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“Great time”
Review of Diving Catalina

Diving Catalina
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Diving Catalina is your gateway to underwater diving adventure in the waters off Catalina Island. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon of fun or a lifetime of marine experiences, our professional staff will help you and your family design a diving adventure for everyone. Catalina Snorkel and Scuba welcomes divers of all experience levels. Whether diving is like second nature to you, or the largest body of water you’ve ever been in is a public pool, you’ll feel comfortable diving and snorkeling with the pros at Catalina Snorkel and Scuba. When you make your reservation with us, you can rest assured you’re in good hands!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed May 28, 2013

It was our first time snorkeling and it was great. It was a good amount of time spent out on the water and wetsuits and equipment were great. We saw tons of fish, crab, lobster and amazing new world underneath.

3  Thank Stephanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 - 83 of 96 reviews

Reviewed April 13, 2013

My husband and I went to Catalina Island for the first time on Wed., April 11th. We had Groupons for the power snorkeling tour with Catalina Snorkel and Scuba at the Casino Point Underwater Dive Park and a trip to the island on the Catalina Flyer from Newport Beach.

I was a little anxious about the snorkeling, as it had been decades since I had snorkeled back in Turkey. I had never worn a wetsuit before and was not sure what it would be like using the motor to propel myself through the water.

I’ll give a full account of our experience, but first I want to say that Catalina Snorkel and Scuba has some of the best customer service people working for them. And the main reason I’m even writing this is because I am so grateful for the special kindness and support I received from our tour guide Jeff, who was FABULOUS!

From the start in making reservations and several calls to ask questions, I spoke to Paul. He was always friendly, helpful and responsive. I never hesitated to ask another question, as he was very open to assisting. We printed our documents, maps, etc., but had issues with the e-signature docs, even after several mailings from Paul, but this was not a problem as the documents were available on our arrival.

The map clearly showed the meeting place behind the casino, but there is no office or signage that we saw to indicate we really were in the right place. That was a bit uneasy not knowing if we were missing the tour somewhere else, but we waited at the place on the map and, sure enough, a couple people whizzed in on golf carts.

There were only about 5 of us for the tour. We were issued our wetsuits and gear by the weight/height, etc. info we had provided in advance. My husband Bill needed a prescription mask so he’d be able to see, and although they normally have a box of them with them, they had been left behind this day. Our guide Jeff cheerfully told us to go ahead and start putting on our suits and he’d run back and get the masks.

Dave was there to willingly assist us with that, and when I say assist, I mean it! My suit was so tight it was a 2-man operation with Bill and Dave yanking and pulling like crazy. I finally got squeezed in but I felt like a sausage and could hardly move. I was able to get a bigger piece for the second layer of the suit and that was better. I was assured that although it was tight I’d be happy how well it would keep out that cold water.

There are old lockers sitting outside behind the casino. BEWARE! This was such a source of frustration for Bill that he told me later he was ready to abandon the whole tour. He was over there what seemed like forever putting our stuff away and couldn’t get the key to turn. He wasn’t the only one, evidently. The trick—push the key in hard all the way to get the key to turn. Also, note: there are no changing rooms nearby for changing out of your wet bathing suit after the tour. There are a couple of restrooms on the side of the casino, but the ladies’ room was really disgusting (as were the ones down the street that I used) and there was no hook to hang anything on. I am surprised that such a nice little town like Avalon lets these public restrooms get into such a condition.

So, back to the tour: Jeff returns with the masks and the first one Bill tried was perfect. Jeff then proceeded to give us instructions on how everything works. He did this in such a friendly and reassuring way and let us know that nothing would be a problem. If we let go of our motors they would just float to the surface, that our suits would keep us so buoyant we could only float no matter what and went through all the ways to keep & get water out of the snorkeling tube. Everything would be fine.

Despite his best efforts, I seemed to get increasingly anxious—certainly not due to him! So, down the stairs to the water and everyone’s in but me. This is where Jeff became so incredibly wonderful. He stayed right with me and helped me into the water, holding onto me the whole time. He mentioned the initial shock of the cold water, but honestly, the suit was so tight, I never once experienced cold water. J I told him I didn’t know if I could go through with it, but he was so compassionate and encouraged me to at least give it a try before giving up. I floated on my back awhile while he held on and helped me through my heart-pounding, heavy breathing, constantly reassuring me in such a gentle, kind way.

Finally, when I was calmed down enough I rolled over and put my face in the water and that was okay, so I grabbed the motor and enjoyed around 5 minutes, I guess, of touring around. The water was so incredibly clear. I saw some blue and orange fishes and the waving kelp forests, which were really beautiful. I had an incident with Bill that knocked me a bit off balance and I let go of the motor with one hand and couldn’t grab it back so I wound up rolling over on my back and had to get started again. Jeff was immediately there to help me get righted and going again. Once again, so amazing! I was only out another couple minutes when somehow I managed to get some water in my nose and that was pretty much it for me. Jeff was so willing to keep me going, but I decided to just be satisfied with what I had experienced. He actually swam me back to the stairs and let me know that he’d keep an eye out and if he saw me looking like I was up for another go, he’d be back there to help me. However, once out and beached on the stairs, sprawled out, as the suit was too tight to sit normally, I chose not to go back in, though somewhat tempted, as there was a chance to possibly swim with the sea lions who were nearby. One person on the tour saw one of those lovely tailed jellyfish—sweet!

All in all, we’re glad we went on the tour, and I am so totally grateful to have had someone like Jeff there encouraging me to try. He made this a great experience, regardless of how it may sound.

Bottom line: Catalina Snorkel and Scuba has a great service staff, in my opinion. I would recommend the tour, and I hope if you have the least bit of reservations, you have Jeff as your tour guide! Thanks so much, Jeff!

Recommendations for Catalina Snorkel and Scuba: See if there is some way to have a little sign at the meeting place. If not, add to your map that it is not a building and there is no signage and just wait for the golf cart with the tour guide. Ask the locker owners to put a little sign somewhere on the lockers that specifies how to work the lock. Finally, to the Community of Avalon: Please give your guests more respect by cleaning up your restrooms—really!

1  Thank Karen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

We had a wonderful experience on our recent snorkel trip. The other four people in our group cancelled so it was just me and my husband. I thought they would cancel but instead they gave us a wonderful experience!! Thanks guys loved it!!

Thank pmahowald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Attentive hosts David and Paul helped to make this experience a wonderful afternoon of underwater discovery. A few in our party had little if any previous experience but were soon confident to step into this new world. The fish and corral were fantastic and the feeding session was awesome. For the money $90 was well worth paying.

1  Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Our organization has booked an annual snorkeling trip with Catalina Snorkel and Scuba for the past 4 years. We have never been disappointed! The owner and staff are so efficient even while handling a large group (we were almost 50). They are understanding and accommodate all of our requests as we are bringing children and teens with special needs. The entire experience is completely smooth. All equipment is provided and the staff is always helpful and ready to answer questions. The location is fantastic. We saw a ton of sea life while snorkeling here in July! We will continue to book with Catalina Snorkel and Scuba and are already looking forward to next year's trip!

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

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