We stayed at the Tulip Resort and the Orca Dive Centre was conveniently on site. Although this hotel is listed as one of the destinations at Regal Dive UK the cliental at the dive centre (and hotel) are mainly German and Italian, though most of the staff speak English. Most of the staff are friendly, especially the Italian lady on the reception desk, and the dives are generally well organised.
A variety of beach and boat dives are offered. The house reef is very good with depths from 15 – 40 metres with an abundance of life and a wide range of species, including turtles, surgeonfish and large triggerfish. Great for snorkelling as well as diving. The disadvantage is that the reef is a distance of 800 metres from shore and equipment is loaded on a trolley and ferried on foot by the staff. This is obviously not ideal when very hot.
What I liked about the centre was that being experienced divers my husband and I could dive together unguided and concentrate on photography.
Unfortunately, because of weight restrictions on the flight we didn’t take our own regulators and jackets, but hired them. We may have been unlucky, but we had leaking hoses on about 40% of the dives, including bubbles streaming out between the high pressure hose and the contents gauge on two occasions. I wonder if the centre was struggling to cope with the demand because although equipment was allocated it was often not in the box the next time we came to the centre. It is a pity because otherwise I would rate this as a very good centre and give it a 4 or 5 rating.
Another point is that many of the Egyptian staff did not recognise our qualification. We are both members of the British Sub-Aqua Club founded in 1953 and well known across the world. For their record BSAC Advanced Diver is the same level as CMAS 3 Star and is higher than PADI Divemaster.
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