• 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

Packing, Travel, Resort Info, and Diving Tips for the SB SURGE 2019 to Curacao

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Surge 2019 Curacao' started by ROXANNE, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113

    Packing, Travel, Resort Info, and Diving Tips
    for the ScubaBoard SURGE 2019 to Curacao


    Well, we are getting closer SB SURGE 2019 to Curacao!!!!!
    I thought we could touch base on some of the great ideas and info
    that everyone has on preparing, packing, travel, the Resort and dive related tips.
    For some this is old hat, so share your knowledge.

    I’ll get things started… Here are some of my tips and info.
    Any new info that I update to these 4 initial posts along the way will be in GREEN,
    so you won't need to search for changing information!

    General Travel Info
    Anytime you are traveling outside of your normal area, it's good to check
    CDC Destinations/Travelers Health Info

    While we have no issues that necessitate recommended vaccinations you should always consult with your doctor prior to leaving the country.


    Curaçao Tourist Board
    Map of Curacao
    Map of Curacao

    Downtown Map
    History and Culture of Curacao
    History and Culture of Curacao


    Travel Checklist
    I have a travel checklist that I keep on file and printout for each trip. We'll send it out in the next email and you may use it if you like or make your own list. The list includes everything that might be needed. If there's something on the list that doesn't apply to this trip, I just cross it off. I also include things to do like stopping the mail, newspaper, contacting your cell provider if you want service there, and calling the credit card companies to inform them that I will be going out of the country so they don't cut you off in mid-trip.

    It's also a Good thing to start packing early, in case anything needs to be serviced or repaired before you go.

    DON'T FORGET These Items when Packing!

    Airline tickets/info
    for going and return flights
    Bay Adventures Travel Vouchers for the Resort and Diving Reservations.
    All voucher have been mailed out. One part is for your transfers to and from the airport if applicable. One part is for your ResortRoom Reservations. And One part is for Diving if applicable.
    Passports (I also make a copy of it and put it in my carry on)
    Driver’s License or if you don’t have one, some other form of picture ID.
    Diving
    Certification Cards or E-Cards (I also make a copy of them and put it in my carry on.)
    Oceans Encounters Diving Waiver - Print, fill out and bring with you along with the diving vouchers from Bay Adventures, and your certification cards to check in at the dive shop once you are settled into your room. (Skip the 2nd page if you're not using Nitrox)
    DAN and Health Insurance Cards
    ScubaBoard Waiver
    (Cardzard has emailed it out to everyone. Please print, fill out and bring with you to the welcome party.)
    Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always good to have cash. Small Bills (1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s go a long way) (Some of the restaurants or shops don't accept credit cards or $100 bills if you plan on venturing out on the island.) Visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for current rates for those traveling other than from the US.
    Prescription Medication (Keep it in the prescription bottle with your name on it) And always bring a few days extra in case you have travel delays along the way.
    Over the counter medications and first aid items that you may need.
    Please keep in mind, we are on an island and many items are not readily available.
    Especially allergy medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction. A med pack for traveling with items such as band-aids, sports wraps, Benadryl, Imodium, Advil, bug bite cream etc. is a good thing to have.
    Sunscreen (Try to use products if possible for the coral reefs health)
    Sunscreen (my favorite Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen.
    Hats
    Bug spray
    (Insect repellent is recommended and is also sold at the resort.) Near sunset and sunrise are the worst time for mosquitoes) Here are a few products, www.reefsafesuncare.com. Here's a comparison of the Best Insect Repellents with Deet. Also, don't leave your door open or you may invite them into your room.
    FYI Did you know that if you put hand soap on a bite right away, leave it on and don't scratch it, many times it will alleviate the itch and swelling.
    Woolite or those all-in-one washer sheets if you plan on washing the funk off your clothes or dive wear in the sink/tub. Especially great when you're staying longer than a week.
    Clothespins and lightweight rope. They help when hanging items up for drying and to keep them from blowing off the porches.
    A light jacket, it goes on the plane with me as well. (Many of the airports and sometimes the planes can be very cold.)
    Tennis Shoes if your planning on going on Island excursions. Much of the island is very rugged with cactus and spiny plants.
     
    Moonie and Dish like this.
  2. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    Airline Travel
    Due to current security measures, you'll need to allow more time for check-in, security screening, and boarding flights. Please check with your airline prior to departure for the latest recommended arrival times and security guidelines. It is also recommended you have a government-issued picture ID available at all times, as well as a printed itinerary if you're using an electronic ticket.

    U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport.

    CARRY ON ANY ITEMS THAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE.
    Any items that you couldn't do without such as prescriptions, contacts/glasses, ID’s, Credit Cards, Cash etc., carry in your personal item or on your person, not in your carry on. Sometimes a carry will be moved to checked luggage if they run out of room and you don't want to be without those type of items.

    Please Check with your Airline for specific rules as to what's accepted, size and weight limits for luggage and procedure for checking in, as these seem to be changing constantly. For anything in question or in liquid form, check with your airline.

    I recommend carrying on -
    ID’s, Credit Cards, Cash etc.
    Prescription Medication
    Prescription Glasses/Contacts/Mask
    Jewelry/watches
    Any Cameras/Phones/Electronics/Housings
    Rechargeable batteries in individual cases or bags
    Your Regulators
    Dive Computers
    Dive lights (take batteries out or for rechargeable lights, put in locked mode.)

    Making the most of the luggage weight restrictions and packing
    (Don't forget, Men and Women are allowed to have a personal item purse/backpack/briefcase/man purse in addition to their carry on. Make the most of it!)
    I have a large purse that I use just for flying. The personal item is not weighed, so it's great for a few heavier items. Just make sure the items you put in your personal item can be carried on and not needed to be placed in checked luggage.
    (Again, please always check with your airline.)
    Think about lightweight items when packing. Inexpensive t-shirts (like Hanes or fruit of the loom) are very lightweight, come in multiple colors, are great for shore diving cover-ups and can be left behind if you shop too much in town. Lightweight dresses, shorts, and tops are great for the ladies. Think khakis or other lightweight fabrics instead of jeans.
    Shoes can weigh a lot also. I wear my tennis shoes on the plane as they weigh the most.
    A light jacket, it goes on the plane with me as well. (Many of the airports and sometimes the planes can be very cold.)
    A personal travel hand scale is an invaluable tool so you don't have surprises when getting to the airport on your flights.

    Put your name, address, and phone number inside all your bags including your carry on and personal item in case they become lost or separated from you.
    If you're traveling with a partner, put some of each person's items in each checked bag. That way if one of the bags get lost, you still have some of your things.
    If a solo traveler, try to fit in at least 1 extra of your undergarments in your carry on. Outerwear is easier to purchase if your bags arrive late or are lost, but trying to find undergarments for purchase can be more difficult.

    Travel from Airport to Hotel
    Round trip airport transfers are included in your package to and from the airport to Sunscape Curacao Resort.
    You should find the details in your travel vouchers from Bay Adventures.

    Weather Forecast to help you decide what to pack (Average weather info)
    Average yearly temperature is 80 - 84°F (27.8°C), water 78 - 80°F (26.7°C), rainfall 22 inches, humidity 76%, sunny all year round. Just north of the equator, Curacao always enjoys the advantage of daylight for 12 hours.


    I also want to remind everyone again of the importance of getting Hydrated before
    and staying hydrated while traveling. Winter is already a drying time for most of us.
    The typical air cabin is exceptionally dry and dehydrating.
    At around 12 percent humidity, it is drier than you will find in most deserts.
    You do not want to start your vacation off dehydrated.

     
    Moonie, Dish and drrich2 like this.
  3. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    Sunscape Resort Amenities

    Our Resort Host Sunscape Resort, Spa, & Casino Website
    Sunscape Resort Map

    SUCUR_UVC%204.16.jpg


    The Guest Rooms are equipped with
    Private balcony or terrace
    In-room mini-bar with soft drinks, juice, bottled water & beer
    Flat screen cable TV
    Air conditioning with individual climate control
    Coffee/tea maker
    Alarm clock
    Daily maid service
    Hair dryer
    Iron & ironing board
    In-room safe
    In-room kid’s amenities such as gaming consoles (available upon request and subject to availability)

    WIFI is now FREE resort-wide as of Sept.!

    DINING & DRINKS

    With four à la carte restaurants, a buffet, and a café, you’ll enjoy grilled seafood, Italian, Asian, and mixed cuisine with select areas providing food and snacks 24 hours a day. You’ll also find kid-friendly menus and healthy meal options — and reservations are never required *except for the Asian Grill.

    A LA CARTE RESTAURANTS
    (These 4 à la carte restaurants require long pants and sleeves for men at dinner)
    (Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not allowed for the men)
    BLUEWATER GRILL (Mix)
    Hours
    Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Dinner: 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

    DA MARIO (Italian)
    Hours
    Dinner: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

    HIMITSU (
    Pan-Asian)
    Hours
    Dinner: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
    * Reservations required for Teppanyaki Grill Tables before 3 PM.


    OCEANA RESTAURANT & BAR (Seafood)
    Hours
    Dinner: 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.


    BUFFET
    (No sleeveless shirts for men. Shorts are allowed for men. Women must wear a bathing suit wrap or cover-up.)
    WORLD CAFÉ
    Hours
    Breakfast: 7 a.m. -11 a.m.
    Lunch: 12:30 p.m. -3 p.m.
    Dinner: 6:30 p.m. -11 p.m.

    CAFE

    (No sleeveless shirts for men. Shorts are allowed for men. Women must wear a bathing suit wrap or cover-up.)
    COCO CAFÉ
    Hours
    Café: 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Late night bites: 11 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    BARS & LOUNGES
    Sunscape Curaçao has bars and lounges serving international and domestic brand beverages, soft drinks and natural fruit juices. Whether you’re cooling off in the pool, enjoying a meal or visiting our lobby, you’re never far from your favorite cocktails served without limit or expected gratuities.
    Barracuda 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Bar adjacent to the Bluewater Grill
    Manatees 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Main pool swim-up bar
    Oceana Bar 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Bar at Oceana restaurant
    Rendezvous 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Main lobby bar offering cocktails and spirits
    Sugar Reef 10 a.m. – 1 a.m. Main pool deck bar.
    Starlight 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. Sports bar and music lounge

    CASINO
    The Princess Casino, located right on site, offers guests and locals plenty of adults-only fun from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. (Sunday-Thursday) and 10 a.m.to 4 a.m. (Friday & Saturday).

    WATER SPORTS
    Sunscape Curaçao has the largest resort beach on the 38-mile-long island.
    Included
    Kayaks
    Non-motorized watersports
    Paddleboarding
    Three swimming pools including the main pool with a swim up bar, a quiet pool, and a children’s pool.
    Outdoor adults-only whirlpool

    DAILY ACTIVITIES
    Beach volleyball
    Rock wall climbing
    Two tennis courts lit for night play (tournaments and lessons are arranged when we have our visiting pros)
    Foosball
    Movies on the beach
    Horseshoes
    Bean bag toss
    Bocce ball
    Sumo wrestling
    Bouncy Boxing
    Board games
    Dance, Papiamentu lessons
    Golfing* (at a nearby championship golf course)

    *Additional costs may apply.
    In addition to the above amenities, your experience at Sunscape Curaçao includes:
    Complimentary shuttle to and from Willemstad twice daily (Monday - Saturday) to shop, explore, and enjoy the floating market.
    Explore the vibrant and culturally diverse capital city of Willemstad. Distinctive architecture, museums, monuments, and world-class shopping await. The shuttle departs from the resort twice a day, Monday - Saturday
    Excursions are available at the activities desk.

    NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT
    Mondays are Curaçao Day with folkloric lessons and shows
    Thursdays are Boulevard gala night: Dancing under the Stars
    Fridays join us for our Talent Night when the staff and guests show the best they have
    On other nights of the week enjoy beach parties, mini Carnaval parades and even game shows where you can participate!
    * Nightly entertainment is subject to change without notice.

    EXPLORER'S CLUB
    The Explorer’s Club for Kids (ages 3-12) offers supervised activities daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. so mom and dad can have some alone time and peace of mind:
    These programs are supervised by Red Cross CPR certified staff members and run by experienced entertainment teams.

    CORE ZONE TEENS CLUB
    The Core Zone features games, sports, activities, and entertainment geared to teenagers (ages 13 - 17) from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    SERENE SPA

    Immerse yourself in a world of pampering and tranquility while enjoying breathtaking ocean views. The Spa at Sunscape Curaçao includes a steam room, sauna, massage cabins for doubles and singles, hydrotherapy circuit, and beauty salon.

    FITNESS CENTER
    Hours: 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.

    ADDITIONAL INFO
    Water
    - All the water at the resort is safe. I suggest drinking only bottled or can drinks when outside the resort and wiping any moisture from the tops to avoid having any health issues. I also like to avoid ice and frozen drinks when outside the resort. You should always be conscious of what you are eating and drinking when you are outside of your normal routine and country.
    Electricity North American standard layout and voltage of 110 volts(60 cycles), so adapters or transformers are not required for U.S. and Canadian appliances.
    Laundry service is available -
    The Sunscape Tipping Guideline All taxes and gratuities included.
    (Tipping is personal if you feel you would like to tip for the service the staff provided for the week.)

     
    Moonie, jsisemore, Dish and 2 others like this.
  4. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    Diving Tips
    Our Diving Hosts Ocean Encounters Website
    Ocean Encounters Brochure & Dive Map
    SURGE Dive Teams and Boat Rotations New Thread
    Oceans Encounters Diving Waiver - Print, fill out and bring with you along with the diving vouchers from Bay Adventures, and your certification cards to check in at the dive shop once you are settled into your room. (Skip the 2nd page if you're not using Nitrox)

    Check Out Dive

    If you arrive early enough on Saturday, we recommend that all divers, regardless of experience and level, take a welcome dive from shore after you have checked in with the dive shop.

    Sunday - Friday (Time will be posted at a later date) Boats depart for a 2-tank AM dive.
    Tanks, weights, and weight belts are included.
    The resort has a wet gear room with open lockers. The gear room is locked in the evening after a certain time. You may also take your gear to your room and use the outdoor patio that all rooms have to dry gear.
    Remember the resort has 24/7 security.


    Shore Diving at Oceans Encounters

    The diving tanks are available at the dive shop. You may use the ladder for entry or take a giant stride from the dock. Tanks are available between (info coming soon).

    Pointer sticks are allowed only for pointing out critters and as tank bangers, please do not use them to touch coral or animals.

    Solo Diving is not allowed under any circumstance.

    No Dive Gloves are allowed at any time on any dive.

    Zero Contact Rule in relation to the flora and fauna is in effect in all dives.

    Lionfish hunting is not permitted by guests in general.
    (They do have a Lionfish Scuba Dive Experience available at an additional cost.)
    Water Temps and Visibility Water temperature are around 78 - 80° F, with average visibility 70-80 feet. Water Visibility varies based on the site, but is generally very good and can range from 80 to 120 feet or more.

    Skin or Wetsuits?
    Warm tropical weather is the norm.
    Water temperatures are around 78 - 80° F, with average visibility 70-80 feet. So if you're one of those divers that are on the cold side or planning on doing a lot of diving, you might want to bring your 3- 5 ml. wetsuit.

    Camera care
    A lightweight cooler bag is a great way to carry those bigger underwater cameras and the smaller ones too on the boats! They give the camera some protection and are easy to fold up for packing, lightweight and rinse out easily. I have also found the little neoprene drawstrings bags with clips are great for protecting your Go Pros on the poles or trays.

    Hair care I use Scuba Do Rags to keep my hair under control. If I don't keep my hair braided and covered like that, It would just be shredded. I also like to put some biodegradable condition in it while dry before covering it. I use Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen leave in conditioner. Some kind of covering is great for gals with shorter hair and guys to keep their heads from getting sunburned too. Unless you're bald, it very hard to put sunscreen on your scalp.

    TIPPING GUIDELINES - DM's and Ocean Encounters Crew Tipping will be done at the farewell party at the end of the week. If you feel a staff member deserves a little extra, you can give that extra to them directly but please be aware they will be sharing in the total tips collected. Ocean's encounters will provide you with an envelope at the end of diving on Thursday with a list of the dive sites. Please use this envelope for tips at the farewell party and for any comments, you would like to give as to their service they provided from your stay.
    We always feel tipping is a personal matter. A general guideline is a starting point of $5 per tank to your DM. Please tip what you feel appropriate for the service that Ocean Encounters provided for the week.


    Other tips
    Bring a thumb drive to share photos or to enter the Underwater Scavenger Hunt Contest.

    This is a good time to get your gear serviced! If it's new or has been serviced, you might want to get in a pool session/dive in and make sure it works.

    Get yourself hydrated before the trip and stay hydrated, but don't overdo it. Drinking smaller amounts of water throughout the day is better than just guzzling a glass or 2.

    We like to use baby shampoo for mask defog.

    My feet get blisters and take a beating while diving multiple days, so I wear the thin socks. They also help your feet slip into your wetsuit!

    A waterproof bag for the boat and a pelican box or other waterproof case for shore diving come in handy for keeping things dry. A gear bag (one with wheels would be great) to help you transport your gear back and forth from the dive shop area to the shore diving area or to your room.

    Found this article and thought it might have some helpful tips for your ears and diving. :D
    Ear Clearing 101

    Some asked about their Save a Dive Kit (Spare Parts) We have a full-service dive shops available from our hosts. You'll find they really go out of their way to be helpful there. I would just bring some basics for the boat, O rings, mask strap, tie wraps and elastic bungee etc. I would also include a spare battery for your computer. You may not find your type batteries there so I prefer to have one handy.
    Please keep in mind, we are on an island and many items are not readily available.​


     
    Moonie, jsisemore, Dish and 1 other person like this.
  5. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    Feel free to add your tips or ask questions.
    Any new info that I update to these 4 initial posts along the way will be in GREEN
    so you won't need to search for changing information!
     
    Moonie likes this.
  6. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,383
    1,627
    113
    Hi Roxanne,

    This line from above does cause me a little anxiety:
    "(These 4 à la carte restaurants require long pants and sleeves for men at dinner)"

    Oh well, I will have to pack a pair of dockers for the trip. I like wearing nice shorts to dinner with a Tommy shirt or nice guide shirt. By the end of our Great Surge Adventure, that pair of dockers may be dirty. Hopefully not stained too badly from 7 nights worth of dining.

    thanks,
    markm
     
    ROXANNE likes this.
  7. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    No worries Mark, you can dine at the buffet all week and wear your shorts. You only need pants for the a la cart.
     
  8. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,383
    1,627
    113
    Oh no way, I am eating at those A La Carte restaurants. They sound really good! Buffet is OK but I like a variety of experiences.

    thanks,
    markm
     
    ROXANNE likes this.
  9. Dish

    Dish Are you for Scuba? ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: High Plains of Colorado
    289
    379
    63
    @markmud , if you go to the Sunscape website, check their dining and bar page and select hours and info you will see the required dress code for each restaurant.

    Of note, they disallow flip flops. I don’t believe that this has been mentioned, so bring some sneakers or dress sandals.
     
  10. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,383
    1,627
    113
    Hi Dish,

    Yes, we did that before I posted.

    It is what it is.

    I am glad I found out today rather than at the resort while waiting to be seated.

    thanks,
    markm
     
    ROXANNE and Dish like this.

Share This Page