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“Great dive experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Down Under Dive Shop

Down Under Dive Shop
1129 Gulf shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
251-968-3483
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118 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great dive experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

The folks in the shop and on the boat were top-notch. The captain and crew members were very professional, polite, and accommodating. They gave us their best estimates as to visibilities and conditions so that we could decide where to dive. We chose to go offshore to the new dive spot - the Lulu. What an experience! I can't wait to dive her again when their is more marine life, but just seeing the new wreck was impressive. The navy tog was also a great dive - we had great visibility - and marine life abounds.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank rcsan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Newnan, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Completely unreliable!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

My boyfriend and I were traveling to Gulf Shores in May. We called Down Under 2 weeks ahead to confirm their dive trip schedules, etc. We were told trips were twice daily, 7 days a week in May. No reservations needed, just call or visit the day before we wanted to dive. We went to the shop on Sunday and found it closed and according to the sign, would also be closed on Monday. As we were driving away, an employee came out and flagged us down, explaining that he was in the shop for "5 or 10 minutes." When asked how the diving was now, we got a smart-mouthed reply about using a "big white boat" and then jumping in "this big pond called an ocean!" We ignored this and told him we'd like to dive Monday or Tuesday. He then told us they NEVER dive on those days. We pointed out that he might want to remind all his employees of this since we'd been very specific about our trip dates and had we known that, we could've adjusted our trip. No apology was offered, just another rude comment that we must have not been clear because "everyone" knows the shop's schedule. We understand about seasonal changes and this is why we called ahead. But rudeness and misinformation is ridiculous and completely unacceptable. Obviously, we will NOT ever again deal with this dive shop. But if you do, just make sure you have a plan B.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank purplekarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Friendly service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Reasonable rental fees for tanks/weights/and dive flag. Big selection of dive gear in the shop for sale. Knowledgable of shore dive locations.

Helpful?
1 Thank Carol J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisiana
Level Contributor
88 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“No frills but safe.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

I've dove all over the Florida / Alabama coast. Some dive operations do more for their customers i.e. change your tanks, but others don't. They all work for tips. The Down Under Shop is great, the customer attention on the boat is great if you ask. I've dove with this operation before and they are very consistent, as well, as safe. The boat has two great big dive ladders which makes getting on the boat in less than ideal conditions much easier. The boats layout is really good for diving.

I'll dive with them again.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank LawdawgBR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
virginia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“This is not a customer oriented business”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

A friend and I went out with Down Under for a two tank dive trip. Partway out to the dive site, the captain stopped the boat and the dive leader spoke with us about the prediction of high swells. None were present at all where we were, so he said that they would continue on to the site; evidently the forecast was wrong. It did appear that the water was fine.

However, when we arrived at the site, the swells were much bigger. I was sick, as were several others. After we stopped, one of the leaders, who went down to tie us off, came up saying he was beat. That should have been a sign. When we went in, I kicked for all I was worth, pulling myself along the tag line to the front of the boat to where we were to descend. It was very difficult to make headway, even with the rope. My partner and I descended, counting kick strokes over the sunken bridge structure. Still, the current and swells were so strong that we came up at least 1/8 of a mile behind the boat. The swells were so large that we couldn't even see the boat at times. Swimming back to the boat was impossible. When the boat was able to pick us up, we were at least a quarter mile away. Waiting was pretty miserable as I was still throwing up in the rough water. When the boat went back to pick up three others who were waiting; it seems they had them wait so that they could get us before we got too far away, one of the lines snapped from the tension. I missed that as I had crawled onto the deck and curled up in a sick ball along with almost all the rest of the divers. The crew came around asking if we still wanted to do the second dive. Those who were alert said no; they counted the rest of us as no's as well.

I cannot believe that this operation did not tell us that they were sorry, but that the water was too rough and we would have to go back. Instead they risked divers' safety and then put it on us to decide if we should dive again. It should have been a no from their authority with a refund for the second dive at least. We found out later that dive shops up the coast had cancelled all dives that day as had fishing boats! It appears this dive shop was more interested in money than diver safety. Both dives should have been cancelled, at the very least the second one should have, and not because the divers were too sick to make the dive and had to choose that themselves. I will not use the operation again. There is a much better one two hours away--Emerald Coast--in Destin FL. That is where we went after this wasted dive day.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
7 Thank dmartha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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