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Dive Review of Islamorada Dive Center/Creekside Inn in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

Islamorada Dive Center/Creekside Inn: "Islamorada Dive Center, Florida Keys", Jul, 2015,

by Gregory S Bruce, OR, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 16 Helpful votes). Report 8309.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments My dive buddy and I had a last minute business trip to Florida and had the weekend free and decided to drive down to the Keys to do some diving. We requested a 3 boat (2 tanks per boat) package. So, 6 dives in total for a discounted rate of $225 and that included free Nitrox. They also provide a free dive guide on each dive, which is extremely helpful in terms of identifying the best places on the reefs to be. I felt that the customer service was outstanding in all regards. From promptly answering the phone, to accurate information given. Recommendations on accommodations and restaurants, etc. We had hoped to dive some of the wrecks in the area, but all of the dive operators in the area that dive on the wrecks on the weekends were sold out and Islamorada Dive Center only dives them on week days. The boats are very comfortable and have all of the requisite safety equipment. We did not feel cramped or as if there were too many people per boat. Very safety conscious. This is a very efficient operation. The weekend routine seems to be the following: Morning 2 tank dives start out with a deeper reef dive with a typical profile of 40-80ft. followed by a shallow reef dive in the 20-30 feet range. Afternoon dives are both on shallow 20-30 feet reefs. Dive times are time based. They will not last longer than 45-50 minutes regardless of how much air you have left in your tank. Due to the short bottom times and shallow profiles, the surface interval between dives is about 20 minutes. Again, this speaks to the efficiency of the operation and they get you back to shore in a timely fashion. Due to short surface interval, they are not offering fruit, juice, coffee, cookies, etc. Cold water is available and a cooler, if you want to bring things of your own. They do cater to spearfishermen/women and a lot of divers who hunt seem to use this operation. They do keep the groups separated though. My only suggested improvements would be the following: 1. When we arrived at the shop for day one, we filled out the requisite waiver form and filled in our certification information, but no one asked to see our cert cards to verify. 2. Our dive package came with free nitrox, but again, no one asked to see our nitrox cards or even document our certification information. They may have a reason for this, but, I think it would be a best practice to verify. Lastly, the dive sights for the most part were a bit uninspiring. The best sight was the shallow reef on day 1 called Rocky Top. It sat in just 20 feet of water. This reef is protected and the only one of the 6 that was protected from hunting and fishing and it showed. It was gorgeous and in great shape and full of life and color. Islamorada Dive Center is a good 30 minutes or so north of Key Largo. It appears that the better reefs (such as the French Reef dive sites) as well as the majority of wrecks are located closer to Key Largo, so we will likely dive from there in the future. All of that being said, I would not hesitate to recommend this dive center. We had a very good experience. We were there July 25-26. Water temps were 86-88. No need for a wetsuit. Visibility for our dives ranged from 35-60 feet depending on the dive site. Lots of typical small coral fish, lots of nurse sharks, lobster, rays, porcupine fish, Big green Moray, small spotted eels, parrot fish, one bull shark.
We stayed at the Creekside Inn about 10-15 minutes north of the Dive Center. On such late notice, it was about the only place available within a short drive distance. It was way overpriced for what it was; but it was clean and spacious and had a pool and a good location.
Websites Islamorada Dive Center   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Fiji, Cozumel, Channel Islands (So Cal), Pacific Northwest
Closest Airport Miami International Getting There Rental Car from Miami

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 86-88°F / 30-31°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 35-60 Ft/ 11-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions They will allow you to dive your own profile with a buddy, but dive times are strictly limited to 45-50 minutes. They also provide a free dive guide
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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