Star Rating System

Questions and comment about scuba diving and snorkeling
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Nidge
Getting Hooked
Getting Hooked
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:45 pm
Location: Derby
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Great Britain

Star Rating System

Post by Nidge » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:38 am

Hi Steve,

Just been checking out your star rating system for some of the dive centres and I think you need a fresh review (not sure when they were last reviewed?).

Looking at the table of dive centres for Region 1 and, if I were a stranger to diving in Tobago, I would be guided towards R&Sea Divers or Undersea Tobago, as they have the highest level of stars. I would be less inclined to dive with Extra Divers, as they have fewer stars.

However, reality and experience provide a different perspective and I would like to offer my experience having recently dived with Extra Divers (Crown Point).

Markus, the Manager, is a highly professional, friendly and experienced diver running an excellent centre and team. He will pick up guests from their hotel and drop them back off at the end of the diving day. The dive team and staff are friendly, the dive centre is well managed and the equipment in excellent condition.

Please note (and update your rating accordingly) that ALL dive sites in the region are available with Extra Divers, subject to tides and weather/sea conditions. Each day we had the opportunity to discuss where we would like to dive that day, and (subject to the above and qualification levels of other divers) our requests were catered for.

In addition to covering every dive site in the region of Crown Point, and both the Western and Eastern parts of the island, upon request Markus can arrange visits to their dive centre in Speyside to enable divers to dive this region (which has the best dive sites in Tobago). My partner and I took advantage of this option twice during our stay and recommend it to other divers.

With regard to safety (I note here also that Extra Divers have not been awarded a 5 star review) that I can assure you that safety is of paramount importance to them. I am an experienced diver, I have dived around the world, and I have the utmost confidence that Extra Divers had my safety as their central philosophy at all times.

I should also point out that Extra Divers are the centre that other dive centres run to when things are going wrong with their own operations. For example, on several days we had divers from R&Sea Divers who had been transferred to us by R&Sea Divers as the engine of their boat had shut down and they didn't have a spare part.

Another experience was having a dive guide from Undersea Tobago dive with us (it was the November public holiday and Extra Divers required additional staffing support). The guy seemed more interested in making sure his dreadlocks were protected then he was providing a dive briefing. As soon as we entered the water he shot off (with 4 divers left in his wake) and proceeded to dive against the current for 30 minutes. This action can result in divers becoming short of breath, using up air rapidly and panicking, which can have serious consequences.

I would never recommend diving with Undersea Tobago if this was the level of Dive Guide they provide. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that if this Dive Guide was representative of the level of safety that Undersea Tobago provide, I cannot agree that they deserve their 5 star rating.

On a final note, if prospective divers to Tobago are reading this, I would advise staying in Speyside if diving will be your main activity while in Tobago. The quality of the diving and dive sites is the best on the island.

All the best,

Nigel

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