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

April, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Larry Sandusky, ID, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports)
Report Number 903
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Florida, Mexico, British & American Virgins, Caymans, Belize, Hawaii,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 30    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
No accomodations for photography were provided - zero.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
1 stars    
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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Other dive reports on Sea Ventures Dive Centers

All Puerto Rico Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Puerto Rico
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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