeLoaches, and whoever they bring along are always welcome here at Atlantis! Their books are the most-referred to by our guests (and by us guides, too!) when there's a critter we want to ID.

    See you soon!

    -marco
     
  3. cnherrick

    cnherrick Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Jeddo, Texas
    103
    14
    18
    I take the toilet paper advice seriously - it's the same in Thailand in many cases. Always, always have a kit handy at all times with toilet paper, clean filtered safe water, bandanas, sun glasses and a wide brim hat ... and sun block.

    That and Cipro and sea sickness patches just in case.
     
  4. dlndavid

    dlndavid 私は寿司およびアジア女性を食べるだScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California Norte
    16,602
    401
    83
    Brings back memories, loved diving in the PI
     
  5. Mantawoman

    Mantawoman Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Kenosha, WI USA
    4
    1
    0
    Did you have any security concerns? I see the state department is warning travelers away from parts of the Philippines.
     
  6. cardzard

    cardzard Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Port Richey, FL
    6,266
    5,427
    113
    I have no more concern than getting behind the wheel of my car. Once Crew members reach Manilla the Atlantis Resort folks will be handling the travel. I have every confidence in their ability to make this the trip of a lifetime. I personally know multiple folks that visited both resorts without incident.
     
  7. Swordfish

    Swordfish Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila
    47
    1
    6
    Travel advisories normally pertain to the Mindanao region because of Muslim secessionist groups, and even then, not the entire Mindanao is affected but only parts of it, mainly the ARMM region and nearby cities such as Cotabato. Add to this Jolo island, the southern tip of the Philippines that's home to Abu Sayyaf bandits.

    The rest of the Philippine islands are relatively peaceful. Of course you still need to use common sense when dealing with people because there are good and bad ones just like everywhere else.

    About PG dive sites not being world-class, I agree it's not really something to write home about. The Canyons dive site can be tricky to newbies because of the strong current, but it could be an exhilarating dive. The whale sharks of Oslob, Cebu near Dumaguete are not to be missed. They're fed by local fishermen and the WWF has opposed the practice because it's unsustainable. On the other hand, whale shark ecotourism in Oslob has been going on for three or four years now. Whatever, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    For world-class diving, I suggest Tubbataha Reefs -- a Unesco World Heritage Site -- in the Sulu Sea. It's the best the Philippines can offer.
     
  8. UnderwaterBumbleBee

    UnderwaterBumbleBee Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    554
    12
    18
    Excellent info here, I'd never have known about the toilet paper thing but so glad I read this! My husband and I are looking into booking our first trip to the Philippines, haven't been diving in 2.5 years and feeling like I need to dust off some cobwebs. Thinking of 5 nights at Atlantis Puerto Galera and then onto Atlantis Dumaguete. I really wanted to book the liveaboard but it doesn't look likely that it will be heading out in Novemeber 2015 when I'm looking to go. Incidentally how is the weather and dive conditions that time of year?

    I'm an underwater photo nut and my husband is there to keep me moving along, really looking forward to the diversity of critters in the Philippines. Any other recommendations or recent feedback for these two resorts (what room types to book, etc..)? Does it sound like a good idea to evenly split the time between the two? Would like to do Verde Island, Whale sharks at Oslob and Apo Island also.
     
    ROXANNE likes this.
  9. cardzard

    cardzard Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Port Richey, FL
    6,266
    5,427
    113

    To bad you are going in November, ScubaBoard Members are going to take over both resort during the 2016 ScubaBoard Invasion & I think the liveaboard is available at the end of the event. We do currently have a room open but I do understand we may not meet you time frame. So maybe you could kindly post your experience so your fellow board members can lean from you.

    Have a GREAT TRIP, I know folks at both resort are going to take great care of you.
     
  10. UnderwaterBumbleBee

    UnderwaterBumbleBee Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    554
    12
    18
    I most definitely will give updates, on the cusp of booking everything for Nov 2015!
     
    ROXANNE and pubert like this.

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