FAQs

Travel Planning

We strongly recommend purchasing dive accident and travel insurance for your trip. In order to maintain our reasonable cost and high level of service, we do not automatically insure your trip against the adverse effects of weather or other factors beyond our control. Your holiday represents a very large investment, and unforeseen circumstances such as named storms, injury or sickness, airline issues, and family emergencies can easily affect your ability to travel.

Diveassure: For annual combination trip and dive accident insurance.

Divers Alert Network: For annual combination trip and dive accident insurance.

Travelex: Travel protection for a single trip. You may choose the TRAVEL SELECT policy and select the optional ADVENTURE SPORTS COVERAGE upgrade which waives the policy exclusions for extreme sports such as scuba diving.

Dive liveaboard cruising is an appealing alternative to conventional land based dive vacations and larger cruise ships. We offer a richer travel experience – one that goes beyond the typical tourist sites to remote sites that only a liveaboard can reach. Aboard All Star Philippines – Stella Maris you’ll get to experience an itinerary of delicious meals and great diving in one of the most biodiverse environments on earth.

All Star Philippines operates 3 different itineraries.

  • The Tubbataha trip departs Puerto Princesa on an overnight transit to Tubbataha, a UNESCO World heritage site. Here you will explore the 2 atolls and Jesse Beazley reef. This is one of the world’s best diving destinations for its lush healthy coral and marine life.
  • Mindoro Strait: Anilao – Apo Reef – Puerto Galera trip departs Batangas and visits the best sites surrounding Mindoro Island like Puerto Galera, Isla Verde, Anilao and a visit to Apo Reef, the second largest barrier reef offering macro and abundant pelagics.
  • Transitional trips between the 2 itineraries – from Puerto Princesa to Anilao and reverse, visiting both Tubbataha and Apo Reef.

For flight planning, boarding begins at 12:00pm. Guests must be onboard and checked in no later than 6:00pm.

The All Star Philippines – Stella Maris arrives into port the night before departure so you may disembark anytime. All passengers must be out of their cabins by 10:00am but are welcome to relax in the salon, on the sun deck, or leave their luggage onboard while exploring the town before it is time to transfer to the airport.

If a guest arrives later than 6:00pm there is a very good chance the boat will have already departed. We highly recommend arriving a day early and purchasing trip insurance in the event there are issues with your travel plans or you have to cancel.

In the event you have delays in your travels please contact us as soon as possible. The U.S. Reservations Office can take your calls Monday thru Friday 9:00am-5:00pm EST at 800.327.9600 or 954.734.7111. Outside of business hours you can contact the boat directly at +63 9175501936.

We have a list of hotels that we can recommend in any of the departure points. Let us know what you want to do and see while you are in the Philippines and we’ll do our best to steer you in the right direction. Click here for hotels in the Philippines.

All travelers to the Philippines need a passport.  U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter the Philippines for purposes of tourism without a visa if they present their passport, valid for at least six months after their date of entry into the Philippines, and a return ticket to the United States/Canada or an onward ticket to another country. Check with the Philippines Embassy for visa requirements if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Local ground transfers will be provided in Puerto Princesa to and from the airport or One Manalo Hotel to the boat. For Anilao itineraries guests will need to book a shuttle or take a taxi from Manila Airport to Batangas.

It is best to check with the CDC when arranging your travel plans. Information can be found here https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

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Policies

Families that wish to join us are welcome. It is recommended that children be snorkelers or divers to fully enjoy the activities on board.  The minimum age is 12 years old. Children ages 12-15 must hold a minimum certification level of Junior Advanced Open Water in order to participate in dives. Children under the age of 15 must be under the supervision of a parent or guardian at ALL times. Our crew is most gracious and good with all ages however, the crew will not provide child care services or supervision at ANY time.

Individuals – $750.00 per person. The balance is due 120 days prior to departure. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and Discover, personal check, money order and wire transfers.

All deposits are forfeited unless space is resold. If space is resold a refund will be issued less a 5% administrative fee.

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Diving

We suggest guests have an advanced open water certification or at least 30 dives logged.  Be sure to bring your certification card (c-card) with you, we’ll need to see it.

Divers will have the opportunity to log up to 4 dives each full dive day.

Night dives are prohibited in Tubbataha due to higher currents, profile of reefs and the remote nature of the marine park. There are typically between 2-3 night dives offered on our Anilao itineraries, but these can be dependent on conditions.

Yes, nitrox is included in the price of your trip.  Nitrox is 32% and membrane blended. Get nitrox certified while on board!  The course is $270.00. A Medical Form is required.

The Philippines are an archipelago of over 7,000 island located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. The islands are within the area dubbed the Coral Triangle, considered to be the world’s most biodiverse marine environment. This area is home to over 500 species of coral and 3,000 species of fish. The diving can vary by itinerary but many of the sites are in areas with currents bringing in nutrient rich waters. In Tubbataha or Apo Reef you have the opportunity for big creature diving and the chance to see whale sharks, manta rays, hammerheads and large schools of trevallies and jacks. Puerto Galera is known as a macro capital and stellar night dives. You can expect to find frogfish, ghost pipefish, nudibranchs and more. If you’re not into macro don’t worry because you will see your share of whitetip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, turtles and barracuda. Still not sure which itinerary will be the best fit? Contact us and we would be happy to share additional information.

We have 9L, 11L and 15L tanks for guests to use. There is no additional charge for the use of the larger 15L tank however, we have a limited number of these on board so note this request on your Trip Application.

Side mount diving is possible and we can provide two 9L tanks.

Rebreather divers can be accommodated. We can provide the lime scrubbers and an oxygen tank for $100.00. A cleaned scuba tank & valve can be provided for $150.00 or guests may bring their own.

Our tanks are fitted with yoke valves, however if you dive with a DIN regulator, let us know and we can have an adaptor added to your tank.

Whitetip and grey reef sharks can be seen on most of the dives. Depending on the itinerary whale sharks, hammerheads and tiger sharks are sighted frequently but as in nature, cannot be guaranteed.

If guests wish to dive they must be certified prior to arrival. If a guest is not certified they may snorkel on select dive sites.

Guests can complete the advanced open water course, nitrox and select other specialties during their trip.

By all means, yes. There will always be a diving buddy for you. Many of our passengers come aboard as singles and it’s a great way to meet other likeminded adventure travelers who love to dive!

Due to high currents and diving from a tender, solo diving is not allowed.

Certified scuba divers need snorkel, fins, mask, and regulator with pressure gauge, buoyancy compensator (BC), u/w watch, and depth gauge.  A dive light is required for night dives.  We provide tanks, weights and weight belts.   Between fall and spring, a wetsuit is recommended.

Dive gear is available for rent including mask, fins, wetsuit, BC and regulator. Full gear can be rented for $30.00 per day or on a per item basis. Dive computers are also available. Click here for more information.

Tubbataha is very warm diving and does not typically require a wetsuit. Water temperatures can fluctuate in Anilao, but a full 3mm wetsuit is suggested with occasionally a hooded vest or a 5mm may be needed depending on the season.

Month Water Temperature (F/C) Air Temperature (F/C)
Tubbataha: March – June 79-86/ 26–30 81–86 / 27–30
Anilao / Puerto Galera: October – February 75–81 / 24–27 77–88 / 25–31

The Philippines typically offers excellent visibility and many reefs starting as shallow as 10 feet. This makes for excellent snorkeling. Certain sites can have higher currents or unfavorable conditions for snorkeling.

There is at least one dive guide per every five divers. The dives are guided and allow for 50 – 60 minutes of bottom time.

Yes, private dive guides are available for a supplement of $300.

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On Board

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free are pretty easy to work with as well as allergies so let us know upon booking if you require special meals. Please remember that you are participating in an adventure travel vacation that is occurring in a remote part of the world. Many of the modern conveniences, brands and pre-packaged goods we use at home are not available in remote destinations. As such, many special requests that are very specific may be difficult to accommodate.

Finally, if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other special life event, please let us know. Our crew stands ready to assist you in making your special day something to remember.

Motion sickness medication should be brought along in the event that we encounter rough seas. We want you to be comfortable. The boat will spend the night in calm anchorages and normally scuba diving will be done on the lee side of the islands. The best thing about a liveaboard diving vacation is that we can flex our schedule to go where the weather and conditions are best!

The chef will prepare 3 gourmet meals daily served buffet style. Guests can expect a blend of local flare along with French and Italian influence. A choice of at least 2 entrees is offered at lunch and dinner accompanied by fresh vegetables, a salad, pasta and rice. Snacks and exotic fresh fruits are always available.

Connectivity is offered when within range of a signal. Tubbataha is very remote and therefore the only connectivity is while in port. Our Anilao-Puerto Galera itinerary can offer more frequent signal, but is still limited to when in range of a tower.

The atmosphere on board the Stella Maris is always relaxed and casual.  You’ll spend your days in bathing suits and casual wear.  Bring shorts or jeans, T-shirts and a windbreaker.  Also bring a pair of sandals, hat, suntan lotion (non-oil) and sunglasses. In winter, a sweatshirt or sweater is advisable. Click here for a checklist.

All of the outlets onboard are universal outlets. Items can be recharged in your cabin or in the common areas.

Smoking is allowed in designated areas.

The only additional spending money is for onboard purchases. This can include sodas, alcohol, dive instruction or crew gratuity. Payment is accepted in cash – U.S. dollars or Philippine Peso (PhP).

The boat is equipped with a satellite phone that is only to be used for emergencies. If someone needs to get in contact with you because of a true emergency, contact our U.S. Reservations Office and we will relay the message. The U.S. Reservations Office can take your calls Monday thru Friday 9:00am-5:00pm EST at 800.327.9600 or 954.734.7111.

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Miscellaneous

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