Rainbow Reef Dive Center
Rainbow Reef Dive Center
4.5
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
2,885 reviews
Excellent
2,504
Very good
183
Average
74
Poor
48
Terrible
76

kirksan
Texas82 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
We live in Miami and visit the Keys quite often, Rainbow Reef is our preferred dive center in Key Largo. Their website is the best I’ve found in the area, which is how they first caught my attention: we were living overseas and were planning our move back to Miami, we were eager information. Even though we were months from being home, the staff was very responsive via email and I really appreciated that. You’re likely coming to the Keys than closer than we were, but fair to say that information will be still be helpful to planning your trip.
The reservation staff has been very helpful, we’ve made dive plans and then changed them for whatever reason, they worked with us to find a different dive plan that worked. We’ve had several trips out with Captain Collin, he’s been really great. We’ve dove with a guide and without, no problem, Jack and Ed led us on two of our trips, they did a great job.
Rainbow Reef is highly accommodating for divers who need additional support. We were on the night dive for 29 July, the adaptive diver support team were fantastic (I didn’t catch all the names it was Jack who I mentioned already once, a very nice gentleman who was a Navy vet and super friendly (I forgot his name, he should have introduced himself AFTER the great night dive!), and a lady who seemed nice but I didn’t get to chat with her). We were not on that dive team, but I could see the effort they put into it and I was impressed. Literally they lifted a diver into the boat, figure if they’ll put that effort into creating a good experience for a diver, they‘ll find a way to accommodate your needs.
Every place can improve, my one recommendation for Rainbow Reef would be to look to their on-site dive briefings. Whether you dive with a guide or without, a little extra info and orientation to the site provides context that takes a great dive to the next level. I do want to be clear: they are not missing anything, the bases are covered. My point is there’s opportunity between when the boat parks and the divers enter the water, Rainbow Reef plainly has the talent to capitalize on that, they’ve not done all they could yet.
So we’re very pleased with Rainbow Reef, we’ll continue to dive with them out of Key Largo, five trips over the last month or so, probably about that many more over the next month plus. I think it might be worth noting for context that I have 30 years experience as a recreational and military diver, I still have a lot to learn but I have very high standards in the water. In Key Largo, this is who we dive with, it’s who we recommend to friends, and it’s where I plan to take family when they visit. If you dive with them (and I recommend that you do) we’ll see you on the boat.
Written July 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rich K
2 contributions
Oct 2021
I planned a 4 day trip that included to advanced cert classes. Scheduling was very easy and the reservation attendants knew the products available extremely well, including specs on the boats, classes, weather, suggested gear needs and lodging advice. They also assisted with booking the lodging as a package. Instructors reached out in advance of the classes to discuss expectations as well as give directions on where to go, when, etc. The instructors were great as was the whole staff. From talking with them I found out that many of the staff go through a full internship that teaches them how to work the dock, crew the boat, guide dives and teach. The quality of the training shows in the smoothness of the operation. These guys know their jobs, know what the customers want and they provide it. If you are not in a class, all dives include a guide (within the price of the trip) which was another bonus. Every day was clean, safe and fun. That doesn't even get to the quality of diving which was excellent as well. Jack, Nate (my instructors) plus Abby, RJ, Jeff and Capt Sharkey were who I interacted with the most. All wonderful folks. Already planning a return trip with the family and have started discussing a company trip since most of my guys dive.
Written October 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cody R
1 contribution
May 2022
Rainbow Reef was exceptionally great, great staff and crew that worked tirelessly each day to provide us with fun. Diver Dina helped me and my dad become AOW divers and she was perfect. Boat captains Bill and JD were great and come out with the jokes and made the trips enjoyable. Each of the instructors were great and made the dives easy to enjoy. I would definitely recommend this for any diver going to the Keys and anyone who would like to learn to dive.
Written May 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Cody, Diver Dina is always a great instructor to work with and so many congratulations on your new AOW certifications! We love that our Captains were able to keep the fun going too! Hopefully you'll join us for some dives in the future!
Written June 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cf3594@icloud.com
Aurora, CO5 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
Not that great. Short dives, inexperienced guides. The guide for one of my dives was practicing removing his gear and putting it back on. I was diving with nitrox (paying 10 bucks a tank or so) and surfacing with nearly half a tank left most of the time.
I dove with these guys a few years ago and the were much better. They’ve really gone down hill. I probably won’t use the again.
Written May 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DTZS
Arlington, Virginia, United States33 contributions
Dec 2020
Over the past two years, my family and I have had the opportunity to dive six different times with Rainbow Reef. Each time it has been outstanding. My family is made up of divers with differing levels of experience, and everyone has enjoyed their dives. Rainbow Reef is a large operation, and with their size comes tremendous professionalism, exceptional equipment (from rental gear to boats), and a seasoned staff.

We have always used the free guide service that is offered (make sure you request this when making your reservation). The guides show you the interesting stuff…and make sure you are back to the boat on time. While boarding the boat, and entering/exiting the water can be a bit crowded and chaotic, it quickly passes with a bit of patience. I recommend getting your gear set up, and then going to the upper deck to enjoy the view.
The boats are tremendously designed for diving. Fresh water is available on board, but if you don’t want to use the small disposable cups they provide, you should bring your own water bottle. I appreciate how safety conscious they are, and will cancel a trip if the conditions are not safe. They are also very accommodating if you need to change your reserved dives for some reason.

They have negotiated great rates at some nearby hotels. We have always stayed at the Marriott Courtyard. You can walk to the dive boats from this hotel. The negotiated rates beat anything I have ever been able to find on line as well. The Marriott Courtyard is really nice. It has a pool, hot tub, fire pit and nice views of the canal and boats.

We have found some nice places to eat. Some of our “not to be missed” places include The Hobo Café (the Key West style grouper is incredible), the taco truck called Taco’s Jalisco (next to the green chocolate store), Mrs. Mac’s for Key Lime Pie or a Key Lime Freeze (we like the one on the west side of the road, not the larger one on the median) and Sharkey’s is great for a drink or meal.

All our staff encounters have been great. We have especially been pleased with Orlando at the main shop (be sure to stop by and spin the wheel…you really can win good stuff), AJ, Captain Greg, Captain Allison, Jake, and Instructor Jen.

We will be back again soon (we hope).
Written December 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Oliver v
Smyrna, GA1 contribution
Jul 2021 • Couples
My family and I did our advanced open water and enriched air nitrox course over the weekend with Rainbow Reef Dive Center. It’s quite possible that we had the best instructor in the world. His name was Mustufa and he was amazing. He was able to pinpoint anything that we were doing wrong and corrected it in a way that you really learned and understood what you are doing and why. He was also able to sense any anxiety’s that we had and was able to push us while keeping everyone comfortable. I highly recommend him as an instructor or guide for any diver of any experience level. You will 100% be a substantially better diver afterwards and have fun the entire time. We are already looking towards doing our rescue diver certification with Mustufa!
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Scott M
7 contributions
Sep 2022 • Friends
Very professional staff, super knowledgeable and friendly. We felt very safe and well cared for on all 8 of our dives, from calm to rough seas, shallow to deep and everything in between. Sharkey's restaurant (part of the Rainbow Reef campus) had delicious food and friendly servers - the perfect place to refuel and rehydrate while filling out our logbooks. We cannot wait to return for more adventures!
Written September 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ronnieandmichelle
202 contributions
Apr 2021
We had plans to go to Bonair—unfortunately COVID had them on lockdown so we were off to the keys. We found Rainbow Reef had lots of deals and combination packages. We were able to sign up for PADI AOW classes and a Nitrox class. We did all of the elearning at home a s just needed our check divers when we got there.

Rainbow reef has a ton of information on their website and we were able to book all of our boats in advance. They own SEVERL boats each going to two different dive sites . They have plenty of great rental gear.

For our package we booked the Courtyard by Marriott key Largo. It’s an old loud hotel (bring earplugs) but it’s the same parking lot as on of rainbow reefs docks. Which made it very convenient, but I DO NOT recommend them.

Unfortunately the keys were being hit with high winds. Our lovely scuba instructor Bella reached out to let us know our boat dives had been canceled for 2/5 days. Bella was so kind and had a great disposition as well as the willingness to make sure we were happy customers. For our AOW check dives she was knowledge and articulate! If you get to work with Bella consider yourself blessed by the scuba fairy who will make sure everything is all right!

I hear that people consider Rainbow reef a factory... which we saw when we had to return to the boat with 1/2 a tank still left. We also witnessed this when we were ascending from the Duane and the Spiegel. We were climbing the mooring line and had to wait for several minutes until all the groups above us finished their safety stop. On another five the captain said everyone be back on board by —- o’clock. They needed to be back on the dock to unload us and bring out the afternoon group.

Everyone was friendly and kind—most notably Bella. When we went out to the spiegle seas were a little rough. We went across the tag line and I was freaking out and trying to not get slammed into the boat. Bella stopped looked me in the eyes and help me to take a moment of some deep breaths. She was just a gem. She also helped us find cool sea life like a seahorse and nudo branches as well as 7 sharks on the Benwood.

We were lucky to be the only two people with one instructor.

For the price rainbow reef was a good deal for certification; however, if I were to go back I may look for a dive operator who lets you dive your tank.
Written April 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Scott
Monroe, NC9 contributions
Dec 2022
I started diving open circuit at Rainbow Reef 3 years ago. I dive a rebreather now and they are still my favorite Florida dive center. They meet everyone's needs with skill and smiles from newly certified OW to Advanced and they hit the dive sites perfect for your needs. Not enough can be said about the captains, crew, office staff, interns, yeah even the managers, to ensure you have awesome safe dives. No condescending attitudes, no grumbling, just unbelievable help always with enthusiasm. They've seen it all I imagine and know how to deal with it. I really respect their attention to safety without the attitude. Rainbow doesn't do Technical diving and even though I'm a Technical diver, I dive with them now on my rebreather just to relax and have fun on the deep wrecks 100-130' without worrying about deco schedules and practice my skills in shallow water, 10-40', on their beautiful reefs. Not many places you can do 2 deep wrecks in the morning, then 2 beautiful shallow reefs in the afternoon sun. One more for the captains and crew, they take care of their divers and everyone is special when they dive with Rainbow!
Written December 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AndrewM
3 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
I arrived promptly at 12:45 to check-in as requested. After, I stood outside in the hot sun for over 40 minutes with approximately 20 others like cattle. I went inside to the counter to ask what the delay was and the young lady rudely told me that there was no exact departure time. I checked there website and it clearly states departure is 30 minutes after check-in time and NOT to be late.

Eventually we got under way and the disheveled crew went over the safety briefing. The captain turned on the water/shower system so divers could clear their masks. Of course, my gear, towel and me quickly got a shower from a leak in a fitting above... before and after each dive.

The obese, female captain continually barked at staff and divers throughout the afternoon, including when I set my fins down on the landing as I struggled to reach and hold on to the ladder as I climbed out versus she or other staff being there to take them from me.

I was worried that Rainbow Reef was too big and only concerned with booking as many divers as possible and unfortunately, I was right. I will never dive with them again.
Written May 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Rainbow Reef Dive Center (Key Largo) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go