Myself and a friend stayed at La Rascasse for three nights and two days of diving. Both me and my friend have done a fair bit of travelling and diving around Indonesia and South East Asia so have reference to compare the place to.
On the first day we were asked if we wanted to do wall or muck diving, we said wall. On the first day we were taken to dive a wreck, which was ok and then a site that appeared to be where all of Manado's plastic waste ends up. The reef was degraded and mainly rubble with nothing to see. I felt bad for our dive guide as he was trying hard to find stuff that was mildly interesting to point out but to little avail. I am not sure why La Rascasse think this is an acceptable place to take paying customers. We decided not to even bother doing a third dive that day as the previous dive had been so poor. Neither of the sites we were taken to were walls as we requested so not sure why they bothered to ask what we wanted to do in the first place...
The main thing that spoiled my visit was the other guests, they were returning guests who were very overbearing in what the group was to do... For example which dive sites we visited, what time the boat was to leave, they also did ridiculously long, deep dives, mounting up deco and coming back with empty cylinders, this meant that all the other divers on the boat had to wait for them and also had to do long surface intervals, only being able to get back in the water on their say so.
My main issue however was the complete lack of respect for the reef shown by guests... People wearing gloves and touching EVERYTHING! On several occasions I saw divers grabbing onto corals and sponges literally breaking them in half, lying across branching corals in order to take photos, mimicking a sex act on a sea cucumber causing it to extrude it's insides and one guest even attempted to "ride" a turtle. La rascasse really need to enforce responsible diving and respect for marine life! Plus remind their guests that it is actually prohibited to wear gloves within a national park.
The food was pretty average, but there was plenty of it. On the first day when asked what we wanted to eat we were very clear that we did not eat fish. Despite this everyday we were brought fish which we did not eat. The chef then seemed offended and actually asked us of we did not like his food. This was embarrassing and really we should not have been put in such an awkward position in the first place.
Our dive guide was good and clearly wanted us to have an enjoyable experience, after the first day he could clearly sense that we were not happy with the other divers and managed to sort out for us to be on another boat.
Our second days diving was a much more enjoyable experience, we dived the walls of Bunaken Island which were phenomenal! Beautiful coral and sponges, 26 turtles (some the same size as me!), sharks and eagle rays.
When it came to paying we wanted to pay by credit card, an hour before we were due to leave we were told we had to travel half away across town (half an hour in traffic) to pay in some random shop by card. Really it would have been easier to pay by cash if they had told us in advance that paying by card was such a hassle.
One of the few positives about this place is that it is extremely cheap.
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