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“Hard to beat”

Ocean Connections Water Sports
Ranked #6 of 35 Tours in West End
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ocean Connections has something for everyone! We welcome divers and non-divers alike aboard our custom-built 52-foot power catamaran for some fun in the sun. Divers will love our brand new Aqualung gear and exceptional valet service. We also host the only location on the island of Roatan for BOSS underwater motor scooters. BOSS (Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter) is designed to allow you to breathe normally while you drive underwater and experience the undersea world. Featured on the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and the Today Show, BOSS offers an exciting new experience for the whole group! Ocean Connections is also a fully operational scuba diving center that is both PADI and SSI certified. Join us for scuba courses as well as fun diving at the second largest living reef in the world.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

I grew up by a lake, and hated swimming, particularly swimming for swimming's sake. So pointless. When I told my family that I was going to Honduras to get certified, they laughed. They paused, and they laughed some more.

Yet, my experience was brilliant largely due to the Ed, Luther and Amanda at Ocean Connections.

-- The OW certification --
I took the e-learning course with Padi, for about $135. Then, paid OC about $220 (see their website) for the water-part of the course. Passed the test online, flew to Honduras.

My first morning Ed did a review with me. I had completely forgotten the charts, but we got done fairly quickly. We went into the water for confined water skills, and were done by early afternoon. Dives 1 through 4 were excellent. We went through the skills quickly, but always making sure I knew what I was doing. It took a few tries on some (although I did well on clearing the mask despite my contacts - yay me). I was certified. 2 mornings, 1 full day.

Would I do Padi e-learning if I could do it again? Probably not. I spent a lot of time going through the materials on my own, thinking it'd save me time with OC. That said, it would still have cost me about $50 more to do the whole course with them, and I would have -still- done it in 3 days.

--How to Pick a Shop--
There are so many dive shops in Roatan. Most of the good ones, according to the divers, seem to be either at West End or West Bay. The resorts at West Bay are ridiculously expensive, and not necessarily the best divers, but if you're into the resort thing save yourself the trouble and stay in West End and dive with a West-End Crew. If you dive in West End and stay in West Bay (or vice verca), you'll have to take water taxis back and forth ($3 a pop).

Also consider the size of your crew. Having lots of people can be annoying. If you have 4 people and one can't equalize (pressure in ears), you probably have to come up. If one's running low on air because s/he can't breath properly, you probably have to come up as well. Kinda sucks to cut your dive short.

Finally, consider the crew itself. Do they know what they are doing? Are they experienced? How long have they been around? I lucked out and got Ed for my certification. I was alone with him, the whole time. Ed's a technical diver, and teachers (I think) all the padi courses and some more. He'll be honest about the ones you should take, the ones you should skip. He cares about teaching you, and he works hard. I very sincerely could not have asked for better. Luther, the boat captain, is awesome. Works hard, knows the waters. Amanda, at the front desk, is not only super sweet but will always go out of her way to help you out on island related issues.

I ran into a few other instructors during my stay at the island, and many seem to be either jerks more interested in using gringos to make them and their friends an extra buck (one tall old white mustached guy at West End divers for instance) or just resort to a lot of dive masters to be able to fit bigger groups.

In sum, consider the name of the shop, sure, but also group size, friendliness of the crew (you'll spend an awful lot amount of time with them), and skills of the instructors.

-- How to tip --
Ok, I was clueless. I had never dove, and I was diving (most of the time) alone with an awesome instructor. How should you tip? Here's a nice little article written by somebody at a Roatan dive shop that explains how/when/how much to tip.
http://www.cubiclethrowdown.com/2013/01/tipping-guidelines-for-diving-on-roatan.html

I wish I had read this first.

Thank blasimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCWE, Front Office Manager at Ocean Connections Water Sports, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2013

Thank you so much for your great feedback, Simon! Hope you're loving Utila so far, and you better be diving! Be sure to keep in touch. I'm thinking your winter break would be an excellent time for an Advanced course...just saying :)

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213 - 217 of 241 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2013

We completed our Advanced Certification with Ocean's connections in March 2013. Maybe it was just a "bad luck" week, but we had different instructors every day which made the course inconsistent and lacking depth. The diving was still spectacular and they accommodated our request for night and wreck dives. The equipment was used and at times, we had a depth gauge that didn't work, or air bubbles escaping our BCD.
We enjoyed the small group diving and the central location of the shop (just across our accommodation). They also had a lovely patio to enjoy lunch away from the crowds. The staff were very friendly.

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Thank OttawaGirl45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCWE, Front Office Manager at Ocean Connections Water Sports, responded to this reviewResponded May 2, 2013

Hi ladies! Thanks so much for the feedback - we know that was a tough week with the weather not cooperating and some of our staff also getting sick, but you both handled everything very gracefully. We really appreciated your patience and understanding. Now go use that AOW certification to do more night and wreck dives! :)

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Reviewed April 27, 2013

I had a wonderful time diving with ocean ocean connections.Small groups of divers.Nice location on the water with palm trees to shade you.I plan on diving more with the in the future. Call e mail them ask for Ed.

Thank chefehawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCWE, Front Office Manager at Ocean Connections Water Sports, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2013

Thanks for the note, Eric! We love hanging out under these palm trees, too. Hope to see you here again soon!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

I did a 10 dive package with Ocean Connections in December 2012. The diving was spectacular, and it was made all the better by the friendly and attentive Ocean Connections crew. The service was very personal and it felt like we were diving with friends rather than a company. Definitely going to make it back there one day. Oh, and as an added bonus there was a giant dog there who was awesome, the little dog was also sweet.

Thank wateveritwas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCWE, Front Office Manager at Ocean Connections Water Sports, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Haha the dogs - Balder and Lina - both say hello and they miss you two goofballs! Hope the rest of your trip was fantastic and you can get back here to visit soon!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

Ocean's Connections is such a chill, relaxed dive shop. I received my PADI Open Water Certification there and loved it! My instructor (Jonathon Clarkin) couldn't have been better than anyone I could have hoped for. He worked with me even separately to help me get more comfortable in the water throughout my course. The shop didn't mind at all! He had so much knowledge about the fish, sea life, and coral as well. His excitement and knowledge was also very contagious! The shop has great people working and all around good dive instructors. Also, the shop's prices are very reasonable and have good quality gear. I would recommend it to everyone who is coming to Roatan!

Thank Sarah13187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCWE, Front Office Manager at Ocean Connections Water Sports, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Thanks for the feedback, Sarah! It's been a few weeks...aren't you due for another fun dive soon?? You teachers work too hard. We think it's time you take a break and come hang out on the boat with us for a day. Hope to see you soon!!

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