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“2nd Great Time with Andrew & Mikey” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Eco Dive Barbados

Eco Dive Barbados
Bridgetown, Barbados
(246) 243-5816
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Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“2nd Great Time with Andrew & Mikey”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

I had my second dive experience with Eco Dive a few months ago. Having looked at some of the reviews here, I thought I could 'balance out' some of the less positive ones.

A previous review says: “Andrew doesn't "babysit" and actually, he doesn't. On my first dive 2 years ago, as a newly qualified diver, I was a little surprised at the relatively large spaces between us. He doesn't babysit, but he does expect everyone to be professional and competent and behave responsibly. Is that a lot to ask? If you do have a concern though, he will help you as much as he can. On my first trip with him, for the first time ever, I felt sea sick. Andrew helped me by assisting me with my preparations to get in the water, keeping me calm, reassuring me that all would be well when I got a few metres deep (it was!) and reminding me of the briefing and safe descent procedures (it's hard to concentrate on anything when your uppermost thoughts are that you're going to empty your stomach over everyone). Does that sound like someone who doesn't care about his guests, or who would abandon them?

Another review says “Choose another Dive Shop” and makes several quite critical comments. I don't recognise Eco Dive and the experience they provide from those comments. They do have a small boat, but they don't travel very far in it, and as someone who has now suffered sea sickness several times whilst diving from boats, I don't find the boat insufficient. He only takes a maximum of 6 divers, and the boat is adequate. (Get it in perspective - you're on the boat for 20-30 min each way, consider the size of your plane seat where you might be sitting for many hours). Andrew is careful about the amount of stuff taken on board because wet feet, a rocking boat and a cluttered floor (deck) are a recipe for trips and falls and injuries. As for the other comments, Andrew takes good care of you, and that includes carrying everything on/off the boat and washing you down.

The dive trip this time was planned around what we all wanted. There was one diver who had dived with Eco Dive many times, and 2 USA men who were visiting Barbados on a cruise as well as myself. (the last time I dived with ED there was only 4 of us then) It wasn't dictated where we were going, but after we all said what we were hoping for, Andrew made a suggestion and we all enthusiastically agreed. Every other operator I've dived with has always had a set destination, and there's never been any discussion about it.

Andrew does I suspect, have a short tolerance of people who expect guarantees about the wildlife they will see, the sea conditions, dive site etc. Its not possible to do that and sadly, being unwilling to do that is sometimes reported on here as being awkward, unpleasant etc.

I suspect he also has a low tolerance of people who do silly/dangerous things and who exaggerate their abilities. Sadly, I've met quite a few of these kind of divers myself whilst diving abroad and I can imagine the problems and frustration of dealing with them every day, knowing that ultimately you're responsible for their safety and for others they may endanger. So, if he comes across as being a bit strict with rules etc, then bear in mind he's trying to ensure that EVERYONE gets back on shore safely. The first time I dived with him I must admit he came across a bit strong, but bear in mind he didn't know me or what silly things I might do to endanger me, him, or the others. After the dive though, he was much more affable. This time around, it was totally different from the start. Maybe it was because we were all more experienced divers.

If you talk with Andrew you will find he is very knowledgeable about the area, wildlife, and diving, and passionate about it all. He has good admin, with my pre (and post) visit emails being dealt with first thing the next day at the latest (bear in mind the timezone difference), good dive briefing, snacks/drinks on the boat, good equipment, and in short, will do everything he can to ensure you have a great time.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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“Just Right”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

I dove with Eco Dive Barbados in May 2014 at the end of a Royal Caribbean cruise - dived St. Lucia the day before. Having dived in a few great spots (Australia, Thailand, Mexico, Pulau, etc) along a variety of dive operators, Andrew's operation is among my favorites. Andrew: Knowledgeable, Conscientious, Responsible, Courteous. I have read most of the reviews here. It seems 99% of the reviews are stellar and only a few negative. To comment on the few points of negativity:

1. The boat is not that much smaller than many of the dives I've been on and the time it takes to get to the surrounding reef is extremely short.

2. Andrew was explicit when he said that if you stay a long time in one location or wander off on your own, he will assume you know what you are doing. Let me just say this. Andrew states at the beginning of his dives that he is in no rush whatsoever and that he will go slow. He held to his word. If you are staying so long in one place that you completely lose the group in a dive location that you've likely never been to, well that is irresponsibility on your part and you should know better. I was highly observant and Andrew was definitely keen on watching out for the group the entire time.

My time with Andrew was a 2 dive trip to Shark's Point and a ship wreck. For each dive, Andrew and the staff were extremely helpful (fins, mask treatment, etc.) and punctual at the pick up and drop off at the cruise ship.

If I'm back to Barbados one day, I will 100% dive with Eco Dive Barbados as long as Mr. Western is running it.

Visited May 2014
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Ashburn, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The Perfect Choice - Barbados Diving At Its Best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

I dove with Andrew while on vacation spanning 12 - 22 May. I had the time of my life. From the pickup at Ocean 2 Residences, to the drive through Bridgetown to meet the diveboat dockside, to safe storage of my dive gear at each days end, to the snacks and good conversation at surface intervals, topped off by outstanding divesites and customer service, EcoDive was the best choice. Andrew kept it low key and professional, and permitted 1 + hour divetimes for almost all of the dives I did. Mikey was a stalwart as boat captain.

All dives were very relaxing, stress free, with each affording lifetime memories. From the SS Stavronikitas, to the 5 wrecks in Carlisle Bay, Shark Bank, The Fort, and others, highlights included morays, turtles, jacks, parrotfish and other 'players', along with abundant coral formations in amazing colors. That's why we dive!! The wrecks, usually not affording penetration, offered glimpses of cargo holds, passageways, screws (props), abundant schools of fish; each wreck unique in its own way. In closing, you can look at other diveshops, but in this case, EcoDive Barbados 5 STAR / "Excellent" ratings are surely warranted from this Master Diver. I will be back.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
O'Fallon, Illinois
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

My husband and I were coming in on a cruise ship and booked directly with Eco Dive for scuba diving. Andrew was very prompt in replying to all my emails and answering all my questions.

On the day we arrived in Barbados, he was waiting for us at our predesignated meeting place. He informed us his boat had just broken down. He had made arrangements for us to dive with one of his Divemasters using another dive shop he was friends with and trusted (Rogers Scuba Shack). You could easily tell he was disappointed over his boat breaking down and putting us into that situation. We were there to dive and we knew Eco Dive had excellent reviews. If Andrew felt comfortable putting us with Rogers Scuba Shack, then that was fine with us (besides we'd done our research ahead of time and already knew Rogers Scuba Shack also had good reviews).

Andrew drove us over to Rogers Scuba Shack and introduced us to Eco Dive's DM Mikey. Andrew stayed with us the entire time we prepared for our dive. Eco Dive sets your gear up for you, although we elected to set up our own gear. Once it was ready, Mikey carried it out to the dive boat (there is no dock so you have to wade through the water to get to the dive boat). Andrew took the items we didn't want to get wet, and locked them inside the office for safekeeping.

On the boat, Mikey took good care of us. Since we were on another company's dive boat, we were at their mercy for where we dove. However, we dove with only Mikey and did not have to dive with the rest of the divers. We would dive in the opposite direction and then the boat would pick us up wherever Mikey told them we would be ending our dive at. So once we got in the water and separated, we actually never saw the other divers which was very nice.

Mikey was very good at finding interesting things underwater to point out to us. We saw turtles, rays, and spotted moray eels. On the boat, Mikey provided us with plenty of water to drink and granola bars to snack on during the surface interval.

After returning to the dive shop, we were provided with fresh water for rinsing our gear and there were spots available to hang it to dry.

We battled some sea sickness (even after taking Meclizine) and Mikey told us about Stugeron which is available over the counter but is not available in the USA. After we were finished diving, Mikey took the time to drive us over to Eco Dive's shop and gave us a few pills of Stugeron to try on our next dives (which we did and felt just as good as if standing on dry land even when we were in very rough seas - thank you Mikey!). He then drove us back to our cruise ship.

Although it was a bummer Andrew's boat broke down, they way he handled the situation was very commendable. He did everything he could to make sure we had an enjoyable experience and discounted our dives due to the inconvenience. We were very appreciative that he did not just cancel the dives and instead made sure we were still able to go diving. If we are back on Barbados in the future, we will definitely get hold of him to dive again!

Visited June 2014
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“great choice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

Andrew will take care of you. Extremley helpful ,nice,not in a hurry and the most important he takes no more than 6 divers for the same price as other dive shops that take many more.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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