Top Dive, Bora Bora
Top Dive, Bora Bora
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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340 reviews
Very good

Sandy, UT17 contributions
Oct 2020
Did an introductory dive a few years ago with Top Dive in Moorea. They were so great and I enjoyed that dive so much that upon my return this next trip to FP, I booked another Dive with Top Dive Bora Bora this time. They were awesome. I went on the introductory dive which was an amazing coral garden. My instructor, Antoine LeFevre made it so easy and fun that I decided to get certified with them during my stay so went on certification dives where I got to dive with Manta Rays, sharks, Moray eels. I really appreciate Antoine and all the instructors on our dives. Very knowledgeable, professional, patient and fun. Best way to get introduced to diving and best way to get certified! Merci Boucoup!
Written October 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gothenburg, Sweden3 contributions
Feb 2020
Got pick up at my hotel right on time. Professional staff how gave me a hand with everything- great guys.
Loved the manta rays and the lemon sharks. Thank you Betrand for great dives. All the best, Inger from Sweden.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fort Lauderdale, FL126 contributions
Jan 2014 • Solo
I’ve been diving for 22 years in many parts of the world. I am also a diving instructor, so I hope this gives you some help on my background.

I went on Oceania Cruise Lines for a trip through French Polynesia. I dove with TOPDIVE in every place possible: Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Fakarava, and Rangiroa (I also dove in Raiatea with Hemisphere Sub, which is described under that company’s name). I booked a TOPDIVE island pass ahead of time, which saved me some money. We were fortunate to have high winds at one island in eastern Polynesia, where there was no diving, so we detoured to Fakarava—a stroke of luck for this diver.

In my opinion, TOPDIVE is a first-class operation. All of their facilities were neat and clean with bathrooms, dive equipment rinse stations, showers with hot and cold water, storage space, and up-to-date equipment, mostly AQUALUNG. A small amount of equipment is for sale in each shop in addition to t-shirts to remember ones experience. They were organized and provided transportation when necessary.

TOP DIVE utilizes covered boats with benches and large Zodiac-style rafts. They were both comfortable and the divemasters prepared the equipment and helped divers put it on. Unlike some other comments I have read, the company tried to organize divers to the best of their ability in terms of experience. This is no guarantee that someone in your group won’t have problems, and many did, but at no time did problems interfere with my group’s dive or cut it short. Some people had ear and mask problems, and a few breathed through their air too fast. One person brought their own computer and had no idea how to use it. These were not TOPDIVE-caused issues, though they quickly became problems which the divemasters handled well.

The company uses NITROX on many dives, even for people not trained in NITROX. I would not do this in the US because it is not standard practice. But we did lengthy dives in some spots, and the NITROX provided a margin of safety especially on a two-tank dive. If an inexperienced diver had an uncontrolled descent, NITROX would become an issue. But the chances of that happening seemed remote. I was able to analyze my mix on the boat before each dive.

The dives can be divided into two types, islands where the coral has been heavily damaged, and those where it is still vibrant and healthy. From Wikipedia and a divemaster, the coral in Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora were damaged by an infestation of coral-eating starfish and then Typhoon Oli in 2010. Parts of Bora Bora, which seemed the most devastated, look like a bone yard, although in most areas, the corals are staging a comeback—they were much nicer in Tahiti. Despite the coral decline, the opportunity to swim in all of these areas in crystal blue water with large pelagics (sharks, rays, tunas, jacks) was fascinating, and as an amateur photographer, I enjoyed taking pictures of the colorful tropical fish on the budding corals. In Bora Bora, the better dive was inside the lagoon. Visibility was not as good because of bottom sands, but I saw the largest schools of eagle rays in my life. We also found a number of patches with dark orange clownfish. We missed the mantas, which come into the lagoon in the summer. That would be worth coming back for.

The best dives were in Fakarava and Rangiroa. It’s key to remember that if you are there for only a day, like on a cruise ship, you may not be able to swim through the passes, which feed water into and out of the lagoons. In Fakarava, there was an outbound current, so we could not swim through the pass. But the coral outside the pass, and the fish life were stunning. This is a “must-do” when visiting Tahiti.

But the best was the last, my final dive of the trip. Rangiroa lived up to its billing from travel brochures and quotes from Jacques Cousteau. We hit the dive just right and were able to swim through the Tiputa pass during an inbound, nearly slack current. The diversity and number of fish at the mouth of the pass were stunning: large jacks, huge Napoleon wrasses, dolphins that came down and visited the divemasters, white-tip and reef sharks, a few rays, and large schools of barracuda and tropicals. I had never seen anything like this before. We gently floated through the pass, and I got my first sighting and picture ever of the magnificent emperor angelfish. At the end, there were a few patches of anemones loaded with curious clownfish.

You can’t go wrong booking your dive with TOPDIVE. They will take care of you and ensure that you have a safe and memorable dive.
Written January 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida14 contributions
Nov 2013 • Couples
Be very careful when diving with Top Dive in the French Polynesia. We booked a 12 day honeymoon through four islands. We were scheduled to dive a total of five times. Here are our concerns for you to be aware of before booking with them. Note there are many other dive companies you can use.

(We did have many great dives but there are some concerns to note. Especially if you are experienced)

Issue One: When they sell dives in a package note that it's tanks not trips. Some trips are one tank and some are two. Very misleading when we booked five trips only to find out it was five tanks not ten like in the States. We were able to get the tour company to acknowledge it was misleading and make good on the additional dives we originally planned.

Issue Two: Free Nitrox? They only dive with Nitrox in some islands. How can they offer nitrox to divers that aren't certified on nitrox? Not to mention they don't provide computers so you can follow a correct dive plan for this mix. You have to rely on the guide that is with you and his computer. Five/Six Divers, One Computer? Good thing we brought our own equipment. There were several open water divers that were actually concerned they were using nitrox when they weren't certified. I can only imagine how they must have felt diving with something other than air when they have no knowledge of nitrox or the additional measures needed for a safe dive.

Issue Three: Regardless of what your computer says for a safety stop they require you to come to the surface when the guide is ready and abort your safety stop early. We had a minute left and he made us come up stating safety stops are optional so we didn't need to wait the full three minutes after being down to 95 feet. Maybe we are wrong but we were always taught to dive our computer and only our computer. If we feel safe diving our computer they should not make you dive anything different. Also to add to it when we did surface the dive master was yelling and very disrespectful when we told him we felt comfortable diving our computer and only our computer. With over 300 dives combined we know how to dive and know how to dive safe.

Issue Four: If you are experienced make sure to ask the levels of the people you are diving with. We dove three times with very inexperienced divers. We were forced to abort three dives halfway through. The dive master stated if you abort a dive because of a diver problem they would comp the dive and let you dive again. This was not the case… they didn’t honor this and we had to pay for the three half dives.

First Diver was scared; she had a problem diving before and was not comfortable. As soon as the dive master took her below 60 feet she freaked out and he had to come up to 35 feel holding her hand the whole way. So we did not dive the planned dive and just floated on the reef and came up with 1,500 PSI (Half Tank). We understand the person’s issues but if this is the case they should be with their own dive master to work with only them not placed with experienced divers to go to depths of 95 feet with high current.

Second Diver was doing a refresher and we spent the first 10 minutes waiting for her to come down to 30 feet. The dive master eventually dragged her along the entire dive. Whenever he let her go she was seen about 25-30 feet above us and he had to go up to get her. Then again we surfaced with 1,500 PSI (Half Tank) because he was tired of dragging her with us. Again how is someone with so little dive experience allowed to do an advanced dive with advanced divers and high current?

Third Diver was newly certified who went to 100+ feet with his camera chasing a shark. He was also only open water certified and had no computer to know his depth. He dove to a depth he should not have been to and only when the dive master looked back he told the guy to come up immediately. Then he was not able to complete his dive so the dive master again decided to surface with 1,500 PSI (Half Tank). This one was funny because we weren’t supposed to dive with these two divers but last minute before entering the water they switched the dive groups stating they put us with them because we all had less experience. But never did this dive shop or dive master ask us how many dives we had or our experience level.

I did question Top Dive if Open Water Certified Divers are allowed to dive to these depths. They said it’s only the certification class that is limited to 60 feet and they were allowed to go to depths of 100 feet. I also questioned them regarding non nitrox certified divers being allowed to use nitrox and they again said it was ok. I will follow up with PADI to verify this but I can say the diving is amazing in these islands but be very careful to plan your dives. Bring your own equipment and make sure you dive with divers that are of equal certification as you.
Written November 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Texas Gulf Coast, TX52 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
Just returned from a cruise and had the unfortunate opportunity to dive with Top Dive in Papeete Tahiti. I have logged over 100 dives in my lifetime and this by far ranks as the worst.
First of all we booked the excursion from the ship as it was a Carnival endorsed company. It was your normal 2 tank dive excursion. My husband and I filled out a pre-dive form with all our sizes and needs. Upon pick up at the cruise dock by the dive boat we proceeded to the dive shop for our gear. By the time we were waited on they were out of the sizes we needed for our wetsuit- my husband made due with a med when he requested an xl. I ended up with fins 2 sizes too large.
We made the best of it and got on the boat looking forward to fun day of diving. As we began readying our gear, it became obvious that the crew were not very well informed or helpful. We arrived at the dive site with one too few BCs - they had counted wrong so we had to to rally up with another boat and pick up a BC. Of course this one was too small and uncomfortable but my husband made do..
As far as safety was concerned there was none No one ever checked to see if our gear was attached to the metal tank or if the fittings were correct and leak free. This could have been disasterous for a new diver.
As far as the dive was concerned there was very little to see in the way of aquatic life. The reef was mostly dead and the only fish we saw were reef sharks and a few jacks. The current was very strong and what should have been just a drift dive turned into the divemaster having us hold onto coral and debris so as too not stray from the others.
Our surface interval was no better. The driver of the boat almost ran over another diver and if that wasn't bad enough, he took off as the last diver was exiting the water and still on the ladder and almost fell off. There was no organization whatsoever as to which were used tanks and which were full for the second dive. After checking 6 (yes 6) EMPTY TANKS , we finally found one with air for me and then had to repeat the process again for my husbands next tank which ended up to be just a partially filled tank.
The second dive was a little more interesting as we dove a scuttled wreck plane and ship. The visibility was not great and although we did see some small colorful parrots and angel fish, it was nothing to write home about.
It was an expensive excursion and one I hope to never endure again. Hopefully, I will save you some money when I say stay away from Top Dive in Tahiti.
Written September 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zurich, Switzerland76 contributions
We are experienced divers - sadly the hotel recommended top dive: bad choice.
Security issues (no nitox gauge, unexperienced divers left alone, unsage jump, no briefing). Totally unfiendly staff, no information, guide seemed to be boared, they ate cookies, no for the guests, one guide peed from the boat.
Boys: you have much work to do as this seems not just a bad day, but systematic!
(Much better is, especially if you like less people on the boat and great service).
Written December 30, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gary G
Wollongong, Australia29 contributions
Dec 2017 • Couples
I consider myself an experienced Diver. I am a PADI Instructor with over 10,000 dives and previous owner of a Dive Operation in the Pacific and this was my 8th visit to French Polynesia (7th to Bora Bora).
I was not impressed with these guys. Although some of the staff were understanding, 2 out of 4 dives on Bora Bora were at the same location and catered for DSD's (beginners). With 15 dive sites, I questioned the staff at the start of the second day why were we going to the same site?
"We have beginners" was their response.
"OK, can we go to Anau on the second dive" was my response, at which they VERY reluctantly agreed. At this site, there are Manta Rays at 12 metres there for cleaning. I agreed to accompany a beginner just so I could get back to this site that I have dived many times before.
This is why I'm giving 2 stars and not 1.
Previously, on the same trip, I dived with Top Dive on Fakarava. It was a drift dive that the Divemaster had set a pick up point for - which meant we had to swim against an incoming current on an atoll.
Almost impossible. We should have gone with the current, rather than waste air trying to fight it for 20 minutes.
I also stopped at Rangiroa and decided not to dive with these guys because of the quality of Divemaster at Fakarava.
If you are a certified Diver of ANY level and go to French Polynesia, avoid these guys, as they are only interested in the quick $ they can make from the beginners.

Sorry guys, but the truth hurts.
Written March 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leigh M
Dallas, TX34 contributions
Aug 2014 • Couples
I got certified in the US just before my honeymoon in French Polynesia. We did our first 2 dives on Moorea (with Top Dive) and had a great experience. We had planned 2 more days (so 4 tanks) of dives in Bora Bora, also with TopDive. The first day on BB was awesome and we saw tons of eagle rays and lemon sharks and beautiful fish. It was incredible. The second day we got on the boat and started heading out to the dive site. Our DM informed that we were paired up with an extremely advanced couple and were going to be doing a drift dive (which I had never done in my meager 2 days of diving) at depths I wasn't comfortable with. He told me I would be fine but the language barrier plus my lack of experience (4 dives EVER) and rough water conditions... I freaked out. As a newbie, I wanted to be paired with other people on my level since I went through oxygen faster and needed some TLC under the water from the DM. I got back on the boat in tears and didn't complete the last 2 dives of our honeymoon. I am sure I probably would have been fine but wish that information had been communicated before we got on the boat and we would have been given the option to go out with less experienced divers or on easier dives (which I knew were an option since we had done it the day before). Anyway, diving is expensive and, because we had prepaid, they said they couldn't refund me and just offered a free t-shirt. At that point, I just wanted to get out of there. It was upsetting because I ended on such a sour note and felt like the first 4 dives had gotten progressively easier and more enjoyable. I had been very upfront about my skill level so I don't think that was the issue. I recommend you ask a lot of questions before you book and again before you get on the boat... especially if you aren't an extremely comfortable diver. Top Dive is supposed to be the best in the country but that wasn't my experience. To their credit, all of the dive masters were nice and spoke fairly good English. They all did seem to love their jobs too.
Written September 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bret V
Christiansted, St. Croix5 contributions
Jul 2014 • Friends
I have over 35 years of diving experience and this was the worst Dive Company I have ever been with. We dove with them in Moorea and it was not as bad, but in Bora Bora it was horrible. After playing shuttle service for 4 hotels by boat, we finally headed to the dive site. There was a broken english discription of the dive that stated it would be a drift dive. We entered the water to find low visability and a huge current. Our dive started by drifting a couple of minutes and then making us all swim up current to get around a coral head. It was not a dift dive, it was an upcurrent swim with the current so strong that several people were injured or had their gear damaged by being dragged accross coral heads. Saw virtually no fish and the div master brougt us up to the wrong boat. I strongly advise against diving with Top Dive in Bora Bora. I will say that the ray and shark feeding through a different provider was one awesome experience. It was snorkeling only, but the numer of friendly sharks and rays was huge.
Written July 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Happy Hobbit
Basingstoke, UK394 contributions
Aug 2013 • Solo
I dived with Top Dive in Rangiroa and Moorea. I'm surprised to see such positive reviews elsewhere here, and can only assume that the people who have reviewed Top Dive used their services on islands other than these, as they have a virtual monopoly in French Polynesia.

On the plus side, I had some of the best diving experiences of my life at Top Dive in Rangiroa. On the minus side, the organisation was frequently shambolic and at times, I would suggest, unsafe. If you’re an experienced diver, by all means go with it – just be careful. We met an American woman whose 12-year old son had been taken down to 85 feet (a depth well below that acceptable for a basic open-water diver) by a divemaster at Top Dive. When I expressed concern that their 1-hour late departure for my 2pm, 30m dive meant that I would not have a sufficient surface interval before the 4pm dive I’d booked, I was berated by another dive master for going to 30m – a depth that his colleague had taken me to! (As it happens, the 4pm dive trip was also an hour late, so from a safety perspective, it didn't matter). On Moorea, a novice diver went into the water with his air turned off, and I had to turn it on for him. When I tried to follow the standard procedure for a (correctly-signalled) ear-squeeze problem, the divemaster tried to stop me rising in the water and fiddled with my mask. Stuff like that doesn't lead you to have great confidence in them.

The wildlife I saw was excellent - 5 varieties of shark, rays, dolphins, turtles and loads of great reef fish - and our divemaster was good at spotting stuff like tiny nudibranchs, Every dive is a drift dive, and I was concerned at the lack of concern that the dive crews seemed to have about selecting points on the reef to hang on. One divemaster on Moorea seemed almost obsessed with touching (and thereby damaging/killing) every piece of coral of one particular type that he saw, until I challenged him on it during the surface interval.

I bought a package of six dives in Rangiroa, on the understanding that I could use any that were left over when I moved on to Moorea. Every time I turned up for a dive I’d booked on Rangiroa, my name was not on the list. The first 3 times, they added me to the list on their whiteboard. On the 4th occasion (a Sunday) the normal staff were not in evidence, the place was heaving and (again) I wasn’t on the list, so I had to abandon any thoughts of another dive there.

When I moved on to Moorea (on the Monday), my first action was to go to the dive shop to book my dives – only to be told (with a classic Gallic shrug) that they were fully booked until Friday. When I remonstrated and enquired about a refund, their attitude was that I should take it up with the people on Rangiroa (several hundred miles away) who'd sold me the package, even though they were from the same company that had sold me the package. When I went back the next day, the lady behind the desk was much friendlier, and I finally got one dive on the Thursday and two on the Friday. The dives were generally better-organised than on Rangiroa, but again, I spent a lot of time hanging around, as most trips don’t leave until around 45 minutes after their billed time. Also, all of the dives on Moorea were pretty average, as our boat was full of novices (which limited what the dive party could do) and the dive sites were OK but unimpressive.

Whilst I would not positively recommend Top Dive, you may be stuck for any alternative, as they seem to have a virtual monopoly in French Polynesia. They’re OK if you’re experienced and basically organise them yourself, but I would recommend checking everything with them and ideally seeing evidence that they've made the bookings - and getting them to book you onto dives on other islands if you're moving on. They say that the pretty ones don’t have to work so hard. Rangiroa has some great diving, but it did seem at times that all that Top Dive felt they had to do was to take you out and throw you into the water.
Written August 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Top Dive, Bora Bora - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go