About the trip: 11 dives over Aug 4-6. Was sons 16th birthday diving on his b-day has become an annual event.
Professional. Safe. Courteous. Fun. Efficient. Simple words to describe Ocean Divers (OD) but each are a perfect fit. The most efficient and professional experience I have had in a short 5 years of diving around the world. From check in to gear rental to getting ready on the boat to diving, the process has been refined to run very smoothly and with little to worry about. You first check in upstairs and pay for your adventure. Back down stairs to the rental counter for gear and EANx if diving on nitrox. Simply hand the rental ticket over and they get all your gear as needed. If you don’t need anything, just sit on the nearby benches and relax.
Dockside for the boat, which is about 20 steps away from the rental counter, they help load your gear if you want and make sure you are set. Air tanks are already on the boat and no need to worry about weights. Dove the Santana all three days. GREAT Boat! Lots of room for everyone and plenty of places to stow gear. Very well maintained. The most we had at one time was 26 divers. With upstairs seating, the boat never felt crowded. Lizzie and Matt did a great job as Divemasters. My sons HP hose to computer leaked and Lizzie took it apart, checked the O-ring, reseated it, tightened the connection with a wrench and everything was fine. Everyone was helpful and professional.
Before departing we had the safety role call ad briefing. You will enjoy this as they make it interesting, informative and fun to listen to. But pay attention, it is for your safety. As we left the dock you have plenty of time to gear up. They give you a 10 min and 5 min notice before getting to the site.
At every site we went to, Capt. Joe was great about telling you what you were diving, conditions topside and likely conditions at depth, compass headings, what to look for, how to dive the site, and most importantly, what not to do! Before entering the water they check you over (air on!) and made sure you are ready. Getting back on board they helped with fins at the ladder and if needed helping you “find” the tank holder slot.
After each dive the std role call and answer any questions or just group talk about what everyone saw. Water and snacks were given out after each dive. Back at the dock again they help with your gear if you want. Rinse tanks 10 feet away from the boat for cleanup. Could not have been better.
A few points in reply to other comments posted; first is Divemasters are not in the water and that is noted on their webpage. If you want one to lead you, you pay for it. Very normal in all my experience. Second was tanks not filled up. Before we left the dock we always checked psi and not once did we have anything less than 3,000. But they warned us to turn the tanks off after checking psi. So maybe someone had a small leak. As for change in crew, can’t speak to what was before, but having everyone in the same shirt made it easy to know who was crew. Our crew was fantastic and again, my compliments to Lizzie, Matt, and Capt. Joe! As for the review of 2009, why would anyone post something so out of date? And keep in mind, there is nothing anyone can do about weather. Trips will get cancelled and that is part of life. Finally, remember diving is a sport that does require skills and physical fitness. You can lie about both, but how you prepare for the dive and are in/out of the water tells it all. Don't blame OD for things that you are responsible for.
So, as a former firefighter who appreciates safety and strictly following procedures, OD has nailed it. You can’t go wrong diving with them. And I will be returning again.
Shelby Twp, MI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.