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Dive Centers on Saba

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Dive Centers on Saba

Once a year I make my way down to Saba and have been doing so for many years now and can say I am happy to see some changes be made to the dive shops. Over the years I have had the opportunity to dive with each one of the shops and decided to commit to Sea Saba, hands down they were the best.

Sea Saba once great but things have changed and not for the better. They had amazing crew, the boats were always well maintained and the shop owners and staff went out of their way to treat you as a guest and paying customer. This I am afraid to report is no longer the case. The boats are showing wear and overall condition and maintenance is below standard. The crew is lack luster bordering on rude. The rental equipment is in poor condition and the overall attitude and treatment in the shop staff is based on money. Sea Saba is the MOST expensive dive shop on island, they charge for everything and I mean everything. Good luck trying to find anything on line that clearly outlines dive fees. Another word of caution they like to tally your bill careful to add the $4 daily marine park first and then add tax at the end. Charing tax on the marine park fee? What's up with that? Which reminds me, they do this if you book dive packages with them and quoted rates are advertised as inclusive of tax?

The good news is that Saba Divers has made some much needed but greatly appreciated improvements. New rental equipment and enthusiastic and caring staff, yeah, even Gersh, he's a bit crusty in the morning but genuinely loves the guests. The boats are in good condition and getting better. And, the best part for my fellow nitrox divers, nitrox is free! This is the only dive shop that offers free nitrox. It is clear that they have made some changes check out some of the recent awards - they were voted best Caribbean dive center in 2006.

The other dive shop on island is Saba Deep. For the life of me I can't imagine how this place remains in business. The crew is okay, depends on the day, they have the worst boats, they are the only dive shop that strictly enforces dive times rather then allowing you to dive your tank, high prices and they charge a 6% tax plus a 4%-6% fee if you use a credit card. Rumor has it that the shop has been sold - I hope the new owners are prepared to make some much needed changes.

Lansing, Michigan
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8 posts
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1. Re: Dive Centers on Saba

I couldn't agree with you LESS about Saba Deep. I have been diving with them at least 5 or 6 times over the past 8 years. Agreed, their boats aren't much to look at, but the service is incredible. Once I lug my equipment to the shop on the first day, its the last time I have haul it until I leave. It is cleaned and set up for me on the boat for the next day. On the last day, it is cleaned, packed up and brought to my hotel in the evening.

I always dive NITROX with a computer, and I am always the last one up from a dive. (I have never been told to surface based on their time.)

They will also go out if there is only one diver on the boat and customize the dive to what you want to do.

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2. Re: Dive Centers on Saba

I cannot understand how texastraveler61 can make such false statements about Sea Saba. I have only been diving with Sea Saba and the claims made about their service and boats are completely baseless. In response to each point made:

1. From the dock it is immediately obvious that the Sea Saba dive boats are the most impressive of the dive shops on Saba. They are bigger and more spacious than the others and having been on them many times I can attest that John the co-owner puts his heart and soul into their maintenance. They are wonderful vessels to dive from.

2. I have seen much comings and goings of the crew but the fact is that they are always helpful and courteous. The communication between the crew and the office staff makes for great customer service and the crew is very professional.

3. I have always found the rental equipment to be up to date and in perfect working order. They seem to always have new equipment coming in for rental as well.

4. The shop staff is very helpful and knowledgeable about the island. They can recommend a good hike or a great place for dinner and will make all of the arrangements (taxis, reservations, etc.). The clothes for sale in the shop seem to all be good quality reasonably priced. I have never noticed any pressure to buy.

5. Sea Saba in not the most expensive dive shop on the island. All three charge similar rates and I’m pretty sure Sea Saba charges less than Saba Deep. The dive fees are not a secret either. Inquiry by email is always met with a quick and straightforward reply that describes details regarding all pricing.

6. Regarding taxes on the island: As it was explained to me, all money transactions are given a 3% “turnover tax” and this includes sales and services. I would think this would include fees as well. The tax included in dive packages is for lodging and is a completely separate tax.

I have not been out diving with the other dive shops and cannot speak to what they offer (although I find it interesting that texastraveler61 seems to dive with each shop once a year?). I do know that the level of service offered by Sea Saba is impressive and having gone with them in the past I see no reason to dive with anyone else on Saba in the future.

3. Re: Dive Centers on Saba

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