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“Great dive operations, attentive staff”
Review of Cortez Club Scuba

Cortez Club Scuba
Dauin, Philippines
Level Contributor
53 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Great dive operations, attentive staff”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

I recommend the Cortez Club. Diving is efficient, fun, and likely as good as is it gets in Baja. This review is divided into two sections: the dive ops and the response to a medical situation.

1) The dive operation was run punctually and hassle-free with friendly and a generally professional staff. I dove with Cortez Club for five days, and found ops to be consistently well-executed. Diving is mainly from pangas, which is not ideal in rough seas- quite bumpy. However, the dive groups are limited to six divers plus guide. Some other operations use larger boats, but the groups are similarly large and those boats are MUCH slower. The speed really matters as distances to dive sites, esp. the popular Los Islotes and El Bajo, are quite long.

Gear is stored onsite and washed daily by the crew. Staff was perfect in loading and off-loading gear daily without any error. There were some issues with EANx availability.

The dive guides and captains were overall very good and friendly. I appreciated their attentiveness and flexibility. Marcos was especially mellow and relaxed. Some exceptions were one guide who could not read the current and adjust the dive plan, and two captains who grossly ogled a young female diver.

2) I experienced a strange vertigo/nausea event about 30 minutes after the second dive at the end of the week (ultimately determined to be ear barotrauma). I was very concerned because I had a 25-year history of diving in general, very deep deco dives, a prior DCS event, and a few issues with middle and outer ear trauma. The crew recognized that I was not just seasick and brought us back as soon as possible, leaving a whale shark feeding at the surface to attend to my health. (There was no O2 available on the boat, but that is typical for pangas in Baja). At the dock, Ricardo offered me O2 and was sincerely concerned. Medical assistance was immediately offered; I declined based on lack of my response to O2 and insufficient evidence for DCS. After some discussion about symptoms and history, Ricardo aided my stumble back to my room (at nearby La Concha Hotel). He also provided me with electrolyte replacement drinks and took my room number. Ricardo provided contact info for a local doctor and encouraged me to get checked. He followed up to ensure my safety over the following days. Excellent job! He has earned my gratitude for his professionalism and empathy.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank DiveXplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Monterey, California, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Quite good for Baja”
Reviewed March 10, 2012

If have been to Calbo Pulmo, or Cozamel, or any number of mexican dive spots you will know what to expect. Yes they use Panga's (small open boats) just like most outfits. The lunch you will get was probably made by someones wife that morning, again, typical for my experience in mexico. Good sandwiches, but not gourmet. If you want great food and a comfy boat you can use Lineblad (sp?) expaditions and pay the appropriate fee.

I got good equipment, a knowledgeable dive master, I got there, and back, without a hitch. They carried all the gear, they delivered what they promised, and I got a couple of pretty damn good dives in before the afternoon winds set in.

As an experienced traveling diver, Im quite pleased with what I got for my $.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Erich R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Not safe, not comfortable”
Reviewed February 7, 2012

This dive op runs very small boats with no emergency gear such as oxygen or defribrillators. Premiere dive sites are very long distance from shore, so if you have a problem out there, you are toast. If you are looking at rough weather, the small boats are not going to make it out to the premiere dive sites. We were told it was only going to be 1/2 hour to pick-up tourists at a camp site, it took 1.5 hours. The bigger boats run by the other operators were zooming past us while we had to stop and put on our wet suits for the last hour of our trip and we got pummelled. We had no chance to make it out to Los Islotes or El Bajo. Conditions were going to be the same the next day. The dive op refused to refund the remainder of my deposit as I did not want to continue diving in those conditions.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
8 Thank scubagirl109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Cortez club has poor customer service”
Reviewed February 7, 2012

They took our money without providing the service. I would not use this dive op in La Paz.
The boats were very small, uncomfortable and service was poor. Did not receive the lunch they had us order the day before from a menu. They charge over $12 American dollars. It was just a cold sandwich from a local store and ours wasn't even on the boat. Also, we gave them a credit card deposit the day of arrival which they would not return to us when we decided that their operation was not safe on small boats and we wanted to go with another dive op. I would be careful doing business with this group.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
8 Thank divecolorado707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terrace, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great dives!”
Reviewed December 6, 2011

Fantastic dive company! I was a little nervous heading out to El Bajo but The Cortez Club and my divemaster, Tomoko, made me feel totally safe and secure from the moment I arrived. Top notch service with your safety as their top concern. After 11 hammerheads, 4 whale sharks, playing sea lions and much more, I will be back to La Paz very soon. Thanks again for an amazing time!

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank jknox44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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