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“Scuba Caribe at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya is outstanding!”
Review of ScubaCaribe

ScubaCaribe
Book In Advance
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$99.00*
and up
Catamaran Day Cruise to Isla Mujeres
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$95.00*
and up
Snorkeling at Tortugas Reef and Chikinha Cenote
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$45.00*
and up
Snorkeling Tour in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Scubacaribe specializes in providing a complete range of water sports and activities for hotels and resorts. The company was formed in 1991 when it began operating and providing services for the Riu Hotels in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Since then we've grown continuously, providing service to the most prestigious hotels in the largest Caribbean vacation destinations. Our fast growth is based on a philosophy of always implementing the latest and best technology available. Our mission is to satisfy clients by providing a wide range of water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurf, sailing, rowing, parasailing and a variety of aquatic excursions. Everything we do is executed with the highest regard for personal safety standards. Respect for the environment and a commitment to the local communities where we operate is of prime importance for us. We operate within an established corporate code of conduct, encouraging community relations and training local personnel for management positions, which also helps to improve overall administrative efficiency.
Reviewed May 1, 2010

From the minute we met Fernando, one of the sales guys who gives free trial pool dives, we were sold. He was great. We had booked ahead so he wasn't selling us anything, but still spent the time with us, made us feel important throughout our entire stay at the hotel, and did end up getting us booked for the underwater mayan tour while we were there too. My son and husband booked ahead for the Discover Scuba Dive and everything went great. Their guide was fantastic, though I can't remember his name, and the Argentinian guy who does the underwater video is great too. It was my son's first dive ever and everything went perfect.. Prices are fantastic, equipment is excellent, and we did not run into any language barriers at all. Just the best experience we could have hoped for.
Thanks Scuba Caribe! We will be back! We have already recommended you to our older son for his trip in June!

4  Thank travelcrazyinnewyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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371 - 375 of 631 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2010

Staying at Riu Palace Riveria Maya at Playacar resort area, at Playa Del Carmen in April 201 for a week. I dived 3 days with an independent operator - Pluto Dive that I arranged in advance by internet. Wanting a final dive I dove one. one tank dive with the Riu Palace resort diver operator - Scuba Caribe, which also runs the water sports for the resort. The Riu Palace was nothing but excellent, Scuba Caribe seemed inferior to the other two small independent dive shops I have used in this area of Mexico.

I am a fairly new diver with 26 dives, and lucky to have 20 some dives in the Caribbean th past 6 months. As a new diver I feel you would be much better off with a small independent dive operator, such as Scuba Mau in Cozumel, that i used for my first dives.

Resort operators like Scuba Caribe, I guess have to pay a lot to "be there" and that is an extra convenience - being right on site. As a diver with other experiences with both small independent operators as well as resort based operators, I have noticed the resort operators will charge you more for diving and you are more likely to be put in a large group, with divers from multiple resorts on one trip and frequently the large operators have the younger and newer less experienced guides. In Mexico with smaller operators I have had a much better time and full personal service on putting on my gear and every aspect of a dive on small boats in small groups versus the two resort operators I have tried.. I did just one dive at the end of our trip with Scuba Caribe at the Riu Palace, and the service was much below anything else I have experienced in Mexico with the 2 small dive shops I have used for 6 days of diving. I don't mind doing my own gear, but that's not the Mexican standard of service - but at Scuba Caribe - they pointed me to a seat and tank and left me on my own to assemble and get into my gear. Another difference was after trying 2 tanks my starting psi was only 2800, at the other shops I have used it was 3000 or 3200 starting psi. Assistance in and out of the boat, including initial and final boarding and in and out of the water for dives was noticeably minimal the day I tried Scuba Caribe. Three other days while staying there I paid for a taxi into Playa Del Carnmen to Pluto Dive Shop that I arranged by internet before our trip. The two man boat crew was infinitely more personable, and doing everything for me without even asking - you'll be sorry if you don't take a little something extra to tip them - they are superb . The Pluto dive groups were small - I dived mostly with 3 other divers and a guide and one day with just one other diver plus a Pluto owner as a guide. All Pluto guides were very experienced, personable, professional and confidence inspiring guides. With Scuba Caribe and a group of about 8 divers I got one new Canadian Dive guide who had been there for about a week - he was nice and enthusiastic and helpful, but so young . The other dive master was a well experienced Mexican national but a bit grumpy and uninspiring - I felt he had been at the job too many years and he wasn't that into making good business for Scuba Caribe - just another day of the same old dives just different tourists - he did guide well and seemed safe, but a lot less personable than almost any other dive guide I have had.

So my tip on dive shops here and at other Caribbean resorts is that the small independent shops try harder and will almost always give you a better deal and far better and more personal and personable service. Other dive shops are well worth researching ahead of time and seeing if it worth the extra trouble to get to them. At Cozumel most independents are allowed to pick you up and drop you off at your resort dock, and with their small boats you still won't end up in a crowd. Figure out if it's worth the difference and trouble.

If you use Scuba Caribe at the Riu resorts in Playacar, you will likely not get as great of an experience as at some of the smaller independent operators. My dive with them was OK, I debated giving them a 3 or 4 rating - probably 4 would be OK. The small shops I have used tended to be 5 star all the way.

Oh, another small but noticeable difference between Scuab Caribe and Pluto Dive Shop. I am in good shape and not lazy, but it was more work at Scuba Caribe - put on all your gear at the shop, at the farthest reach of the sand, then walk down the beach to the water with all your gear on(the tanks are on board thankfully). Then wade in up to your chest to get on the bigger boats the resort uses. At Pluto it was wet suits only which you put on in the comfort of their shop - they carried all the rest of your gear to the boat for you and assembled it for you on the boat. The smaller boat was also just in knee to waist deep water - a shorter walk. No big deal but still noticeably easier and more comfortable with the independent operator.

Anyway if you're at a a resort they're right there man - saves you a little time and hassle. After seeing both resort based and independent operators I am very glad I tried a small independent, with small groups and small fast boats and tons of personal service for my first dives. I really feel the smaller shops usually also end up with more seasoned, expert guides too - you also might luck out going with the owner or by yourself with a guide.

10  Thank Richard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2010

Alejandro working out of the Scuba Caribe facility next to the Riu hotels in Punta Cana. I'll tell the story, but the summary is that this guy is going to hurt someone someday. Avoid him like the plague.

I was certified 40 years ago, but haven't dived in about 38. Decided to take my girlfriend on a resort dive and at the same time see if I wanted to go through the PADI process again (for my own safety). I have had problems clearing my ears and when I spoke with the salesguy (Francis), he assured me that he would make sure the instructor took us to only about 7 meters and took time descending and ascending. The next day we met Alejandro. We watched the PADI DVD, then went to the pool for the "hour lesson" . I thought he was a bit short with Liliya, but nothing bad. What was supposed to be 45 minutes in the pool was actually about 20. We covered very, very little other than clearing masks and regulators. None of the basic safety notions ... taking your time, exhaling on ascent, even the basics of the buddy system. OK, so it's a resort dive, so what?

We came back an hour later for the dive. Alejandro tells us we're going to 13meters, and that he will keep an eye on Liliya. A father and son are going as well, though they seem to have a bit of experience (thus the 13m depth, I think). No dive plan briefing, no buddy discussion. I asked him about some procedures ... what I should do if I can't clear, etc. Basically, the answer was that if I have problems I should just go back up alone and get on the boat. What about a buddy? Nothing. I'm sorry, my YMCA cert may be old, but this would never have passed muster. Lest you think I caused the problems by trying to be expert in the face of the instructor ... it was quite the opposite. I knew that I needed the safety of an instructor, given the new equipment and a prior history of disorientation and reverse blocks on ascent. He knew about both, but I descended and ascended without any buddy.

I won't belabor the details of the dive, but let's just say that the list of safety violations was lengthy. After we were on the boat, he didn't even bother to come by to see if everything was ok with us. We were very lucky that LIliya is athletic and did well, and I remembered just enough to manage my own problems. When the ascent disorientation struck I just held to the line and waited a bit, even though I couldn't tell which way was up.

Every time I look at the video of the dive, I get furious watching this guy and remembering his manner. He may be fine as a dive tour guide for very experienced divers, but I STRONGLY CAUTION you against an introductory dive or lessons with him.

Oh, the capper: he offered to just fill in the paperwork for the PADI Open Water certificate for me since I'd been previously certified but asked me not to tell the other instructors. Obviously, there was going to be a price paid for this bogus certification.

3  Thank wyoboy54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2010

I had the pleasure diving with Mike Valente.
Mike ensured that each and every guest was treated with the utmost of respect and friendliness, We went in the Cenotes near Tulum
His attention to safety and thoroughness as he watched us set up our equipment (offering assistance as needed) was unsurpassed. Mike led our group of 3 (2 from North Dakota and me from Michigan) on a dive into the Cenotes, one of the most beautiful dives I've had. The dive briefing was professionally done in a friendly manor. Everyone enjoyed a relaxing dive with beautiful swim-throughs.
I booked this day though Scuba Caribe in my hotel Rui Tequila by Lius, another great guy. Answered all my questions in great English and signed me up.
I am glad that I had the experience to meet Mike and his group of professionals.
Scuba Caribe is one of the best that I have found. The next trip to Cozumel, I will contact Scuba Caribe directly to set up my entire diving schedule. A first class operation!

Thank karlvo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2009

I had the pleasure of meeting and diving with Mike Valente, a partner of Scuba Caribe. Nothing was more important to Mike and the rest of the boat crew than to ensure that each and every guest was treated with the utmost of respect and friendliness, whether snorkeling or scuba diving. Their attention to safety through quietly watching their guests set up their equipment (offering assistance as needed) was unsurpassed. Mike led my group on a dive to the Santa Rosa Wall, one of the most beautiful dives in Cozumel. The dive briefing was professionally done in a friendly manor. Everyone enjoyed a relaxing dive on the wall with beautiful swim-thoughs. After the required sit time on the boat, we did our second dive (38 ft) on Paradise Reef. Also a very beautiful and relaxing experience for all. A delicious followed back at the dive shop. Then, they took us back to the ferry for the trip back to Plya del Carmen. I booked this day though Olympus Tours, who had contracted with Scuba Caribe. I am glad that I had the experience to meet Mike and his group of professionals. I am a professional underwater photographer and travel a lot. Over the years, I have met many dive professionals, some great, some not so great. Scuba Caribe is one of the best that I have found. The next trip to Cozumel, I will contact Scuba Caribe directly to set up my entire diving schedule. A first class operation!

Thank hairydiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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