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“Great Diving Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pirate Island Divers

Pirate Island Divers
Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, 103800 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037
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Ranked #29 of 100 Activities in Key Largo
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Owner description: Pirate Island Divers - Key Largo is a PADI Five Star Instructor Development Resort offering professional PADI Diving Education, Aqualung equipment Sales and Service, and Dive Travel Services. Our boats leave the docks of the Marriott Key Largo to visit the reefs and wrecks of Key Largo. Come walk the plank with us!
Waltham, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great Diving Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

We are relatively novice divers, but we felt extremely comfortable diving with Pirate Island. We also paid for a guide which I would definitely recommend. There are a lot of pass-throughs that without a guide, you probably wouldn't discover on your own. Here's my breakdown Pirate Island:

Expertise - A. There were only 5 of us on the trip (if you can make it to Key Largo in early December it's a relatively slow season so you get smaller groups) but we had 3 crew with us. Two manning the boat and one dive guide. They took us out to French reef (there are a ton of different places to dive) and gave made sure that we were all comfortable with the dives we were about to take. We were a little rusty since we hadn't been diving since the summer, but they went over exactly how we were going to get in the water and how we were going to descend. Our guide, Bob, knew his way around the reefs and showed us some really cool pass-throughs. Definitely a top-notch dive shop and crew.

Marine Life - A-. The first dive was pretty straight forward. The coral is always pretty amazing to see, and there were plenty of fish, but nothing spectacular. Lots of parrot fish and other typical tropical fish. The second dive had a couple of jaw-droppers for me. First, we saw a Goliath Grouper that was literally the size of me. The crew knows that this reef is one of his normal hangouts and took us there. They estimate him to be close to 5 feet long and 250 pounds. Then we had our first shark encounter while diving! A nurse shark (they're pretty tame) was just swimming by looking for food. Pretty cool feeling for novice divers.

Value - B+. Pretty much similar prices to what we have paid in the past for diving. You can increase the value if you book multiple dive trips as well as stay at the Marriott next door. It's a two tank dive so in the end you definitely get your money's worth.

Convenience - A+. If you're staying at the Marriott Resort, this is a no-brainer. They are located on the property right outside of the pool area. They have all the equipment you need for rent, and will set it up right on the boat for you. They'll take care of everything when you're done diving and even offer lockers that you can store your stuff to dry if you bring your own equipment.

Rental Equipment - A. All the equipment was pretty much top-notch. We rented BCDs, tanks, regulators, and wet suits and all were in extremely good shape. No complaints here.

All in all, a really excellent dive shop. If I had to nit-pick and find a critique, the only thing I would recommend to them is to utilize the boat ride out (about 40 minutes where we went) to offer up information about the area. I usually enjoy learning a little bit about the area. But again, this is nit-picking and really there wasn't anything to complain about.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Diving with these guys is great! Easy, breezy. They know where to go for the best vis and offer great service. Rental equipment is good quality, too! Dive with them!!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Excellent Diving”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I went to Pirate Island diving to become certified in Advanced diving. Among the advanced diving certification, I also recieved wreck diving, boat diving, peak performance buoyancy, and navigation. Bob from Pirate Island was my instructor and he was fantastic. I learned a lot about diving from him and I aslo had a fantastic experience. Bob was patient with not only me but also the weather conditions and diving schedule. He always had a positive thing to say and had a great sense of humor. Key Largo is a beautiful place to dive and I would highlly reccomend Pirate Island Diving to anyone who is interested in seeing the reefs at Key Largo.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Padi Open Water”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

These guys are the bomb!

I had already done my theory for the padi open water, and with the help of the ever patient Tyler (i have trouble clearing masks) i managed to complete my open water easily in two days... not only that, the diving was fun as well as learning based..... Totally recommend these guys, fun, safe and with great equipment!

Ask to dive with Tyler!!!!!!

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Double charged us and won't refund the money!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

I don't even know where to begin with this review. For a group that is so ULTRA concerned with maintaining their Trip Advisor rating, I CANNOT BELIEVE what has transpired.

First of all we paid $752.50 for a 2 person 5 dive package. Which we were told would not be charged until the trip was complete. So we arrived for the trip and due to weather, 2 full days of diving were cancelled. However throughout those days we were assured that since we came from out of state, we would be refunded for the days that weather was the culprit. We were told this by 3 different individuals. Then on the last day when we came to the shop to reconcile and pay our account, they FIRST reassured us that they had NEVER charged the original $752.50. Then with the diving we actually did and the merchandise we bought, we owed $572.62. We paid it.

Now a week later, we get our credit card bill and sure enough, there is a charge for $572.62 AND $752.50!! But you know what, mistakes happen, so I call them to get them to refund the original $752.50 because what was the original price, way before they changed it to account for he days we did not dive. At this point I'm speaking to the owner of Pirate Island Divers and what does she tell me? That they DO NOT do ANY refunds and they they will only refund $300 and some dollars! So NOW will have paid something more like $1000!!! WTF!?! She was argumentative and had no intention of making this right. This is wrong on so many levels I can't even describe it. Not only are they OKAY with the fact that they charged us twice, but now... A WEEK LATER... they change their mind on what we are supposed to be charged!!! She even admitted that we were erroneously charged but won't accept responsibility for it!!! is it MY FAULT they got this all wrong?! OH MY GOD! Our only recourse here is to let everyone we can how they do business and to file a fraud claim with Mastercard and hope they help us get our money back. We'll also be calling Marriott which is the hotel this dive shop is housed within and see if they have any concerns with one of their property amenities doing this to their customers. This is certainly not Marriott's fault but I do feel there is some responsibility on their part to make sure their guest are now screwed like this by amenities they promote.

Avoid this place like the plague unless you want to risk being completely screwed over like we were!!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
phlaghen, Owner at Pirate Island Divers, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
First PID would like to thank this user for such a candid review. We have no problem in receiving constructive criticism in our reviews because we are always looking to make sure the customer always has a good experience. Unfortunately, most of the information you cite in your review is incorrect. So we are responding to ensure other customers understand the truth of the matter.
When you called on 9/15/12 to book your 2-Five trip packages, you were told that your credit card would be charged on that day for the full $752.50 and that this amount was not refundable. This is our policy and has been the policy here since 1999. It is also listed in several places on our website. All our employees read from a prepared form to make sure that the customer is aware of what is going on. Furthermore, on September 18 you were emailed a copy of your room confirmation and on September 22 a copy of your invoice showing that your credit card was charged for $752.50. So approximately a month before your arrival you knew that your credit card was charged. When you checked in the first day you were provided with a copy of the invoice that was emailed to you and the customer copy of the credit card receipt indicating the charge of $752.50. This has always been our policy when it comes to advanced booking.
The reason that we charge in advance for the multi-trip packages is that the customer receives a substantial discount on their room rate. In this particular case your dive stay rate was $109.00. The normal rate you would have received is $169.00 per night. So in other words that translates to a $240.00 savings for your stay. The hotel extends preferential rates to us so we can offer a better value for our diving customers. The dive stay packages never expire and are good for life. You also mentioned that you were assured that you would be refunded for the diving days when weather forced a cancellation. What this means is that no one is ever charged for a trip that doesn’t happen due to weather, so in your case your trip card with the five dives was not punched for the two days that there were no trips. So in essence your card was refunded or un-punched for the dives you did not go on.
In reference to the conversation you had with the owner, I was also present during that phone call and for the record I am also co-owner and the President of the company. What I heard was that she immediately acknowledged that you were charged the original $752.50 as well as an additional $572.62 and that a portion of the second charge was charged in error.
When you came in to settle your balance for the trip you were asked if you were on a multi-trip package you responded that you were not. Our employee took you at your word and without checking the record, included 4-2 tank trips in your total along with rental equipment, guide fees, and merchandise. The cumulative amount for this tab was the $572.62 and you paid this. We acknowledge that we were in error regarding the second charge. We should have looked up your record and ensured that you were indeed on a multi-trip package and did not need to be charged for the diving.
I clearly heard my co-owner acknowledge the mistake, take responsibility for it and tell you that we would immediately refund the difference between the $572.62 and the $207.12 that you should have been charged for the equipment rental, guide fees and merchandise. Your card was refunded $365.50 immediately after the phone call concluded. You were reminded during this conversation that dive trip packages are not and never have been refundable and that they never expire. Another option was also presented to you as a compromise but without actually listening you responded that you would not accept anything short of a full refund of the trip packages However, I cannot be sure that you heard or understood the offer of a compromise due to the upset demeanor on your part. Our company did not change our minds about what we were going to do because we did not deviate from our long standing policies. We regret that you did not understand what had occurred and chose not to listen when it was being explained to you.
In conclusion I do not feel that this situation should have escalated to where it has and certainly did not warrant the threatening nature of your phone call and this post. We encourage everyone to post real reviews of the experience they had with PID. We regret that you feel that you were “screwed over” but an attack like this over a mistake which we acknowledged and corrected was not warranted. You were not defrauded as you claim and hopefully when reading this response you will understand why.
Thank you for your time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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