We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Rediscovering Diving”
Review of Jolly Dive Center

Jolly Dive Center
Ranked #5 of 18 Tours in Jolly Harbour
Certificate of Excellence
West Wickham, Kent, United Kingdom
1 review
“Rediscovering Diving”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

Having not dived for several years and fast approaching 59 years of age, I was a little concerned when I contacted the Jolly Dive Centre, on Antigua recently, to enquire about a refresher dive and a days diving. They could not have been more helpful. Dianna Craig offered to pick me up from my resort at Keyonna Beach on her way to Jolly Harbour and took me through my essential safety checks and techniques with the minumum of fuss and maximum encouragement. I was then introduced to 'The Boss', Paul Roos and Cornelia Wagentrotz, my Divemaster and guide for the day. I completed two dives of 45 and 55 minutes on fabulous Cade's Reef in a small group of enthusiastic divers of all ages and nationalities. Spanish turned out to be the common language of the day! By chance, the dive boat was returning to Jolly Harbour past my beach. Paul was happy to drop me off to wade ashore, 'Daniel Craig like', (not quite) through the gentle surf. I would recommend Jolly Dive if you want a very professionally organised days diving in a laid-back friendly atmosphere. Off to Spain soon and diving is back on the agenda thanks to everyone on the team; I'd love to come back. Mike Smith from West Wickham in the UK.

Visited March 2013
Thank MikeSmith98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

138 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Indianola, Iowa
Level Contributor
54 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Don't believe everything you read....”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I had researched a few of the dive shops on Antigua around the area we were staying and saw Jolly Dive Center. So, being a TripAdvisor user, I looked on here for suggestions. Well, it was either 5 or 1. Hard to make a decision on that..... but we did finally choose Jolly Dive Center. It was a great choice!

As a prelude to my comments, let me tell you that I have been diving since 1989 and have scuba dived all over the world. While I don't have the PADI credentials (you know, all the patches that run down the sleeve of your jacket), I am an advanced open water diver.

First comment, Paul and Cornelia take diving very seriously. They had safety briefings equal to most of the dive centers I have ever dove with. They spend time watching their clients to insure that they know who "knows the ropes" and who doesn't. They spend time prior to the dive explaining what the dive site is, explaining the planned dive itself, providing instructions on what the underwater communication signals they use mean. I at no time felt unsafe and actually felt better than I had with other dive operators.

Second comment, about Antigua diving, I had read that it wasn't great so I wasn't expecting much. Like Paul said to me...."If you are coming for a purely dive holiday, doing 3-4 dives a day for 2 weeks, you are going to be disappointed. But if you are coming to enjoy diving as well as the beauty of the island, this is a perfect place to come". He was right on target. But the diving I felt to be spectacular!! I've seen better reefs but I can truly say that I have never, ever seen more Nurse shark, lobster and crab anywhere. And the life was bountiful...Spotted Eagle Ray tops the list but plenty of Black Tip Reef Sharks, Barracuda, Sting Ray and the typical reef fish. I would not hesitate to dive on Antigua again. I'd dive with Jolly Dive because they proved to me they know where to go.

Third, Paul and Cornelia, while professionals, are also fun to be with! They have a way about them that put me at ease and the diving was fun. They closely watch the divers in the water, tracking where they were at all times. They monitor air consumption for all divers and when one buddy team gets low, one of the dive masters get the clients up to the boat while the rest of the divers can continue for a few minutes more, under supervision of the second dive master. This was huge in my mind.... how many times have you had to go back to the boat after 30 minutes when the novice diver sucked thru his/her air too fast? I had 45-60 minute dives every time and never came close to No-Deco limits.

Personally, as an experienced diver, I had no problem diving with Jolly Dive Center and when I return to Antigua, they are who I will dive with again!

Visited February 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Jolly Dive shop is not padi, whatever it is, it aint a safe dive.”
Reviewed December 17, 2012

So if you are looking for a dive in Antigua, you will find John Birk, and John Birk will recommend Jolly. If you are not a Padi diver, read between the lines...it is not Padi cert...though they might lead you to believe they are that or better.. I am a rescue diver....an experienced laid back diver. This operation is careless, dangerous and things not good. I will not go into details....you can read review Discovered for that...they are not off base.

I beg you to find a different operation. If the hotel recommends it, ask why....they are blindsighted. I advised them after what Padi meant...what a safe dive meant. In our case it was a very high end hotel. I dont blame them, they did not know differently.

Again, this is not.

Visited February 2012
7 Thank sheppsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Had a great two days diving with these guys”
Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at the Cocobay Resort and they recommended two places when I asked about diving. One was Jolly Dive, who I ended up using. I had heard that the diving wasn't that great in Antigua and to not expect much, so I went with low expectations.

I was picked up on the beach near my hotel at the time specified. I did have to wade out into the water to catch the boat, but didn't mind this minor inconvenience because the came all the way to my beach to pick me up and didn't have to deal with a taxi to the dive center.

In response to some previous negative reviews, the boat didn't leak oil in the water, the air in the tanks were fine (I don't know what amateur/crappy diver doesn't test the air before jumping in the water... They could have asked for a different tank if they felt something was wrong...), there was plenty of water on board (they actually had two ranks of water: one chilled and one at "room temperature"), Paul gave a safety briefing and a very thorough review of each dive site before we got suited up. I felt safe and comfortable with them the entire time. I had such a good time that day that I decided to go out with then a second day.

Paul is a class act and a character, and perhaps if you like silence and solitude the entire time, he might not be the person to go diving with, but I found him entertaining. On the first day of diving there were two divers and two dive masters. On the second day, there were three divers and two dive masters.

I thoroughly enjoyed diving with them, and felt safe and well taken care of the entire time.

Thank Explorersample
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Super diving”
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Mid-April we went diving with Jolly Dive, it was a wonderfull dive ! All was well organized,safe and a lots of fun! A big THANK YOU to Paul and Cornelia who made this trip so special. We saw lots of fish and were treated with much kindness. My first sharks and a lot of expert advice.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Julien P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Jolly Dive Center also viewed

Jolly Harbour, Saint Mary Parish
English Harbour, Saint Paul Parish
English Harbour, Saint Paul Parish
Saint Phillip Parish, Antigua

Been to Jolly Dive Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing