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Dive Review of Sea Ventures Pro Dive Center/Dive shop only, no resort in
Puerto Rico/Puerto Del Rey

Sea Ventures Pro Dive Center/Dive shop only, no resort, Apr, 2004,

by Larry Sandusky, ID, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 903.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Florida, Mexico, British & American Virgins, Caymans, Belize, Hawaii, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 81 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 15 to 30 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Divers separated into Open & Advanced groups; Advanced given option of diving own profile, but max depth of 75 feet & poor visibility at an unfamiliar dive site made it inadvisable. Dive profile and Dive Master's attention limited to 40 minutes, after which one could cruise under boat.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No accomodations for photography were provided - zero.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments This was a day dive scheduled after arrival in PR and after prior
excellent diving at Parguera with another dive operator, some 3 hours away by car. Sea Ventures Pro Dive Center (Fajardo/Puerto Del
Rey) was chosen due to relative proximity to our hotel, West of San Juan.

However, this dive operation is a troubled one, fraught with friction between boat and shore staff. Our group of 4 divers was greeted enthusiastically at shop by David, but cost of diving was collected immediately and before we saw the boat. We arrived early for an 8:30 A.M. departure. Boat very crowded for the 12 divers aboard and had insufficient room between tanks to allow adjacent divers to assemble their gear or don tanks to actually dive.

First departed close to 9:00 A.M., and then the boat was recalled to to accommodate 3 more divers who were late for a class. Boat staff observed in heated conversation with office staff by phone, but
clearly lost battle with office staff seeking to maximize revenue.
Well after 9:30 A.M., and with the 12 divers growing increasingly angry over the delay, 3 youths and 4 parents arrive - this was 7 additional divers and clearly beyond the crowded boat's capacity. A nasty public dispute ensued over the capacity of the boat and oral reservations before the group of 7 left angrily (none of the divers aboard were sympathetic). And then the boat would not restart.

Crew apologized for office staff's behavior and took everyone to a nearby deli to buy sandwiches and snacks on Sea Ventures, a nice gesture. At 10:30 A.M., we finally departed. Speed and construction of the boat guaranteed all were drenched by the time we reached the first dive site.

Poor visibility and choppy conditions due to wind are not the fault of Sea Ventures, but neither were we cautioned about it at any time in the process. Group split into Advanced & Open Water groups and dived separately with 2 divemasters. Ours was an uninspiring guide, and kept us along sandy bottom when the reef at slightly shallower depths was far more interesting. Approx. 20 foot viz
made diving your own profile in strange area questionable. Surface interval snacks of sliced melons very good, trip to 2nd site was brief.

Divers expected to change own tanks between dives, but could ask for
assistance. Second dive site offered more fish & slightly better
visibility, but certainly not prolific. All fans beaten down by
weather, although coral was ok.

Upon our return, barrels of rinse water were provided, and staff
offered hangers for wet suits. Along with Divemaster Kim's (very
customer focused) concerted effort to make up for our disastrous beginning, we were starting to feel better about the dive operation, when 2 members of our group emerged from the dive shop angry and resentful about the behavior of one office staff member, who had launched into a tirade about how much money we spent on sandwiches earlier. Coupled with the refusal of any office staff to even acknowledge their presence in the room, this was sufficient to torpedo the boat staff's best efforts.

We spoke to the boat captain, wondering how much a sandwich and soda could possibly cost, and why it would be an issue under the awful circumstances of the morning, and he noted that it is "their problem" and then asked when we would come back. NOT SOON!

Kim had noted earlier that the owner was out of town and therefore she had no route of appeal on departure problems, but this operation appears to have a number of problems beyond his absence. This is a revenue hungry, high volume operation that I would not recommend and would not use again. Have lodged written complaint with Sea Ventures as well.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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